Low-Fat Chicken Parmesan

(from 226-2tone’s recipe box)

Serves 4
If part-skim mozzarella isn’t available at the deli counter, buy a 16-ounce block and cut it into 1-ounce slices. You will need cooking spray for this recipe.

With its fried exterior and blanket of melted cheese, chicken Parmesan is a perfect candidate for slimming down. We tried lower-fat recipes, but all were scantily clad in a crust of dusty crumbs that either fell away from the meat or turned to mush at first contact with tomato sauce. For a dish we’d actually want to eat, we used fat-free mayonnaise instead of eggs and flour to bind the bread crumbs to our chicken cutlets on just one side. Instead of pan-frying, we oven-fried the chicken and used toasted bread crumbs to achieve a crispy exterior. We also didn’t skimp on the cheese—a full ounce of part-skim mozzarella, thinly sliced from the deli, blanketed each cutlet perfectly.

Traditional chicken Parmesan has 570 calories, 37 grams of fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat per main-course serving. Our Low-Fat Chicken Parmesan has 390 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 4.5 grams of saturated fat per main-course serving.

Source: Cook's Country December/January 2008 (recipetools) (from RecipeThing user Bethany)

Categories: Poultry


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons fat-free mayonnaise
  • 4 (5-oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 slices deli part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. For the marinara: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Cook garlic, oregano, and tomato paste until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in wine and simmer until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce and cook until slightly thickened and reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

  2. For the chicken: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475°F. Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Off heat, stir in Parmesan and salt; transfer to shallow dish and let cool.

  3. Spray wire rack with cooking spray and set inside rimmed baking sheet. Following photos 1 and 2 at right, spread mayonnaise over top of cutlets and dip into crumb mixture. Arrange crumb-side up on prepared rack and mist with cooking spray. Bake until crumbs are dark golden brown, about 8 minutes.

  4. Top each cutlet with 1/4 cup marinara and 1 slice mozzarella. Bake until cheese has melted and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Spoon 1/4 cup marinara evenly over each plate and top with chicken. Serve, passing remaining sauce at table.

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