Enjoy the taste of a crispy keto chicken parmesan at home with this quick and easy recipe that is full of flavor and guilt-free.
At only 4.3 net carbs per serving, we’ve simplified this chicken parmesan so that you can have an amazing dinner ready in under 30 minutes!
The whole family will love this traditional recipe of baked parmesan chicken that’s just like the one at your favorite Italian restaurant. It’s a delicious meal that’s perfect for your low-carb diet, keto diet, or high-protein diet.
Is chicken parmesan keto?
At restaurants, you’ll find traditional chicken parm (or chicken parmigiana) fried and breaded with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese covering it. While delicious, it is full of carbs and added sugars.
For this easy healthy recipe, you’ll still get to enjoy crispy chicken just without the breading or grain. Pair this chicken with a side of zoodles (zucchini noodles) are you have an easy-to-make delicious dinner that will impress anyone whether they are on the keto diet or not!
So how do you get crispy keto chicken parmesan? The trick is to coat your chicken in a layer of grated parmesan cheese instead of bread crumbs.
The chicken parm crust will crisp up nice and won’t get soggy when you add your marinara on top. I’ve found this works much nicer than crushed pork rinds or any other low carb substitutions.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this low carb chicken parmesan:
- chicken breasts – each chicken breast will serve two people since you will be slicing the chicken in half.
- freshly grated parmesan cheese – you can also try a parmesan cheese mixture with other hard cheeses.
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
- marinara sauce – make a homemade sauce or opt for a delicious no-sugar-added store-bought sauce.
- mozzarella cheese – shredded or sliced
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
See the keto chicken parmesan recipe card below for quantities and nutritional information.
How to prepare your chicken
Prepping your chicken is key to having an evenly cooked keto chicken parmesan when baking it in the oven. You want your chicken to have an even thickness but be thin. A few minutes of prep goes a long way to a great meal.
To prep the chicken breast you will want to slice each breast in half along the length to make two thinner pieces. Place your knife along the thickest edge of your chicken breast and slice across towards the thinnest section.
After you’ve sliced your chicken place the chicken piece between two sheets of baking parchment paper or kitchen plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken until it is an even thickness, about ½ inch thick.
Be sure to pound your chicken one piece at a time. Then salt and pepper and season the chicken if desired.
How to coat chicken parmesan
Now that your chicken is prepped you are ready to coat and bake your keto chicken parmesan. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Pour the olive oil into a large baking pan so that the bottom is completely covered. Set aside.
To make the coating, start by cracking your eggs into a medium bowl and mixing it with a fork to create an egg bath. In a separate bowl mix together the shredded parmesan cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Take a piece of chicken and dip it in the egg bath (egg mixture) so that is completely covered. Then dip that chicken into the seasoned parmesan cheese mixture. Gently press the chicken into the parmesan cheese so that it sticks to the chicken. Then turn it over and do it to the other side.
Repeat until each piece of chicken is coated. Make sure the sides are coated too!
Baking keto chicken parmesan
Place your coated chicken into a prepared baking pan (or casserole dish) with the oil at the bottom. Be sure to leave a little space between each chicken breast so they aren’t touching.
Bake your chicken in the hot oven on the top rack for 15-17 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 74°C/165°F. Then turn the oven to broil (grill) to let the chicken crisp on each side for 2-3 minutes
Remove the golden brown baked crispy chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 spoonfuls of marinara sauce over each chicken breast and then top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven under the broiler (grill) for another 1-3 minutes to allow the mozzarella cheese to melt. Remove from the oven and serve.
Hint: My chicken breasts ended up being huge so I had to use two baking pans to bake my chicken. That’s ok, just be sure to add olive oil to the bottom of each pan.
Air fryer keto chicken parmesan recipe
To cook keto parmesan chicken in the air fryer you follow all the steps but instead of placing your crumbed chicken into the casserole dish, you place each piece into the aur fryer basket. There must be at least 1 inch on all sides to allow the heat to circulate and air fry evenly.
- Preheat your air fryer to 180C/350F.
- Make the crumbed chicken following the recipe card below.
- Ensure there is plenty of space between the pieces of chicken and the side of the basket.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of your air fryer basket and the size of your chicken pieces.
- Flip each pice over with silicon kitchen tongs.
