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I love Chicken Parmesan, but let’s face it, fried chicken covered in cheese is not kind to our waistline! This recipe significantly lightens up this dish, but it still packs a lot of flavor. The panko gives the oven-fried chicken a nice crunch and the topping of fresh basil, marinara and motzarella add the perfect blend of fresh Italian flavors to this dish.

I chose to make a batch of my home made marinara and serve the chicken with a side of whole wheat spaghetti. You can find the recipe to my marinara on my blog. It is easy to make, low-fat and tastes fantastic! I love making it myself, so I know exactly what is in my sauce. I control the amount of sodium and the spice level.

In the mood for a light, fresh Italian meal? Give this one a try! It will not disappoint!

Chicken Parmesan

1 large egg white

2/3 cup fat-free buttermilk

1 cup whole wheat panko

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

Salt and pepper

1 cup marinara sauce (I like to make my fresh marinara or you can use jarred.)

8 basil leaves

4 slices of reduced fat motzarella

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 4o0 degrees. Whisk together egg whites and buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Put panko in a separate shallow bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in wet mixture and then place in panko, pressing down to coat.

Place chicken on a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Lightly spray the chicken with non-stick spray. Bake chicken for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove chicken from oven and top each piece with 2 tablespoons marinara sauce, 2 (or 1 large) basil leaves and 1 slice of motzarella cheese. Pour remaining marinara around the chicken. Bake until cheese is melted and chicken registers an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, about 5-10 minutes longer. Prior to serving sprinkle chopped fresh basil and Parmesan cheese over chicken.

Mangia bene!