CHICKEN PARMESAN & ZOODLES (LOW CARB)
Who doesn’t love a good chicken parm? With my love for Italian (both the food and my husband hehe), I just had to make a lighter version of the classic dish! Enter this low carb Chicken Parmesan & Zoodles! Think tender, parmesan-crusted chicken covered in melty mozzarella cheese and served with rich red sauce over zucchini noodles. I used zucchini noodles (zoodles) to keep the carbs down, but feel free to use any kind of noodles you prefer. Can’t do dairy? Don’t fret, this recipe can easily be made dairy-free by substituting the part skim mozzarella for some vegan mozzarella shreds, and swapping out the parmesan cheese for either more almond flour or some vegan parmesan topping. No matter how you make it, this is definitely a winner for meal prep or a date night in!
Choosing quality chicken
It all starts with the chicken. I always buy my chicken “organic,” “naturally raised,” or at the very least “raised without antibiotics.” “Naturally raised” means that the birds were not administered hormones or antibiotics, and were fed a vegetarian diet (i.e, not other chicken parts). The labels “natural” or “all natural” only mean the end product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain artificial flavorings, colorings, or preservatives. “Organic” poultry must be both naturally raised and free range (having access to pasture). Their feed also has to be certified organic – free of GMOs, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers.
Preparing the chicken
You can either “butterfly” whole chicken breasts to make them thinner (what I did), or wrap the breasts in cling wrap and pound them into uniform thickness using a meat mallet. Thin chicken breasts are essential for this recipe, so don’t omit this step!
Making the breading
The “breading” uses two gluten-free flours, almond flour and gluten-free all purpose flour, to achieve a crisp breading that evenly coats the chicken. I’ve found almond flour alone adheres poorly to the chicken. You can alternatively use cornmeal or breadcrumbs in place of the almond flour and gluten free flour. Or, if you don’t have gluten-free all purpose, try cassava flour or just regular all-purpose flour.
I also used some parmesan cheese in the breading (this is chicken parmesan after all), but you can replace it with an equal measure of almond flour or vegan parmesan topping. The only other ingredients in the breading are garlic powder and Italian seasoning! If you don’t have Italian seasoning, just used dried oregano or marjoram.
For the sauce, you can use any sauce you like, but I used Classico Tomato Basil, because it’s cheap and low in sugar. Rao’s Homemade is another favorite brand of mine. I used my Spiralizer to make the perfect zucchini noodles! It’s seriously one of the best purchases ever… it definitely makes it more fun to get those 3-5 cups of vegetables in daily 😉
Here’s the printable recipe for Chicken Parmesan & Zoodles! I hope you’ll rate and/or comment below if you try it.
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Chicken Parmesan & Zoodles (Low Carb)
- 24 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced thin
- 1/2 cup almond flour* or Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese* or vegan parmesan
- 1/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour* or Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning*
- 1/2 cup (4 large) egg whites
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 oz. shredded part skim mozzarella* can use dairy-free
- 3 cups low sugar pasta sauce I used Classico brand
- 6 medium zucchini* spiralized
*See above for substitutions.
- Combine flours (or bread crumbs) with spices in a medium mixing bowl.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy.
- Either "butterfly" chicken breasts to make two thinner halves, or wrap them in cling wrap and pound to uniform thickness using a meat mallet.
- Dip each breast in egg whites, then dip in flour mixture, then dip in egg whites again, then flour mixture again (double-dip). Set aside on a plate.
- Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and arrange chicken strips in bottom of pan (you may need to cook chicken in two batches).
- Cook 5 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.
- While chicken is cooking, wash zucchini, trim ends, and spiralize into noodles.
- Add zucchini noodles or “zoodles” to a deep skillet along with pasta sauce and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until sauce is heated through.
- Arrange chicken breasts over top sauce and top each one with 2 tbsp. mozzarella, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat until cheese is melted. Alternatively, if using an oven-safe skillet you can BROIL for 5 minutes uncovered until cheese is melted.
- Serve hot immediately or portion into meal prep containers. Leftovers will keep in the fridge in an airtight container up to one week, but the chicken won't be as crispy.
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