CHICKEN PARMIGIANO

This Chicken Parmesan is a family favorite! Tender pan fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce and cheese that is baked until golden and bubbly. It’ll look like you spent hours in the kitchen but this Parmesan chicken recipe comes together easily with ingredients you probably already have in the pantry!

Serve over spaghetti, egg noodles or even mashed potatoes for the perfect weeknight dinner. Chicken Parmesan is thought to be a variation of Eggplant Parmesan, a super traditional Italian recipe! Traditionally, chicken Parmesan is a fried breaded chicken breast topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese making for a deliciously filling dinner that is ready in under 30 minutes! Chicken Parmesan is often deep fried, but this version is breaded and pan fried and then topped with marinara and cheese.

CHICKEN PARMIGIANO

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 LARGE eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Marinara

  • Pound the chicken to 1/2″ to ensure even cooking. If the chicken breasts are extra large, you can cut them in half before breading. I can often find thin sliced chicken steaks that are perfect from the get go.
  • Pat dry.
  • Set up dredging station with beaten eggs in one bowl, Wonder flour in another and bread crumbs and Parmesan mixture in the 3rd bowl.
  • Dip into the beaten eggs and then the Wonder flour.
  • Dip again into egg mixture and then the breading Parmesan mixture.
  • Press the breading onto the chicken to help it adhere.
  • Heat butter and oil in cast iron skillet until melted.
  • Brown the chicken breasts 2 minutes on each side.
  • Place chicken breasts in a casserole dish and top with marinara sauce, Provolone and Parmesan cheese. DO NOT SKIMP ON THE CHEESE! The gooey cheese is part of what really makes the best chicken Parmesan!

CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES

Don’t you just love social media and the recipes floating around? 😀 I usually have to change them up a bit in method or ingredients to meet our likes, but the concepts are awesome.

CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES serves 4-6
1 1/4 pounds chicken tenderloins (8-10)
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 ounces mozzarella cheese (see notes)
1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup marinara sauce

  • Heat oven to 375°.
  • Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat in large skillet.
  • Sear chicken in butter 5-6 minutes or until chicken is well browned on all sides. Remove from skillet; cool slightly.
  • Cut mozzarella cheese into 8 pieces.
  • Cut small slits in side of each chicken tenderloin and insert piece of mozzarella cheese.
  • Unroll dough; separating into 8 triangles.
  • Place piece of chicken on wide end of triangle; roll dough around chicken, and place on cookie sheet. Repeat for remaining dough and chicken.
  • Brush crescents with remaining melted butter from skillet drippings.
  • Top each with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

NOTES: String cheese works GREAT if you cut the stick in half and then slice each half lengthwise.

WHITE MISO CREAM SAUCE PASTA

PASTA with MISO CREAM SAUCE

8 ounces uncooked pasta (see note), prepared per package directions
1 1/2 cups WHOLE milk
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
4 tablespoons white miso
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled small
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
2 teaspoon chopped thyme
4 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves, optional
18-20 mini mozzarella balls, halved or quartered
Torn basil leaves for garnish

  • Place 1/2 cup of milk in deep bowl.
  • Whisk in flour and miso until smooth.

 

  • Add remaining milk and stock to saucepan. Bring to a SLOW boil over medium-high heat.
  • Whisk in flour mixture and reduce heat. Simmer 4-5 minutes until slightly thick.
  • Add pepper.

 

  • Heat oil and butter in skillet over high heat.
  • Add tomatoes, stirring and cooking 2 minutes until beginning to char and pop.
  • Add thyme and garlic, cooking 1 minute more.
  • Add spinach, cooking 2 minutes more until wilted.
  • Remove from heat.

 

  • Add pasta sauce and half the cheese to the skillet, tossing to combine.
  • Serve in pasta bowls.
  • Top with remaining cheese pieces and torn basil.

NOTE: Any pasta works with this recipe!

WILTED CHICKEN SPINACH PASTA

This is a luscious Chicken Alfredo with plenty of OOMPH from the wilted spinach and sun dried tomatoes. The bacon adds yet another layer of flavor making it similar to a Carbonara. Shredding the chickens adds plenty of nooks and crannies for the sauce to adhere and provide lots and lots of flavors, though I tend to use tenders and serve them whole.  I adapted from RECIPE TIN EATS

WILTED CHICKEN SPINACH PASTA serves 4

10 ounces fettuccine (see notes)

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for package directions minus 2 minutes.  The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.  Just before draining, scoop out a cup of cooking water. Then drain pasta as directed.

