Lightened-Up Chicken Parmesan {Secret Recipe Club}

It is time again for the Secret Recipe Club (SRC). This month I was assigned to Permanent Posies and I found a great, easy dinner recipe on Susan’s site. If you’re unfamiliar with the SRC, make sure to check out the website. It is a great way to meet new bloggers and explore new and fabulous food blogs. You can browse my previous recipes that were part of the SRC: Apple Cider MuffinsZucchini, Red Pepper and Carrot PancakesPork Tenderloin with Roasted Grape SauceAsian Grilled Chicken, and Chicken Enchiladas Verde.

The recipe I chose was one for Chicken Parmesan, or as Susan calls it, Captain’s Pecorino Romano Chicken. I love the personal touch she has on her blog and the stories she tells about her family. You can just tell how much she loves them.

I made a couple minor changes to this recipe. I substituted Panko bread crumbs for half of the traditional bread crumbs, and I baked it on a baking rack placed on top of a sheet pan.

All in the name of crunchiness.

Crunchiness = goodness.

Hurried photos in dark, rainy Michigan = badness. Oh well.

I also served it with broccoli instead of pasta with marinara sauce. We had pasta the night before and I was trying to be healthy.

Oh! But I added a bit of cheese to the breadcrumbs. Don’t judge.

Lightened-Up Chicken Parmesan
Adapted from Permanent Posies

4 large chicken breasts, pounded or butterflied so they are flatter
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 bread crumbs
1 cup panko
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup mozzarella
approximately 1 cup of marinara sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs with the buttermilk and place the chicken in it.
3. In another bowl, combine the two types of bread crumbs, the spices, and a handful of the grated Parmesan cheese.
4. Lift the chicken out of the egg mixture and dredge it in the bread crumb mixture.
5. Place on a wire baking rack placed over a (foil-lined) baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and spoon marinara on top and top with the two types of cheeses.
8. Continue to bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.

Verdict: Tasty! A nice simple weeknight meal.
Husband’s take: He liked it a lot! Didn’t say much while he was eating this one. I think that is a good thing?
Changes I would make: Nada! Maybe fresh mozzarella next time, because that is always better than part-skim pre-shredded.
Difficulty: Easy.

Make sure to browse the other recipes from the Secret Recipe Club reveal!

When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!


  1. Pingback: 110 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Recipes - Rachel Cooks

  2. Panko is definitely one of my favorites. It’s way better than the pre seasoned stuff. Will have to give it a whirl. This was the first dish I ever cooked. Glad to see it get a makeover :)

  3. Panko are my favorite bread crumbs. Everything comes out so crispy and yummmy! I haven’t made chicken parm in forever. Your parm looks great!

  4. Wow – this looks really tasty! It’s always nice when you find a recipe that you can add to your regular dinner schedule! Congratulations on the SRC post!

  5. Great call on the panko crumbs. It’s my #1 choice, because I love the crunchiness. I also prefer baking on a rack, to circulate the air more. This is a perfect weeknight dinner. Nice to meet you, as this is my first time with SRC. It’s fun blog hopping around.

  6. Yes crunchiness definitely does equal goodness. Off to check out the secret recipe club.

  7. I think Chicken Parmesan is the perfect comfort food. In fact, now that I’m reading this I think I’ll make some this evening. Thanks for the idea. It’s incredible how with all the cooking I do and reading so many food blogs that I sometimes can’t think of what to make. Mind Boggling!

  8. I so understand the dark rainy day photo… regardless, your pic looks uber yummy to me!

    If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll stop by to see my SRC post for Honey Vinaigrette Grilled Chicken.


  9. This looks great! I love that you lightened up the dish but still kept it nice and crunchy. Also, fresh mozzarella is the best..nom nom :)

  10. Yum! Looks fantastic — so fun to be in SRC with you!

  11. Nice, healthier version of a favorite dish…and you made it even healthier by eating broccoli with it!

  12. I want this so bad… right now! It gets dark at 5 here now; It’s pretty much impossible to get that precious natural lighting anymore :/ (!!!)

    Your photos still look uber tempting!

  13. Looks crispy delicious and I’m with you on using fresh mozzarella.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my group ‘A’ SRC recipe this month: Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  14. Oh wow, this looks fabulous! I have a weakness for chicken parm – the cheesier the better usually. :-D
    I cannot wait until I can get into the SRC. I just have a few more recipes to post until I get up to the required 60 you need to get in. :-D

  15. Yep, the more crunch the better! My life was forever changed when I discovered panko.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you’d check out my SRC recipe for Crockpot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal.

  16. Love chicken parmesan-I’m definitely going to have to try this lighter version!

  17. Great to be in the SRC with you again!

    Great pics lady. I have been seeing your stuff on the foodie sites lately, ‘Gawker, etc…congrats!

  18. Your photo is awesome and the recipe looks delicious. This is a great pick for the SRC! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.
    Miz Helen

  19. Oh my goodness this look sooooo good. Please come and make me dinner! :)

  20. I LOVE chicken parm but it’s definitely not something I make all the time. This. Is. Fabulous.

  21. Can I move in next door?

  22. Looks grest Rachael, I love chicken parmesan, it’s a weakness of mine! I actually have it on the menu this week. :)

  23. Crunchiness is definitely goodness. Thanks for sharing this!

  24. I am so glad that you chose this recipe of mine to cook. It is really my son’s and he now lives in Italy. I miss him so much that I have to periodically just whip up some of his favorite dishes. Your version looks yummy and I love the idea of extra crunchiness on the bottom by lifting it up to cook. Check out my entry….

  25. Looks so crisp – I want to just take a fork to it!

  26. So my husband claims to hate chicken parmesan which obviously means I need to make this soon, before he comes home, right? It looks amazing!

  27. Great SRC post. I love chicken parmesan but your right it can be very heavy at times. This is a great light version and just beautiful too!

  28. Now you got me craving Chicken Parmesan! I haven’t made it in so long, but this looks delicious! I have some buttermilk that I need to use up, so this recipe will definitely be on the menu this week! :)

  29. Looks delicious! I love me some parm (although I can never resist having it with pasta :P)

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