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Just as cheesy and kid-friendly as the original, this Dump-and-Bake Healthy Chicken Parmesan recipe is an easy dinner with no prep work! Just place all of the ingredients in one dish and let the oven do the work.
Healthy Chicken Parmesan Recipe
A lot of you share one of my biggest struggles as a home cook: preparing a single meal that can accommodate a variety of schedules and finicky eaters. By 9:00 p.m. it can feel like you’re a short-order cook at the local diner. Not good! Instead, I’ve created this lighter version of the classic Chicken Parmesan recipe. It’s a family-friendly option that appeals to everyone at the table!
Also known as Chicken Parmigiana, the traditional Italian dish is typically made with breaded, pan-fried chicken breast that’s covered in tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan, or provolone cheese. In order to maintain the rich Italian flavors of the original dish without all of the fat and calories, you’ll make this healthy chicken parmesan without breading. It’s baked in the oven — not fried — but still smothered with plenty of sauce and two different types of cheese — both mozzarella and parmesan! Serve the chicken with regular pasta, whole wheat pasta, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles…whatever suits your diet and taste preferences.
Why this is an Easy Healthy Chicken Parmesan Recipe
- There’s no pre-cooking, breading, or slicing necessary for this quick-prep dinner — just arrange the raw ingredients in your dish!
- The healthy chicken parmesan bakes in the oven (rather than frying in a skillet), so it’s a hands-off option for busy nights.
- You can assemble the dish in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to pop it in the oven. Can’t beat the convenience of a make-ahead meal!
How to Make Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan
As you can see in the video below, this healthy chicken parmesan recipe bakes in the oven instead of frying in a skillet! That makes it easier and better for us. Plus, since you’ll make the chicken without breading, it doesn’t get soggy in the pan. An added bonus!
Ingredients for a Quick Healthy Chicken Parmesan Recipe
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Marinara sauce
- Fresh mozzarella
- Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning and basil
- Salt and pepper
Healthy Chicken Parmesan | 1-Minute Video
Step 1: Place Ingredients in Baking Dish
Spread half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Place the raw chicken on top, season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and pour the remaining marinara sauce over top. Cover with foil.
Step 2: Bake the Chicken Parmesan in the Oven
Bake the covered dish in a 425 degree F oven for about 20-35 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of your meat).
Step 3: Add Cheese
Top the chicken with fresh mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese, return the dish to the oven (uncovered), and finish baking until the cheese is melted (about 10 more minutes). Ta-da!
What to Serve with Chicken Parmigiana
The cheesy chicken is best when served with pasta and marinara sauce. Don’t forget a side of garlic bread, too!
What Noodles for Chicken Parmesan?
This is a matter of preference, so pick your favorites! Classic options include spaghetti, angel hair, linguine or fettuccine. Penne, rigatoni or rotini will also work. If you’re looking for a healthier noodle swap, try cooked spaghetti squash, spiralized zucchini noodles, or whole wheat or grain-free pasta options.
Healthy Sides for Chicken Parmesan
- A simple green salad dressed in Italian Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Garlic Roasted Broccoli
- 2-Ingredient Italian Sugar Snap Peas
- Oven-Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted Cabbage
- Garlic and Parmesan Cauliflower Mash
Assemble the dish in advance, cover with foil, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking or freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to cook the chicken, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. If the chicken is still really cold when you put it in the oven, you may need to increase the baking time by a few minutes. Wait to add the cheese at the end, as instructed.
Leftover baked chicken parmesan will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months.
To reheat the chicken parmesan, place the chicken on a baking sheet and warm in a 350 degree oven just until heated though (about 10 minutes for small pieces of chicken). You can also warm individual servings in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. When reheating chicken, be careful not to warm it for too long or it can become overcooked, tough and dry.
Tips for the Best Healthy Chicken Parmesan Recipe
- Use the best quality, most flavorful marinara sauce. I recommend Rao’s brand sauce, which does not include any added sugar. If you prefer to make your own sauce, try this easy marinara recipe.
- Have some extra marinara sauce on hand to serve over pasta or zucchini noodles, if desired.
- For a quick cooking time, be sure to use smaller chicken breasts (about 4-5 ounces each) or cut your large chicken breasts in half to make chicken cutlets.
- Allow the dish to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will allow the sauce to thicken a bit more and the chicken will retain its juices.
- Serve the chicken parmesan bake as a low-carb meal and skip the pasta. A side salad or some of the other healthy sides suggested are nice options.
- Serve the cheesy baked chicken on toasted hoagie rolls to make Chicken Parm Subs.
- Garnish with fresh herbs if you have some on hand!
More Healthy Chicken Recipes to Try
Dump-and-Bake Healthy Chicken Parmesan
- 6 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 24 ounces total) or 6 chicken cutlets
- 1 (16 ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Basil or additional fresh herbs, for garnish
- Optional: cooked pasta, for serving
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spray a large baking dish (about 9-inch by 13-inch) with cooking spray. Spread half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the dish. Add the chicken on top of the sauce. Sprinkle chicken with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, to taste.
