Light Chicken Parmesan

Whoops! It’s been a couple days since my last chicken dinner. Busy as usual, but luckily, the Garlic Roasted Chicken still tasted amazing this afternoon for lunch 🙂

For chicken dinner #2, I decided to go for a classic, with a bit of a twist. In the past, I’ve baked Parmesan Chicken with breading, marinara, and added a slice of cheese toward the end. I found this recipe while on my way to the grocery store with my fiancĂ©. It seemed cheap, easy, and pretty healthy (for chicken parmesan). Here’s the link to the original recipe. Note that I ended up using 3 very large pieces of chicken breast and have enough for 2 full dinners and 2 full lunches for tomorrow. An excellent recipe for leftovers!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large chicken breast
  • 24oz jar of marinara sauce
  • 6 slices low fat mozzarella cheese ( sliced )
  • to taste salt
  • to taste black pepper
  • 4 cups pasta ( cooked ) – I used 100% whole wheat angel hair pasta

PREPARATION

STEP 1: Start the water for the pasta on high. Read directions on back of pasta box for the appropriate amount of water for the pasta you want to use.

STEP 2: Fillet chicken breasts by slicing them in half horizontally

Light Chicken Parmesan

Use a very sharp knife (fillet knife preferred) to slice chicken breast in half, making sure to keep each half as even as possible.

STEP 3: The water should boiling by now (or close to it). Add the pasta to the boiling water.

STEP 4: Use a meat mallet to pound the thicker part of each fillet to even the thickness of the breast (resulting in more tender chicken).

Light Chicken Parmesan

Make sure to thoroughly clean the surrounding area after finishing. Pounding the chicken can cause chicken juice to splatter.

STEP 5: Begin heating large skillet on medium heat.

STEP 6: While skillet is heating, sprinkle both sides of the chicken fillets with salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. When skillet is hot, spray skillet with cooking spray.

STEP 7: Brown fillets by cooking in skillet for 2 minutes on each side. I had to cook this in 2 batches. The first 3 fillets I cooked 90% and set aside on a plate while cooking the last 3 pieces.

Light Chicken Parmesan

If skillet isn’t large enough to evenly cook each piece, cook as much as you can and place aside on a plate until all pieces are completely cooked.

STEP 8: Add all pieces of chicken (if cooked in batches), add marinara sauce evenly over the top, and cover until the sauce and chicken are cooked (about 5 minutes). Make sure you stir / flip the chicken every couple of minutes. (be sure to check on pasta and drain if required).

Light Chicken Parmesan

You can use your favorite marinara pasta sauce. I picked this up because it was on sale. Pretty good if I do say so myself!

STEP 9: Top the chicken with mozzarella cheese, using only enough to cover the top. Cover skillet and cook until cheese is melted (about 1-1.5 minutes).

Light Chicken Parmesan

Since the plan is to only eat half the batch for dinner, I only topped 2 large fillets and 2 smaller pieces with cheese while the rest sat in the marinara.

STEP 10: Place 1 cup pasta on each plate. Top with 1/2 cup marinara sauce and 2 fillets of chicken (depending on how hungry you are and what you want for leftovers).

Light Chicken Parmesan

Place chicken below or on top of pasta – whichever you prefer.

FEEDBACK

This was a ridiculously filling dinner. Excellent for after a workout with its boost of protein and carbs to get you re-energized. I would suggest serving only one fillet, but that depends on the size of the chicken breast. Use your judgement to serve what’s best for you.

Overall, I’d say this was a success. I’m honestly really loving whole grain pasta because of the slight sweet flavor it gives the meal, but I could see this being excellent with a good bow-tie pasta as well.

Future Suggestions for Sides:

  • Steamed vegetables
  • Whole grain pasta (of any type)
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