Skinny Chicken Parmesan

Your whole family will love this flavor packed Skinny Chicken Parmesan!  Its so much EASIER than breading each chicken piece that you might never make “traditional” Chicken Parmesan again!

Skinny Chicken Parmesan on a white plate with asparagus.


I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!  Memorial Day always falls around Patrick and my anniversary and this year we celebrated the big 1-0!  Celebrating ten years with this love of mine got me thinking of all I’ve put him through this past decade from multiple pneumonias and blackouts, to my appendectomy and kidney transplant to Gastroparesis, and future photoparesis.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have such a rock at my side that keeps us laughing through it all – and he’s adorable too. (see IG post HERE)

Skinny Chicken Parmesan on a white plate with basil on top.

When Patrick told his sister before we got married, “I’d rather have Jen for a few years in this life and then for the rest of eternity than nothing at all,” I’m not sure he knew what he was in for.  But at least he gets good food 😬👍.   Love my man so much that the tears of gratitude that streamed down my face as we were married have even greater meaning today. ❤️.   (Read Our Love Story HERE)  

Showing how to make Skinny Chicken Parmesan adding sauce on top. .

Now what does this have to do with Skinny Chicken Parmesan?   The only tie in I can think of is that our memories with our loved ones are often created around the dinner table.  And even though the memories of love and laughter outshine the food, I still remember my mom’s meals that warranted my  “What About Bob” “mmmmmmm” “mmmmmm” utterances I just couldn’t suppress.  I think this Skinny Chicken Parmesan will have the same effect around your dinner table.

Showing how to make Skinny Chicken Parmesan by melting cheese on the chicken.

My goal with this Skinny Chicken Parmesan was actually not to create an easier, skinny, “lighter” version at all – it was just to make Grilled Chicken Parmesan.  But as I made and devoured my grilled version, I chewed in awe at not only how lick-your-plate delicious it was but how easy it was, how much lighter it was, and that it could be made on the grill or the stovetop!   So you now have Skinny Chicken Parmesan that wasn’t trying to be skinny at all.   It just wants to be known as delicious.

Skinny Chicken Parmesan cooked with herbs on top.

The simple marinade tenderizes the chicken and infuses it with flavor while the smooth, seasoning packed blender Marinara smothers the chicken to make it nice and saucy all blanketed in melty mozzarella cheese.  The chicken gets topped with buttery Parmesan Panko that tastes just like the chicken was breaded in all its crunchy glory but all you have to do is sprinkle it on instead of breading each piece individually – LOVE this simple technique!

Top view of Skinny Chicken Parmesan on a white plate with basil garnish.

So please give your loved ones an extra squeeze for me tonight and treat yourself to satisfying, savory Skinny Chicken Parmesan that just happens to be lighter.  And just happens to be my new favorite way to devour Chicken Parmesan!   

Looking for more Italian chicken recipes?

Want to try this Skinny Chicken Parmesan?



Carlsbad Cravings© Original

My whole family loves this Skinny Chicken Parmesan! Its packed with flavor and so much EASIER than breading each chicken piece! I will never make "traditional" Chicken Parmesan again

Skinny Chicken Parmesan

Servings: 2 -4 servings
Total Time: 35 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

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  • 4 chicken breasts halves or 4 chicken breasts pounded thin
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil

Chicken Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp EACH dried basil, garlic pwdr, onion pwdr,
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Blender Marinara

Parmesan Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons butter


  • Whisk together all Marinade ingredients in a freezer size plastic bag. Add chicken and marinate 30 minutes up to overnight in the refrigerator (longer the better). When ready to cook, remove chicken from fridge and let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
  • Add all of the Blender Marinara ingredients to your blender and puree until smooth. Add to a medium saucepan and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan, stir in ½ cup panko breadcrumbs and cook over medium heat until golden. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, remove chicken from marinade, pat dry and cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium and cook approximately 5 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Pour Blender Marinara over chicken and top each breast with ¼ cup mozzarella followed by Panko mixture. Transfer skillet to oven and broil until cheese melts. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.
  • Grease and preheat grill to medium heat, 375-450°F. Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 160 degrees F.)
  • Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons Marinara over each chicken breast followed by ¼ cup mozzarella. Close grill to melt cheese then top with golden Panko Mixture. Serve with remaining Marinara and Panko over pasta.


