Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan Bites

Crispy Chicken Parmesan Bites

There have been recipes that I’ve carefully planned, tweaked and experimented with, and failed – time and time again – to get right.

So frustrating.

To take perfectly edible and delicious (and increasingly more expensive!) ingredients and work and toil and turn them into something… less.

But then I’ll stumble on the saving grace.

The recipe I improvise – with what I happen to find in the fridge – that tastes absolutely delicious and perfect without any effort at all.

These crispy baked chicken parmesan bites are one of those random strokes of luck.

I happened to have cubed chicken in the fridge…

Crispy-Baked-Chicken-Parmesan-Bites

So I just threw this recipe together.

It was a lazy day when I didn’t feel like cooking (or washing a lot of dishes later).

And – of course.

This is the recipe that becomes a quick and simple, delicious, go-to recipe that Meat-and-Potatoes-Guy and I both love.

Easy-Baked-Chicken-Parmesan-Bites

These ‘Chicken Parmesan Bites’ check all the boxes:

full of flavor with a satisfying crispy breading,

healthy without tasting anything like health food,

so easy to make – ready in under 30 minutes.

Baked-Crispy-Chicken-Parmesan-Bites

I make a homemade marinara dipping sauce to go along with them – this is where I sneak healthy veggies into the dish.

Because homemade marinara sauce is always so much better than anything out of a jar.

And this one is ready in under 15 minutes.

ingredietns

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to begin.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

grated-parmesan-cheese

Begin by grating some parmesan.

Grab a sealable plastic bag and toss in the grated parmesan, along with some whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs, some garlic powder, and some Herbes de Provence.

Substitution: if you can’t find Panko, regular whole wheat breadcrumbs work just as well.

herbes-de-provence

Herbes de Provence, by the way: one of my most trusted kitchen staples.

It adds so much (zero-calorie!) (antioxidant-filled!) restaurant-quality flavor to pretty much any savory dish.

If you don’t have it though, you can substitute a combo of dried thyme and dried sage or dried thyme and dried rosemary.

breading-chicken

When all the ingredients are well combined, cube some skinless, boneless chicken breasts and toss the diced chicken into the bag.

Seal and shake again, until every last piece is well coated with the breading.

breaded-chicken-parmesan

Arrange the chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper.

preparing-breaded-chicken

Then measure a tablespoon of olive oil and carefully drizzle a bit over each piece of chicken.

Repeat until all the chicken is lightly drizzled with oil – it should take about two tablespoons.

Next, bake the chicken in the oven until the breading is crispy and golden.

chopping-onion

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Marinara Dipping Sauce.

I wanted this particular marinara recipe to be as quick and easy to prepare as possible – it’s ready in about the time it takes to bake the chicken.

Begin by chopping up half of a medium onion:

slice off the root end and cut the onion in half lengthwise.

Then peel off the skin and place one half flat-side-down on your cutting board.

Then chop it up.

chopping-celery

Grab a couple of ribs of celery and trim off both ends.

Chop up the celery.

chopping-carrots

Trim off both ends of a medium carrot and slice it in half lengthwise.

Place the flat ends down on the cutting board for stability and chop the carrot.

cooking-mirepoix

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Toss in all the veggies and season with salt and pepper.

cooking-marinara-sauce

Cook until the veggies are softened, then add some diced tomatoes.

Diced tomatoes are a key source of lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant that studies show may help prevent a wide range of cancers, heart disease, and vision loss. Like a lot of nutrients, lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when combined with the healthy fats found in olive oil – another reason olive oil is used in this marinara sauce.

Next add some seasoning – I make this recipe as effortless as possible by using the same seasonings that are used in the Parmesan Chicken Bites: garlic powder and Herbes de Provence.

Reduce the heat to medium and allow the sauce to simmer a few minutes more.

preparing-marinara-sauce

Then turn off the heat and puree the sauce with an immersion hand blender.

Or transfer the sauce to a food processor or blender to puree.

And that’s all there is to it: a tasty, delicious, homemade sauce where the veggies are completely hidden.

Crispy-Baked-Chicken-Parmesan-Bites

These Chicken Parmesan Bites are really crispy, flavorful and tasty.

And they’re just fun to eat.

Chicken-Parmesan-Bites

The marinara sauce is extremely hearty and thick, ideal for dipping.

Or, I prefer to combine the  marinara sauce with some cooked whole wheat penne, topped with Chicken Parmesan Bites.

It’s a very tasty, crowd-pleasing pasta dish.

Best part: this dish is so quick and easy.

I love this one. Thank you random, unplanned Good Luck.

Here is the complete printable recipe:

Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan Bites
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Healthy Chicken Dish
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
For the Chicken Parmesan Bites:
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the 12-Minute Homemade Marinara:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 small celery ribs, chopped
  • 16-ounce container diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
For the Chicken Parmesan Bites:
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Add the following to a large sealable plastic bag: panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence. Seal the bag and shake the ingredients until everything is well combined.
  3. Add the cubed chicken to the bag, seal, and shake again until every piece of chicken is well coated in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Arrange the breaded chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that no two pieces are overlapping. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the chicken.
  5. Measure a tablespoon of olive oil and carefully drizzle a bit of oil over each piece of chicken. Repeat.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 15-16 minutes, or until the breading becomes crispy and golden. Serve.
For the 12-Minute Homemade Marinara:
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Place the onion, carrot, and celery in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence, and 1½ teaspoons garlic powder. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and allow the sauce to simmer, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Turn off the heat and puree the sauce with an immersion hand blender (or transfer Marinara Sauce to a blender or food processor to puree).
  5. Serve as a dipping sauce for the Chicken Parmesan Bites. Or combine the Marinara Sauce with some cooked penne and top with Chicken Parmesan Bites.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Wonderful recipe … and I love everything about it – the photos doesn’t make anything less interesting. Love it … but I will use bigger pieces of chicken .. when I do it, you know me. Your photos are stunning as always. My love to you and your two”boys”, 2-legs and 4 legs. And I want that grey and white material you use.. as background. The cutlery one. So nice to hear from you.
    Viveka recently posted…w stands for wallenbergarenMy Profile

  2. says

    Your marina sauce looks great, but I have to say that this chicken doesn’t need it! With the Parmesan in the crust, I would just want to eat these right out of the oven. Actually, I’m sure the sauce adds a lot to them. What a great snack, lunch or dinner!
    mjskit recently posted…Southwestern PileupMy Profile

  3. Ruth says

    Have made these three times now, and my meat and potatoes guy likes them! He even loved the marinara sauce! The panko gives it a pleasantly satisfying crunch — way better than your average breadcrumb breading. I made a special trip to get herbes de Provence and it was worth both the price of the bottle and the hassle of the special trip to the store.

    Also, the reason to use (more expensive) parchment paper to bake the bites vs aluminum foil is….. The bites stick badly to foil. Learn from my “experiment.”

    • The Scrumptious Pumpkin says

      That’s great, I always like to hear how people like the recipes, so thank you for your comment! Yes, I think once a person has Herbes de Provence in the kitchen, they’ll become addicted – it’s tasty with chicken, steak, pork, sautéed veggies, everything! :)

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