Baked Chicken Parmesan
I love going “home” to visit my family. They live only an hour away, so I try to get there as often as I can…especially when my grandpa is cooking on Sundays. I grew up eating big Italian lunches on Sundays, waking up to smells of onions, garlic and tomatoes simmering in the kitchen. Oh…heaven. I hope to carry on the tradition of big family meals on Sundays, but my reality right now is not there just yet. I don’t always have the time to spend making sauce and meatballs, and the kids are not really at the age to appreciate the effort either. Since both sides of our family aren’t close enough to join us for meals on the weekends, it’s usually just the four of us and it’s usually something quick and easy. Big Sunday lunches are still a work in progress for us.
There is nothing more comforting than my grandpa’s cooking. Boy do I miss living doors down from my grandparents and eating with them almost everyday. One of my favorite things (it’s hard to even think of picking a favorite) that my Nonno makes is Chicken Parmesan. Everything about it perfect. The chicken is so thin and tender you can cut it with a fork, and of course there is nothing like his homemade sauce.
This is not my grandpa’s Chicken Parmesan, but it’s still good. It’s actually really good, especially for a night when you don’t have too much time to spend on dinner but are craving some Italian comfort food. It’s probably a little healthier too since I go light on the olive oil and cheese. I love adding the pine nuts into the breadcrumbs for another layer of flavor that you don’t normally get with traditional chicken parmesan. Convenience items like canned diced tomatoes and shredded cheese make this dinner something you can treat yourself to on a busy weeknight. Make it even easier on your self for next time and double the recipe (without the tomatoes) and freeze the extra baked cutlets.
Baked Chicken Parmesan
Recipe by Aggie
1.5 lbs chicken breasts, pounded
Salt and Pepper
1/2 – 3/4 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
small palm full of garlic powder
1 or 2 cans of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes (depending on how saucy you want your chicken)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
shredded part skim Mozzarella cheese
drizzle of olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Take chicken and place between saran wrap and pound into thin cutlets, about 1/4-1/2″ thick. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a baking dish, mix together bread crumbs, chopped pine nuts, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Press chicken cutlets into bread crumb mixture until coated.
Drizzle olive oil onto baking sheet. Place coated chicken cutlets onto baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil before placing in oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Top with diced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
Serve with sauteed vegetables for an easy and healthful dinner.
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