Summer Chicken Parmesan– Are you ready for a healthy summer version of this Italian classic? Crispy baked chicken topped with marinara, mozzarella and fresh height of the season heirloom tomatoes, corn and zucchini. This lightened-up version is quick and easy. You can have dinner on the table in about 20 mins. start to finish. That leaves more time to enjoy the last few weeks of warm summer nights.
I look forward to this time of year! Summer produce is just so darn delicious! I’m a huge fan of heirloom tomatoes, freshly picked sweet corn, zucchini, and don’t even get me started on the sweet juicy peaches, blueberries and watermelon! I’m trying to incorporate all my favorites into as many things as possible while Mother Nature is serving them up in abundance.
Summer Chicken Parmesan is a perfect way to do just that! The flavors of summer corn, zucchini and tomatoes perfectly compliment the Italian flavors in this lightened-up Chicken Parmesan.
To keep this recipe super simple and quick ( aka perfect for busy weeknight dinners) I’m using chicken cutlets (available in most grocery stores). If you prefer you can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts and make your own chicken cutlets. Here’s a good tutorial from Serious Eats on how to make your own cutlets.
The recipe comes together in a snap. It’s just a matter of coating the chicken in the bread crumbs, panko, Parmesan cheese and Italian herbs and baking in the oven for about 5 min. I like to give the chicken a quick sear in a hot skillet for a minute on each side before putting them in the oven ( to crisp up the bread crumbs and help them stick to the chicken) but that’s an optional step. You’ll just need to adjust the cooking time ( + approx. 2-3 min in the oven)if you do decide to go straight to the oven.
After about 5 min. in the oven, take the chicken out and top with marinara and mozzarella (gotta have cheese!) and return to the oven until the cheese is bubbling and just beginning to turn brown (about 3-4 mins.)
A quick sauté of the veggies and you are ready to top the chicken and savor the flavors of summer.
- ½ cup plain whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 4 (4 oz.) chicken breast cutlets
- 1 cup marinara sauce (or your favorite tomato sauce)
- ¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 ½ cups cherry ( or grape) tomatoes, halved
- 1 ear fresh corn
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or Italian parsley)
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine the breadcrumbs, panko, Parmesan and Italian herbs in a medium bowl.
- Lightly brush chicken with olive oil ( you will only need a very small amount of olive oil) and dip chicken breasts in breadcrumb mixture.
- Heat 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chicken and cook 1 minute on each side (working in batches if not all cutlets will fit in the skillet). Place chicken cutlets on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 5 min. ( If you are using very thin chicken cutlets you may want to skip this initial baking –see Step 5- add marinara etc. )
- While chicken is baking, heat the remaining oil in skillet. Add zucchini and corn and sauté 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Remove chicken from oven and top each piece with approx. 2½ Tbsp marinara and 2 Tbsp grated mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Adjust cooking time depending on the thickness of your chicken .Top chicken with vegetable sauté and chopped fresh basil (or Italian parsley)