Chicken Parmesan

This is one of the first meals I ever cooked for my husband years ago.  Back then, I used to bread the chicken, first dipping it in an egg wash and then coating it with bread crumbs.  Rather than cooking the chicken breasts in a skillet, I would bake them in a baking dish.

Now, since I am counting calories, I try to do whatever possible to cut down on some of the calories.  So, instead of breading the chicken, I grill it without any breading.  I feel like I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here.  Let me start at the beginning with the ingredients.

6 or 8 Chicken breast, thinly sliced (depends on how many servings you want out of the dish)
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
1 Box of Penne pasta (I use the Barilla Protein Plus pasta)
1 Jar of spaghetti sauce of your choice (I like to use the Prego Traditional or Roasted Garlic sauce)
1 Small bag of Parmesan cheese

I always start by washing the chicken in a colander.  After washing it, I leave it in the colander and season both sides of it to taste with the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Place each of the chicken breasts in a grilling pan.  You could certainly bake them as well, if that is your preference.  There are so many variations of this dish, it's kind of hard to mess up.

Once one side of the chicken breast is cooked, flip each over to cook the remainder.  It is hard to tell you exactly how long to cook each side because the sizes can range vastly, depending on where you purchase your chicken.  Just watch it closely because it will cook pretty quickly.

While your chicken is cooking, boil the Penne pasta.  Once it is boiled, drain it in a colander and run cold water over it so the noodles don't stick together.  I would not use the same colander that I used for the chicken without washing it between uses.

After your pasta has been drained and rinsed, pour it into a baking dish. You will now begin layering the dish.  Next, pour half the jar of the spaghetti sauce on top of the pasta.  Mix the noodles an the sauce in the pan so that there is a little bit of sauce on each noodle.

Place the chicken breasts on top of the noodles, side by side.

After all of the chicken breasts have been placed over the pasta, pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the dish to cover.

Then, sprinkle a layer of the Parmesan cheese over the entire dish.

Bake the dish in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

This dish is so simple to make.  It is quite delicious as well.  For our family, it has become a weekday staple.


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