Baked Keto Chicken Parmesan
The secret to keeping the chicken juicy and the pork rind coating crispy in oven baked keto chicken parmesan is mayonnaise!
Flattened chicken breasts are slathered in garlic mayonnaise to keep them moist in the oven while allowing the crushed pork rind and Parmesan coating to get golden and crispy.
Topped with my twenty minute keto marinara and melted mozzarella cheese, this low carb chicken Parmesan has only 5.3g of net carbs!
Be sure to make my 20 minute keto marinara to go with this recipe!
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Seriously do it.
The first time I had chicken parmesan, I didn’t even know what it was when I saw it on the menu. My parents insisted I would like it, but they were wrong, I loved it.
As I struggled to get the first bite of crispy breaded chicken, swimming in marinara and melty gooey mozzarella cheese into my mouth, I knew this was going to be the start of a lifelong obsession with this dish.
What is Chicken Parmesan?
The origins of this dish are a little vague. Reminiscent of breaded eggplant and veal dishes found in classic Italian cuisine, this fusion dish started popping up in Italian kitchens around the United States, Australia, and even Argentina in around the mid 1900’s.
While there are many variations of this recipe, my low carb chicken Parmesan is based on what I recognise as a “classic chicken parm”.
A thin, sometimes butterflied chicken breast, breaded and cooked until golden brown and crispy. Then topped with a tomato marinara and a hefty portion of mozzarella cheese, before being baked until the cheese is melty, gooey, and slightly caramelised.
Is Chicken Parmesan Keto Friendly?
In it’s true form chicken Parmesan is not very keto friendly. Forget the fact that it’s usually served with pasta, fries, or bread, the chicken cutlet in chicken Parmesan is often coated in a mixture containing flour and breadcrumbs.
Even without the carb laden side dishes, a serving of traditional chicken Parmesan can easily add up to 20g of carbohydrates.
In addition, if you have been following a low carb or keto lifestyle for awhile you might find that gluten and carb heavy ingredients like breadcrumbs or flour no longer agree with you or your stomach.
A Very Low Carb and Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan
Low in Net Carbohydrates
This oven baked chicken Parmesan recipe does away with unnecessary carb heavy ingredients, in favour of more suitable low carb options.
Coated first with some mayonnaise to prevent the chicken breast from drying out in the oven (just like my keto chicken tenders!)
The flattened chicken cutlets are then crusted in a mixture of crushed pork rinds and Parmesan cheese, lowering the carbs in the recipe to just 5.3g of net carbs per serving!
Even on a ketogenic diet, this leaves plenty of room for a low carb side dish!
This pork rind crusted chicken parm recipe, contains no wheat, no cereals, no grains, and no added sugars. Making this both a low carb and a gluten free dinner recipe.
Baked vs. Fried Chicken Parmesan
Baking, pan frying, and deep frying are all common methods of cooking the breaded chicken cutlet used in chicken Parmesan.
I often opt for baking this recipe on a sheet pan since I do not own a deep fryer, and I generally don’t enjoy the mess, and time it takes to fry each of these cutlets in oil, only to have to finish them in the oven for cheese melting purposes.
Keeping Chicken breasts Moist in the Oven
Normally a challenge with lean chicken breasts, the mayonnaise layer applied before the coating is wonderful at protecting the chicken breast from drying out in the oven.
A Crispy Baked Low Carb Coating
Pork rinds are already fried, so baking them only crisps them up further creating a perfect golden brown coating on these chicken breasts.
If you prefer to fry your chicken cutlets, this recipe will work equally as well. Simply coat the bottom of a hot pan in a thick layer of oil, and cook each side of the chicken for 1-2 minutes until cooked through.
A Low Carb Marinara Sauce
For this recipe you only require 3-4 tablespoons of sauce per cutlet so almost any store-bought or homemade tomato sauce can be used.
My twenty minute keto marinara really takes this recipe to the next level over store bought sauces, and only has 2g of net carbs per 1/4 cup!
How to Make Keto Chicken Parmesan in the Oven
Keto Baked Chicken Parmesean
- Baking sheet
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Rolling Pin/Meat Tenderizing Mallet
- Large Freezer Bag
- basting brush
- large plate
- 4 large chicken breast butterflied and flattened
- 3 cup pork rinds crushed
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup low carb/keto marinara sauce see notes
- 9 oz mozzarella cheese grated or sliced
- chopped parsley garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C].
