After our trip to Mexico, I knew it was time to eat a little healthier and try to get back on track at home. This recipe has helped us get back into the “eating healthy” mode (at least for a few days).
When I was younger, my family would order take-out from our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant. My go-to order was always chicken parmesan, which consisted of a huge serving of crispy fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce and loads of cheese, sitting on a big bed of pasta. I still crave that meal but sometimes want it to be a little lighter and healthier (just sometimes, am I right?).
I doubled up on this tomato sauce the other week, and froze the extra half. I knew that velvety, tomato sauce would be delicious to top anything with, but this Baked Chicken Parmesan was a stellar example of how versatile that sauce really is. I took thinly sliced chicken breasts, coated them in breadcrumbs and parmesan, baked them until golden brown and then topped them with the tomato sauce and cheese for the final touches. Added some fresh basil from our garden and bam – dinner was so simple to make and yet so delicious and healthy. I served this with a big arugula salad tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It is of course delicious with some pasta on the side, too.
6 thinly sliced chicken breasts (if you have bigger breast pieces, cut them in half lengthwise so each breast makes two pieces)
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used garlic and herb)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
6-9 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese
6-8 tablespoons of homemade tomato sauce or store-bought marinara sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pam or olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Spray baking sheet with Pam or olive oil spray.
- Brush each side of chicken breasts with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
- Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in a bowl. Dip chicken breasts in the bowl so they are coated evenly on each side. Place back on the baking sheet.
- Spray chicken lightly with more Pam or olive oil spray.
- Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Top each breast with 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (bigger pieces may need a little more sauce and cheese).
- Place back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and top with basil to serve.