While writing the title of this post, you know what I thought of? That Nationwide commercial with Peyton Manning.
Seriously, what could be better than chicken parm? Even Fazoli’s makes a good chicken parm. It’s pretty difficult to screw up something so easy.
You can make it lighter, though. Switch out the carbs (spaghetti, duh) for some vegetables (spaghetti squash) and you have yourself a tasty, sort of lighter chicken parm!
Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parmesan
- 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half and deseeded
- 2 TBS. olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1 lb. chicken tenderloins, sliced
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup Pablo breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. First things first rest in peace Uncle Phil. Wait, this isn’t that “No Role Models” song. Oops. Anyway, roast your spaghetti squash at 375 degrees. Just drizzle the olive oil on the spaghetti squash halves then brush it in. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, then lay halves face down in a deep baking dish. Roast for 40-60 minutes.
2. Next! Get out three bowls. Fill one with your flour, another with both the breadcrumbs combined, and the last bowl with your two beaten eggs. Sprinkle your chicken tenderloins with salt & pepper, then coat each strip with flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
4. Now, back to the squash! Once it has cooled, shred the inside with a fork, but don’t take out of the husk. Lay chicken tenders on top of the shredded squash, then pour marinara over the top until just covered. Sprinkle with mozzarella & Parmesan cheese. Bake, at 375 degrees, for 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned.
Skill Level: Probably amateur-chef level. Spaghetti squash can be a little tricky cutting into, so you should use this excellent tutorial here if you’ve never chopped down on one.
Flavor profile: My original recipe didn’t call for Panko, but I used them because I didn’t have enough Italian breadcrumbs—and WOW. The Panko adds this INSANE crunch that you can’t get from the regular breadcrumbs. It’s so good. The chicken is crispy and surprisingly doesn’t get mushy under the marinara. Everything together is a nice, home-style Italian flavor party in your mouth.
Versatility: Obviously this dish is pretty versatile since it’s a spin on a traditional Italian dish. You can go completely carb-less and gluten free by using almond meal instead of flour and breadcrumbs for the chicken, or you could just grill the chicken instead. Or go vegan and take the chicken out and you’d have yourself a nice baked spaghetti (squash)!
End Score: 6/7, would definitely make again.