Here is a quick and easy preparation for dinner tonight or any weekday meal when you want to get dinner on the table in a hurry. If you’ve been paying attention…have you been paying attention?…then you will have some homemade marinara sauce already in your freezer. If you haven’t…well then…go ahead and use your favorite pre-made sauce…
- 4 (about 4 ounces each) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (and can we agree not to use the stuff in the green can?)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (or mix some oregano, basil and thyme together)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed
- 8 ounces spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
- 3 cups marinara sauce, either homemade or your favorite prepared sauce, heated
- 1 cup (4 – ounces) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Chopped fresh parsley or basil or both, optional
- Place the chicken breasts into a large zip top bag; using a meat mallet (not the pointy tenderizer side, but the flat side) or rolling pin, pound to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and pepper in a shallow dish.
- Split the mayonnaise between each breast and spread it evenly across the top with a spatula or knife. Dredge each breast, mayo side only, in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Place the breast, breaded side down; cook until brown, about 5 minutes; turn and cook the other side until done, about 5 minutes more.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Place 1 cup of the cooked spaghetti in each of 4 oven-proof bowls or gratin dishes. Spoon 1/2 cup of the marinara over the spaghetti, top with a chicken breast then another 1/4 cup of sauce. Top with 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- Broil for 3 – 4 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Garnish with the herbs, if desired.
- Per Serving: 592 Calories; 15g Fat (5g Sat, 7g Mono, 3g Poly); 48g Protein; 65g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 88mg Cholesterol; 1327mg Sodium. ____________________________________________________
Serve this with a salad lightly dressed with this low-calorie yet tasty dressing. While you might think putting chicken broth in your dressing is a little weird, it really does add a “meatiness” to the dressing and keeps the calories down. Remember, you don’t have to use all the dressing, just enough to “kiss” the greens, not drown them. Store any left-over dressing covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 large cloves garlic
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth. Use sparingly over salad greens.
- Per Serving: 27 Calories; 2g Fat (1g Mono); 1g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 150mg Sodium.