This Grilled Chicken Parmesan recipe is the ultimate guilt free version of a beloved classic Chicken Parmesan. Tender juicy and flavorful pan grilled chicken breasts are topped with basil pesto, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and baked in a fresh quick homemade marinara sauce.
Say hello to the perfect Italian comfort food to serve with pasta, salad or crusty bread! Not only a skinny version, but a really delicious one too!
I’ve always loved chicken parmesan, and if you’ve been to Italy or even been invited to Italian homes you’ll feel this is a classic that symbols comfort.
And like many other comfort foods, this lovely chicken dish will taste differently from place to another and from home to another. Much of the taste relies on the marinara sauce used, and the breading used to pan fry the chicken.
What’s Chicken Parmesan Recipe
Chicken Parmesan is basically breaded chicken breasts, pan fried and baked over marinara sauce with cheese over the chicken.
It’s probably the ultimate Italian comfort chicken recipe. And while I LOVE it, I prefer this skinny grilled version so much more!
Why Grilled Chicken Parmesan
Grilling the chicken here adds a layer of extra flavor to the chicken. You don’t even need to use an outdoor grill, I’ve used an indoor grill today and it was perfect!
If you think you’ll loose the flavor from the fried crusted chicken, well I’ve added a much better one here and a secret ingredient. I added basil pesto! Yes! A teaspoon of basil pesto over each chicken takes this chicken Parmesan to another level.
Another thing I’ve also added in order to keep the flavor level up is a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese over the chicken.
Now I can promise you this chicken parm doesn’t lack flavor a single bit, and even more, it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy like the fried chicken one! So I know you’ll be making it over and over!
How to Make Chicken Parmesan
I start out by seasoning the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and dried oregano, and pan grill them till they’re nice and golden.
Then I use my favourite Quick Homemade Marinara Sauce because i love the flavors and freshness it adds to this dish.
Then once the chicken is beautifully placed on the marinara sauce, it gets a teaspoon of my protein packed nut free homemade basil pesto, parmesan cheese, more marinara and finally a sprinkle of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses! Baked in the oven and ready to devour! For the record–my friend calls it spaghetti sauce not marinara sauce, so either way you call it, it works!
I had a little ( ok, a lot) of help from my oldest daughter helping out here—and yes she insisted on showing off her fancy nail polish! And showing off her love for the yummy grilled chicken parmesan dinner.
Bake the chicken parm for under 30 minutes. I feel 20 mins is perfect, however I know some ovens run at different temperatures, plus the fan/convection factor may speed things up. So keep an eye on it after 15 minutes.
Make this Chicken Parmesan tonight and serve it with salad, pasta, crusty bread or whatever makes you happy!:) Enjoy.
Tips to make Easy Chicken Parmesan
Use fresh chicken breasts and slice each in half by length so the chicken cooks faster.
Add some garlic powder or onion powder if you prefer that flavor.
Use store bought Marinara sauce if you think the homemade one is a hassle, but add a teaspoon of basil pesto to your store bought marinara for a boost of flavor!
Adding basil pesto over each chicken breast creates incredible flavor to the chicken parmesan along with some grated fresh parmesan.
Make the whole recipe in advance and freeze it for up to 3 months. Or make it ahead of time and refrigerate it for 4 days before serving.
Make the chicken parmesan into individual long ramekins rather than a single shallow dish or baking dish.
More Italian inspired Chicken Recipes
Italian Balsamic Chicken Salad Recipe–loaded with goodness and flavor! Pecan Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders — the best way to crust your chicken fingers! Lemon Artichoke Garlic Roast Chicken with Salsa–sheet pan chicken with self made salsa/sauce, and finally Lemon Caper Artichoke Chicken Piccata — The best speedy weeknight dinner!
Skinny Grilled Chicken Parmesan
This skinny grilled chicken parmesan recipe is the ultimate guilt free version of a beloved classic. Tender juicy and flavorful pan grilled chicken breasts are topped with basil pesto, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and baked in a fresh quick homemade marinara sauce. The perfect Italian comfort food to serve with pasta, salad or crusty bread!
- 4 boneless chicken breast boneless skinless chicken breasts ( about 2 pounds)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 marinara sauce batch of quick homemade
- 4 teaspoons basil pesto
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring out a 9 inch by 13 inch oven safe plate and pour tow thirds of the marinara sauce at the bottom of the plate. Set aside.
- Preheat a cast iron grill pan (or any skillet of your choice) over medium heat and add in the olive oil.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and dried oregano on both sides.
- When the pan is ready, sear the chicken on one side for 3 minutes and then flip it and sear it for an extra 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low and flip the chicken one last time,and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove the chicken onto the marinara sauce in the oven safe plate.
- Place a teaspoon of nut free basil pesto on top of each chicken breast and spread it on the entire piece of chicken and then place 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce on top of each chicken breast ( or more to your taste) making sure to cover the entire surface.
- Sprinkle the cheeses on top ( about 1/4 cup of cheese in total per chicken piece).
Place the plate in the oven and bake for 15-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the chicken absorbs much of the marinara flavour.