Skinny Chicken Parmigiana


Look on the menu of almost any Italian restaurant and you’ll see this popular dish.  I’ve remade it skinny compared to a restaurant recipe by using skinless chicken breasts, cooking in a small amount of reduced-fat butter, topping with reduced-fat cheese and just a small amount of Parmesan cheese. One delicious serving has 311 calories, 9 grams of fat and 8 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. One serving of Olive Garden’s Chicken Parmigiana has a horrific 1090 calories and 49 grams of fat! Check out the serving tips below for what to serve with this terrific classic.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (1 pound total), see shopping tips

½ cup Panko bread crumbs, see shopping tips

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 egg white

1 tablespoon reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light

2 cups from a jarred spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce, see shopping tips

1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese ( I used Trader Joe’s)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded


1. Rinse the chicken breasts under cold running water and pat dry. Pound chicken breasts to flatten, see prep tip.

2. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. In another small bowl add the egg white.

4. In a large nonstick pan, melt butter. Right next to the cook top, dip each chicken breast in egg white and then into bread crumbs, to coat.  Repeat with all chicken breasts and add to hot pan. Fry chicken on each side, over medium heat, about 5-6 minutes, until chicken is done and no longer pink inside. Remove chicken to a plate.

6. In the same pan, add spaghetti sauce and heat thoroughly. Add cooked chicken back to pan and cover with sauce. Top each piece with ¼ cup shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, cover and cook until cheese is melted.

7. Using a spatula, remove each piece to a dinner plate.

Makes 4 servings (each serving 1 chicken breast and about ½ cup sauce)

Shopping Tips

Most supermarkets sell 1 pound packages of 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast. If you buy a 1 pound package with only 2 larger breast, just cut them in half.

Panko bread crumbs create a much crispier breading. You’ll find them in the baking aisle where other bread crumbs are sold.

I used Classico Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce. It has only 50 calories and 1 gram of fat for a ½ cup serving or use your favorite.

Prep Tip

To save time, many markets sell packages of already flatten chicken breasts. I found them at Trader Joe’s.

There are several ways to flatten a chicken breast. The most common way is to place 1 chicken breast in a plastic bag. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breast to flatten to an even thickness, about ½ inch thick. Another way I recently discovered, is to flatten it using a tortilla press! Place the chicken breast in a plastic bag and let the press do the pounding work. A tortilla press is made out of cast iron. You can buy it in a cookware store or places such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They sell for $19.95 and I used my 20% coupon!  I now use it often for flattening all kind of meats.

Serving Tips
Place chicken and sauce on top of a side of whole wheat spaghetti or Skinny Mash Potatoes, if desired.  I love to serve this chicken with a vegetable dish on the side. Steamed broccoli would be great or here’s my favorite vegetable for this dish.


Garlic Sauteed Spinach.


Weight Watchers SmartPoints 8
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 8



SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (each serving, 1 chicken breast and about ½ cup sauce)
311 calories, 9g fat, 4g sat.fat, 69mg chol, 38g protein, 20g carbs, 2g fiber, 907mg sodium, 6g sugar
FAT FACTS: for 1 order of Olive Garden’s Chicken Parmigiana
1090 calories, 49g fat, 25g protein, 79g carbs, 7g fiber, 3,380mg sodium, 19g sugar