Healthy Chicken Parmesan

GF

This healthy chicken parmesan is breaded with almond flour and baked instead of fried. It’s moist, full of flavor and perfect for satisfying a craving for Italian comfort food. Gluten-free + grain-fee. 

These baked chicken tenders have become one of my most popular recipes here on EBF and for good reason. They’re easy to make, gluten-free, grain-free and they’re absolutely delicious, not to mention Whole30 approved! I love serving the tenders with baked sweet potato fries or over a fresh salad, but I thought it would be fun to give them an Italian spin by adding a little marinara and parmesan cheese for upgraded healthy chicken parmesan.

An overhead shot of two bowls of zucchini noodles with a chicken breast resting on top of each.

Traditional vs. Healthy Chicken Parmesan

Traditional recipes for chicken parmesan are loaded with multiple kinds of cheese, bread (or flour) and sometimes butter. There is nothing wrong with any of those ingredients, but sometimes I don’t want to feel like I need to be rolled away from the dinner table… you feel me? This simple, cleaned-up version is perfect and won’t leave you feeling overstuffed or bloated. The chicken base is coated in egg, almond meal and spices to create a flavorful, crunchy base and then it’s topped with marinara sauce and freshly grated parmesan.

Ingredients measured out to make chicken parmesan: chicken, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, almond meal, parmesan, salt, pepper, egg and marinara.

Here’s What You Need

  • boneless skinless chicken breast – chicken tenders work well too!
  • egg – egg helps the almond meal and spice mixture stick to the chicken breast! Whisk an egg and then dunk the chicken in the egg before coating.
  • almond meal – almond meal is a bit coarser than almond flour which works great for this recipe to mimic coarse breadcrumbs. Allergic to almonds? You can use traditional breadcrumbs or try any other type of flour.
  • spices – a mixture of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper season the almond meal, giving it a delicious flavor!
  • marinara – homemade or jarred works. I’m loving Rao’s Homemade marinara right now but any store-bought works just look for ones that don’t have any added sugar.
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese – can’t have chicken parmesan without parmesan! I recommend using a high quality parmesan cheese and freshly grating it on the dish as opposed to using a container of parmesan. If you need this recipe to be dairy-free you can use a store-bought vegan parmesan or try my vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds.
Collage of four photos showing how to make healthy chicken parm. 1. almond meal and spices in a bowl. 2. whisking eggs 3. Breading chicken in egg and almond meal. 4. baking chicken with marinara and parm.

How to Make Chicken Parmesan

Start by mixing the almond meal and spices in a small bowl. Crack and whisk the egg in a separate shallow bowl. Dredge each chicken breast in the egg bowl, allow any excess egg to drop and then dip the coated chicken into the almond meal mixture, making sure the chicken is fully coated.

To bake in the oven, place the coated chicken on a baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The chicken is done when it’s golden brown and completely cooked through

tip!
For extra crispy chicken, bake the chicken on a wire rack that fits on a baking sheet. 

To cook in an air fryer, place the coated chicken breasts in the air fryer basket and cook at 400ºF for 6-8 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Once your chicken is cooked, top each chicken breast with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. Return to the oven or air fryer and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Overhead shot of a bowl of zucchini noodles with a chicken parm breast resting on top. There is a second bowl partially in the frame.

Meal Prep Chicken Parmesan

I really like doing the cook-once, eat-twice method by making a batch of the tenders on Sunday night. The recipe makes four servings so we’ll have the tenders for dinner on a big salad and then I’ll save the leftovers to make this chicken parm the following night. The only additional items you need to have on hand are a little marinara and fresh parmesan cheese.

The baked chicken breasts will last for 3-4 days in the fridge so make as much as you’d like ahead of time! If you can’t eat them that quickly you can also freeze the baked chicken breasts (without the tomato sauce and cheese) for up to two months. 