1 tablespoons avocado oil
1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally or chicken tenders
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Melt half the butter in a large skillet over high heat.
  • Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until deep golden.
  • Remove chicken onto plate, rest for a few minutes then shred with 2 forks.

SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves , minced
1 small red pepper sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/4 cups heavy cream – DO NOT USE LIGHT
3/4 cup FINELY shredded Parmesan cheese + more for garnish
1-2  cups torn baby spinach
3 ounces sun dried tomato strips, DRAINED (see notes)
4 slices bacon, diced and browned
FRESH chopped Parsley, for garnish

  • Reduce the heat of your skillet to medium high.
  • Add remaining butter, sun-dried tomato oil and garlic.
  • Cook garlic for 30 seconds until golden.
  • Add red pepper slices and cook another minute.
  • Add wine, simmering quickly and stirring to scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Once mostly evaporated, add chicken broth, cream, Parmesan and sun dried tomato pieces.
    Simmer on medium for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring often, until it reduces and thickens.

ASSEMBLY

  • Add spinach, chicken, bacon pieces and cooked pasta.
  • TOSS – this is a MUST if you are shredding the chicken!
  • Cook sauce for 2 minutes, until sauce thickens and coats the pasta. (see notes)
  • Serve immediately with Parmesan and parsley if desired.


NOTES:

  • Flat wide pastas are best for creamy sauces, but any pasta will work in reality. DO NOT use fresh pastas.
  • When I drain the sun-dried tomatoes, I drain them into my skillet as part of my cooking oil for the sauce.
  • Use the reserved pasta cooking water as needed if the sauce gets too thick.

AMALFI POSITANO CHICKEN or PORK

I found this scrap of a recipe in my BIG bin of recipe scraps and the name POSITANO chicken intrigued me so I did a little research and decided to make the recipe.  Positano is a cliff side village on the Amalfi coast that is known primarily for seafood, FRESH pasta and Buffalo Mozzarella cheese.  So, I have NO idea why this recipe was originally written for chicken 😀  but it was and I have adapted it to fit not only chicken, but also pork. Since cheese and seafood are not usually a great mix I have no real plans to adapt it to the seafood that the Amalfi coast is famous for.  Overall it kind of reminds me of an Italian version of Chicken Kiev.

AMALFI POSITANO CHICKEN or PORK serves 6
6 – 8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 pound ground Italian sausage, cooked crumbly, drained of grease and cooled
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, diced and cooled
1/4 cup FRESH small torn basil leaves
2 cups all purpose flour
6 eggs, whisked
3 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a baking tray with foil LIGHTLY sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound chicken breast (or pork chop) until all breasts are the same thickness around under 1/2 an inch.
  • Mix together the Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, chopped peppers, crumbled sausage and basil pieces until well blended.
  • Place about 1/2 cup of cheese mixture in the center of each chicken breast. Fold chicken breast over and seal edges with toothpicks.
  • Set up a dredging station with flour, eggs and bread crumbs.
  • Dredge each chicken breasts in flour, then eggs followed by bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken breasts in batches, sauteing 2-3 minutes all sides until golden.
  • Place chicken pieces on baking tray.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until cheese begins to ooze from the edges.
  • Serve over prepared pasta or mashed potatoes.
  • Top with Marsala sauce. (recipe below)

MARSALA SAUCE
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1/4 cup shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound Beech mushrooms
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste

  • Add oil to heavy hot saucepan.
  • Add shallots, garlic and mushrooms, sautéing until mushrooms are tender.
  • Add flour and cook about 1 minute.
  • Deglaze pan with Marsala wine.
  • Add beef stock and cook until thick and flavors are blended.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve over meat and pasta.

NOTE: When I substitute the chicken for pork, I use center cut pork loin chops.  I also substitute the Romano for Fontina cheese.

INSTA POT TUSCAN CHICKEN LASAGNA

INSTA POT TUSCAN CHICKEN LASAGNA (use leftovers from TUSCAN CHICKEN RECIPE) adapted from AMY & JACKY

8 oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 1/2 – 3 cups Tuscan chicken, shredded
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
4 green onions, sliced thin
8 ounces thinly sliced mushrooms
¼ cup FRESHLY & FINELY grated Parmesan cheese

RICOTTA CHEESE MIXTURE
¾ cup Ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Shred leftover Tuscan Chicken with two forks.
  • Mix the shredded chicken back into the leftover Tuscan Sauce.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat one large egg, then add in Ricotta cheese.
  • Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Spray 7-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Break the uncooked oven-ready lasagna noodles into smaller pieces, then layer them at bottom of the pan in a single layer.
  • Layer ⅓ portion of the Tuscan Chicken on the lasagna noodles.
  • Layer ⅓ of the Ricotta cheese mixture onto the chicken layer.
  • Layer ⅓ of the sliced onions and mushrooms on top of the ricotta cheese layer and top with ⅓ of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Repeat this layering cycle twice.
  • Add ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the very top.
  • Wrap the springform pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Pour 1 cup cold water, then place a trivet in Instant Pot.
  • Create a foil sling and place the springform pan in Instant Pot.
  • Close lid, then pressure cook at High Pressure for 26 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. After 10 minutes natural release, turn Venting Knob to Venting position to release the remaining pressure.

