Our low carb Keto Chicken Parmesan tastes just like you would get at your favorite Italian restaurant, but healthier for you! Light and crispy while still juicy on the inside. Smothered in tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, this easy keto chicken parmesan is going to be a must-have recipe added to your collection.
When I’m at an Italian restaurant the first thing I always tend to look for on the menu is chicken parmesan and pasta. The thing about it is it normally also comes with a side of pasta…so my dinner selection is made. And honestly, you can’t ever go wrong with chicken parm, it’s such a comfort food.
When you are eating a low carb diet, you tend to think that those comfort foods just aren’t possible anymore. But that’s not the case. There are so many things that I consider to be comfort foods that I can still make while just tweaking a recipe or thinking more outside of the box.
Take mac and cheese or mashed potatoes, so we can’t do regular pasta or potatoes but give our Cauliflower Mac and Cheese or Garlic Keto Mashed Potatoes a try and that sense of “comfort food” will come right back into your vocabulary.
This recipe for Low Carb Chicken Parmesan was really easy to tweak. By simply replacing breadcrumbs with almond flour you will still get a crispy coating for your chicken. Once pan-fried you would never even know that it’s not real breadcrumbs.
I look forward to hearing your comments and reviews!
What is Chicken Parmesan?
Chicken Parmesan or what some people call just Chicken Parm is a popular Italian-American dish that you will find at most Italian restaurants in America.
The classic version of chicken parmesan is breaded chicken breasts, then pan-fried and topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. No, it doesn’t get better than that!
Is Chicken Parmesan Really Italian?
So contrary to what everyone believes, the classic Italian Chicken Parmesan is not actually from Italy. I was surprised when my sister in law from Italy told me…but it’s true! Chicken parm was originally created in the United States and became popular among the Italian-American communities.
The Italian immigrants created the dish and then it became conceived as an authentic Italian dish. But even though it technically wasn’t created in Italy, it’s inspiration comes from the true authentic Italian dish…Eggplant Parmigiana, or as the Italians say Mellenzana alla Parmigiana.
Eggplant parmesan is made pretty much the exact same way as chicken parmesan, but apparently, chicken was used in the United States because restaurant owners noticed that Americans preferred meat over eggplant, immigrants had higher-paying jobs so they could afford it, and eggplant just wasn’t a super popular veggie at the time.
Is there a difference between Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Parmigiana? No, there’s really no difference between the two. In most places, Chicken Parmigiana has just been simplified to Chicken Parmesan.
What Part of the Chicken is Best for Chicken Parm?
What’s the best type of chicken to use for making chicken parm? Chicken parmesan is made from chicken breasts. Just regular chicken breasts. You don’t want super thin cutlets but you also don’t want them super thick.
I like to buy mine from Costco, you can get a big package for a great price and keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to turn them into delicious chicken parmesan.
Is Chicken Parmesan Low Carb/Keto?
Normal chicken parmesan is not considered to be low carb or Keto due to the breadcrumbs coating the chicken cutlets. But our chicken parmesan is definitely low carb because it’s coated in almond flour and not breadcrumbs.
To give you an idea of the difference:
1 cup of almond flour has about 8 grams Net Carbs per cup compared to 1 cup of regular bread crumbs which has anywhere from 60-70 grams of Net Carbs per cup. What a difference right?
Here’s another example for you:
Regular Chicken Parmesan has anywhere from 20-40 NET Carbs per piece, depending on where you get it from.
Our easy Keto Chicken Parmesan has only 5.5 NET Carbs per piece. That’s quite a difference and means you can eat way more for the same carbs.
Is Parmesan Cheese Keto-Friendly?
Parmesan cheese is an excellent choice while on a keto diet. Some cheese have different carb contents and some may be a bit higher than others. But parmesan is one that is very low in carbs.
