Golden crisp on the outside with a moist, pleasantly chewable interior, doused in a sweet yet slightly acidic tomato sauce and blanketed in a thick cloak of clingy mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, chicken parmesan defines rustic Italian-American comfort food. Typically coated in white bread crumbs, deep-fried in canola or corn oil, and served sandwiched between a crusty Italian hero loaf or served atop a bed of spaghetti strands, traditional chicken parmesan is not keto, Primal/paleo, Whole30, or any other type of “clean” eating by any stretch. But, that may be beside the point. We eat comfort foods—those familiar childhood or late-night collegiate favorites—when we want to splurge, diet be damned.
We devised a compromise that’s both decadent and keto-friendly for those times when nothing but the real thing will do. Our keto chicken parmesan is dredged in pulverized pork rinds, nestled in tangy tomato basil sauce, and topped with gooey bronzed cheese in a version we think is better than the original.
Keto Chicken Parmesan
Time: 40 minutes
- 2 ½ ounces of pork rinds (we used one package of EPIC sea salt pepper pork rinds)
- 2 ½ ounces grated parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup melted butter or ghee
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
- 1 jar Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
- 4 slices whole milk mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil
- 1 package Cece’s Veggie Co. Zoodles
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In a food processor, pulse pork rinds and parmesan until they are the consistency of bread crumbs. You can also place pork rinds and parmesan into a plastic baggie, seal it, and pound it into small bits using a rolling pin.
- Pour crumbs into a tray or a large plate. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter or ghee. When melted, pour butter into a tray or large plate.
- Butterfly chicken breasts (cut an incision through half of the chicken breast, leaving the other half attached, and lay out flat on parchment paper on a cutting board), and pound out until they are a uniform thickness. Finish cutting each breast in half.
- Coat chicken breasts in butter, and then coat in crumb mixture. Press as much coating onto each breast as possible. Bake chicken for 20 minutes, or until fully cooked (to be safe, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. The internal temperature should be 160º when fully cooked.).
- Pour sauce into bottom of casserole dish (saving ¼ of the jar), and place chicken on top. Spoon more sauce on top of each piece of chicken, and top each with 1 slice of mozzarella.
- Turn oven to broil. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and turn off oven.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Saute zoodles for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing frequently with tongs. Remove zoodles from pan and allow to drain thoroughly in a colander.
- Place 4 heaping portions of zoodles on 4 plates. Pour any extra warmed tomato basil marinara sauce from the chicken parmesan dish onto the zoodles. Top each plate with 1 piece of chicken parmesan, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information (per serving):
Carbs: 15.8 grams
Fat: 28.3 grams
Protein: 66 grams
Nutritional information calculated using Cronometer.
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