two plates of keto chicken parmesan on edamame noodles

easy keto chicken parmesan {gluten-free}

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Keto chicken parmesan is an easy, low-carb and gluten-free version of an Italian favorite! Tender chicken breast, cheesy parmesan and a flavorful marinara come together for a simple weeknight meal that is ready in 30 minutes. Skip the traditional breadcrumbs for a keto-friendly coating that is crisp and cheesy. Top with mozzarella and fresh basil and serve with your favorite low-carb noodles of choice. With or without pasta, this right here is comfort food.

what you’ll love about this low-carb chicken recipe

I’m currently in an extra busy season (between the kids’ school, my work, their soccer practices, buying a house, family time), a.k.a LIFE, which I have zero complaints about except for the fact that the everyday dinner dilemma feels… greater. That’s why this keto chicken parmesan is making a frequent appearance in our dinner rotation these days. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and my whole family will happily enjoy it and go back for more. Make it a meal on its own, dish it up over low-carb noodles, or serve it with a side of zucchini fritters or savory almond meal bread.

This easy chicken parmesan is:

  • ready in 30 minutes!
  • suuuuper simple to prep (I use my favorite store-bought marinara)
  • kid-friendly (FYI it smells like pizza when baking so make sure any little ones are fully aware that it’s not 😉 )
  • low-carb, gluten-free, and keto
  • a baked chicken parmesan recipe (which means one pan and zero frying)

Sure, this keto chicken parmesan recipe isn’t quite traditional. It’s not dredged through seasoned breadcrumbs and there’s no pan-frying required before bake time. However, it’s certainly inspired by the classic Italian dish and a few easy substitutions make it keto-friendly and gluten-free, yet still really yummy.

the ingredients

You can choose to make your own marinara but I find the easiest way to prep this is by using a store-bought marinara sauce. I love Rao’s, which is low in carbs and doesn’t contain any added sugars, but anything similar will do.

So here’s the “secret” to eliminating the breadcrumbs… make keto chicken parmesan with pork rinds. Crushed pork rinds, coconut flour, grated parmesan and a few seasonings make a nice pork rind “panko” which will help give the chicken a yummy and crisp outer layer.

You will need:

  • thin chicken breasts, about 1/2-inch thick (if you have thick chicken breasts, carefully slice them in half horizontally)
  • crushed pork rinds
  • coconut flour
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • garlic granules
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • salt and pepper
  • egg
  • olive oil
  • marinara sauce
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced (grated mozzarella also works)
  • fresh basil
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

how to make it

This baked chicken parmesan recipe requires a few steps to prepare and the oven does the rest of the work! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Make the chicken “breadcrumb” mixture. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed pork rinds, coconut flour, parmesan, garlic granules, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Dry each of the chicken pieces well with paper towels, eliminating as much moisture as possible.
  2. Coat the chicken breasts. Crack the egg into a shallow bowl and whisk. Using your hands, dip one chicken breast into the egg, then dredge it through the pork rind/parmesan mixture. Make sure each side is evenly and generously coated. Place each piece of chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Drizzle the olive oil evenly on top of the coated chicken pieces (this will help it get more crisp as it bakes).
  3. Bake. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake at 425°F for about 11-13 minutes or until it begins to appear golden brown.
  4. Top. Remove from the oven and carefully flip each piece over. Spoon the marinara on each piece, then top with the mozzarella. Return to the oven to bake for 5 minutes to heat the sauce and melt the cheese.
  5. Broil. Switch the oven from “bake” to “broil” and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned in spots (optional). Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Top with ribbons of fresh basil and serve.

for the best results…

  • How to crush pork rinds: The easiest way to crush up the pork rinds is in a food processor or high-speed blender, but you can also place them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a meat mallet/tenderizer. If using a food processor or blender, you can also toss in the parmesan cheese and coconut flour to process everything together (but it’s not necessary). The coconut flour will help dry out the pork rind “panko,” just make sure you don’t over-process as the panko should remain pretty course. (By the way, this air fryer cauliflower recipe is another way I’ve used pork rind panko).
  • Dry the chicken as best as you can with paper towels. We want to remove as much moisture as possible. Chicken will release water as it cooks, but too much water could result in a coating that gets a bit soggy.
  • When coating the chicken in the panko, use your hands to firmly press the mixture onto the chicken. Any leftover pork rind panko can be evenly distributed on top of the chicken pieces before baking.

This keto and gluten-free chicken parmesan is one of my favorite low-carb chicken recipes! Cheesy, melted mozzarella and a flavorful marinara on a tender, oven-baked chicken breast. It’s saucy and savory and basically irresistible. And there’s a good chance that baked chicken parmesan might just make its way to your dinner table on a regular basis. Chicken parm Fridays? Make it happen! And enjoy.

p.s. If you like this keto chicken parmesan recipe, check out this Turkish eggplant casserole and these keto Italian meatballs!

more low-carb chicken recipes you’ll love…

  • Keto bourbon chicken is sticky, saucy, and full of flavor!
  • For a hearty and simple meal that takes minimal prep, make this keto chicken tortilla soup. Tender chicken thighs, diced tomatoes and onions (plus your favorite southwestern seasonings) combine for one delicious low-carb meal.
  • Chipotle air fryer chicken thighs are so, so delish. Crispy on the outside and just the right blend of salty-spicy, this one is chicken perfection.
easy keto chicken parmesan {gluten-free}

easy keto chicken parmesan {gluten-free}

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

With a crisp, gluten-free "panko" coating, light marinara and melted cheeses, this keto chicken parmesan is delicious comfort food and easy enough for a busy weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 2 thick chicken breasts, sliced horizontally to make 4 thinner pieces*
  • 3/4 cup crushed pork rinds*
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 slices of fresh mozzarella or 1-1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3-5 leaves of fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons
  • red pepper flakes for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat for easy cleanup.
  2. Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to create 4 thin pieces (about 1/2-inch thickness). Pat dry the chicken breasts with paper towels then set them on a plate (remove as much moisture as possible).
  3. In a shallow mixing bowl, combine the crushed pork rinds, coconut flour, parmesan, garlic granules, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
  4. Crack the egg into a shallow bowl and whisk it to scramble. Using your hands, dip one chicken breast into the egg, then dredge it through the pork rind/parmesan mixture. Make sure each side is evenly and generously coated.
  5. Place each coated chicken breast onto the baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with the olive oil- this will help it get more crisp as it bakes.
  6. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake at 425°F for about 11-13 minutes or until it begins to appear golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and carefully flip each piece over. Spoon a generous portion of marinara sauce onto each piece of chicken. Top each piece with a slice of fresh mozzarella (or divide the grated mozzarella between the 4 pieces). Return to the oven to bake for 5 minutes to heat the sauce and melt the cheese.
  8. Switch the oven to "broil" and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned in spots (optional). Watch it closely as it can easily burn.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Top with ribbons of fresh basil and red pepper flakes (optional) and serve.

Notes

You can purchase 4 thin chicken breasts or cut 2 thick pieces horizontally. When cutting, try to make the pieces as even as possible.

The easiest way to crush up pork rinds is in a food processor or high-speed blender, but you can also place them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a meat mallet/tenderizer. If using a food processor or blender, make sure you don't over-process. The pork rind "panko" should remain course.

Use your hands to firmly press the coating onto the chicken pieces. Any leftover pork rind panko can be evenly distributed on top of the chicken pieces before baking.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 177mgSodium: 1376mgCarbohydrates: 10gNet Carbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 47g

    This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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