Chicken parmesan is a genius dish that takes the blandest of meats - chicken breast - and elevates it into a delicacy.
Ready in about 30 minutes, this easy keto version is made with a coating of almond meal. It's just as good as the original!
"It's like pizza on a chicken breast!" declared the Picky Eater, delighted. Why yes, it is.
The humble chicken breast is coated with a mixture of almond meal and parmesan, baked until cooked through, then topped with marinara sauce and more cheese, and baked again briefly, just to melt the cheese. It's as good as it sounds, and the way it combines simple ingredients into a culinary delight is genius.
Here's an overview of the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
Olive oil spray: Olive oil is so delicious. But if you're unsure about cooking with it, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point.
Chicken breasts: Boneless and skinless. Try to pick relatively small pieces, about 6-7 oz each.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Garlic powder: I use it to season the chicken.
Egg: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
Almond meal: Blanched almond flour works too.
Grated Parmesan: It's best to use finely grated cheese and not coarsely shredded.
Marinara sauce: Try to use a sugar-free brand such as Rao's.
Provolone cheese: Mozzarella works too.
Fresh basil: Its fresh flavor greatly elevates this dish.
Making keto chicken parmesan is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Season the chicken breasts.
Dip them in an egg wash and then in a mixture of almond meal and Parmesan.
Bake the chicken pieces for 15 minutes.
Top them with marinara sauce and cheese.
Bake for 5 more minutes, garnish with chopped basil, and serve.
To keep this recipe truly easy, I don't slice the chicken breasts or pound them thin, and I don't saute them.
Instead, I bake them in the oven in two stages. The first stage is intended to cook them through and brown the almond meal coating. The second stage is meant to melt the cheese.
Frequently asked questions
You simply need to replace the traditionally used breadcrumbs with a low-carb alternative such as almond meal.
You could, but be sure to use plenty of oil and a nonstick pan or the almond meal coating could fall apart. That's one of the reasons I prefer baking to frying when making this recipe.
The small ones will be ready faster. Bigger ones will need more time in the oven, and then you run the risk of burning the coating. If you do use bigger ones, you'll probably need to bake them for 20-25 minutes. If that's the case, loosely cover them with foil after the first 15 minutes to protect them from burning.
I usually use slices of provolone cheese, but shredded (or sliced) mozzarella will work too.
You can also use different herbs, including thyme and oregano leaves.
While fresh herbs greatly elevate this dish, if you don't have any on hand, it's OK to skip them. In this case, I would add a dried herb, such as dried oregano, when seasoning the chicken breasts.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave on 50% power.
But keep in mind that they won't be as good as fresh. The almond meal especially tends to become a little soggy.
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Keto Chicken Parmesan
- Olive oil spray
- 4 small chicken breasts, 6-7 oz each*
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup almond meal
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- ½ cup marinara sauce
- 4 (1 oz) slices provolone
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or basil
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit it with a wire rack. Spray the rack with olive oil.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry. Season them on both sides with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- In a shallow bowl or a Pyrex baking dish, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water.
- In another shallow bowl, mix together the almond meal and Parmesan.
- Dip each chicken breast in the egg, then dredge it in the almond meal mixture. Use one hand for the egg mixture and one hand for the almond meal mixture.
- Transfer the coated chicken breasts to the prepared wire rack. Spray their tops with olive oil. Bake them for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven but keep the oven on. Top each chicken breast with about 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce and 1 slice of provolone.
- Return the chicken breasts to the oven for 5 more minutes, until they are cooked through, their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, and the cheese is melted.
- Transfer the chicken to plates, top with chopped basil, and serve.