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20 Minute Healthy Chicken Parmesan

32 reviews / 4.8 average

Healthy Chicken Parmesan made with spiralized zucchini noodles, lightly breaded chicken, Parm cheese and herbs, plus your fave sauce!

Healthy chicken parmesan? It’s cheesy, saucy, crispy, and sits on top of delicious zucchini noodles.

What do we want from chicken parmesan? Great question. We need it to be super cheesy and deliciously saucy with crispy golden brown bits peeking through to really bring the whole thing home.

Turn that into a relatively wholesome little veg-party with a bed of fresh zucchini noodles and have the whole thing come together in about 20ish minutes? Okay, you HAVE OUR ATTENTION.

As you know, in general, real noodles have our hearts but this is just a really lovely, really fresh way to health up one of our favorites and we are here for it. It also has a pretty darn short ingredient list and is, like, Monday-night easy to put together, so that’s the type of thing we can always get behind.

In This Post: Everything You Need For Healthy Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan on two white plates.

Ingredients For This Healthy Chicken Parmesan

As promised, this is a relatively short ingredient list. We rely on store-bought sauce and though we did spiralize our own zoodles (ugh, equal parts fun and terrible to say!), you can sometimes find those pre-packaged as well!

  • zucchini (spiralized or cut into thin strips)
  • chicken breasts 
  • mozzarella cheese
  • mixture of whole wheat & panko breadcrumbs
  • tomato sauce (we love the DeLallo Creamy Vodka variety, but any fave marinara sauce will do! )
  • Parmesan cheese
  • dried Italian herbs

How To Make Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan

Getting that chicken golden-crisp is the most involved process here, but even that is pretty quick and easy. The rest is just kinda thrown together and piled up, especially if you got your hands on some ready-made zucchini noodles. Here we go:

  • Chicken: You’ll want to mix up your breadcrumbs plus the parm, & herbs in a bowl and then dredge the chicken in that. Add the chicken to some hot oil in an oven-proof skillet and fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown (you’re just looking for that crisp, it will finish fully cooking in the oven).
  • Zucchini: While your chicken is baking, spiralize the zucchini or, if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a food processor attachment or just slice it really thin with a mandoline or knife. We keep our zoodles raw here so that they don’t get watery. We don’t want to be overly reminded that they are not pasta, you know? 
  • Saucy/Cheesy: Once the chicken is fully cooked, add the sauce and place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each piece of chicken. Return to the oven for a few more minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.

After you have achieved maximum bubbly cheese goodness, serve the chicken and sauce over the raw zucchini noodles (they’ll soften but keep a nice crunch), and shower with Parmesan and parsley.

Breaded chicken on a skillet.
Delallo jar of creamy vodka sauce.
Spiralized zucchini noodles.

What To Serve with This

It’s already like you’re getting a nice little salad with those raw zucchini noodles but you could certainly also include this simple green salad [link] or maybe you want a hunk of no-knead bread [link] to swoop through any missed saucy cheesy bits. You are eating zoodles here so if you’d like a little extra carb-partner, she’s a good one.

And if you are worried about being too veg-forward, fear not. You are still getting that crispy chicken and bubbly cheese and delicious sauce which is the prize we’re all here for, but if you are absolutely not willing to part ways with pasta for this one (trust us, we get it), you could certainly toss the chicken on top of some spaghetti and that would still be simple and amazing.

Chicken Parmesan on a white plate.

Yay for chicken parmesan and yay yay YAY for it being a little healthier and definitely weeknight-simple.

PS. Big love to my bestie, Ang, for sending me a snap of recent chicken parm creation and inspiring this easy, healthy Chicken Parmesan into a blog post! Friends who love food are the best kind of friends.

Healthy Chicken Parmesan: Frequently Asked Questions

I have a lot of extra breadcrumbs in my pan. Is that okay to pop all of that in the oven?

Before baking, if you have a lot of stray crumbs in the pan, I would suggest removing the chicken, draining out the excess oil and breadcrumbs, and then returning the chicken to the clean pan to avoid a burnt breadcrumb situation in the oven.

How do you keep your chicken crispy?

If you really want the chicken to stay crispy, heat the sauce separately and add it over everything at the end. The chicken loses a little crispy exterior as it bakes in the sauce – I didn’t mind it, but just something to think about if you want the crispy chicken.

Do you recommend cooking the zucchini noodles or leaving them raw?

I leave the zucchini noodles raw because otherwise, I felt like they got too soggy and watery. When you add the warm chicken and sauce, the noodles will soften but keep just enough crunch to still be appetizing.

