The Secret’s in the Breading!
Everyone loves Chicken Parmesan! Whether it’s on a sub or on a plate of spaghetti, it’s delicious in every way! Unfortunately for us keto-ers, an order or chicken parm from our local pizzeria or Italian restaurant usually means trouble. From the sub or spaghetti to the breading and even the tomato sauce, you’ll find carbs all over this dish. What is a keto eating, chicken parm lover to do?!
The hidden carbs in the breading and tomato sauce are what we need to watch out for. Tomatoes are fruits that are high in sugar (not as high as, say, bananas, but nevertheless high). Their sauces are often full of added sugar as well, sometimes upwards of 10 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup, depending on the brand. It is incredible how many carbs are hidden inside a jar of tomato sauce! Ketchup alone is usually cut out of a low carb diet because of all the sugar that it can add to meals. A tablespoon of ketchup alone has 5 grams of carbs! Who knew those tomatoes could be so dangerous.
We love using Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce in most of our Italian/pizza/tomato sauce dishes. It’s low in sugar, has real, pronounceable ingredients and tastes great. It is on the expensive side, but we’ve found it more affordable to buy in bulk at BJ’s!
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The Secret to the Keto Breading
Now onto the breading! Traditional chicken parm is covered in a crispy outer breading. This alone can add 20-30 grams of carbs to your day, and that’s not including the pasta or bread that may come with it! We’ve got a way to fix that 🙂
We’ve experimented in the past with ways of breading chicken and fish to add a bit of different texture to it. We’ve used almond flour, coconut flour, Parmesan cheese and other forms of “crumbs” to achieve the texture of traditional breading. They were all close but had their downfalls. For example, almond flour peeled right off our baked chicken time and time again. However, we have finally found the perfect ingredient for breading chicken.
Enter: pork rinds.
Crushed up pork rinds make for an amazing breading! They add the much-needed crunch and texture we were looking for! We figured about a 1/2 oz of pork rinds per chicken breast as well as a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese crushed up in a NutriBullet would work well. And it did!
Our “breading” baked up into a lovely, crispy, golden-brown crust and stayed put- we were able to cut the chicken breast as any normal breading would allow. It could’ve fooled anyone!
Make this even more authentic by cooking up some spaghetti squash to go with your low carb chicken parmesan!
- 1 oz pork rinds
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Crush up pork rinds and Parmesan cheese in a food processor or Magic Bullet. Pour out your "breading" into a shallow dish for later. Don't blend for too long, the mixture will become wet, you want it coarsely crumbed/ground.
- Lay some cling wrap over the chicken breasts (to avoid splatter) and pound them until they are an even 1/2 inch.
- This is to ensure the chicken is cooked evenly, without the edges being too dry and the middles being under-cooked.
- Beat an egg in a bowl and set it next to the "breading". Submerge one chicken breast at a time into the egg wash.
- Then press it firmly onto the breading dish, covering all sides well.
- Place the chicken breasts onto an oiled baking sheet and season the tops with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. You should see a golden brown crust forming.
- Take the chicken breasts out of the oven and pour marinara sauce over each one.
- Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and place back in the oven for 15 more minutes so that the chicken finishes cooking and the cheese melts nicely.
- Once time's up, serve immediately with some spaghetti squash, zoodles or a bed of spinach! Enjoy!
Loved this recipe? Let us know! Something didn’t quite turn out right? Ask us in the comments below or contact us– we respond to comments every day and would love to hear from you and help you out! And check out all our low carb dinner recipes to learn to make more delicious and healthy meals!
The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.
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I made this and enjoyed it. Thanks.
My dish came out perfect, thank you for the delicious recipe!
Made this dish tasted amazing
This is absolutely delicious! The rest of my family has their usual chicken parm and I made this. It is wonderful!
I also tried breading a pork chop this same way and it was just as tasty! Thanks for the great tip.
Wow! it looks so delicious and beautiful too! Keep sharing!
I’m in UK and the pork rinds I used went squishy and wet almost straight away and I had trouble coating the chicken evenly. Would you recommend getting better quality from a butcher or am I doing it wrong?
It’s cooking as I type this so I’ve no idea how it’ll turn out! (I’m sure it’s still going to be great)
No need to get them at the butcher! We used regular pork rinds in a bag that cost us only 1 or 2 USD. Are you sure they were fresh? Let us know how it turned out, we’d love to help!
I cooked this for dinner tonight! It was delicious! My husband liked it also! This recipe is a keeper for sure!
Just thought I’d pipe up since I used to be so confused by the essential “pork rind” and had no idea how to get my hands on them here down-under. Turns out that’s because we call them Pork Crackle chips, and you find them in all sorts of flavours in the chip and snack isle with the nuts and popcorn. I’ve used Nobbys Original and BBQ flavoured and they both work amazingly ^_^
P.s I have made this amazing recipe a dozen times – it is my go-to when I have non-Keto friends come over. They love it and so do I!!
Whoops! This comment was for the person above! For Layla.
We just had this last night for Christmas dinner and it was amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe!
Glad to hear it, Heather!
My husband does not eat pork products. What can I substitute for the pork rinds?
Sorry Judy, the pork rinds are essential to this recipe. You can try coating the chicken with just parmesan but it won’t be as crunchy.
I place raw almonds in a food processor and chop just till crumbles then I stir in shredded Parmesan cheese. This works great for me whether I bake or fry chicken. I use this combination on top of casseroles too.
Use quest protein chips that’s what I did. Turned out great, low card and tasted great.
I have been doing low carb eating since 2003, and this was, hands down, the best low carb recipe I have ever made. So incredibly tasty. My wife was also blown away by how good it was. The pork rind breading is nothing short of genius. And my suggestion? Definitely use the best marinara possible. For me, that was Rao’s. Besides being low in sugar, it’s an awesome flavor sauce. I live in NYC where Rao’s restaurant is. It’s an almost impossible restaurant to get into because it is so popular. So enjoy it in a bottle!
That’s so great to hear, Brian! I’m glad you and your family enjoyed it so much 🙂
I tried it & its incredible!!