Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan

Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan is exactly what it sounds like! No breading, no frying, just packed with fresh herby flavor. We’ve been having this on repeat since I first tested this idea out, it’s a new weeknight favorite! I don’t even miss the crispy breading.

This recipe uses my All Purpose Marinara Sauce which I HIGHLY recommend making! I use up a portion when I initially make it, then freeze the rest in portion sizes that work for us. The flavor tastes just as fresh and vibrant after it’s been frozen, you really can’t get this flavor from a jar!

Butterfly the chicken breasts and pound them flat with a meat mallet to get an even flat large chicken cutlet. Then I heavily season them with Italian seasonings and garlic, which gives them a nice herby crust. I just use some cooking spray and a little water in the frying pan to sear each side until nice and golden brown.

Since they are so thin, the chicken breasts cook up in no time! Then I top with creamy ricotta (my favorite layer), some fresh marinara, then a cheesy mixture of mozzarella and fresh grated Parmesan. Pop it under the broiler until melty golden perfection! So good!

If you want to keep it light, serve with an arugula salad tossed in some balsamic. It’s a really nice flavor accompaniment! Also delicious served over pasta or spaghetti squash. Enjoy this Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan!

So fresh and delicious!

Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan

Full flavor, no breading, cheesy & saucy chicken parmesan!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Author Laura Doerr


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Minced parsley optional for garnish


  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts by slicing them in half horizontally, but without cutting all the way through. Now each breast should be larger and thinner. Place chicken breasts between plastic wrap, and pound with a flat meat mallet or bottom of flat frying pan until about 1/2-inch thick or less.

  2. Heat marinara in a small sauce pan, or microwave and keep warm until ready to use.

  3. Lightly drizzle each side of the chicken breasts with olive oil. Season both sides of each chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray, or a light drizzle of olive oil. Once pan is hot, place seasoned chicken breasts in pan, reduce heat to medium. Cook on each side for about 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from pan onto a baking sheet.

  4. Spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese onto each cooked chicken breast, followed by marinara, then shredded mozz and parm. Place in the oven under the broil setting until the cheese is melted. I like to serve with a balsamic arugula salad or over spaghetti squash.

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