Lighter Chicken Parmesan

by Erin

What’s better than Chicken Parmesan covered in cheese and marinara sauce? A lighter version ;-)

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

When people find out how much I pay for my gym membership at Life Time Fitness, they gawk. To make it worse, my fee is going up an additional $2 starting November 1st (totaling $64/month). Yes I know it’s expensive, that my apartment has a basic gym, that I have workout DVDs at home, and that I could have internet or cable at home instead of paying for a gym membership – but I think it’s worth it.

I go to at least 3-4 group fitness classes a week which obviously my apartment gym does not have, it’s open 24/7, never has a wait for cardio or weight equipment, has a fantastic cafe which is surprisingly inexpensive, and it just makes me happy which is obviously important (not to mention the water slides!!).

Sure I could have internet at home, but after working out, showering, cooking dinner, and doing whatever else I need to do, I don’t have much time to even notice I don’t have internet. Even less for cable. And I’m not even going to get into my lacking desire for a smart phone –  at least not today.

Besides, I have to work off all the food I cook for this blog somehow!

P.S. I served this with easy garlic knots and crispy gnocchi (coming tomorrow).

One year ago: Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Two years ago: Apple Butter Granola


Serves 6


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz. each)

1-1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

11/2 tsp garlic powder

3 large egg whites

1 Tbsp water

2 cups tomato sauce, warmed (store-bought or homemade)

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil


  1. Cut each breast in half, to make two thinner chicken cutlets (total 6). Place each cutlet between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet or skillet to pound to 1/4-inch thickness.
  2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Add the Panko and oil to a 12-inch skillet, stir frequently and toast the breadcrumbs until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a wide, shallow dish and allow to cool briefly, then add the Parmesan and stir. In a second shallow dish, mix the flour and garlic powder. Finally, add the egg whites and water to a third dish, and beat with a fork until frothy.
  4. Pat the chicken dry then season both sides with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg whites and the Panko mixture. Press the Panko onto the chicken to completely coat. Transfer to the prepared wire rack.
  5. Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and top each piece of chicken with 2 tablespoons each of sauce and mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil before serving.

Source: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

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Consuelo @ Honey & Figs October 13, 2013 - 1:57 pm

Ouch, that’s a bit expensive, indeed! But I think it’s alright if you actually go to the gym and use its facilities frequently and stuff haha!
This is my kind of dinner, girl! I love how easy, delish and cheesy it looks! :)

Joanne October 11, 2013 - 6:38 am

I won’t even tell you how much I pay for my gym membership (more than that…closer to what Tracey’s husband pays)…oh the price of living in NYC! And honestly, I wouldn’t have cable if the.boy didn’t “need” it.
Love this lightened up version of a classic comfort food!

spiffycookie October 11, 2013 - 8:52 am

Tracey said that he pays that much per year, not per month. You pay more than $99/month? Yikes! IDK how you can afford that AND cable. Then again you get to split that bill in half.

Tracey October 10, 2013 - 9:03 pm

Hahaha, and I give me husband a hard time for $99/year gym membership. I definitely won’t let him see this post! :) I couldn’t live without cable – even when I’m not watching tv I have it on in the background for the noise. It’s just too quiet without it…

I love this chicken parm but we haven’t made it in forever. Need to remedy that!

spiffycookie October 11, 2013 - 8:53 am

Haha I wish I only had to pay per year instead of per month. As for background noise I constantly have music playing, especially when I am cooking or baking. When I had internet I could at least watch some shows on Hulu though. Oh well.

Yvonne @ bitter baker October 10, 2013 - 6:10 pm

Chicken looks awesome, and the little garlic knots too! Mmm, awesome dinner :) You’re worth it after all the running to they gym it sounds like you’ve been doing :)

Susan October 10, 2013 - 5:33 pm

Erin, anyone who is into microbiology and has no desire for a smart phone is okay in my book! :-) (Never mind that I am probably well more than twice your age… but still computer literate). The important thing is to be yourself, do what makes you happy, and you will be fine.

This Parmesan Chicken sounds great, and it looks beautiful in your photos.

Zainab @ Blahnik Baker October 10, 2013 - 12:32 pm

It is totally worth it!! I am paying $40 a month at the Y for the group fitness classes because that’s the only way I can workout now after doing crossfit for three months. Obviously crossfit was too expensive for my grad student life. Oh I think I will be way more productive with no internet.

Samantha Angela October 10, 2013 - 10:47 am

If you use your gym membership then it’s totally worth it. I bet most of the people that balk at the cost are the ones that have a membership but never go.

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl October 10, 2013 - 10:03 am

My husband has been asking for some chicken parmesan but I’d like to go the lighter route so I think this make a perfect soon dinner! Thanks for sharing!

Vicki @ WITK October 10, 2013 - 8:13 am

I actually think $64 is cheap! I was paying $180 a month for Crossfit before I got all unemployed and cancelled it :) And they didn’t even have water slides, boo.

spiffycookie October 10, 2013 - 8:53 am

I was talking to my sister-in-law about my possible unemployment post graduation (if I don’t tackle a job) and she told me it’s fun-employment, not unemployment haha.

Kayle (The Cooking Actress) October 10, 2013 - 7:25 am


Your fitness center does sound pretty awesome though. So does this chicken parm-yummmmyyyy!

spiffycookie October 10, 2013 - 8:54 am

Haha I do most of the writing/editing at home and then when I get to work I just upload it and schedule the post.


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