- 1 OZ Parmesan Cheese – 1.2 NET CARBS
- 1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese – 0.2 NET CARBS
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese – 4 NET CARBS
Is Chicken Parmesan Healthy? How Many Calories?
This easy chicken parmesan is a pretty healthy dish. It consists of chicken breasts coated in almond flour, topped with tomato sauce, and some mozzarella cheese. Now it is fried in some olive oil, but to make it even healthier you can just bake it, keep in mind it won’t get as crispy though.
For one serving of our keto chicken, it is only 550 calories. Add some veggies with it and your meal can still stay under 700 calories.
What Ingredients are in Keto Chicken Parmesan?
Chicken breasts – For this recipe, I used 6 chicken breasts. There were 3 large chicken breasts, so I just cut them in half.
Almond Flour & Parmesan Cheese – The combo of the two is used for the coating. Now if you can’t do any dairy then just use almond flour.
Eggs – You need eggs to coat the chicken in before you coat it in the almond flour mixture.
Spices – Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Tomato Sauce – I used my homemade sauce that we usually keep in the freezer. But you can use a jar of sauce instead, just make sure the sugar is low to keep the carbs down.
Mozzarella – 2 cups of shredded mozzarella
Can I Make Keto Chicken Parm Without Almond Flour? No Breadcrumbs?
If you have a nut allergy and can’t use almond flour you still can make this low carb chicken parmesan. Instead, you have 3 options:
- Pork Rinds – crushed up pork rinds make a great option for coating the chicken.
- Parmesan Cheese – Shredded parmesan cheese makes a super quick and easy alternative and is super delicious.
- Combo of both – you can use both pork rinds and parmesan cheese. It is a great mix with the crunchiness of the pork rinds and rich taste of parmesan cheese.
Can I Make Chicken Parm Without Eggs?
If you have an egg allergy then instead of dredging each piece of chicken in egg, you can brush the chicken breast in either melted butter or olive oil, then dip in the almond flour mixture. You also could brush them in either sour cream or plain greek yogurt.
Now if you don’t have an egg allergy but you just happen to run out of eggs, then brushing them with mayonnaise is also an option. Avoid mayonnaise if you have an egg allergy unless you use a vegan brand.
What Cheeses Can I Use?
Chicken Parmesan is a superb combination of gooey mozzarella and salty parmesan. For best results use freshly grated mozzarella and not the prepackaged stuff. Using freshly grated mozzarella will melt better and honestly tastes better. You can buy a fresh block of mozzarella in your grocery store, located in the specialty cheese section.
In the same specialty cheese section, you will find a fresh block of Parmesan cheese. Grab a block…trust me you’ll want it! Grate it using a standing box grater. It may be a little more work, but it’s worth the effort.
What is the Best Tomato Sauce for Chicken Parm?
I’m not going to lie, the best tomato sauce is definitely homemade! I don’t have the recipe for our homemade tomato sauce yet but I promise I will get it to you guys soon. If you have your own recipe for sauce then go ahead and use it. If not, then use a jar of sauce but make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar to it.
Tomatoes have their own natural sugar which is fine, but you don’t need any extra added in. That will only increase the carbs, which is not what we want.
You also could make your own quick 5 minutes sauce if you are in a pinch.
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Combine all ingredients to a pot and stir over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, turn down to low heat. Let simmer until you are ready to use it.
Is This Recipe Kid-Friendly?
Talking to one of my friends she told me how picky her kids were when they were little and they really didn’t like anything new. But apparently chicken parmesan was the exception to the rule, they loved their chicken parmesan she made for them and it has been an all time favorite of theirs since.
So even if you have little ones who are picky eaters, give this Keto chicken parmesan recipe a try. Now, of course, knowing kids, they might eat the cheese first by itself and then go back for the chicken…but hey whatever works for them.
Do I Need to Cut The Chicken Breasts in Half?
