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A healthier alternative to the well known fried Chicken Parmesan, this Baked Chicken Parmesan is crispy and juicy and will leave you just as satisfied!

A healthier alternative to the well known fried Chicken Parmesan, this Baked Chicken Parmesan is crispy and juicy and will leave you just as satisfied!

Photos Updated October 2014


Originally posted December 5, 2007 – It’s amazing how far I have come since I started Taste and Tell. When this post was originally written, when my blog was less than a year old, I had never had spaghetti squash. Now I eat it all the time! And this is the first recipe where I used the technique of baking on a cooling rack to keep the food crispy. I have quite a few recipes here on Taste and Tell now that use that same technique. It’s fun to see how much I have learned and experienced in these last few years!!

I actually remade this a few months ago, but since eating healthy is on the lips of a lot of people, I knew I needed to re-share this recipe. This is a satisfying meal that is low in calories. Healthy and satisfying – I’ll take it!

This dish has a couple of things going for it.

1 – It’s healthy
2 – It tastes good!

I went to an aerobics class on Thanksgiving morning, and for getting up and going to the gym on Thanksgiving, the instructor gave us each some of her favorite healthy recipes. This was one of them. (She also included some recipes for different protein shakes, so I’m thinking of doing a little series on protein shakes – would anyone be interested? That’s my breakfast just about every weekday.)

The recipe she gave us for this Baked Chicken Parmesan did not include the spaghetti squash, but to my recollection, I don’t think I’ve ever had spaghetti squash before, so I thought it would be a great way to incorporate some veggies. This was super easy to throw together and didn’t taste like a “healthy” recipe at all. My husband wanted regular spaghetti noodles with his, but I ate mine with the spaghetti squash and it was very filling and very tasty. In fact, my plate is the one I took the picture of, and I couldn’t even finish my portion! This Baked Chicken Parmesan recipe uses a technique that I have never used before. You are baking the chicken on top of a cooling rack. It helps to give the chicken more a a crispy exterior – the texture turns out much different than if you were to just bake it in a casserole dish. I will be using this method in the future for different things!!

So if you’re trying to avoid the average 6-8 pounds gained during the holidays, this is a great meal to combat the calories from all of the goodies!!
A healthier alternative to the well known fried Chicken Parmesan, this Baked Chicken Parmesan is crispy and juicy and will leave you just as satisfied!

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Baked Chicken Parmesan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A healthier alternative to the well known fried Chicken Parmesan, this Baked Chicken Parmesan is crispy and juicy and will leave you just as satisfied!
Serves: 6 servings
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 3 (8-10 oz each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup prepared marinara (homemade or store-bought)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray a cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray and set it over a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Place the bread in a food processor or blender and process until you have fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a shallow bowl and add the ¼ cup Parmesan, parsley, paprika, garlic powder and thyme. Mix to combine.
  3. Pour the buttermilk into a separate shallow bowl.
  4. With a sharp knife, butterfly open each of the chicken breasts (cutting them open like a book), cutting each into 2 thinner pieces of chicken, for a total of 6 pieces. Dip each piece into the buttermilk, then into the breadcrumb mixture, using your hands to adhere the crumbs to the chicken if needed. Transfer to the cooling rack in a single layer.
  5. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve topped with the marinara and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Keep it healthy by serving the chicken on top of a bed of spaghetti squash.

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A healthier alternative to the well known fried Chicken Parmesan, this Baked Chicken Parmesan is crispy and juicy and will leave you just as satisfied!

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19 Responses to Baked Chicken Parmesan

  1. Abby says:

    The spaghetti squash is such an interesting concept, and I’ve heard so much about it, but I’ve never tried it. So you really liked it? I only do whole-wheat pasta in our house, but it would be great to get another veggie in.

    And I made my pecan chicken thighs on a rack in the oven, too. Genius idea – you’re so right – the texture was so much better!

  2. Gigi says:

    Great job on sneaking in the squash. Mr.Gigi Cakes loves chicken parm. Thanks for making it light and lean!

  3. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Deb, I think this looks super yummy!
    I have this book
    and their recipe for chicken parmesan calls for baking the chicken on a rack, as you mention – I haven’t tried it yet, but after seeing your post I should do it soon!

  4. Deborah says:

    Patricia – I just added that book to my wishlist for Christmas!!

  5. glamah16 says:

    I love chicken parm. And it being baked with the lo/no carb spaghetti squash is a winner.I would be very interested in the protein shake series. So much for your break .;-)

  6. Jenny says:

    Ooooh, I was just thinking about making chicken parmesan. I haven’t had it in a long time. Yours looks great!

  7. maybahay says:

    lovely recipe. sounds pretty simple but i can tell it’s scrumptious.

  8. Emiline says:

    Sounds fabulous. You can’t even tell it’s not deep fried.
    I like the tip on baking the chicken on a cooling rack; I’ll have to try that.

  9. Kristen - Dine and Dish says:

    I love chicken parmesan… it is probably one of my favorite dishes! The spaghetti squash is a great idea!

  10. Mary says:

    That’s a great tip about baking the chicken on the rack. I’ll have to give it a try!

  11. Patricia Scarpin says:

    There are many interesting recipes in the book, but I was disappointed by the lack of photos!
    Just thought you should know that.

  12. Dhanggit says:

    i love this recipe: healthy and looks absolutely delicious..perfect for me who is trying to lose weight..the ones i gain during my pregnancy..:-)

  13. Kevin says:

    Chicken parmesan is a nice and tasty dish. I like the use of paprika and I will definitely have to try using buttermilk the next time I make it. I know that I have had spaghetti squash a long time ago but my memories of it are not positive. I have to get around to trying it again some time soon.

  14. Shayne says:

    this looks like it would hit the spot!

  15. Mrsblocko says:

    I finally got around to making this and am kicking myself I didn't make it sooner. I wrote about it here: http://tomatoesforapples.blogspot.com/2010/04/baked-chicken-parm-and-spaghetti-squash.html

    Even the leftovers were good! Thanks for sharing this recipe I'll be making it again for sure.

  16. love this healthier version of chicken parm!!! and love that you used whole wheat bread crumbs. . what a great idea!

  17. Looks delicious! I love the healthier version!

  18. A healthier parm recipe … love it! Can’t wait to try!

  19. Catherine says:

    I am big fan of baked chicken parm. This looks absolutely marvelous, and I love that you served it over spaghetti squash. A wonderfully delicious and healthy touch. xo, Catherine

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