Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan (Gluten Free)
Craving comfort food? This baked chicken parmesan recipe is a quicker, healthier, and equally tasty version of the traditional dish you know and love.
Back when my husband and I lived in Jacksonville, Florida, our neighbor Brian invited us over for a homemade dinner. Little did I know it would be one of the most mind-blowingly delicious main dishes I’d ever had. On the menu? Chicken parmesan served over spaghetti, with a side of crispy, golden-brown garlic bread.
Brian claimed this flavorful, savory, and oh-so-satisfying chicken parmesan dish was the only thing he knew how to make well. In any case, he certainly impressed me. And you know how I roll— I wouldn’t leave without getting the recipe.
Like most people I know who cook at home, Brian didn’t have a written recipe, and he hardly measures when he cooks. However, he did explain the chicken parmesan cooking process to me. It was a little more intense than I thought.
Brian’s chicken parmesan method involved breading, deep frying, and then baking the chicken. He said when cooking for a group of people, he stands in front of the stove for at least 30 minutes just to fry the chicken. And that’s just one of the steps.
I was so grateful to Brian for the time and effort he put in to make that incredible meal for us. But being a fan of quick and easy recipes, I secretly knew I’d be looking for a faster way to recreate this dish. And that’s exactly what I did.
A Quicker, Healthier Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe
I’m pleased to say you can make this chicken parm recipe in 30 minutes total (excluding the overnight marinating time).
Most traditional Italian or American-style chicken parmesan recipes require you to prep a breadcrumb mixture with either panko breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs and then deep fry the chicken breasts. I decided to omit both of these steps to save time.
Instead, this chicken parmesan is marinated overnight for a deeper flavor. In place of breadcrumbs, the chicken breasts get coated with dried herbs such as parsley, basil, and oregano. Then it goes into a baking dish and cooks to perfection in the oven while you prep the marinara sauce. That’s it!
The result? A quicker, leaner, healthier version of chicken parmesan that doesn’t skip out on flavor.
To keep it low carb, you could serve this chicken parm on top of spiralized zucchini noodles and your favorite veggies instead of pasta. Want to retain the vibe of the traditional chicken parm dish? No problem. Choose brown rice spaghetti noodles, which are higher in vitamins, minerals, and fiber than regular wheat pasta.
If you’re watching your saturated fat intake or avoiding gluten but want to indulge in some comfort food, this baked chicken parmesan will let you have your cake and eat it too.
I have a feeling this may get a spot on your weeknight dinner rotation. It’s something the whole family can enjoy.
I’m curious—what are you making for dinner tonight? Do you have any favorite baked chicken recipes? Let me know in the comments below!Print
Easy and baked chicken parmesan without breading.
- 1 (16-ounce) bottle light Italian dressing
- 1/2 cup light ranch salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 1/4 cups shredded parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 3 tablespoons dried basil, divided
- 3 tablespoons dried oregano, divided
- Fresh basil for garnishing (optional)
For the marinara sauce:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
- 1 (8-ounce) can of tomato sauce
- 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
- Combine Italian dressing, ranch dressing, olive oil, and 3 tablespoons minced garlic in a large Ziploc bag. Squish the bag around to combine all ingredients. Add chicken breasts to the bag, close and squish until they are well coated in the dressing mixture. Place it in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400°F. In a shallow bowl, mix 2 cups parmesan cheese with parsley and 1½ tablespoons basil and oregano (each).
- Spray a large baking dish or baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray (or brush with some olive oil.) Using tongs, remove chicken breasts from the bag one by one and dip in the cheese and spice mixture until thoroughly coated. Then place chicken in a single layer in the dish.
- Insert the baking dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Now let’s make the sauce. In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat up the oil over medium-high heat, sauté onions and remaining garlic until tender and onions are translucent.
- Add tomato sauce and tomato paste to the pan. Stir until smooth. Then add the remaining oregano and basil, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. (At this point, if the sauce looks too thick for your liking, add some chicken broth or water to thin.)
- Reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for the remainder of the baking time until you need it.
- When the chicken has baked 20 minutes, remove from oven. Pour the sauce over the chicken, then top with 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Put the baking dish back into the oven for 10 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
- Dish and garnish with fresh basil if desired. Serve over your preferred vegetables or pasta. Enjoy!
Some store-bought Italian salad dressing and ranch dressing may contain gluten. Pay attention to the ingredient label and choose gluten-free ones when purchasing.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 322
- Sugar: 9.7g
- Sodium: 1325mg
- Fat: 20.7g
- Saturated Fat: 4.2g
- Carbohydrates: 17mg
- Fiber: 4.3g
- Protein: 11.9g
- Cholesterol: 17mg
Keywords: baked chicken parmesan
About the Author
Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, an author and a sous vide fanatic who believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she's on a mission to help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.