Before we met, my husband lived in Italy for almost 2 years while he was in the Navy. Needless to say he has high demands for an Italian dinner and almost refuses to go out to a restaurant.
I am by no means Italian, I’m from Northern Illinois for crying out loud. My version of Italian is the American version of meatballs and spaghetti or ordering pizza.
He’s hard enough to please when it comes to food anyways so when I prepare something he gobbles up even all the leftovers, I surely better share it with y’all!
Lighter Chicken Parmesan
1 lb chicken breast
2 pinches kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups or so marinara (homemade is best, but a store bought version makes an easy swap)
4 thin slices mozarella cheese or 1/2 cup part skim mozarella
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
zucchini, as needed
pasta, as needed
Trim the chicken of any perimeter fat. Place between a top & bottom layer of plastic wrap and pound out (with a mallet) to an even thickness.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and evenly coat in the egg wash.
Dip in the bread crumbs on each side. Can use whole wheat bread crumbs for more fiber and nutrient rather than panko.
Heat a large non-stick pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
Sear the chicken on one side for about 2-3 minutes. Flip when there is a golden brown color on the breading and cook on the second side for another few minutes.
Pour in the marinara and cover. Let simmer to heat through the sauce and finish cooking the chicken (about 20 minutes). Add the mozzarella cheese, cover again until melted.
Sprinkle with parmesan right before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve with pasta (whole wheat, brown rice, or lentil pasta are nutrient-rich options), salad and/or zucchini noodles.
Note: if you don’t need or want any pasta with it, you can omit the carb. 100% whole wheat, brown rice, or lentil pastas provide more fiber and nutrients than regular enriched white flour pasta. I’ll be the first to tell you though I don’t deprive myself of regular pasta, especially for certain meals. Some nights when the family is eating pasta with the meal, I have a small portion of whatever they are eating. Other nights I omit it and completely swap in spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash. I used a veggie peeler here for the zucchini just for a different shape. Other nights I combine the veggie ‘pasta’ with regular pasta just to help keep everything in balance (my goals, appetite, and cravings!).