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Healthier Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Ditch the spaghetti and the excess oil with our calorie-cutting version of the classic dish.
Healthier Chicken Parmesan RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This Italian-American staple normally suffers from a glut of oil, an excess of cheese, and a huge bed of carb-heavy spaghetti as the base. We shallow-fry a modest portion of chicken to minimize oil soakage, then use fresh mozzarella (which is lower in calories and fat than other cheeses) to top it off. For sides, trade the spaghetti bed for garlicky sautéed spinach.

Nutrition: 340 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated), 670 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4–6 oz each)
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp black pepper
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup bread crumbs, preferably panko
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
1⁄2 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce
4 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the broiler. Cover the chicken breasts with parchment paper or plastic wrap, and using a meat mallet or a heavy-bottomed pan, pound the chicken until it is uniformly 1⁄4″ thick. Season with the salt and pepper.
  2. Place the egg whites in a shallow bowl. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning on a large plate.
  3. Dip each breast into the egg whites to coat both sides and then into the crumb mixture, patting the crumbs so they fully cover the chicken.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side before turning. (The crust should be deeply browned and crunchy.)
  5. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer the chicken to a baking sheet.
  6. Spoon the tomato sauce over the chicken pieces, then top with the cheese and place underneath the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling. Serve garnished with basil (if using).

Eat This Tip

Chicken Parm is normally made by shallow frying the breaded meat in a pan, which is exactly what we do here. However, if you want to save time and calories with only the barest sacrifice in flavor, skip the sauté pan and use the oven instead. Bake the chicken breasts in a 400°F oven until the crust is golden and the meat is firm, about 15 minutes.

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