Chicken parmesan was one of my FAVORITE meals as a kid. When I was young, my dad worked at a family-owned Italian restaurant in town. Think homemade pasta, the most flavorful ruby-red marinara and the best fried chicken around- smothered in sauce and cheese, of course. I can smell the way that restaurant smelled when you walked in right now. My dad tells me about the huge vats of trans-fat oils they used to lug in to pour into the deep fryers for those delicious crispy chicken pieces. Ick. But man, were they good.
Though I’ll never forget that iconic chicken parm from my childhood, I like to make a healthier version for my own family, now. Trans-fat, and grain free for a more nutrient-dense, gluten-free option. I use our family favorite chicken tender recipe- made in about 10 minutes flat with only five ingredients (including the chicken), a few spoonfuls of marinara (though I’ll admit, mine is usually not homemade) and a sprinkle of cheese for a balanced family entree that all three of us adore.
Grain-free Chicken Tender Parmesan
Grain-free Chicken Tenders
1 lb chicken tenders
1 clove garlic, minced
sea salt + black pepper
1 cup almond flour
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Whisk together breading ingredients and pour into a shallow pan. Set aside.
3. Whisk egg, minced garlic and a pinch of sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour into a shallow pan.
4. Starting with egg mixture, dredge chicken tender in egg mixture, shaking off excess.
5. Following egg dip, place tender in breading mixture, pressing down well to coat. Repeat on other side until coated.
6. Spray or grease a baking sheet with avocado or coconut oil. Lay tenders evenly on baking sheet, leaving space in between.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes in oven, until tenders are cooked through.
To make chicken tender parmesan:
1/2 cup marinara sauce (like HML overnight marinara sauce)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. After 25 minutes of cooking, remove pan from oven. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of sauce on top of each chicken tender; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and top with a sprinkle of parmesan.
2. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.
Do you have a favorite meal from childhood you’d like to pass onto your littles (maybe in a healthier version)?