Healthy Chicken Parmesan (30 minute meal)


This easy and healthy chicken parmesan is sure to please. We’ve simplified the process of making baked chicken parmesan by turning this into a skillet meal so there’s no need to preheat the oven or pull out a baking sheet. 

This post was created in partnership with Primal Kitchen.

Chicken parmesan in red sauce in a cast iron skillet

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A Weeknight Win In Under 30 Minutes

Our take on this Italian-inspired, weeknight-perfect version of chicken parmigiana is made in a skillet in under 30 minutes and features high-quality ingredients like lean chicken breast, fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheeses plus store-bought marinara sauce for a delicious and mouthwatering shortcut.

Traditional chicken parmesan relies on beaten egg and a seasoned breadcrumb mixture to get a crispy coating. We’ve lightened up this recipe by swapping the breading for a light dusting of flour and pan-frying in less oil than most other recipes call for. Don’t worry, you won’t miss that heavily breaded chicken and we’ve kept this one just cheesy enough to feel decadent without being heavy or excessively high in calories. 

All ingredients for healthy chicken parmesan arranged together on counter.

Ingredients to make Chicken Parmesan

  • Olive oil or avocado oil – we use Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil or Olive oil
  • Flour –  we used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour but  if gluten-free is not needed, feel free to use all-purpose flour
  • Garlic powder 
  • Fine salt and black pepper 
  • Chicken breast may also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken cutlets (will have to adjust cooking time). To pound the chicken you can use a rolling pin or a meat mallet like this one from amazon
  • Cooking spray – this helps to crisp up the lighted breaded chicken
  • Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce –  this rich and flavorful marinara sauce is a staple we always have in our pantry. 
  • Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese – We use a mixture of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese in this recipe but feel free to swap the shredded mozzarella for thin slices of fresh mozzarella instead. 
  • Fresh basil – adds flavor and freshness 

Ingredient Spotlight: Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Our take on this Italian-inspired, weeknight-perfect version of chicken parmigiana is made in a skillet in under 30 minutes and features a pantry staple that our team swears by and that we always have on hand. Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce starts with a rich base of tomato sauce made from California-grown tomatoes, avocado oil, and fresh basil. It’s made without any added sugars and because it’s so flavorful on its own, there’s no need to add extra Italian seasoning or oregano which keeps the ingredient list short.

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Find the ingredient list with exact measurements in the recipe card below.

Skillet cooked chicken breasts in cast iron skillet
A jar of tomato basil marinara sauce being poured over cooked chicken breast in cast iron skillet.

How To Make Healthy Chicken Parmesan

No need to preheat oven, this recipe is made all in one-skillet. It’s a meal that can be made from start to finish in less than 30 minutes. Here’s how to make the best chicken parmesan in a skillet:

  1. First make the seasoning coating. Then coat each piece of chicken. 
  2. Place the chicken in a skillet and cook until golden brown. 
  3. Add the sauce and top with cheese. Cover and cook until sauce is hot and cheese is melted. 
  4. The chicken parmesan is great served over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or pasta or even served with a side salad or roasted broccoli.

Skillet parmesan chicken in cast iron skillet with jar of marinara sauce on the side.

For serving size and the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include the nutrition analysis, listing calories (kcals), protein, carbohydrates/carb, fiber, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and more per serving.

How To Reheat Chicken Parmesan

  • Microwave (recommended method): Place desired portion in a microwave-safe dish. Heat for 60-90 seconds or until heated through. 
  • Stovetop: Add leftovers to a skillet over medium heat along with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until heated through. 
  • Oven or Toaster Oven: Place leftovers in an oven-safe dish. Cover lightly with foil and bake in preheated oven at 350℉ for 8-10 minutes or until heated through. 
Close up view chicken parmesan served over spaghetti squash strands in white bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chicken Parmesan Healthy?

This dish is a good source of protein and marinara sauce is a good source of vitamins A and B6, potassium, and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

Can I make this low-carb?

Use spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles (zoodles) instead of pasta for a lower carb spin on this chicken parmesan recipe. 

What goes well with chicken parm?

We suggest pairing this easy entree with cooked whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, oven-roasted spaghetti squash, or steamed or roasted veggies such as broccoli, green beans, zucchini, asparagus.

Can I use chicken thighs?

Yes, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs in place of the chicken breasts. This will increase the total fat content of the dish but will not change the cooking time. See recipe card notes for nutritional information if using chicken thighs.

Can this be made in the air fryer?

We know that the air fryer does a great job of making crispy chicken but the magic in this recipe is that it’s made in the skillet. Part of the magic here is that the cooked chicken is simmered in the marinara sauce while the cheese melts in the covered skillet therefore, we do not recommend using the air fryer for this recipe.

More Healthy Recipes Featuring Chicken

All Chicken Recipes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour (we used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 4 pieces and pounded to about ½-inch thick
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (24-oz.) jar Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
  • For garnish: Fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • Optional for Serving: Oven-Baked Spaghetti Squash, cooked pasta, or zucchini noodles.

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat. 
  2. Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper in a shallow bowl. Roll each piece of chicken in flour to coat evenly.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan and mist lightly with cooking spray. Cook for 4 minutes on each side until the surface is lightly golden brown and the chicken is almost cooked through.
  4. Pour the sauce around the chicken then lift each piece of chicken slightly to allow some of the sauce to get underneath. 
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan over the chicken. Lower the heat to medium and cover the skillet with a lid. 
  6. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until the sauce is hot and the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh basil, if using. Serve over spaghetti squash or pasta. Garnish with fresh basil. 
  8. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

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Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/4th recipe
  • Calories: 320
  • Fat: 11g
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Carbohydrate: 23g
  • (Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 11g)
  • Protein: 35


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Cast iron skillet with chicken parmesan in marinara sauce, fresh basil over top.

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This is a sponsored post. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating high-quality recipes and content for you.

The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel Cook of Half Acre House.

Jessica Beacom

Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her husband and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, and camping out under the stars.

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