I am a big fan of taking a classic dish and creating a lighter, healthier version. Ellie Krieger from the Food Network makes Chicken Parmesan, and it is fantastic. She makes her own bread crumbs from whole wheat bread. If you don’t want to make your own crumbs than use Panko, a Japanese style breadcrumb that is light and crunchy. I buy both whole wheat and white Panko Breadcrumbs and sometimes combine them for the coating. I often make extra chicken because the leftovers are even better!
- 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 eggs (you can use 2 egg whites)
- 1/2 cup skim or low fat milk
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness (you can buy the thinner chicken cutlets which saves you the time of pounding the chicken)
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 jar (about 3-4 cups) good-quality marinara sauce (I like Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce)
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons (1/2-ounce) shredded parmesan cheese (I am generous with the parm cheese…I often add some to the bread crumb mixture 🙂
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, toss the crumbs with the oregano, garlic powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, whisk the eggs (or whites) and milk together. In a third bowl, stir together the flour, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Dip each piece of chicken, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess.
Place the breaded breasts in a glass baking dish or on a sheet tray and spray on each side with cooking spray (this helps them brown). Bake the breasts until cooked though and crumbs are browned, about 20-25 minutes (the internal temperature should read 165 degrees). Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling. 4 servings