I absolutely love Chicken Parmesan, but it’s not exactly the best choice for a healthy lifestyle. However, as you know, my philosophy is all about eating mostly clean, not depriving yourself of your favorite foods. All you have to do is healthify it a little bit. This Stove-Top Chicken Parmesan fits the bill, and it’s made in one pan!
If you have ever ordered Chicken Parm out at an Italian restaurant, you know how ridiculously over the top the portions are. You usually get, not one, but two enormous deep-fried chicken breasts smothered with sauce and mozzarella cheese. As if that’s not enough, you are also served a heaping portion of pasta on the side. There’s just no way I can justify eating that as part of my healthy lifestyle, nor do I want to. All of that grease, fat, and carbs will just make me feel sluggish and disgusting. Not worth it!
Just to put it into perspective, let’s talk about the nutrition information for Olive Garden‘s Chicken Parmesan. This giant plate of food will give you 1,060 calories, which is about 50-75% of what your caloric intake should be for the day. The 52 grams of fat (holy cow!) and 14 grams of saturated fat will get you to the limit for the day for both. Most concerning is the 2,980 milligrams of sodium. (That’s right, you should be looking at this too. Being healthy is not just about watching your weight.) It is recommended that you take in no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium in one day, and even that number is on the higher side. The sodium in this Chicken Parm is way over the top.
Instead, I make my own version of Chicken Parm at home. I am in control of the ingredients, and how much of them I am using. Listen, you can’t have Chicken Parm without some oil, but I get to control how much oil I am using. The same goes for cheese. I’m not going to eliminate the cheese completely, I’m just going to be a little more judicious with it.
I also get to decide the size of the portions, which will be much smaller than those monster restaurant portions. Supermarket chicken breasts can still be pretty big. My secret is to take a chicken breast and slice it in half horizontally to make two thinner cutlets. All of this control is key to still enjoying one of my favorite dinners.
First, I got my egg in a bowl, and my breadcrumb-spice mixture into another bowl. Then I got the oil heating up in the skillet.
I sliced up my chicken breasts horizontally to make each one into two thinner breasts. Then I put a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken, and pounded it with a rolling pin to make them super thin. Yes, you can buy thin chicken cutlets at the grocery store, but they will cost you more money (money-saving tip!).
I dipped each breast into the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Then it went into the hot pan. Each thin cutlet cooked for about 4-5 minutes per side.
Once the chicken was cooked, I added the marinara sauce right into the skillet with the chicken, focusing mostly on putting it on top of the chicken. You will want to lower the heat at this point so the sauce doesn’t burn. I let the sauce heat for about 2 minutes. Lastly, I sprinkled some shredded mozzarella cheese on top of each chicken cutlet, and put a lid on the pan. The lid is key to helping the cheese melt. Once the cheese is melted, you are ready to plate up.
You can still serve this with a side of pasta, just make sure it’s whole wheat pasta and you keep your portion small. If you want to go lower on the carbs, skip the pasta. Always include a big side salad to help round out the meal and fill you up.