Main Dishes

April 28, 2022

Healthy Pepperoni Chicken Parmesan

This Healthy Pepperoni Chicken Parmesan is an easy to make, low carb recipe for pepperoni pizza chicken dredged in pizza flavored corn puffs and topped with turkey pepperoni, then baked in the oven until crispy. Even the kids will love it!
This post is sponsored by Pure Protein but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Ka Pai Cooking possible!

My husband is obsessed with pizza. So much so that I've become a pizza connoisseur myself!

I'm not talking about Dominos or Little Caesar's, I'm talking artisan, fire grilled pizza. The good stuff.

But what do we do when we want pizza but we don't want to eat out? We make my 30 minute BBQ Chicken Pizza or my homemade pizza bagels!

Then I got thinking...

What if I wrote a healthy dinner recipe that had all the elements of pizza without actually being pizza?

Well buckle up, my friend, because if you've ever had chicken parmesan, and you love pizza, you are going to LOVE today's recipe for Pepperoni Chicken Parmesan!

It's everything you love about the classic parmesan chicken recipe, but with a twist: each piece of chicken is topped with marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, and turkey pepperoni, and the breadcrumbs are made of toasted bread, homemade pizza seasoning, and pizza flavored corn puffs.

Yes, you read that right: pizza flavored corn puffs!

But not just any corn puffs. These are protein corn puffs that are naturally gluten free, low carb, and packed with 18 grams of protein per bag!

Pepperoni Chicken Parmesan on a cooling rack

Chicken pepperoni pizza ingredients

If you've never made chicken parmesan before, it's so easy! You only need a few simple ingredients and this healthy pizza chicken recipe is no exception:

  • Chicken breast: the leanest piece of chicken with 23g protein per 4 ounces. I recommend using fresh over frozen chicken here because it will retain more egg and has the least amount of liquid. More liquid means less breading and less crisp. We don't want that! It's also the easiest to portion into equal pieces. With frozen chicken, you could get a few giants chicken breasts and a few odd shaped ones in the same batch. Read my FAQ section below for tips about weighing and portioning your chicken!
  • Eggs: to help the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken.
  • Marinara sauce: pizza sauce, pasta sauce, tomato sauce, it's all the same thing. Use any brand or flavor you like!
  • Parmesan cheese: for the best results, I recommend shredding it yourself or buying shaved parmesan. In my experience, pre-shredded parmesan doesn't melt very well and is more rubbery.
  • Turkey pepperoni: much lower in sodium and saturated fat than traditional pepperoni.
  • Pizza seasonings: a blend of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and red chili flakes.
  • Multigrain bread: gluten free if necessary.
  • Pure Protein Brick Oven Pizza Puffs: the secret ingredient to the breadcrumbs! Not only do these protein cheetos add more pizza flavor to this pizza chicken recipe but they are gluten free, non-GMO, low carb, and high protein. Click here to find a store near you that carries them!

Pure Protein Brick Oven Pizza Puffs with Pepperoni Chicken Parmesan

How to make pepperoni chicken parmesan

Like I mentioned earlier, this pepperoni pizza chicken bake is so easy to make. It only takes a few steps and 20 minutes of actual work. The oven does the rest!

Here's how to make this easy pizza chicken recipe:

Prep your supplies

Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with foil, then top with a cooling rack. The foil makes for easy cleanup, and the cooling rack allows the bottom of the chicken to crisp up just as much as the top.

For this recipe, you'll need a food processor. If you don't have one, you could use a high speed blender or do things the "old fashioned way" and use a rolling pin and a ziploc bag.

Lastly, get out two large, shallow bowls. One is for the eggs and one is for the breadcrumbs. Set them next to the baking sheet to minimize the mess.

Cheetos in a food processor

How to cut chicken for parmesan chicken

Instead of small, thick pieces of chicken, we want longer, skinnier pieces of chicken. This is for two reasons: 1) it reduces the total bake time in the oven and 2) it holds all the pizza toppings better.

But when I say longer and skinnier, I don't mean like tenderloins.

I mean like a hamburger bun. You have a top and a bottom piece, right? It's the same principle here.

The easiest way to cut the chicken like this is to place your hand on top of the chicken breast and slice the chicken in half under your hand.

Use your top hand to hold the chicken steady and apply tension in the opposite direction the knife is cutting.

The chicken breast should be exactly the same shape it was before, just half as thick.

Make the pizza breadcrumbs

Toast the slices of multigrain bread in the toaster until golden brown. This mimics day old french bread or oven-dried bread but it's much faster!

Add the toast to a food processor with the pizza puffs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, red chili flakes, salt, and onion powder. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour the breadcrumbs into one of the prepared bowls, then whisk the eggs until frothy in the other bowl.

Pizza Chicken Parmesan breadcrumbs made with brick oven pizza cheetos

Make the pizza chicken

My biggest tip for breading chicken is to designate one hand for the egg bowl and one hand for the breadcrumbs bowl.

This ensures you don't get eggy clumps of breadcrumbs in either bowl and the chicken is as well coated as possible.

Start by dredging each piece of chicken in the eggs, letting any excess drip off, then dredging in the breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess breadcrumbs, then place the chicken on the cooling rack on the baking sheet.

Cook for 15 minutes, then check to make sure the chicken is done. You can do this with a meat thermometer or by cutting into one of the pieces of chicken.

If the chicken is done, remove from the oven and add the pizza toppings. Spoon the marinara sauce on top, the sprinkle on the cheese and top with pepperoni.

