Earlier this week was Halloween. In the past, I’ve usually been prepared with a crockpot of chili to fill my kids’ bellies prior to the sugar rush, but this week, I had no plan. While I contemplated ordering pizza, I remembered I had chicken breasts in the fridge along with marinara sauce. Chicken Parmesan came to mind, but the thought of breading each piece of chicken seemed too much with 3 superheroes begging me to hurry.
In the spirit of Halloween, I pulled a little “trick” out of my sleeve with this paired down “Cheater’s” Chicken Parmesan version. It requires fewer ingredients, just one pan, and a shorter cooking time, yet still imparts the comforting flavors of the traditional recipe. The key to making this recipe healthier is picking the right type of jarred marinara sauce. Many jarred tomato products can be high in added sugar and sodium. Compare food labels and aim for a sauce that has no more than 4 tsp of sugar or 400 mg of sodium per serving.
This dish would go well with a bright green salad, but of course, my superheroes did not have time for that…
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 8 x 13 glass pan with non-stick cooking spray. Coat pan with marinara sauce until 1/2 inch deep (about 2 cups).
Slice the chicken length-wise until 1/4 inch thick (I sliced each chicken breast into about 3 thinner slices). Place the chicken on top of the marinara sauce.
Slice mozzarella to 1/4 inch thick and put over chicken. Bake 20 minutes.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs across the pan. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Check the temperature of the chicken, cook until chicken has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keywords: easy chicken parmesan
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.
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