Guiltless Chicken Parmesan with Pasta
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano, divided
- 1 28-oz jar crushed organic tomatoes
- 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste or organic tomato paste
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp reduced-fat Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1-inch thickness
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 8 oz cooked whole-wheat penne (or your favorite pasta)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Adapted from cleaneatingmag.com
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add 1 tsp oregano and stir to coat. Cook 30 seconds, until oregano is fragrant. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine panko, Parmesan, remaining 1 tsp oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper. Mix with a fork to combine. Brush both sides of each chicken breast with Dijon. Transfer each breast to panko mixture and turn to coat both sides. Arrange chicken on prepared baking sheet. Coat surface of chicken with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes.
Top each chicken breast with 2 to 3 tbsp tomato sauce and 2 tbsp mozzarella. Return chicken to oven and bake 10 minutes more, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Arrange pasta on a serving plate and top with remaining tomato sauce. Serve chicken with pasta on the side, garnishing both with basil.
Make your chicken Parm a bit more golden in color by toasting the panko in a skillet over medium heat first.