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Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti Squash

Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti SquashThe trick to a crisp but healthy Parmigiana is “bake-frying.” Canola oil is ideal to bake-fry breaded chicken in a very hot oven because of its high heat tolerance (smoke point 468°F/242°C). Using spaghetti squash instead of angel hair pasta provides four times fewer calories per cup (174 versus 42 calories).

Recipe by Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D.N.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup whole grain flour
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large egg, whisked
4 chicken breasts (3 ounces each), pounded until uniform thickness/about 1/2-inch
Canola oil cooking spray
2 cups your favorite marinara sauce
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Brush squash with canola oil and place squash flesh side down on baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes or until squash is tender.
  3. While squash is baking, combine flour and oregano in shallow bowl. In second shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs with pepper. In third bowl, add whisked egg.
  4. Dip chicken into flour mixture, then egg, then bread crumbs, shake off excess with each step.
  5. Mist breaded chicken with canola oil cooking spray on both sides and place on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, top with marinara and Parmesan cheese and bake additional 15 minutes until heated and cheese is melted.
  6. Once squash is cooled, pull fork through flesh, creating spaghetti-like strands.
  7. Serve chicken on top of spaghetti squash and sprinkle with fresh basil.

Makes 4 servings. Serving size: 3 ounces chicken and 1 cup spaghetti squash.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe): Calories 400; Total Fat 10g; Saturated Fat 2.5g; Cholesterol 125mg; Sodium 360mg; Potassium 580mg; Carbohydrates 40g; Fiber 7g; Sugars 11g; Protein 37g.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of