- Add the marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and cook for another 3 minutes.
If you are missing an ingredient for this keto chicken parmesan recipe you can find a few substitution recommendations below.
- Italian Seasoning – use Italian herbs such as ½ teaspoon of dried basil, parsley, and oregano instead. Add a pinch of sage or rosemary if desired. Minced garlic is delicious too.
- Parmesan Cheese – use almond flour instead. Add some salt and pepper to your breading so that you aren’t losing any flavor.
- Vegetarian – the chicken can be replaced with thick slices of eggplant to make eggplant parmesan. Be sure to salt your eggplant and let it sit for several minutes to draw moisture out of the veggie. Then pat it dry before coating. Your cooking time will be the same.
Keep in mind that substitutions and changes to your ingredients will also change the carb count and national facts for this recipe.
Make this keto chicken parmesan fit your tastes and lifestyle. Maybe you like things spicy or want to make it easier for your kids to enjoy. Check out some recommendations below for ways really make this recipe stand out.
- Spicy – add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, chili flakes, or red pepper flakes to your parmesan cheese coating.
- Stuffed – stuff your chicken with slices of cheese, fresh herbs, tomato, or even bacon.
- Kid-friendly – cut your chicken into strips or use chicken cutlets before coating and baking so that they are easier for kids to eat. Keep the marinara on the side to allow them to dip their chicken.
- Keto chicken parmesan casserole – place your breaded chicken breasts or chicken thighs in a casserole dish, allowing the chicken breast pieces piece to touch. Pour the marinara sauce over the top with th mozzarella cheese. Cover the casserole dish (baking sheet or sheet pan) with foil and bake. Remove the foil for the final 10 minutes of cooking time to allow the cheese and sauce to create a crispy crust.
See this recipe on my website for a homemade sugar-free marinara sauce!
To make this recipe you will need a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound, tenderize, and even out the thickness of your chicken. While you can skip this step in the recipe, I highly recommend that you don’t. It is key to an evenly cooked chicken.
When baking your chicken I recommend using a deep baking pan or a deep sheet pan, not a shallow cookie sheet. The bottom of your pan will be covered in a bit of oil while baking to essentially fry your chicken.
While I didn’t have issues with oil splashing. Just in case you want any oil splashes to be contained in your pan. So a deeper pan is ideal.
Storage and reheating
Cooked keto chicken parmesan can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Since there are no bread crumbs used you don’t have to worry about the chicken getting soggy like you normally would.
To reheat your chicken place it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or in the oven on the top rack for 5-7 minutes at 200C/400F. You can also reheat your chicken in the air fryer if you have one.
If you are using a jarred marinara sauce splurge on a good quality delicious sauce if you can. A delicious sauce is important for great flavor.
You won’t be using the entire jar of marinara sauce for this recipe so the leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen in your ice cube tray to make this keto chicken parmesan again next week.
Best keto side dishes to serve with chicken
There are so many delicious low-carb and keto side dishes to serve with chicken. Chicken is a versatile family-friendly dinner and so you need to choose quick and easy healthy side dishes the whole family will love.
Here are some of my favorite keto side dishes to serve with chicken.
Yes, parmesan cheese is extremely keto-friendly! One ounce of this hard cheese is under a gram of carbs and also offers 11 grams of satiating protein.
This dish has a surprising amount of names! Whether you call it chicken parmesan, parmesan chicken, chicken parm, or the elevated-sounding chicken parmigiana, it’s all the same delicious thing. A golden brown grated parmesan cheese coating with a marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Traditional chicken parmesan uses chicken breats, but you can use chicken thigh or chicken tenders.
Instead of using parmesan cheese you could use 1 cup of almond flour or 1 cup of crushed pork rinds. All these crumbed coatings are naturally gluten-free and low-carb.
Yes. Add some oil to a skillet or frying pan and place chicken gently down and and cook over a medium heat. Pan frying can often remove some of the egg wash and parmesan mixture so you want to prevent touching or moving each piece too much. Flip half way through cooking to make sure the chicken is golden brown on both sides.
Always read the nutrition labels to ensure your pasta sauce has no added sugars. Tomatoes and tomato sauce has natural sugars that cannot be avoided, but the ingredients on the food label should not have any of these names of sugars added.