Print
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Healthy Chicken Parmesan on a plate with zoodles.

20 Minute Healthy Chicken Parmesan


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Healthy Chicken Parmesan made with spiralized zucchini noodles, lightly breaded chicken, Parm cheese and herbs, plus your fave sauce! 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups DeLallo Creamy Vodka tomato sauce (or any tomato sauce – but that vodka sauce is YUMMY)
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 zucchinis

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the breadcrumbs, panko, and Parmesan in a shallow dish with the Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
  2. Fry: Cut the chicken breasts into a total of four pieces (for example, if there are two breasts, cut each in half – pound them a little thinner and wider if you want) and dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs so that they stick all over the surface of the chicken. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. You want the outside to be golden brown – the inside can finish cooking in the oven.
  3. Bake: Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the sauce and place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each piece of chicken. Return to the oven for a few more minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.
  4. Finish: While the chicken finishes, cut the zucchini into thin shreds or use a spiralizer to create zucchini noodles. Serve the chicken and sauce over the raw zucchini noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: chicken parmesan, healthy chicken parmesan

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168 Comments

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      You’ve blown me away with this recipe! I love chix parm but don’t indulge too often cause it’s not all that good for you. And there were 3 things I asked for for Mother’s Day 1.) A spiralizer 2.) a venus fly trap or 3) a bonsai tree. And it was a no-go on all 3!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I have yet to try some of the different blades, but I agree! Everything looks so pretty coming out of that machine. 🙂

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    It looks delicious. I don’t have a spiralizer, I will try with a julliene cutter. I actually have all the ingredients at home (homemade tomato sauce).

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So… no lie I just made my dinner menu for the week and chicken parm is on the list so this post is perfect timing! I want a spiralizer so bad but I don’t know if I’ll be able to get my husband to eat zucchini instead of pasta… we shall see!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I used the spiralizer for the rainbow power salad I made a few weeks ago and that was a little too Veggie for Bjork. But this one he liked! Something about adding golden brown crispy chicken and cheese… 🙂

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love how fresh this looks! The colors totally pop in these photos Lindsay! Beautiful dinner option right here 😉

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hey! Fur baby mommies count just as much as human baby mommies 😉 I am also a spiralizer convert and I looooove it!

    I love this combo of the zucchini noodles and the chicken parm! Thanks for sharing!

    Jillian

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thanks Jillian! And I might be biased but I have to say – I feel like I’m at least 50% mom these days with Sage around! 🙂

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    I can never resist chicken parmesan and I love how simple you’ve made it. Perfection!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Gorgeous photographs, the colours work together beautifully! You know what they say about eating with your eyes first? I never realised before how true that is!!

    Chicken and sauce and cheese together? (oh, okay…and vegetables…) – Yes, please! Pinned!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thanks for the spiralizer recommendation! I’ve been lusting after them for a while but have been waiting for a solid choice. This looks so colorful and festive! Great ideas going on here!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I will probably just use my food processor. My kitchen is definitely larger than my last but that just means every kitchen gadget that was stored in the garage is now in my kitchen. Not a lot of room for many more gadgets.
    This Chicken Parm looks really good. Great job.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Alex

    Yum. So when you say cut the chicken into 4 pieces, do you mean cut each chicken breast into 4 pieces? And then pound if we want? So, each person will end up with 4 pieces of the chicken?

    Just making sure I get it right 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      That’s a good question Alex – usually when I buy a pound, it will have 2-3 chicken breasts, but since this recipe is supposed to serve 4, I was just saying cut the total amount of chicken into four pieces. Does that make sense? I’ll clarify in the recipe.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    It’s not even 10am here and I am dreaming of chicken parm. Bought a little mini spiralizer months ago and still havent used it. I felt like buying it was the first stage in joining the zoodle crew. Now I’m just waiting for a reason to fully commit. Welllll I gots it right here. Nom.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ve always said I never wanted to try veggies made into noodles – but considering how much I respect your opinion – I’m thinking….. maybe. 🙂 Looks delicious!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hey all good puppy-moms NEED to do some spoiling so toss him ALL the treats – though, am thinking he might do a back flip and bring y’all the newspapers and even fix yalls coffee if yall gave him some of this! I don’t make Chicken parm often because of the time – but this 20 minute version is a gotta try!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sarah

    Do you think I could use turkey breast fillets in place of chicken? I need to use them up, and would love to make this, but don’t want to drasatically change to taste of the dish.

    Thanks!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Yes, I do! I don’t usually use turkey so it’s hard to say how the taste might be different but I think the recipe itself should still turn out fine. 🙂 Yummy.