Despite the fact that it's the size of a Frisbee, fried in oil, and covered in cheese, the biggest problem with chicken parmesan remains the pile of pasta upon which it invariably is served. That's why, in this recipe, we serve our chicken parm with garlicky spinach in place of pasta: It not only cuts calories and boosts nutrition dramatically, but it also adds a punch that pairs perfectly with the saucy chicken. We coat the bird in Japanese-style bread crumbs (which crisp up better than the standard variety) and then bake it until golden brown, a move that saves you the hassle (and the unwanted fat) of frying at home.
Nutrition: 340 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 540 mg sodium
1 extra-large egg
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 oz each), pounded to uniform 1⁄3-inch thickness
1 1⁄2 cups tomato sauce (make your own, or buy a jar), heated
1⁄2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
How to Make It
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Crack the egg into a shallow dish and beat.
- In a separate shallow dish (a pie pan works nicely), combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, olive oil, Italian seasoning, and a few generous pinches of salt and black pepper.
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip into the egg, then into the bread crumbs, using your fingers to press the crumbs into the chicken.
- Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet or roasting pan and place in the oven on the middle rack.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, until the chicken is firm to the touch and the bread crumbs are golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and set the oven to broil.
- Cover each breast with a good ladle of tomato sauce and a handful of mozzarella. Return to the middle rack of the oven and broil for about 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Serve the chicken over the spinach with extra tomato sauce, if you like.
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