OPTIONAL NOTE:
If you want to brown the Parmesan cheese on top:

  • To brown the Parmesan cheese on top, preheat the oven to 425° while the Instant Pot is natural releasing.
  • Place the cooked Tuscan Chicken Lasagna in a 425° oven for 6-7 minutesuntil the cheese is browned on top.
  • For an easier release, use a paring knife to gently release the Lasagna from the springform pan. If you are using a pan with a removable bottom, you can place a mason jar at the bottom of the pan, then slide down the pan to take out the Lasagna.
  • Slice and serve immediately!

FUSION BREAKFAST ENCHILADAS MEXICAN-ITALIAN

FUSION BREAKFAST ENCHILADAS MEXICAN-ITALIAN adapted from NORMAL COOKING
These are wonderfully flavorful – Italian on the inside and Mexican on the outside – fusion at its best!

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3 green onions, halved and sliced thin
2 ounces sun dried tomatoes
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
LARGE eggs
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
2 cups half-and-half
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
4 slices bacon, diced and cooked crisp
Salsa, for serving
Sour cream, for serving

  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a skillet over medium high heat, brown sausage and then drain fat.
  • In a large bowl, stir together browned sausage, green onions, sun-dried tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and half of the bacon pieces.
  • Place 1/8 of the mixture down the center of a tortilla.
  • Roll up and place seem side down in baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.
  • In another large bowl beat eggs, flour and salt.
  • Mix in half-and-half.
  • Pour over the tortillas in the pan. You can cover the dish overnight and place in the fridge OR bake immediately.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Uncover dish and sprinkle remaining cheese over tortillas.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the bacon bits over cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Uncover dish and bake 10 minutes longer or until set and cheese is melted.

TUSCAN CHICKEN – INSTA POT

TUSCAN CHICKEN adapted from AMY & JACK
Make this Italian inspired Creamy Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken or you will regret it!  Make sure you make enough to have leftovers to make their Tuscan Chicken Lasagna too!

The tender chicken immersed in a simple, yet richly balanced creamy garlic sauce with caramelized mushrooms and sweet sun-dried tomatoes. It’s crazy satisfying and a super easy weeknight meal too!

4 – 6 skinless chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
8 ounces Beech mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
¾ cup unsalted chicken stock
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot halved and sliced
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup torn spinach
½ cup heavy cream
¼ – ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

THICKENER
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

  •  Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Wait until it says HOT. This prevents chicken from sticking to the pot. Brown Chicken Thighs or Chicken Breasts:
  • Pat dry chicken and generously season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or avocado oil.
  • Add chicken to brown. Brown for 3 1/2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side for 2 minutes. Set the chicken aside.
  • Add minced garlic, then saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add mushrooms, season with salt and black pepper, sauteing for a minute.
  • Add 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings and saute another minute.
  • Whisk together the Bragg’s liquid aminos and chicken stock to deglaze Instant Pot.  Be sure and scrape up all the bits from the bottom.
  • Add the browned chicken and any meat juice that accumulated. Pressure cook chicken at Thighs for 5 minutes at high pressure + Natural Release of 10 minutes or Breasts for 4 minutes at high pressure + Natural Release 10 minutes.  

After 10 minutes, release remaining pressure.  Set aside chicken.
  • Bring the liquid mixture back to a boil using the Saute button.
  • Add in torn spinach leaves and sun-dried tomatoes, then cook for 30 seconds. Give them a quick stir.
  • Mix in 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
    Thicken Tuscan Chicken Sauce & Seasoning:
  • Whisk together 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water together in a small mixing bowl.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture one third at a time to thicken sauce until desired thickness.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
    Add chicken back in and give it a quick mix before serving. Delicious over creamy mashed potatoes, prepared pasta or risotto.
  • Garnish with Parmesan and parsley.