What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan

I love serving this dish with a side of roasted broccoli but there are so many side options! Here are some ideas:

How to Store Leftovers

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-4 days. I recommend baking or placing in the air fryer for a few minutes to help the chicken crisp up again! You can microwave if you’re in a pinch but the chicken won’t be crispy.

An overhead shot of a bowl zucchini noodles with a chicken parm breast resting on top. A fork rests inside the bowl.

More Healthy Chicken Recipes

Healthy Chicken Parmesan

4 from 16 votes
This healthy chicken parmesan is breaded with almond flour and baked instead of fried. It's moist, full of flavor and perfect for satisfying a craving for Italian comfort food. Gluten-free + grain-fee. 
An overhead shot of two bowls of zucchini noodles with a chicken breast resting on top of each.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup marinara, homemade or jarred
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Place almond meal, paprika, cayenne, garlic, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
    Dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
  • Crack egg into another shallow bowl and whisk.
    A hand is holding a bowl steady while the other hand is whisking an egg.
  • Dredge each chicken breast in the egg bowl, wipe off any excess and then dip into the almond meal mixture. Roll until each chicken breast is covered completely. Place the coated chicken on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or on a wire rack that fits on a baking sheet. The wire rack will make for a crispier texture. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping the chicken once at the 15-minute mark. When done, the chicken will be golden brown and completely cooked through.
    A chicken breast rests in a bowl, being coated with breading, while another chicken breast rests on a metal sheet pan. There is an egg wash bowl in the frame.
  • Once cooked through, top each chicken breast with 2-3 Tablespoons of marinara and 2 teaspoons of parmesan cheese. Return chicken to oven and bake 5-10 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.
    Two breaded chicken breasts covered with marinara sauce and cheese sprinkled on top. They rest on a metal baking sheet.
  • Serve with roasted broccoli or another green veggie.

Video

Notes

  • Almond meal: Allergic to almonds? You can use traditional breadcrumbs or try any other type of flour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 269kcal Carbohydrates: 6g Protein: 30g Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 7g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 122mg Sodium: 706mg Potassium: 247mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: healthy chicken parmesan

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    17 comments
    1. Sarah J Rohrer
      October 25, 2021 AT 1:12 pm

      5 stars
      This was fantastic! Had a good spicy, savory flavor to it. I made it with Zoodles and that was great to keep it low carb. Next time I will definitely use a sheet pan with the grate so it’s a little crispier! Love that it’s GF! Thanks for another good one, Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 26, 2021 AT 1:30 pm

        Oh yay! Happy to know you enjoyed this chicken parmesan and I love that you paired it over zoodles, so yummy! Thanks for the review, Sarah. It means so much to me!

    2. Jill
      April 19, 2021 AT 12:12 pm

      5 stars
      Chicken Parmesan is my husband’s absolute favorite meal and this one passed the test. Also, so easy and nutritious! Will definitely be making this again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 19, 2021 AT 12:48 pm

        Yay! This makes me so happy to hear, Jill! Thanks for making it and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

    3. Maddie
      February 17, 2021 AT 6:47 pm

      5 stars
      Well that was delicious!! I am becoming a big fan of your website. This is the 4th recipe I’ve made and they have all been super yummy! I didn’t have almond meal, but used almond flour instead. So flavorful!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 18, 2021 AT 2:08 pm

        Aww yay!! That makes me so happy to hear. I’m glad you loved this recipe, Maddie. Thanks for the review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    4. Ilene
      November 23, 2020 AT 6:08 am

      5 stars
      Delicious! My family said this was the best chicken park they ever had!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 23, 2020 AT 10:39 pm

        Ahh yay, that makes me so happy to hear!! I’m glad this recipe was a hit with your family. Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    5. Emily
      October 13, 2020 AT 9:15 pm

      5 stars
      this was SO GOOD. Even my husband was happy. Served it with some extra sauce over zucchini noodles and bread on the side. Used chicken breasts, next time I’ll pound them out first or buy chicken tenders. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 14, 2020 AT 4:28 pm

        Woo!! I’m so pumped this recipe was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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