This Light Chicken Parmesan is a delicious and healthy spin on a classic favorite. There are a few tricks that helped with the lightening up of this dish. Baking the chicken results in moist meat without having to use any extra fat. By breading only one side of the chicken, you get the benefit of the delicious breadcrumb/cheese mixture without the excess. Using part-skim mozzarella cheese helps keep the fat and calories down without sacrificing taste.
The sauce can easily be substituted with your favorite marinara (use jarred for a time saver) - simply skip to step 5. We enjoyed Light Chicken Parmesan with a mixed green side salad for a light, healthy dinner. Spaghetti tossed a little olive oil, herbs and red pepper flakes would also be a delicious accompaniment to this dish.
Light Chicken Parmesan
Yields 4 servings
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 slices whole wheat bread, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg white
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 to 6 ounces each)
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)
- Make Sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender (about 8 minutes). Add garlic, pepper flakes, and Italian herb seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Uncover and reduce heat to medium low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and flavors combine (about 30 minutes).
- Add vinegar and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until slightly cooled.
- Using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor, puree sauce until smooth.
- Make Chicken: Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in upper third. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine bread, Parmesan, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until mixture becomes coarse crumbs; transfer to a shallow bowl.
- Place flour in a separate shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper. Place egg white in a third shallow bowl, and beat with fork until frothy.
- Dip top side of chicken breast in flour, shaking off excess. Dip same side in egg white, letting excess drip off. Then dip in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Place on prepared baking sheet, breaded side up (Note: you only bread one side). Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Bake until breadcrumbs are browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with mozzarella. Continue baking until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted and slightly browned, about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Serve chicken with a generous amount of sauce.