A healthy remake of a restaurant classic. Whole Wheat Chicken Parmesan is crispy and fully of flavor. Served in a bath of rustic tomato sauce and cheesy, roasted garlic grits!
Raise your hand if you are guilty of being a repeater. As in never venturing outside your comfort zone from your beloved dish at a restaurant.
Guilty. Both hands raised right here.
Pathetic I know. Some adventurous food blogger I am.
Out of love for the dish and fear that I will not fall in love with the new one I decided to order, I have a habit of sticking with what I know. Please tell me I am not alone. And I have a good feeling I am not. Such as, at our favorite Mexican restaurant, al a carte pork tamale and shrimp fajita. At our favorite bar and grill, we share chicken nachos with creamy queso. And at Houlihans, it was always there chicken parmesan over pasta. It was my guilty pleasure and they had their recipe down to a T.
That was until I learned about their nutritional facts and I threw my beloved dish right out the window like your ex boyfriends clothes. And if you enjoy long island iced teas, for the love do not look up their info….
I believe my love of chicken parmesan started at a young age. My mom use to make a quick yet tasty version with frozen breaded chicken breasts covered in gooey mozzarella and baked in a bath of rustic marinara sauce. The flavors are classic and to this day, I can’t get enough of them. Upon throwing my love affair out the window, I decided I needed to remake this classic to a much more figure friendly version.
I started with a base of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs, shredded parmesan and Italian seasoning. The panko and parmesan crisp up in the oven as I bake them on a baking rack to ensure heat wraps all sides of the chicken and every nook and cranny crisp up. The chicken alone is addicting put when paired with a homemade, rustic tomato sauce I am immediately taken back to my childhood.
The sauce is simple and you will not be sorry you made it, but if you are short on time, feel free to use your favorite marinara. But please promise you will make it. Umkay?
It starts with sautéing an onion, then garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce are added in. Let them simmer, do their thang and get merry. I love how the crushed tomatoes add texture to the sauce but if you prefer a smooth sauce, add it to a blender to smooth out. This is my “go-to” tomato/marinara sauce. It is perfect to pair with pasta, dip grilled cheese into or for a pizza base. The possibilities are endless!
Rather than the standard pasta noodles that usually accompanies chicken parmesan, I decided to go with roasted garlic grits. What is not to love about cheesy, full of flavor grits? They are slightly sweet and I love the contrast to the robust whole wheat chicken parmesan and gooey mozzarella.
This is an easy weeknight meal or a super healthy, impressive weekend meal for friends. Add it to your menu and you will not be disappointed. No food envy here!
A healthy remake of a restaurant classic. Whole Wheat Chicken Parmesan is crispy and fully of flavor. Served in a bath of rustic tomato sauce and roasted garlic grits!
30 minPrep Time
1 hrCook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
- Roasted Garlic:
- 1 whole head garlic
- Drizzle olive oil, saltt and pepper
- 1 pound chicken breasts (4 cutlets)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce (mine has seasonings already added)
- Roasted Garlic Grits:
- 2 cups chicken broth*
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup instant grits/polenta
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- Roasted Garlic: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Chop off the top of the garlic, just the tip of the garlic pieces though. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and place in oven. Roast for 40 - 45 minutes or until garlic is soft and aromatic. Remove from oven to let cool. Once cool, squeeze out the garlic cloves by turning upside down and squeezing out. Smash the garlic with the flat side of a knife or a spoon. You will be adding this to the grits.
- Chicken: Meanwhile, Spray a baking rack with non stick spray and place on a baking sheet. Put aside.
- In a small bowl, add the whole wheat panko, parmesan, Italian seasoning and salt. In another small bowl add the egg whites.
- Dip each chicken breast into the egg whites, let access run off then dip into the panko mixture, making sure that all sides of the chicken are coated. Place on the prepared baking rack. If you have remaining panko mixture, press onto pieces of the chicken that are lacking coating.
- Place in oven with garlic and back for 20-25 minutes or until your chicken is heated to 165 degrees F and cooked through. (This cooking time may vary depending on how big/thick your chicken pieces are.)
- When chicken is done cooking, remove from oven and set aside.
- Sauce: Meanwhile, Place the olive oil in a large sauce pan. Heat over medium heat. Add the onion. Let soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, 30 seconds. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and let simmer for 20 minutes to merry the flavors.
- Roasted Garlic Grits: In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth and almond milk over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the grits. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the grits according to package instructions. Once cooked, remove from heat and add in the butter and smashed garlic. Stir well.
- To serve: Turn on broiler, place 1/2 ounce mozzarella over each chicken piece. Place under broiler to melt cheese. Remove from oven once melted.
- On 4 serving plates or bowls, place the grits on the bottom, top with marinara and one piece of the cheesy chicken parmesan. Serve immediately.
*The broth and almond milk replace the liquid called for on package. If yours calls for a different amount, make sure to follow that ratio. Just use some chicken broth and some almond milk.
Hungry for more healthy chicken dinners?
If you make this recipe, make sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #HOUSEWIFEINTRAININGFILES. I’d love to see what you are cooking up in your kitchen!0