Healthy Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan or Chicken Parmigiana is one of the most loved, most popular chicken recipes globally. There are hundreds of chicken parmesan recipes, but this healthy chicken parmesan is said to be the best by many of teams’ family members and house guests who have eaten it over the years.

Ingredients

  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, 
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese, 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 large egg (optional) 
  • Herb seasoning 
  • 50 gm broccoli florets
  • 1tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup marinara (tomato) sauce

Method

  • In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and oregano
  • In another bowl, lightly beat egg and salt
  • Brush both sides of chicken breasts with egg, then lightly coat with crumb mixture
  • Warm oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat
  • When oil simmers, add chicken and cook about 8-10 minutes per side, until golden brown
  • Transfer cooked chicken breasts to serving plates
  • Meanwhile, warm marinara sauce in a small saucepan for 1-2 minutes
  • Spoon about 2 tbsp sauce over each breast
  • Serve immediately

Crispy parmesan-crusted chicken on the outside, juicy from inside, topped with flavorful tomato sauce and, of course, the broccoli florets on the side. It’s easy, simple, and classic. So when you’re craving healthy chicken Parmesan, this is precisely what you’d want. 

But often, chicken is deep-fried or doesn’t have enough flavor or seasoning. So this version is not over the top greasy breadcrumb cheesy chicken but a very high protein meal with just under 800 calories and made in under 30 minutes!

But if you have never made chicken parmesan? Or wonder if it is healthy to eat parmesan cheese; what do you serve with chicken parmesan?

Continue reading for answers to all your questions below.

Health Benefits Of Parmesan Cheese

This article will examine the unique health benefits that Parmesan offers alongside the complete nutrition profile for the cheese.

Cheese is a delicious dairy food that offers a range of nutritional benefits, and every variety of cheese is different, and some are superior to others.

One of the best cheeses is Parmesan cheese. It is an Italian hard-aged cheese, and it undergoes a long aging process that may average two years. It is also possible to find three or even four-year-old cheese versions with an extra sharp flavor.

A 1oz (28 gram) serving of hard Parmesan cheese provides ((<https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170848/nutrients>)):

  • Calories -111
  • Protein- 10 gm
  • Fat- 7 gm
  • Carbs- 0.9 gm
  • Calcium- 26% of the daily value (DV)
  • Phosphorus-16% of the DV
  • Lactose-1mg

Lactose-Free

About 75%  of the world’s population cannot digest lactose found in milk due to the deficiency of lactase, an enzyme that helps us digest lactose by breaking it down into sugars, glucose, and galactose. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586535/>))

All who suffer from lactose intolerance may experience unpleasant digestive issues like diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, and bloating after ingesting lactose products.

Milk contains about 5% lactose, which is found in the whey or the water fraction, thus, when whey is removed from the curd during cheese manufacturing, the lactose is removed with it. As a result, the lactose content in parmesan cheese is so low that it is almost considered lactose-free; it has a  lactose content of 0.82 g per 100 kcal of cheese. So, it may be safe to eat for those with lactose intolerance, but it’s always better to consult with a health professional before consuming it.

May Improve Bone Health

Parmesan cheese is an excellent source of calcium; one oz of serving provides 335 mg, about 26% of the daily calcium requirement.

Calcium plays a very crucial role in our bone health. About 99% of our body’s calcium supply is stored in the bones for sustained support and proper function. Calcium, along with vitamin D and proteins, is one of the three essential nutrients that influence the amassing and maintenance of the bone structure. ((<<https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/>))

Calcium deficiency and poor calcium absorption may result in bone breakdown and osteoporosis, especially as we get older. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24695889/>))

Due to its casein content, the calcium in Parmesan also has a high bioavailability, which means that the body quickly absorbs it. In addition, when casein is digested, it leaves mineral residues that enhance the absorption of other minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc.

Hence, Parmesan cheese may be considered a “functional food” for bone health and osteoporosis prevention. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3279064/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29089844/>))

Packed with easily digestible protein

We all know that amino acids are the building blocks of protein. And essential amino acids are the ones that we need to obtain from the foods as our body can’t produce them.

Parmesan cheese provides a decent amount of high-quality protein with all the essential amino acids, and hence it’s addressed as a complete and high-quality protein source.

In addition to being high quality, parmesan cheese’s protein is also easy to digest, which is because, during the maturation months, the proteins in the cheese undergo a process similar to a pre-digestion. In other words, they’re broken down into smaller compounds, like free amino acids, that the body absorbs more easily.

One oz of cheese provides10 grams of protein  which is incredible for that much cheese is excellent.” ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5654426/>))

As now we do know that parmesan cheese is a good source of nutrition, let’s look at another very crucial aspect of this high protein meal, should we fry the chicken or not?

Should we fry the chicken?

In my opinion, if you don’t care about the calories or your health, go ahead, and deep fry it. But we at fabulous body care about nutrition, and fitness so don’t worry! Here, it’s pan-cooked, and the oil used is just one tbsp of olive oil.

What should we serve with it?

One can always go classic and traditionally serve the chicken parmesan along with pasta. But with anything cheesy and tomato sauce, we love to go with something green, not just because it’s nice to have a bright, lighter side to complement this iconic dish but to make it much healthier and low in calories. 

To optimize its nutritional availability, we are serving fresh green broccoli florets, which have been immersed in boiling water only for a few seconds.

More details on broccoli here:

https://fabulousbody.com/health-benefits-and-nutritional-value-of-broccoli/

So Chicken Parmesan is simple to make and worth every minute! If you love a crispy crumb coating vs. a deep-fried or a soggy crumb, look no further! The best you will ever make!

Between you and us, we are super impressed with this recipe and so go ahead cook it tonight, and you get high-five from your family and yourself. 

Let us know if you like this recipe in the comments section below!