So it really depends on how thick your chicken breast is to start with. If you are using thick chicken breasts then you definitely need to cut them in half. I believe they are called Chicken Halves. Costco sells them and probably most grocery stores as well. They can be as thick at 2” or sometimes even more. That’s way too thick, so cutting them is necessary.
If you purchase these chicken halves, then place the chicken breast on a cutting board and slice through the middle of the breast as if you are going to butterfly the chicken, but cut all the way through to make two equal pieces.
If you buy regular chicken breasts then you probably don’t need to cut them. You want your chicken breasts to be about ½”-1” per slice.
Should I Pound the Chicken Flat?
Pounding my chicken isn’t something I tend to do. I can cut my chicken breasts in half pretty evenly so I don’t find it necessary to pound them out. But I know a lot of people who do prefer pounding their chicken out.
Some people say the benefit of pounding them out is that you will leave the meat more tender and will make the thickness more uniform which will allow the chicken to cook evenly. I personally don’t find a difference in tenderness from pounding or not pounding, but that just might be me.
If you would like to pound the chicken flat here’s what to do: Place 2 chicken breasts at a time in a gallon size Ziploc freezer bag. Use the smooth side of the meat mallet and start pounding the chicken. You don’t want to beat it death…but just enough that it looks like an even thickness all around.
Now if you don’t own a meat mallet, then use the bottom of a small saucepan. That will easily do the trick as well.
What Temperature Do You Bake Chicken Parmesan At?
Whether you are frying your chicken first then baking them for a few minutes, or you are just baking them the whole time, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. That will help to ensure your chicken is nice and crispy. If you like it extra crispy then finish it under the broiler for a minute or two.
How Long Do You Bake Chicken Parmesan In The Oven?
Let’s talk about 2 ways of baking your easy chicken parmesan and exactly how long you need to bake them.
- Pan-Fried first – One option is to pan-fry them first so they are fully cooked before baking them. Then transfer to a baking tray. Coat with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and starting to brown.
- Baked in the oven (not fried first) – Place the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with foil and brush the foil with some olive oil. Place the prepared chicken onto the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Then flip chicken breasts over, cover with tomato sauce and top with cheese. Place back in the oven, and turn the broiler on to high. Broil for about 2-4 minutes watching carefully.
How to Make Keto Chicken Parmesan
Let’s get ready to make some delicious homemade low carb chicken parmesan. It’s really not that complicated at all, just follow our instructions below on how to make Keto Chicken Parmesan:
Preparing the Chicken
This is the part where if you have thick pieces of chicken you need to cut them in half, lengthwise. Then set the chicken aside.
Get 2 bowls and in one of them, place 2 eggs and whisk thoroughly.
In the other bowl place the almond flour, parmesan cheese, and the spices. Stir them together.
Breading the Chicken
Start by dipping each piece of chicken into the egg wash, then transfer to the almond flour. Make sure to coat the entire chicken breast.
Once each piece has been coated move them over to a tray while you finish coating all the rest.
Frying the Chicken
Place a large frying pan on the stove and pour in olive oil, turn the heat on medium-high. Let sit for about 2 minutes until the oil is hot.
Place 2-3 pieces of chicken into the oil at a time, you don’t want to overcrowd the pieces.
Cook for about 2-3 minutes each or until crispy then flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Once the chicken is done, transfer them to a plate, while you are finishing cooking the rest of the chicken. Make sure to place down some paper towels which will help absorb any excess grease.
Grab your baking dish and coat the bottom with a thin layer of tomato sauce. This way the chicken won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Place the chicken in the pan. Spoon the tomato sauce over each piece of chicken. I like to cover each piece completely but if you like your chicken parm on the crispier side, use less tomato sauce.
Then cover the chicken with mozzarella cheese.
Place in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and starting to crisp.
Best Tips for Making Low Carb Chicken Parmesan
Here are some tips that will help your Keto chicken parm come out perfect each time…
- Using a non-stick pan will prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
- Costco has chicken breast halves you can purchase and cut them in half lengthwise.