*Instead of butter, you can spray panko with nonstick cooking spray before broiling in oven.
**Prep time will vary due to marinating time.

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  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! Parmesan chicken had a place in our regular food rotation when my kids were at home! I always baked it and my son was oh so happy when it came out of the oven! I will pass this recipe on to him and I know it will make him oh so happy! 🙂 PS makes me happy too!

    • Jen says

      What a delicious family tradition! I bet growing up in your home was so wonderful with so much good food! I hope you and your son enjoy the recipe! Thanks Dorothy!

  2. Keiko says

    Happy Anniversary, Jen!
    We too married in 2006!
    It looks so good and I can’t wait to make it.

    • Jen says

      Hi Keiko! Congrats on your 10 year anniversary as well! I totally remember your reception – crazy how time flies! xo

  3. Liz says

    Thank you Jen for all the nice recipes. Happy Anniversary and wishing many more for you and your kind husband. Have a great day!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Liz! You are always so gracious, I love your emails/comments! I hope you have a wonderful day and week as well!

  4. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says

    Happy Anniversary and yes some of the best memories are made around the table. May you and Patrick have years and years of making happy memories. And as far as this recipe goes ?? Super yum! It sound and looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. Have a wonderful evening!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Marisa! I am sure your family has many memories “mmmmm” “mmmmm”-ing all over all your delicious food! Food and family, it doesn’t get any better! xo

  5. Malinda @Countryside Cravings says

    It’s our 10 year too! Great minds think alike because I was trying to make this on the grill too! Love your version!!!! You are one strong woman and my prayers are always with you!!

    • Jen says

      Happy 10 year anniversary to you too! Thank you so much for your prayers, that means so much to me! You are such a sweetheart! xo

  6. mila says

    Jen…this recipe looks fantastic…but the story…the story melts me. Congrats to you honey! Time flies when you are with the one you love. This year marks 14 years since we have been together 🙂 Hard to believe 🙂

    • Jen says

      You are so sweet Mila, thank you! And congratulations on the big 1-4! That is amazing! And I completely agree, time flies when you are with the one you love. We are so blessed! xo

  7. Layne says

    I’m picky about my Italian food but hello- loved this one!!! Really really good comfort food. Thanks Jen!!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m so glad this satisfied your expert Italian palate – phew! Thanks Layne!!!

  8. Kim says

    Coming up on 11 years now – congratulations to one of the best couples EVER!!!

    Made this tonight on the grill and my whole family (all 5 kids) loved it! The sauce was so quick and easy but had such great flavor and the chicken (which I normally don’t marinade) was fantastic. I used chicken tenders so they cooked in less than 10 minutes and with Angel Hair only cooking for 3-5, this was a super fast meal that tasted like it took all afternoon. I liked it better than fried chicken parmesan which sits so much heavier. Thanks for a quick, delicious and healthy meal that is perfect for summer but would fit the winter comfort food bill too!

    • Jen says

      You are so sweet, thanks Kim! 11 years go by in a flash 🙂 I’m thrilled this was such a winner with your entire family and that you liked the chicken even better than fried chicken parmesan – wahoo! I’m so happy you found it quick and easy! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  9. Jen says

    Delicious. I used your marinade recipe pretty closely and adapted the rest of your recipe. It was amazing! Only 1 tbs oil, 2 tbs cider vinegar, and same amt of spices. I marinated he chicken for a half hour and let it set out for 10 minutes. I made breadcrumbs by pulsing one slice of Ezekiel bread in my food processor and sautéing in 1 tsp oil. Then i sautéed the chicken for 4 mins on 1 side and 1 min on the other. Then spooned marinara on top, then the breadcrumbs, then mozzarella and parm. Put it in the oven for 20’mins at 450. It was heavenly!!

    • Jen says

      So happy you liked it Jen and your changes sound delish! Love that you were able to make your own breadcrumbs!

  10. Leigh says

    So very delicious Jen! Thank you for sharing. We will definitely add this dish to the rotation. Take care, Leigh

    • Jen says

      Thanks Leigh, I’m so happy to hear it will be a repeat!

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