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.