- Don’t buy thin-sliced chicken cutlets, it will be way too thin.
- If you chose to pound the chicken, use the smooth side of the meat mallet, or use the bottom of a small saucepan.
- I try to use my left hand to coat the chicken in egg and my right hand to coat it in almond flour mixture, that way my hands and the flour mixture doesn’t get too gummy.
- Wait to add the chicken to the oil until it gets hot. You want it to start crisping up right away.
- Cook chicken on each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Grate fresh parmesan and mozzarella, it’s much better.
- Homemade tomato sauce is always my go-to, but a jar of sauce will work too.
- Make sure the tomato sauce doesn’t have any added sugar.
- I like to use a glass baking dish for my chicken parmesan, but a regular baking tray will work just as well.
- Broil for a minute or two to get the cheese crispy. Watch it though, it will burn very quickly.
How to Make Chicken Parmesan Crispy
Making your chicken parmesan crispy is pretty easy. First of all, pan-frying it first will give you a great crispy piece of chicken rather than just baking it.
If you want it to be crispy, use less tomato sauce when covering each piece. The tomato sauce will soak into the breading and make it moister.
Then once it’s been baking in the oven for a few minutes, turn the broiler on high. It only needs a minute or two, but the cheese will get nice and crispy, which is how I always prefer mine.
Different Variations of Keto Chicken Parm
Just because we make Keto chicken parmesan more the traditional way doesn’t mean that you can’t mix things up and add a twist here and there. Try these variations:
- Baking it without frying it first will make it a little bit lighter since there isn’t any olive oil.
- Instead of mozzarella on top, you could use thin slices of provolone cheese.
- Combo of mozzarella and provolone would be good as well.
Can I Bake Low Carb Chicken Parmesan Without Frying It?
Breading your low carb chicken parmesan and putting it right into the oven is what I like to call “Lazy Chicken Parm.” But honestly some days you just need a lazy kind of recipe.
Baked Low Carb Chicken Parmesan:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking tray with foil. Brush the foil with olive oil.
- Place the chicken onto the tray and bake for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
- Flip each chicken breast over, and cover with tomato sauce and then top with cheese.
- Place back into the oven, and turn the broiler on to high. Broil for about 2-4 minutes, making sure to watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.
Can I Use An Air Fryer To Make Chicken Parm?
If you have an air-fryer you can also make chicken parm that way instead of traditional frying or baking in the oven.
You can only cook about 2 pieces of chicken at a time, so if you are only making it for you and your spouse, then this is a great way. But if you are making several pieces, you might find it a lot faster to cook in the oven.
- Preheat the air-fryer to 400 degrees.
- Spray the coated chicken with an olive oil cooking spray.
- Place two chicken breasts in the basket in a single layer, and cook for 7 minutes.
- Flip the chicken breasts over, top with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Fry for another 3-4 minutes,
- Set aside and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
Other Diets This Recipe is Good For
Gluten-Free: Because this recipe is made with almond flour instead of regular bread crumbs, it makes it completely gluten-free. It can be hard at times finding gluten-free recipes for some of our old favorites, but I’m happy to report that this low carb chicken parmesan is one I am able to give you.
What Can I Serve with Chicken Parmesan?
But just because you are eating low carb, doesn’t mean that you can’t have some other amazing sides to go with it. Traditionally chicken parmesan is served alongside some type of pasta or noodle.
We have some other low carb ideas for you that go perfect with chicken parm:
- Miracle Noodles, or Pasta Zero (Shirataki Spaghetti)
- Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Spaghetti Squash
- Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- Green Toss Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Keto Dinner Rolls
How to Store Chicken Parmesan
Once you have cooked and eaten your keto chicken parmesan, what should you do with the leftovers? First thing is first, you should make extra so you have leftovers. It makes for an easy lunch you can just heat up the next day.
