A healthier take on an Italian classic- this Keto Chicken Parmesan is coated with an herbed almond flour and parmesan crust, topped with fresh marinara and the most important part…. cheese! Simple, healthy and always a dinnertime favourite!
Whenever I go out for Italian food veal of chicken parmesan is always my selection outside of pizza. For me, it is a silly thing but I can’t see paying for a plate of pasta only knowing it costs maybe $5 tops to make and max 10 minutes. Whereas if you put a piece of meat on top I can feel better about that investment.
While I love chicken parmesan at an Italian restaurant I am not super thrilled that it is usually deep or pan-fried in oil. And while it may be fine to eat fried food from time to time that isn’t the best choice for my family when I make this almost weekly.
The recipe I am sharing today is a baked chicken parmesan that is still crispy and full of flavour. Maybe even more flavour because of the almond flour and parmesan coating. And it is gluten-free!
Where is chicken Parmesan from?
Not Italy believe it or not! It is actually American, originating in the North Eastern United States in the newly forming Italian-American communities.
In Italy finding protein was not as easy as it was in North America. A similar dish was made using sliced eggplant in place of what is now the chicken part of this dish known as Melanzana Alla Parmigiana.
When Italians arrived in North American where proteins like chicken were readily available at a reasonable price they altered the recipe to use chicken or veal in place of the usual eggplant.
In terms of the Parmiagiana part (Parmesan in English). That is still up for debate. Especially confusing is that since Chicken Parmigiana is typically made using Mozzarella cheese and not parmesan cheese at all.
Some believe the original eggplant recipe originated in the Northern Italy region of Parma. But… Eggplant Parmesan or Melanzana Alla Parmigiana wasn’t eaten typically in Northern Italy at all but instead, it was popular in Southern Italy in the regions of Sicily.
Some historians believe the word Parmigiana was a take on the Sicilian word palmigiana, meaning slats on a roof that represented the layers of sliced eggplant in this dish.
In the end. No one really knows where this dish got it’s name. But I am glad it was invented because it is delicious!
ingredients & Substituions
- Chicken breasts – boneless and skinless.
- Eggs – Used to coat the chicken prior to coating.
- Parmesan cheese – finely grated and as fresh.
- Almond flour – Used instead of the usual bread crumbs. Use a blanched finely ground almond flour.
- Italian seasoning – Adds flavour to the coating.
- Marinara sauce – This link will take you to my 15-minute homemade marinara or you can use any store-bought version. Look for sauces that are smoother and not chunky.
- Mozzarella cheese – I like to use single cheese slices because I feel like it sits on the chicken better while cooking but you can also use shredded mozzarella. Provolone cheese tastes great as well.
how to make keto chicken parmesan
Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
Use a kitchen mallet to flatten out the chicken breasts. I like to use saran wrap to keep my mallet cleaner because I find it difficult to clean the mallet and all of its grooves well. And since I am using it with chicken it is just an extra precaution I take.
In a small bowl crack the two eggs and whisk.
In a large bowl add the parmesan cheese, almond flour and Italian seasoning. Mix to combine.
Dip each flattened chicken breast into the egg wash coating all over and then transfer to the larger bowl and coat with the parmesan crumb mixture. I like to press the crumbs lightly on to the chicken to help them stick.
Place the coated chicken breasts on a baking sheet. I used a Pampered Chef baking sheet I have had forever which is made of clay. It never sticks! So I don’t need to line it.
If you are using a regular baking sheet I recommend lining it with parchment paper first before adding the chicken.
Bake for 15 minutes until browned. Remove from the oven and top the chicken breasts with marinara sauce and a slice of cheese on top. I place the cheese on it like a diamond with the pointy tips facing the ends of the chicken breast. Maybe weird but I think it puts more of the cheese on top of the chicken this way.
Return the chicken back to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160ºF.
what Goes with healthy chicken Parmesan?
My family usually chooses to eat their baked chicken parmesan with pasta, usually fettuccine or spaghetti in a marinara or ragu sauce. But I like to keep my dinner low carb so I usually opt for one of the following:
- Chopped Cucumber Caprese Salad
- Sauteed Rapini
- Garden Herb and Green Bean Salad
- Garden Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Garlic Bread
Can you make chicken parmesan with thighs?
Yes, but make sure they are boneless thighs. Since they are smaller the thighs will cook up faster so adjust the cooking time accordingly and you will want to serve 2-3 thighs per person. Always check the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 160ºF.
Can baked chicken parmesan be frozen?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze this recipe but just the coated chicken. Flatten and coat the chicken with the almond flour and parmesan crumb mixture and then freeze on a parchment-lined baking sheet. This will keep the coating intact.
Then once the chicken is frozen transfer to a tightly sealed container. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking. Add the sauce and cheese in the last 10-15 minutes of baking and serve.
Can Low Carb chicken parmesan be made ahead of time?
For sure! Flatten and coat the chicken as per the instructions and then place in the fridge until you are ready to bake. The coated chicken can rest in the fridge tightly covered for up to 3 days.
You can bake with the cheese and sauce ahead of time and reheat in the microwave but it is best when the cheese and sauce are added fresh.
Healthy Keto Chicken Parmesan
- Kitchen mallet
- Baking Sheet
- Small Bowl
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- 4-5 boneless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups Marinara sauce
- 4-5 slices mozzarella cheese or provolone
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Flatten the chicken breasts out using a kitchen mallet. I like to cover mine with plastic wrap as a barrier between my mallet and the chicken make my mallet easier to clean.
- In a small bowl add the eggs and whisk. In a large bowl add the parmesan cheese, almond flour and Italian seasoning and mix to blend.
- Dip each chicken breast in the egg wash and then into the almond flour mixture turning over and patting down gently to coat. Place each chicken breast on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes until browned and almost cooked through. Remove from the oven and add the marinara sauce evenly to the top of each chicken breast. Then top with a slice of cheese.
- Return to the oven and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. Cheese should be melted and internal temperature of the chicken should be 160F when done. Remove from the oven and serve.