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A healthier chicken parmesan recipe that is so good you won’t even know it’s completely gluten-free (and dairy-free)! It all comes down to one secret (easy-to-find) ingredient.
Ingredients for Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
- Chicken breasts (or cutlets) – Either option works great
- Plantain chips – This starchy savory fruit acts similarly to flour when ground making it the perfect breading
- Egg – acts as the binder and helps the breading stick
- Nutritional yeast – this adds a slightly cheesy/savory flavor
- Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt – these simple spices season the breading and add lots of flavor
- Marinara sauce – adds more flavor, moisture, and is a classic part of chicken parmesan
How to Make Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
Preheat oven. Preheat your oven to 375ºF and get a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper ready.
Make the breading. Place plantain chips in the bowl of a food processor and process until they’re crushed into small pieces. In a large plate or shallow bowl, add the crushed plantain chips along with the nutritional yeast, seasonings, and salt. Mix together with your hands and set aside.
Prep the chicken. If using chicken breasts, cut them in half length-wise. Put the chicken in either a ziplock or under a piece of parchment paper on a cutting board.
Tenderize. Pound the meat until it’s all about 1/2 an inch thick. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can do this by using a meat mallet, a rolling pin, the back of a measuring cup (as pictured), or even a clean hammer (I’ve done this method before).
(Sometimes you just gotta make do with what you have.)
Set up the dredge station. In a bowl, beat the egg. Now, dredge each piece of chicken in the egg before tossing it in the breading mixture and transfer it to your baking sheet. Do this until you’ve used up all the chicken.
Bake. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes, flip over and cook for 15 more minutes. Top with the marinara and cheese and place back in the oven for 3-5 more minutes until the sauce is hot and the cheese is melted or warm.
How to Store & Reheat Chicken Parmesan
- Refrigerator: Store the chicken parmesan in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: Store the baked chicken (without the marinara and cheese) in an airtight, freezer-safe container for 2-3 months. Add the marinara and mozzarella once you reheat it.
- Reheating: You have a couple of options for reheating. You can either use your oven or a toaster oven (my favorite). To do this, reheat the chicken parmesan at 375ºF for 10-15 minutes (check after 10) until the chicken is heated through.
Another option is to reheat the chicken in a pan with a lid and a little oil over medium heat until heated through.
If frozen, let thaw in the fridge overnight, and at the end of the 10-15 minutes, top with marinara and cheese and stick back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Avoid reheating in the microwave as it will cause the breading to become soggy.
Make it Your Way: Ingredient Substitutions
Please remember that recipes are meant to be used as guides/templates. How can you make this gluten-free chicken parmesan using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- Can’t find plantain chips? ➝ You can also use breadcrumbs (make sure to get gluten-free breadcrumbs if that’s important). Another option is to use another type of chip or cracker.
- No nutritional yeast? ➝ If you don’t have this cheesy/umami dairy-free seasoning, and you consume dairy, you can also just add grated parmesan in its place.
- Don’t have Italian seasoning? ➝ use a mix of marjoram, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage. Or use any of these spices that you have.
Helpful Tools & Tips
- Baking sheet with silicone baking mat. These two things are kitchen essentials I can’t cook without. Highly recommend. You can also use parchment paper, but the reusable silicone mat is great for reducing waste.
- Food processor. The breading is made really easily in a food processor. For a better understanding as to why a food processor is best, check out this post on the differences between a food processor and a blender.
- Cutting board. A sturdy cutting board is essential for cutting the chicken and tenderizing it.
- Chef or Serrated Knife. Essential for cutting the chicken into thin pieces.
Don’t sweat it if you don’t have a food processor. You can still make this gluten-free chicken parmesan. You’ll just have to get a little creative.
In fact, whatever tool you used for tenderizing the chicken, you can also use it for smashing the plantain chips. (Just make sure you put them in a Ziploc so they are contained.)
Who knew making chicken parm was such a therapeutic experience?
Want More Italian Recipes?
Be sure to check out:
Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and get a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper ready.
- Place plantain chips in the bowl of a food processor and process until they're crushed into small pieces. In a large plate or shallow bowl, add the crushed plantain chips along with the nutritional yeast, seasonings, and salt. Mix together with your hands and set aside.
- Cut the chicken breasts in half length-wise and put in either a ziplock or under a piece of parchment paper on a cutting board. Tenderize the chicken by pounding it until it's about 1/2 an inch thick. (see notes)
- In a bowl, beat the egg. Now, dredge each piece of chicken in the egg before tossing it in the breading mixture and transfer it to your baking sheet. Do this until you've used up all the chicken.
- Bake the chicken for 15 minutes, flip over and cook for 15 more minutes. Top with the marinara and cheese and place back in the oven for 3-5 more minutes until the sauce is hot and the cheese is melted.
- Cutlets don’t need to be cut or tenderized (pounded thin), so just skip to the dredging step.
- 1¼ cup of whole plantain chips will get you roughly ¾ cup of crushed plantains which is the amount you’ll want for 1 lb of chicken.
- Use as much cheese as you want for each piece. My favorite dairy-free option is topping it with my vegan mozzarella (which you can make ahead).
- For tenderizing: Do this by using a meat mallet, a rolling pin, the back of a measuring cup, or even a clean hammer.