The best way to store chicken parmesan is to place the chicken in either an airtight container and place it in the fridge or place in a small baking dish and cover with foil and place in the fridge.
Leftovers should last about 2-3 days. I don’t like to leave chicken longer than that, because I feel like it goes bad before beef does.
Meal-Prepping Chicken Parmesan
Does anyone else out there live a busy life?? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes for every single one of you. Leading a busy life is very typical these days, but something to help lighten the load is meal prepping.
This chicken parmesan recipe is a great meal prep idea and easy to do. Just follow these instructions and you’ll have lots of ready-made meals.
- Coat the chicken with the egg and almond flour mixtures.
- Place in a Ziploc freezer bag, and bake them whenever you’re ready.
Since the chicken breasts will be frozen when you decide to cook them, they will need a little extra baking time, and turn the temperature down to about 350-375. You want to give them enough time to cook without burning the breading.
How to Reheat Chicken Parm
Reheating your leftover chicken is easy. There are three ways you can do it that are all ok to do.
- You can pop it back into the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.
- Microwave it for about 60-90 seconds.
- Place it on a tray in your toaster oven, at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
I’m not going to lie, when I’ve been really desperate and starving and apparently too impatient to wait 90 seconds while it heats in the microwave, I’ve eaten this chicken cold several times. And it’s actually pretty good!
Can You Freeze Chicken Parmesan?
I mentioned up above that when meal prepping you can easily freeze the chicken breasts once it’s been coated but not cooked yet. But you also can freeze baked chicken parmesan once it’s been fully cooked as well.
Something to keep in mind when freezing it is that the chicken may not be as crispy once frozen and reheated. But it’s still very good!
To freeze your chicken parmesan, place the chicken in freezer-friendly containers (glass or plastic), or you can place it into a Ziploc freezer bag.
To thaw, place in the fridge or leave out on the counter for a little while. Then place on a baking tray and put into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
More Keto Chicken Recipes
If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Chicken recipes then try our:
They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next party!Print
Our low carb Keto Chicken Parmesan tastes just like it does at your favorite Italian restaurant. The breading is light and crispy while keeping the chicken juicy on the inside.
Smothered in tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, this easy keto chicken parmesan is a must-have recipe in your collection.
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, 6 pieces
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil, for frying
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- If your chicken is too thick, cut them in half lengthwise, like you are butterflying the breast, but cut all the way through. Set aside.
- In one bowl add the eggs, and whisk them. In another bowl place the almond flour, parmesan cheese, and all the spice. Stir together.
- Start by dipping each chicken breast into the egg wash, then transfer to the bowl of almond flour. Make sure to coat the entire chicken breast. Once each piece has been coated move over to a tray while you finish coating the remaining pieces.
- Place a large frying pan on the stove and pour in olive oil, turn heat on medium high. Let sit for about 2 minutes until the oil is hot. Place 2-3 pieces of chicken into the oil at a time.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until crispy, then flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Once the chicken is done, transfer it to a plate while you finish cooking the remaining pieces.
- On the bottom of a baking dish, coat with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Place the chicken in the pan, then cover with sauce and top with cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and starting to crisp. Broil for a minute or two if needed.
5.5 NET CARBS PER PIECE
Using a non-stick pan will prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
Costco has chicken breast halves you can purchase and cut them in half lengthwise.
Don’t buy thin-sliced chicken cutlets, it will be way too thin.
If you chose to pound the chicken, use the smooth side of the meat mallet, or use the bottom of a small saucepan.
Wait to add the chicken to the oil until it gets hot. You want it to start crisping up right away.
Grate fresh parmesan and mozzarella, it’s much better.
Make sure the tomato sauce doesn’t have any added sugar.
I like to use a glass baking dish for my chicken parmesan, but a regular baking tray will work just as well.
Broil for a minute or two to get the cheese crispy. Watch it though, it will burn very quickly.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
- Category: Main Courses
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
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