Healthier Chicken Parmigiana

This healthier take on the classic Chicken Parmy is actually a hybrid of Bill Granger’s Chicken Parmigiana and Joe Wicks’ Chicken and Parmesan Melts and if I say so myself, it’s a winner, winner chicken dinner.

I know what you’re thinking, my savoury recipes are like buses. You wait ages for one and then two come along at once! However, this recipe is just too good not to share.

Bill’s passing in December was such a shock and affected me deeply. He was my first Aussie chef crush and he was taken way too soon.

After I heard the news, I immediately pulled my copy of Bill’s Basics off the shelf and decided to cook one of his recipes. I settled on the chicken parmy because I loved Bill’s oven baked twist on the pub classic and this pic was my first attempt way back in January. The recipe for and the photos of this dish have evolved somewhat since then!

Joe Wicks is another one of my favourites – in many ways he reminds of Bill, a sunny side up kind of guy! I love watching him cooking on Instagram, his recipes are always fresh, flavoursome and most importantly for me, quick and easy.

My two favourites make a very similar parmy except that Joe cooks his chicken in the pan and under the grill and Bill pops his into the oven. I’m ashamed to say when I first made this I’d lived in this house for nearly 9 months and still hadn’t used the grill, I was so much more au fait with my oven. Since then I have indeed used the grill (for other recipes) but even so I still like to make this dish in the oven. Sorry, Joe!

While the pan and grill method of cooking might be quicker, I find the oven baking much more reliable, you can bet your bottom dollar that the chicken will be perfectly cooked and while the chook is in the oven you can go off and do something more interesting instead – bonus!

While this dish doesn’t scream healthy, it’s definitely healthier than a regular parmy and dare I say, a whole lot more delicious too!

We’ve been making this on the regular and love it so much that we’ve started to make it when we’re entertaining too. It’s a simple but delicious meal and great for sharing with friends.

Do you have a favourite celebrity chef? Have you got a healthy twist on a traditional recipe?

Serves 2 (easily doubled)


2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 x 200g chicken breasts

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

50g fresh mozzarella, sliced

25g (1/4 cup) parmesan, grated

10 pitted kalamata olives (optional)

a handful of torn basil leaves

spinach and rocket leaves, to serve

crusty bread, to serve

How to

  1. Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of cling film on a chopping board. Using a rolling pin or meat mallet if you have one, bash the chicken until it’s about 1cm thick all over. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat half the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and cook, stirring for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and cook for about 15 minutes until the oil rises to the surface and the sauce reduces and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives and the basil.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large non stick frying pan over a high heat.
  5. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden and then transfer to a baking dish.
  6. Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken, top with mozzarella and sprinkle over the parmesan. Drizzle with a touch more olive oil.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  8. Serve with green salad and some crusty bread.