RICOTTA MEATBALLS & GRAVY

A really flavorful and nice addition to this recipe is a batch of shallots or onions caramelized with mushrooms added to the gravy after the meatballs bake! YUMMY!

RICOTTA MEATBALLS

4 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground chuck
8 ounces deli ham, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3 ounces FINELY grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion, squeezed dry of moisture
2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon FRESH ground sea salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
4 LARGE eggs
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 batch beef gravy (recipe below)

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Place bread pieces in bowl and pour in milk. Using your hands press bread into milk and let stand 5 minutes.

 

  • In a large bowl arrange meat with a well in the center.
  • Add the ham pieces, onions, ricotta cheese, romano cheese, ham pieces, eggs, fennel, bread pieces, salt, oregano and pepper to the well.
  • Gently and gradually incorporate all together without overtaxing.

 

  • Spray baking dish with non-stick spray or brush with avocado oil.
  • Pour gravy into baking dish.
  • Form meat into 1 inch meatballs and arrange in the gravy 1 inch apart, turning to coat.
  • Bake 30 minutes until meatballs are golden brown and are cooked through.

BEEF GRAVY

1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup flour
1 tablespoon Better Than Beef Bouillon
2 cups beef broth
FRESH ground salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add flour and whisk together, making sure to get all visible lumps.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture starts to turn light brown, be sure to stir constantly.
  • Whisk bouillon and beef broth together.
  • Reduce heat to low and SLOWLY add broth mixture, stirring constantly. It may spit & bubble so be careful.
  • Add optional Kitchen Bouquet.
  • Turn heat back up to medium.
  • Continue stirring until gravy boils and thickens.
  • Makes about 2 cups.

STUFFED BALSAMIC CHICKEN

STUFFED BALSAMIC CHICKEN – servings 4
Stuffed Balsamic Chicken is a twist on the more traditional Caprese salad. The hicken breasts are filled with both fresh AND Sun Dried Tomatoes for a flavor packed punch!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to season
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced**
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, cut into strips (reserve oil)
4 thick slices mozzarella cheese
12 basil leaves**
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup QUALITY strong balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Slice a pocket about 3/4 quarter of the way through on the thickest side of each breast, being careful not to cut all the way.
Generously season chicken with salt, pepper, and dried herbs.
  • Pour 1 teaspoon of sun dried tomato oil over each breast, rubbing some of the seasoning inside the pockets.
Fill each chicken breast with 2 slices fresh tomato, 2 teaspoons of sun dried tomato strips, one slice mozzarella cheese and 3 basil basil leaves.
Seal with 3-4 toothpicks diagonally to keep the filling inside while cooking.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of sun dried tomato oil (or olive oil) in a skillet or non stick, oven proof pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken and sear for 2 minutes on each side until golden.
  • While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the garlic, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  • Pour the mixture into the pan around the chicken; bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally, until the glaze has slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer pan to the preheated oven and continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese has melted.
  • Remove toothpicks and drizzle with pan juices.

NOTE** In a pinch I use sliced grape tomatoes and Garden Gourmet basil paste and see no flavor difference in the overall taste.

BALSAMIC POMEGRANATE CAPRESE CHICKEN

While this recipe is an entree it turns into a salad for us. We usually go heavy on the micro greens and then cut up all the parts to toss with the sauce and YUMMY salad just magically appears before it quickly disappears!

BALSAMIC POMEGRANATE CAPRESE CHICKEN 
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup STRONG QUALITY balsamic vinegar
2 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts** (SEE NOTE)
FRESH ground Himalayan sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch-thick
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced 1/4- inch-thick
1/4 cup crushed pistachios
Fresh BABY basil leaves or micro greens, for garnish

  • Bring pomegranate juice and vinegar to a SLOW simmer in a small saucepan over low heat, then let cook until very syrupy, thick and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 45 minutes. Season to taste and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Generously Sprinkle chicken breasts liberally with FRESH ground Himalayan sea salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Add oil to a medium ovenproof skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Place chicken in the skillet skin-side down and cook until the skin is nice and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Flip chicken and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until cooked through and juices run clear, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Slice the cooked chicken breast 1/4-inch-thick.
  • Layer tomatoes, onions, chicken and mozzarella on a platter.
  • Drizzle with the pomegranate reduction.
  • Sprinkle with crushed pistachios.
  • Scatter basil leaves or micro greens on top.

NOTE:  Skinless, boneless breasts cans be substituted, but the browned crispy skin is a MUST for us.  If you do substitute, be sure to also adjust the cooking time. You can also start with a thick slab of bacon under the chicken to create the illusion of crispy skin.