Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Bites w/ Cheesy Marinara and Whole Wheat Pasta

 

Yummy  pieces of golden brown chicken over a bed of whole wheat thin spaghetti topped with a jarred marinara ( keeping it simple and easy! )  

This dish is a perfect dish for the weeknight.  Pair it with a garden vegetable salad and you have a complete meal in no time.  

It's fun, because the boneless chicken breasts are cut into thirds, giving the chicken more area for the crispy breading...plus I think it looks pretty and sort of special plated up! 


The chicken pieces are coated in eggbeaters and then dipped in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and Italian style breadcrumbs, then browned in a little olive oil in a nonstick pan...I like the mixture of the panko and the regular dried breadcrumbs, as each one plays a role in making the breading.  The panko gives them a great crisp, and the dried breadcrumbs are small, so they really adhere to the chicken.  I also really love using eggbeaters to begin with when breading things.  It's thick and really adheres to whatever you are coating...plus...it's fat free, so that's a bonus!


They finish cooking in a warm oven, while you make the pasta and the sauce.  Cheesy Marinara is simply a jarred marinara sauce with the addition of two Laughing Cow Light Herbs and Garlic cheese wedges melted in.  Simple as can be!  




Chicken Parmesan Bites w/ Cheesy Marinara and Whole Wheat Pasta
from the kitchen of MKA


Servings - 4     Serving Size - 3 chicken "bites", 1/2 cup cheesy marinara, 2 oz. (dry) whole wheat pasta     Points Plus per Serving - 13 Points+
Calories - 503.7,   Total Fat - 9.8g,   Carb. - 66.7g,   Protein - 39.5g,   Fiber - 7.9g


16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ( 4 boneless breasts ) cut into 3 chunks each
1/2 cup eggbeaters ( you will have leftover to discard )
1/2 cup dry, Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
2 TBS. grated Parmesan cheese
dash of garlic powder
salt and pepper, to liking
1 tsp. dried parsley 
1 TBS olive oil
8 oz., dry, whole wheat pasta of your choice ( I used thin spaghetti ) 
2 cups marinara sauce ( such as Mids ) 
2 wedges of Light Laughing Cow Garlic and Herbs cheese
extra Parmesan and parsley for garnish ( optional )


1.  In shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, panko, 2 TBS Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, dried parsley, and salt and pepper.  Dredge the cut chicken pieces in eggbeaters and then coat in breadcrumb mixture.  

2.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Cover a large baking sheet with foil and put an oven safe rack on top.  Spray all with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 TBS olive oil over med-high heat.  Brown the chicken pieces, being careful not to overcrowd pan, on all sides.  Chicken does not have to be done all the way.  It will finish cooking in oven while you prepare pasta and sauce.  Remove browned chicken pieces to prepared rack and place in preheated oven to cook all the way through.  

3.  Fill large pot with generously salted water.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, heat marinara sauce with Laughing Cow Cheese wedges, stirring often to break apart the wedges and help them melt. ( They don't melt very easily...so you will need to tend to them a bit to help them along)  Drain pasta when done.  Check the chicken for doneness.  At this point it should be cooked all the way through. 

4.  Plate dishes with pasta, 1/2 cup sauce, and three pieces of chicken.  Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired. 


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This meal is a bit of a splurge, but paired with a vegetable salad and fat free dressing or some steamed green beans, it really is not that bad for a dinner.  I like to keep my dinner points right around 10ish or so...so this actually works out just fine.  

My son and I stopped in at Applebees yesterday for lunch.  I saw they had new menus and some new WW items on them.  I didn't try them, because they were all around 12p+ and it was lunch, and they were rather expensive items to have for lunch....point wise and money wise.   I was disappointed that they have removed some of the more "lunch friendly" menu items such as salads and sandwiches.  Why couldn't they do both lunch items and dinner items?  I settled on a plain salad and a cup of tomato basil soup.  The table next to us had an older couple, who also were having a salad/soup combo.  I don't know what soup or salad they were having, but the wait staff must have brought out three dishes of salad and at least three soups to the gentleman...who was rather large.  My son asked if they offered "unlimited soup and salad"...I was pretty sure they didn't.  I wonder what their bill was like?  




12 comments:

  1. No kidding! I'm sure it wasn't cheap!

    I love that you cut the chicken into smaller pieces to get more breading. Totally my style :)

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    1. yes! More breading...EXACTLY what I was going for! haha

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  2. Oh, this is like having fried chicken, only better! Thanks again for yet another tasty looking recipe!

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  3. As I noted on my parm bake post...my husband is a chicken parm addict! I need to try your version for him. Tomato soup is one of my favorites!

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  4. This looks so delicious! I was thinking of making baked crispy chicken the other day!

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  5. Oh this dish is so pretty all plated up!

    Our Applebee restaurants all closed but I use to like to get thier WW entrees when we went.

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  6. This sounds really good! I like the sound of these breaded chicken pieces with pasta-yum!

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  7. This looks so delicious Renee. (I made a less fancy version of this myself last night) Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

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  8. That looks great, I need to pick up some egg beaters, never even thought to use them like this. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  9. This looks like the perfect weeknight meal. I love chicken parmesan, and with them being bite sized there is more breading! :)

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