It’s Spring and after feeling like I’ve been cooped up for the last 6 or 7 months inside with the bad winter we had, I am trying to get back on track with my diet. When the weather is cold, I like to get into cozy mode. I like to wear a lot of layers, cook all kinds of comforting meals, eat, snuggle with a warm blankets while sitting on the couch while gazing out of the window, and sipping on a hot cup of coffee. Well, that was wonderful these past few months, but the weather is finally nice and I need to get with the program. It’s very easy to get into a routine of not really keeping track of what you are eating or not really caring for that matter, especially if you are wearing comfortable sweaters and warm clothes to hide those extra few pounds. Since I won’t be wearing my cozy sweaters through out the Spring and Summer months, I decided I better be little more conscious about what is going on my plate these days!
I love Chicken Parmesan! Every time my husband and I eat out at an Italian Restaurant, it’s what I order. Every. Single. Time. It’s always a comforting meal, but it also comes with a whole bunch of unwanted calories. I love the the taste of that perfect bite of tender, breaded chicken smothered in fresh tomato sauce, and topped with a generous amount of melted, freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Of course most times, it’s sitting on top of a huge amount of pasta too. This week for Sunday dinner, I decided to serve a lightened up, comforting Chicken Parmesan, without all of the calories. This Baked Chicken Breast Parmesan is a simple meal that can be easily prepared, even on a busy week night. I sauteed a few cloves of garlic in olive oil then added a can of whole can of San Marzano tomatoes (fresh tomatoes from the garden in the summer), basil and a pinch of salt to a saucepan and let the sauce simmer while I prepared the chicken breast. I pounded four chicken breasts thin, seasoned them with salt and pepper, ladled half of the sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, added the chicken, the remaining sauce, topped the chicken with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese, and baked them in the oven for 30 minutes. The result is a healthy, flavorful, satisfying chicken breast that can be served with a large fresh salad, vegetables or even some whole wheat pasta if you or your family are really hungry. If you are watching what you eat and are looking for a “slimmed down” version of Chicken Parmesan, give this tasty recipe a try!
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 (28 oz.) can San Marzano tomatoes or fresh tomatoes from your garden in the summer
- 2 cloves of galic, minced
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 Tbsp. dried basil, or a handful of fresh basil, chopped
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- parsley for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and saute the minced garlic until fragrant.
- Slowly add the tomatoes and lightly crush them with a potato masher.
- Add the basil, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil.
- Turn the heat down and simmer on low, uncovered for about 20 minutes.
- *I don't like to add a whole lot to my tomatoes, I like the flavor simple, but you can add more of your favorite seasonings if you like. You could even use your favorite jarred tomato sauce if you were in a hurry.
- Pound the chicken with a mallet until it's about 1/4 inch thick.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Carefully ladle half of the sauce onto the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, even arrange the chicken breast, top with remaining sauce and evenly top with the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is done at 165.
- Remove from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, garnish with parsley and serve with a large salad, veggies or whole wheat pasta.
- Serves 4.
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