Oct 112012
 

Sorry I’m so late on posting this week!  I’ve been called out on my tardiness by at least two of my friends (you know who you are).  It’s been a crazy week at work with a big deadline tonight!  And when things get stressful, two things happen.  1) my blog and TV shows get neglected and 2) I’m craving comforting food to calm my stress.  So, I made this lighter version of Chicken Parm served over spaghetti squash instead of pasta. 

This recipe is not only healthy but also ridiculously easy to prepare.  All you do is make a mixture of breadcrumbs, spices, and parm, dip your chicken breasts in egg white then the bread crumbs, and bake them until they’re crispy and brown and look like this.    

Then, for the last 5 minutes of baking, you add a little sauce and low fat mozzarella cheese and put them under the broiler to get brown and melty.  I was a little worried that this baked, whole wheat, low fat version wasn’t going to live up to my comfort food cravings, but it was really amazing.  The crust was crispy and flavorful, and melted cheese makes everything better.  Fact. 

Nutritional Highlights:  Chicken parmesan can be a deadly food.  Not only is it fried in oil, it’s covered in high fat cheese and served over a huge plate of pasta.  This version uses whole wheat bread crumbs for fiber, low fat mozzarella, and is baked insead of fried.  By serving it over spaghetti squash instead of pasta, you save a ton of calories and carbs and still feel like you’re eating a big bowl of pasta.  Plus you can eat a lot more without feeling guilty.  And when it comes to chicken parm and “pasta”, more is more. 

Baked Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash
adapted from Skinny Taste

Ingredients:

  • 4 (8 oz) chicken breast halves, sliced in half to make 8  (I left mine whole)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • Seasonings for breadcrumbs: 1/2 tspn each of any or all (I used all) of the following: garlic powder, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat or part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
  • 1 cup marinara 
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray. 

Combine breadcrumbs, spices, and parmesan cheese in a bowl.  If you have thick pieces of chicken, pound them out so they are 1/2 inch thickness throughout.  Beat eggwhite in a bowl.

Dip the chicken into the egg white, then dip and press into breadcrumb mixture (make sure both sides are covered). Place on oiled baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Lightly spray a little more oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes (or until the chicken is done).

Remove from oven, spoon 1 tbsp sauce over each piece of chicken and top each with 1 1/2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese. Switch oven to broil and broil for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Serve over spaghetti squash or whole wheat pasta with lots of marinara.  
(*Note: I cook spaghetti squash in the microwave!  Just stab it many times with a knife so it doesn’t explode and put on a paper plate in the microwave for 10-15 minutes.  When you remove it, you should be able to easily cut it in half, remove the seeds, and use a fork to pull out the “spaghetti”)

  2 Responses to “baked chicken parm & spaghetti squash”

  1. Ty! made this today and it was absolutely delicious!

  2. […] possible–as the “pad” in a healthier pad thai I made last year, as the base for baked chicken parm and now in this Swiss-Chard and Parmesan Baked Spaghetti Squash. Part of the beauty of the […]

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