Switch the oven to broil and broil the pizza chicken until the cheese is melted and the pepperonis' edges are starting to crisp up. Or leave it in longer for an extra crispy chicken. It's up to you!

Why you'll love this easy pizza chicken recipe

  • It's easy to make: just a few ingredients and a sheet pan is all you need!
  • It's great for meal prep: this pepperoni pizza chicken makes 8 hearty servings so you make dinner once and enjoy for days!
  • It's packed with protein: each serving has 35g of protein so you'll feel fuller, longer.
  • It's keto and low carb: which means you have room for dessert after dinner (or an extra roll during dinner!). You're welcome!
  • It's a great dinner for the kids: because what kid doesn't love pizza? And what parent doesn't want their kid to snack all night? This pepperoni pizza chicken bake will get the kids excited for dinner and leave the table with full tummies!

A piece of pizza chicken with marinara sauce, melted parmesan cheese, and turkey pepperoni on top

Frequently asked questions

What's the difference between chicken parmesan and chicken parmigiana?

Chicken parmesan is the established American version of the original Italian dish "chicken parmigiana." Chicken parmigiana refers to the style of cooking, not the actual ingredients, although the original parmigiana recipe was made with eggplant instead of chicken.

Can I use frozen chicken for chicken parmesan?

Yes, but remember to thaw completely and pat dry. We don't want any excess moisture on the chicken because it will prevent the egg from sticking and it will steam the chicken, not bake it.

I also recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your pieces of chicken. We want 4 ounce pieces!

Can I make homemade breadcrumbs without a food processor?

Yes, but they might not be as fine in texture. You can use a high speed blender and pulse until you have fine breadcrumbs or add all the ingredients to a large ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin or other heavy object.

Where can I find Pure Protein Brick Oven Pizza Puffs?

You can find them at select Walmart locations or order them online. Click here to find a store near you!

A plate of pepperoni pizza chicken bake with arugula salad and cheetos

What do you eat chicken parmesan with?

My personal favorites are this roasted broccoli salad or these scalloped potatoes. You could also make your favorite pasta, steam vegetables, or make homemade rolls. These Everything Bagel dinner rolls are my family's favorite!

Is chicken parmigiana healthy?

This recipe is! It is naturally gluten free and made with turkey pepperoni instead of traditional pepperoni. It also has 35g of protein per serving.

Is this pizza chicken recipe gluten free?

Yes! The Pure Protein Puffs are naturally gluten free and I used gluten free multigrain bread.

Can I make chicken parmesan in the air fryer?

Yes! Spray the basket with cooking spray and add your chicken in an even layer with some space in between each piece. Don't overcrowd the basket!

Cook in batches for 15-20 minutes at 400°F or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

How to measure chicken without a kitchen scale?

My secret is to always use fresh chicken instead of frozen. Look for fresh trays of chicken at the store and choose one that a) has a total weight as close to an even pound as possible, and b) has an easy divisible number of pieces for that weight. Here's are some examples:

  1. You find a tray of chicken that is 5.12 pounds and it has 5 chicken breasts in it. After trimming the excess fat, you'll have just about 5 pounds total, each breast weighing about 1 pound. For this recipe, you would cut two breasts into four pieces so each piece was roughly 4 ounces.
  2. You find a tray of chicken that weighs 1.95 pounds and you count 4 breasts. That means that 1 breast is roughly 1/2 a pound. For this recipe, you would cut each piece of chicken in half to get 8 4-ounce pieces.

A plate of pepperoni chicken parmesan with arugula salad

I hope you and your family love this easy healthy pepperoni pizza chicken parmesan as much as mine does. It's a fun way to enjoy chicken and the Brick Oven Pizza Puffs add the perfect touch.

If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating and review so other readers know how you like it! This also helps other people discover me, which helps me continue to provide these recipes for free.

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Healthy Pepperoni Chicken Parmesan

This Healthy Pepperoni Chicken Parmesan is an easy to make, low carb recipe for pepperoni pizza chicken dredged in pizza flavored corn puffs and topped with turkey pepperoni, then baked in the oven until crispy. Even the kids will love it!

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

20

min

cook:

20

min

total:

40

min

servings:

8

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into 4 oz. pieces*
  • 2 bags Pure Protein Brick Oven Pizza Puffs
  • 2 slices gluten free multigrain bread
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C marinara sauce
  • 1 C grated parmesan cheese**
  • 16 turkey pepperoni

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place a cooling rack on top and set aside. Set out two shallow bowls.
  2. Toast the bread in the toaster until golden brown. Add the toast to a food processor with the pizza puffs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, red chili flakes, salt, and onion powder. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour into one of the shallow bowls and set aside.
  3. Add the eggs to the other bowl and whisk until frothy.
  4. Dredge each piece of chicken in the eggs and drip off any excess egg. Then, dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs and shake off any excess breadcrumbs. Set the chicken on the cooling rack (on the baking sheet).
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F. Remove from the oven and switch to broil.
  6. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of marinara sauce over each piece of chicken, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of parmesan over each piece of chicken. Place 2 pepperonis Broil 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the pepperoni has crisped up. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with your favorite pasta, salad, or any side you like!

Notes

*You should have 8 total pieces of chicken, approximately 4 oz. each. See blog post for details.

**See blog post for details.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1 chicken breast (4 oz. of chicken plus toppings), not including any side dishes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 chicken breast / Calories: 252 / Fat: 9.8g / Saturated fat: 3.7g / Carbohydrates: 7.6g / Fiber: 0.9g / Protein: 35.4g