This healthy chicken parmesan tastes just as good as the restaurant versions, but it’s so much better for you! It’s not fried or smothered in cheese, but I promise this clean eating version is just as hearty and tastes out of this world. Watch this chicken parm dinner become your new family favorite, as it has in my house!
*For a vegetarian version, try my Healthy Eggplant Parmesan recipe.
Healthy Chicken Parmesan Recipe
- 1 to 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts or tenders
- Fresh mozzarella cheese (BST-free, if not organic)
- 1 jar Organic Marinara Sauce
- 1 package Organic Red Lentil Pasta
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Pepper Juniper Blend
- Natural Salt Blend
- Basil Olive Oil
First, start with the chicken. If cooking chicken breasts, you want to lightly pound them so that their thickness is even throughout; no pounding needed with the tenders, they can be cooked as is. Season the chicken on both sides with a few grinds of Pepper & Juniper Blend and Savory Salt Blend, then either bake or sauté it. To sauté, heat about 1 Tbsp Crushed Basil Olive Oil in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, then cook the chicken in it until it is no longer pink inside – about 6-9 minutes per side, depending on thickness. If baking, preheat oven to 375 F and, in a glass pan, coat each side of the chicken with about 1 Tbsp Basil Olive Oil. Bake chicken for 15 to 25 minutes until it is no longer pink inside. Remove the sautéed or baked chicken from heat source, then set the oven to 425 F, for when you bake the whole dish.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the organic red lentil pasta according to package directions and drain well. Combine cooked pasta with 1/2 jar of Organic Marinara Sauce in a glass baking pan (you can use the same one as before) and stir well. Top with the sautéed or baked chicken, then add a few more spoonfuls of organic marinara sauce over the chicken. Layer the chicken pieces with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, the sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 F until cheese is browned and bubbling. Be sure to keep a close eye on the chicken parm, as it can easily burn! Remove from oven and serve. You may want to finish each plate with a drizzle of Basil Olive Oil.
Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe Variations
To keep the family always interested in the same go-to meals, it’s helpful to change things up on occasion:
- When you have fresh basil on hand, chop it up and add it as a bright green finishing touch to each plate, and use organic extra virgin olive oil instead of Basil Olive Oil.
- Substitute Rosemary Olive Oil for Basil Olive Oil.
- Add ½ tsp Olive Oil Dipping Spice Blend for added spice zest with a kick of chili heat.
So What Makes this Chicken Parmesan Recipe Healthy?
For one, it’s packed with tomatoes, which are bona fide nutritional powerhouses thanks to their vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients like lycopene, which is so health-protective! And the fact that the tomatoes are cooked in this recipe makes them even more nutritious because heat allows the lycopene molecules to become more readily absorbed by your body when consumed.
In pasta recipes like this one, I only use a healthy tomato sauce….After not being able to find one on the market that met my standards for ingredient quality and purity, I created my own marinara sauce based on my Sicilian grandfather’s recipe. It’s made with all-organic ingredients of the highest quality, including tomatoes imported from Italy and organic extra virgin olive oil. Sweetened only with organic carrots – no added sugar, it’s also free of additives like citric acid and anti-caking agents. No tomato paste either – it tastes like homemade sauce from garden-fresh ingredients.
What about the pasta? In this recipe I use an organic, high-protein pasta made from red lentils instead of wheat. Not only is it gluten-free and grown without synthetic pesticides, but it promotes a healthier blood sugar response than regular white semolina pasta. Plus, when you have a pasta made from lentils, beans or another protein-packed food, it also keeps you satiated for longer, so you’re not digging back into the pasta pot for second and maybe even third servings!
Don’t worry, if you don’t have any red lentil or other pasta that’s naturally high in protein, use a lesser amount of regular white semolina pasta. Just buy organic pasta, if possible, to avoid synthetic chemical residues, and limit each plate to about 1 cup of cooked pasta. The chicken will add healthy protein, and finishing with a drizzle of olive oil will lend healthy fat to the chicken Parm to help slow digestion. If you’re still hungry, try to fill up instead on steamed veggies or salad. I LOVE eating broccoli with pasta and marinara because when you combine broccoli with tomatoes, the nutrients in them have a synergistic effect – that is, they are more powerful when combined than eaten separately!
For more on how to eat pasta and be healthy too, read my Pasta Diet Ebook – you can download it for free here.
© Stephen Sinatra, MD. All rights reserved.