Flattening and Butterflying a Chicken Breast
- To flatten the chicken breasts, begin by laying them flat on a cutting board, press down down on the chicken with your hand flat on top of it. Extend your fingers to curl the tips up to keep them clear of the blade. With a large sharp knife, begin slicing into the long side of the chicken breast horizontally until you almost reach the other side of the breast. If done properly you should be able to open up the chicken breast like a book, at which point it will resemble a butterfly.
- Place the butterflied chicken either in a large freezer bag, or under a piece of plastic wrap, and using a rolling pin, slowing roll out the chicken breast in all directions until it has thinned and flattened. Another option is to use the smooth side of a mallet, begin pounding the chicken, working from the inside out, until the chicken breast has reached an almost uniform thickness of 1/4"
Coating the Chicken Breast
- To crush pork rinds, place in a large freezer bag, or use the bag they come in, leave a small hole for air to escape as you crush them down. Slowly begin crushing them with a rolling pin until they are all crushed into a fine breadcrumb like coating.
- Empty crushed pork rinds onto a large plate, along with the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Combine well.
- Mix mayo with garlic powder and any other desired seasonings, and using the back of a spoon or a basting brush, lightly coat the outside of each of the flattened chicken breast.
- Press each side of the mayo coated chicken breast into the pork rind mixture until evenly coated, and shake of any excess.
Topping and Cooking Times
- Place the coated chicken breasts on a foil/parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 375°F [190°C] for around 25 minutes until the coating is golden and crispy. Avoid over cooking the chicken at this stage as you are returning the chicken to a hot oven once topped.
- Remove from the oven, and turn the oven up to 400-425°F [1-1]
- Top each piece of chicken with 2-3 tablespoons of low carb tomato sauce, and a generous portion of sliced or grated mozzarella cheese.
- Return the topped chicken to the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the mozzarella in melted and has started to brown. Allow to cool before serving with low carb pasta, seasonal veggies, or the ultimate keto Caesar salad.
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What to Serve with Keto Chicken Parmesan
There is no one correct side dish for chicken parmesan. In restaurants it is often served with a side of pasta, salad, seasonal vegetables, or french fries.
Some low carb side dish options are, zoodles (zucchini noodles), or thinly sliced then fried savoy cabbage noodles, such as the options used in my Philly cheese steak zoodles, or sour cream and onion cabbbage pasta. Both pair seamlessly with this dish when topped with a quick keto marinara.
Other alternative pasta options such as baked spaghetti squash or konjac/shiritaki noodle can work well in their place.
Non pasta lovers can enjoy low carbs sides such as the ultimate keto Caesar salad or sheet pan roasted veggies for a lighter plate.
Of course you can enjoy this cheesy saucy low carb masterpiece all on its own!
Low Carb Sides I Think You'll Like
The Carb Option
Like myself, you may be cooking for the whole household, which means cooking for other people and sometimes children who are not following low carb principles.
But that does not mean you can’t all sit down and enjoy a meal together without having to cook two separate dinners.
If you have already tried my baked pork rind crusted chicken fingers, then you know that this pork panko “breading” can easily pass for the real thing. In fact I like it better, it’s crispier, crunchier, and just tasty.
It is something the whole family can enjoy together. If the crowd you’re cooking for isn’t too keen on zoodles, cabbage, salad, or a side of roasted vegetables. Just throw on a separate pot of boiling water and cook some traditional pasta for them, and top it with the same marinara sauce.
Voila, a chicken Parmesan dinner for the whole family!
Leftovers, Storage, and Reheating
Leftovers can be stored sealed in the fridge and reheated in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
My preferred method is to re-bake in a 350°F [175°C] oven until the cheese has melted and the chicken has warmed though.
If you know you aren’t going to eat all the chicken cutlets right away, consider leaving them cooked, but without the sauce and cheese topping.
When you are ready to enjoy, simply top with sauce and cheese, and bake in a 350°F [175°C] oven until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. This will make for the freshest tasting leftovers.
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