- Pour remaining sauce over chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. If you are using larger chicken breasts you will need to increase the baking time to at least 30-35 minutes.
- Remove foil, place mozzarella slices and grated Parmesan on top of chicken. Return chicken to the oven (uncovered) for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I came across it while googling easy chicken recipes and it turned out absolutely fantastic! I used shredded mozzarella because that’s all I had on hand but it was still fantastic – and so easy! I’ll definitely make it again!
That’s awesome, Sonia! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! 🙂
Have you ever breaded the chicken first?
Hey, Jessica! No, I haven’t tried this recipe that way. Let me know if you do!
I love this recipe! I have a picky husband who seems to only like complicated unhealthy recipes but he LOVES this.
It’s easy, tasty and fits into the allotted amount of WW points for dinner.
Awesome! That’s exactly my goal, Erin. 🙂 A meal that’s good for you, but also tasty for the whole family!
Is there an alternative for Italian seasoning ?
Hi, Mariah! Yes! Italian seasoning is just a blend of a bunch of different herbs and seasonings — including basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, thyme, onion, rosemary, and marjoram. You can just substitute with a dash of whatever you have on hand — maybe some basil and oregano?
This was so easy and turned out so well!!! I’m not the best cook so I was thrilled with the result. I halved it and used boneless skinless chicken tenders.
Awesome, Carrie! Thank you for letting me know! I’m so glad that you’ve found a new, easy recipe to enjoy. 🙂
The nutritional information is only for the chicken correct? Not being served over pasta?
That’s right, Laura — it’s just for the chicken. I didn’t include specific pasta amounts in the recipe, so you can just calculate the pasta nutrition based on the type and amount that you use. Or, for a lighter option, you can even use zucchini noodles! 🙂
Would this work with chicken thighs as well? It’s all I have on hand right now.
Absolutely, Tiffany! It should be an equal swap. 🙂 Enjoy!
Made this tonight for dinner. It is very good. Easy to assemble and follow directions. I did exactly as written and watched video. Easy Peasy! I added garlic powder to the chicken along with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. I found a spaghetti sauce that is healthier than most. No sugar nor bad oils. It is Ragu garden fresh healthy sauce. You can find it at Krogers here in Michigan. They make a plain marinra too. Both are delicious. This will be my go to chicken parm bake! Hubby and I loved it. So easy to prepare! Thanks for sharing recipe!
That’s great, Lynn! I’m so glad that you both enjoyed it, and thanks for the tip about the Ragu! Sounds perfect. 🙂
Awesome and quick meal!
I browned the chicken first used provolone instead of mozzarella
Thank you! Glad you liked it! 🙂
This recipe is a family staple in our house. We love it!
So excited to try this with all the positive comments. Will be making it this week.
Wonderful. Enjoy! 🙂
This recipe was AMAZZZINGG!!
Thank you so much sharing with everyone!
Thanks, Mandie! I’m so glad that you liked it!
Thank you so much for this easy to follow recipe which tasted amazing. I have created a new board on Pinterest called Keeper Recipes and this was the first recipe pinned. 24 yr old son wanted the recipe!!!! This speaks volumes.
That’s awesome, Joanne! The true test — when a young guy approves! 🙂
OK, here is the deal. I am doing some intermittent fasting and found THIS recipe online. Oh my goodness, does it look delicious. And I am so hungry right now I would like to grab it right out of my computer screen and chow down! LOL
Note to self: do not look at delicious recipes while fasting.
Thanks for pinning! I hope that you get to try it when your fast is over. 🙂
My husband and sons loved this recipe. I made it last night. Thank you for all the good ideas!
That’s great, Heidi! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
I was looking for something a little different but still easy to do with two chicken breasts last night. Made this and it was perfect. Chicken was 5 oz each and the cooking times were spot on. I really appreciate you confirming on your recipes how to downsize for two, it’s a big help.
The benefit of cooking for two is I have room in the oven for two pans. So taking inspiration from your 2 ingredient snap peas I tossed some diced potatoes in dressing, put them in the oven at the same time as the chicken. When it was time to uncover the chicken, I added the dressing-tossed snap peas. The timing worked out great!
I’m making your dump & bake pepper steak tonight, will let you know how it turns out.
Sounds like the perfect meal, Rochelle! Thank you for your note. 🙂
This is a great recipe, Blair, and definitely one of our favorite “Dump and Bake” recipes of yours. It is so easy and so delicious! I used smoked mozzarella which I had on hand for pizza but otherwise followed the ingredient list and directions exactly. Thanks for another goodie!
Thank you, Norma! I bet the smoked mozzarella was a delicious addition!
Excellent family loved it
Thank you! We’re so happy to hear this!