This gluten-free chicken parmesan combines boneless chicken breasts, lightly breaded with a healthy grain-free crust of ground almonds, and topped with buffalo mozzarella and my homemade cherry tomatoes basil sauce. If you’re looking for a quick dinner recipe, it bakes on a sheet pan in under 30 minutes in the oven!
I still have a little bit of gut guilt when it comes to dairy. I talk about this a bit in my book The Wellness Project. I try to eat less of it these days than I used to for anti-inflammatory reasons, and to make it organic when possible. But when it comes to cheesy favorites like lasagna, pizza, and, yes, GF chicken parm, I can’t quite cut the cord.
During the years I suffered from stomachaches thanks to an undiagnosed serious gluten sensitivity, I assumed the culprit was dairy. But as it turned out, it was the flour in my beloved lasagna, pizza and chicken parm, not the cheese, that was the issue.
I know it’s not great for me, but since my body hasn’t proven to flat out reject it, I have a hard time taking cheese off the table entirely. Especially since I’m married a bonified cheese slut who used to eat an entire wheel of stinky Camembert for dinner. So my approach these days to gluten-free dinner ideas is to keep some comfort foods in my diet, but to use a little less cheesy goodness than usual. Which is exactly what I did for this gluten-free chicken Parmesan recipe.
What type of cheese can you use in this gluten-free baked chicken parmesan?
For whatever reason, people seem to be able to better digest cheese that’s made from non-cows milk, such as sheep, goat and buffalo. So I felt even more vindicated and less shameful adding some slabs of buffalo mozzarella to this gluten-free chicken Parmesan. It’s a bit more expensive than regular fresh mozzarella, mainly because it’s imported from Italy, but you’re ensured a hormone-free, grass-fed animal (not the case for most American cheese), and it just tastes better.
If you can’t find buffalo, regular mozzarella is fine but look for the whole milk variety stored in water at the cheese counter versus hard, part-skim mozzarella.
Can you make chicken parmesan without breadcrumbs?
To make this gluten-free chicken Parmesan, I’ve replaced the usual breadcrumbs with a mixture of ground almonds (you can use almond meal) and Parmesan cheese. Both are high in fat and can get browned and crispy, even when baked in the oven (instead of pan-fried).
One of my other favorite tricks for replacing breadcrumbs, which I use in these Gluten-free breaded chicken tenders recipe is to coat the baked chicken in cornflakes or other GF breakfast cereal!
How to make chicken parmesan without flour
Besides breadcrumbs, the other gluten element of most chicken parmesan recipes is flour for dredging prior to the egg wash. In this case, the almond meal replaces both the flour and the breadcrumbs since it is a hybrid when it comes to texture. I don’t find that you need to double coat the cutlets, but you can if you want a thicker gluten-free crust.
For a nut-free option, you can use pulsed rolled oats (my favorite for gluten-free chicken meatballs!), gluten-free breadcrumbs, or even cornmeal for that sandy texture!
Using fresh tomato sauce from scratch
To prevent the cutlets from getting soggy, and to take advantage of the fresh tomatoes that are available at the farm stands, I top the gluten-free baked chicken with a homemade chunky sauce using a mix of cherry and heirloom tomatoes and a few thin slices of Buffalo mozzarella.
But to cut down on time, you can easily use a store bought jarred tomato sauce – just douse the chicken sparingly.
What type of chicken do you use for this chicken parmesan
I like you use whole chicken breasts that are butterflied or pounded thin so that they cover almost your entire dinner plate – kind of like a milanese that is then topped like a pizza! But you also cut them fully in half widthwise into two thin cutlets or purchase cutlets at the store.
Can this gluten-free baked chicken also be low FODMAP?
Many of my gluten-free dinner ideas can also be adapted to be low FODMAP recipes. To make this GF chicken parm low FODMAP, you must keep the individual mozzarella portion to under 1.5 ounces per serving, or 6 ounces for the entire recipe. Then simply omit the garlic from the sauce or use a sensitive formula tomato sauce.
Other delicious healthy recipes with chicken:
- Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes
- Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie
- Gluten-Free Fried Chicken
- Kalamata Olive Chicken
- Gluten-Free Butter Chicken
- Gluten-Free Sesame Chicken
- Baked Gluten-Free Chicken Wings
- Sheet Pan Gluten-Free Chicken with Ginger
If you didn’t have your own weekend of jam-packed cheesy healthy hedonism, consider indulging in this gluten-free chicken parm to start the week off right!
With health and hedonism,
30 Minute Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan (Baked)
- Olive oil
- 2 cups almond meal or ground almonds
- 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- Sea salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise, butterflied or pounded thin (you can also buy cutlets)
- 2 large cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 1/2 pounds mixed fresh tomatoes (heirloom, vine or cherry tomatoes) roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup roughly torn basil leaves
- 8 ounces Buffalo mozzarella thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle with a thin layer of oil and rub with your fingers or brush to grease the pan.
- Combine the ground almonds, Parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl or plate with a fork. Beat the eggs in a second shallow bowl. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Dip each breast in the eggs, and then the almond mixture. Press the crumbs into the chicken and make sure the breasts are well-covered, shaking off any excess. Place on the greased baking sheet.
- Bake the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bottom crust has begun to brown (you'll see any crumbs on the pan have become golden). Carefully flip the cutlets with two flat spatulas, and continue to cook until the coating is golden brown and firm, 5 to 10 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook the garlic and chili flakes, keeping an eye on it, until sizzling and beginning to turn golden brown, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and most of the liquid has been released, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in half the basil and set aside.
- Top the baked chicken with the mozzarella slices, tearing them into smaller pieces with your fingers, followed by the tomato sauce. Try to leave any loose juices in the pan so the cutlets don't get too soggy. Any remaining sauce can be served on the side. I like leaving a little crust around the edges naked – like a pizza!
- Return to the oven and cook until the mozzarella is melted, 5 more minutes.
- Garnish with the remaining basil and additional parm, if desired. Serve warm from the pan alongside any remaining sauce!