You get all the flavor without all the extra calories in this quick and easy Lightened-Up Chicken Parmesan! It’s made in one pan and is ready in about 30 minutes – a perfect weeknight dinner that is sure to become a favorite!
Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana) is an Italian-American classic! It’s no wonder why it’s a favorite of so many of us – breaded and fried chicken covered in tomato sauce and topped with melted Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. It’s sooo good!
Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly waistline-friendly because – you know – the breaded and fried part. Okay, and the cheese part too (but I can forgive the cheese because I love it so much).
So I decided to lighten things up a bit and make the dish easier and quicker.
My solution? I said goodbye to the breadcrumbs and the very generous amount of oil that would normally be used to fry the chicken. Yep, the breading is gone (I mean I couldn’t get rid of the cheese, so something had to go!).
I know. I was skeptical at first too. Would it, could it be good without the breading?
The answer is a resounding YES!
I didn’t miss the breadcrumbs one bit. It had all the fabulous flavor I was hoping for and less calories.
AND this Chicken Parm recipe is super quick and easy – it’s done in about 30 minutes – and it’s made all in one pan, so less dishes!
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
- Chicken breast cutlets or boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Spaghetti sauce (homemade or jarred)
- Parmesan cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh parsley (optional)
HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE LIGHTENED-UP CHICKEN PARMESAN:
Lightly dredging the chicken breasts in flour and cooking them in a small amount of olive oil and butter gives them a lightly crisp, golden brown crust.
The easiest cut of chicken to use for this recipe is a chicken breast cutlet. You want each one to weigh about 6 ounces.
If you can’t find cutlets, simply get two chicken breasts, each weighing about 12 ounces, and cut them in half horizontally to make two cutlets out of each breast. Or if you can find small chicken breasts that are about 6 ounces each, just pound them between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper until they are an even ½-inch thick.
Use your favorite spaghetti sauce – homemade or jarred. Want a recipe for homemade sauce that won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours? Check out my recipe for Quick & Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. It’s full of flavor and only takes about 30 minutes. One batch is a perfect amount for this recipe.
If you like your cheese more browned and bubbly, you can put the pan under the broiler for a minute or two after the chicken is cooked through and the cheese has melted. Make sure you are using an oven-safe pan with a handle than can withstand the heat of the broiler.
You can serve this Chicken Parmesan on its own or over spaghetti. I like to keep things light and get some veggies by serving it over zoodles or spaghetti squash!
This recipe makes a perfect weeknight meal for the family, but it’s also good enough for dinner guests. Everyone is sure to love it – whether they’re counting calories or not!
I hope you try this recipe for Lightened-Up Chicken Parmesan and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
Lightened-Up Chicken Parmesan
- 4 chicken breast cutlets (each about 6 ounces) *See Recipe Notes
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups spaghetti sauce (homemade or one 24 to 28-ounce jar)
- ½ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- fresh chopped parsley, optional
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Lightly coat each piece of chicken with the flour, shaking off any excess.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Note: The chicken does not have to be cooked through at this point. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sauce to the pan. Move the chicken around so that the sauce gets under it and coats each piece.
- Top each piece of chicken with ¼ of the Parmesan cheese (2 tablespoons per piece of chicken) and then ¼ of the mozzarella cheese (¼ cup per piece of chicken).
- Put a lid on the pan and simmer (reduce the heat to low if needed) until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and serve.
- If you can’t find chicken cutlets, take two large boneless skinless chicken breasts (each weighing about 12 ounces) and cut them in half horizontally to make 2 cutlets out of each breast – OR – if you can find small breasts that are about 6 ounces each, just lightly pound them between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to an even ½-inch thickness.
- If you like your cheese browned and bubbly, you can put the pan under the broiler for a minute or two after the chicken is cooked through and the cheese has melted. Make sure you are using an oven-safe pan with a handle that can withstand the heat of the broiler.