{ COOKBOOK CLUB }: Giada’s Skinny Chicken Parm

Happy Wednesday!

Boy oh boy am I excited to share this recipe. Let’s get right into it, shall we? As mentioned, this month I am cooking from Giada’s Happy Cooking. { buy here }


Does it get any better?

This chicken parm is cooked both on the stovetop & the oven. It’s perfectly browned and tender. Although it’s not deep fried, it sure isn’t lacking in flavour.

In fact, Giada uses one of the coolest cooking techniques ever, and one I plan to use on dishes to come.

She mixes a bunch of herbs with olive oil & then brushes it on the chicken breast. Then tops it with salt & pepper. This really packs on the flavour and makes the chicken extra juicy.

The herbs she uses are fresh thyme, rosemary, & parsley. I actually bought oregano instead of parsley & it worked just fine. Feel free to use whatever herbs you like, but be sure to keep at least the Thyme or Rosemary as they really add to the aromatics.

I am 100% implementing this herb oil trick in dishes to come! Genius, yeah?

It cooks stovetop in a heavy oven-proof skillet & then goes into the oven for about 5 minutes. With less than 20 minutes including prep, cooking, & serving, this makes a perfect dinner on a work night.

As far as marinara, I made my own on Saturday. A staple I always include in my weekly instacart order is crushed San Marzano tomatoes – these to be exact. I rarely buy store bought sauces anymore since it’s so easy to whip up.

Making your own sauce is quite simple. I’ll do a whole post on this since I do try and make it weekly to have on hand to make weeknight dinners a cinch. I just heat garlic & onions over some olive oil until translucent (10 minutes), add in the tomatoes, basil, a bay leaf, a drizzle of olive oil, & red wine. Cook over low and stir occaisionally for about an hour. For the last 5 minutes, I throw in chopped kale. Easy, right? If you want it more smooth, use an immersion blender {or nutribullet}!

The recipe calls for packaged shredded mozarella, but Erik & I only had fresh mozarella so we sliced thin disks on top of the chicken. Obviously, this adds extra fat & calories, but we were happy to add them on. I don’t recommend buying shredded cheese as it loses is most of the flavour {not to mention is more expensive}. If you’re looking to really cut on the calories, by a block of dry mozarella & shred it as you need it. This is always the way to go!

After you brown the chicken in the pan – no extra oil needed since you have it on the chicken – top the chicken breasts with the mozzarella, marinara {also spoon the marinara around the chicken}, parmesean & a small cube of butter. Put that pan in the oven for ~5 minutes.

Okay so I am going to be completely transparent with you guys…. but the first time I made this, I fucked it up bad. I don’t know what I read, but I mixed up this recipe in a major way and kept telling Erik this recipe didn’t make sense, especially the  butter part. Well, I completely skipped the part about the oven. So we made it stove top. Sure it was okay, but it wasn’t mindblowing so we started over, followed the actual recipe to a T & we were both floored by it, it’s so good! So do it correctly and get your mind blownnnn for realz.

If you love to indulge on chicken parm, give this one a go! It’s beyond easy, full of flavour, & when done right, so easy that my cat can do it.


I served ours over a bed of shaved kale with some more marinara sauce. Not to sound super annoying, but we didn’t even miss the pasta – the chicken was so filling on it’s own! I recommend serving it with greens or zoodles to keep things light!

Anyways, I can’t recommend this recipe enough. Give it a go! As mentioned here, I LOVE Giada & her recipes and they have never led me astray (only when it’s a user error lol).

Erik was thumbing through my cookbook and mentioned how good it looked. I love this book since it’s a mix of healthy, practical, & delicious dishes. The Weeknight Warrior section is pure gold for anyone who works full-time.

As far as what wines to pair with it? A rule I love to follow is what grows together goes together. So look for, say an Italian red? like a Brunello Di Montalcino, where the tannin & acid will cut through the cheese (aka fat). Another pairing I am loving with this is a rosé Champagne – it instantly turns this lightened up chicken parm into something bougie! Not to mention, a rosé Champagne pairs well with tomatoes. You can also go the Pinot Noir route – just make sure it’s more on the dry side rather the fruity!

Now I wanna hear from you – what are some of your favourite lightened up favourites? Any other cookbooks I need? LMK!

+++ fun fact, but the wolf shirt from The Mountain I am wearing is my first Amazon purchase EVER in 2009!! Buy it here, but be sure to read the reviews first!! I need the glow in the dark one asap!!!



Print Recipe
Giada de Laurentiis's Skinny Chicken Parm
This lightened up chicken parm is full of flavour & seriously juicy! You can get this on your table in less than 20 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight dish!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Passive Time 5 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Passive Time 5 minutes
  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the together the chopped herbs & oil until blended. Using a brush or a spoon, cover both sides of the chicken with the herb oil and finish with salt and pepper.
  3. Over high heat, heat a large ovenproof (VERY IMPORTANT!) skillet over high heat. Add chicken & cook until browned, ~1 min per side. Remove from heat.
  4. Top chicken with mozarella and sprinkle with the parmesan. Add the pieces of butter to the tops of chicken and bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, ~ 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot! Enjoy with shaved kale, zucchini noodles or good ole pasta! Cheers! x
Recipe Notes

To make vegetarian, use eggplant. To make vegan, nix the mozz. Sub the parmesan with some almonds, nutritional yeast, garlic (fresh or powder), lemon juice, salt & pepper ground in a food processor until finely ground.

Feel free to use whatever herbs you want! x

Share this Recipe


  • post barre prosecco 🥂✨ I would say to start the holiday birthday weekend but tbh I do this every Friday 🤸🏻‍♀️ #tgiff #slssf #slsootd
  • MY BIRTHDAY IS MAY 28 so here’s everything I’m bringing with me to my birthday vacation! 🎈
⚜️ details on the swim here: https://essellesse.com/2019-birthday-suits/
⚜️ what I’m wearing {clothes and makeup} here: https://essellesse.com/may-23-2019
sorry the musics loud, I tried re-recording but it’s ok bc nothing I’m saying is really that important lol
Lazy Luxury playlist: bit.ly/slsbirthday
🎼: Love Like This - The Establishment
brands shown/wearing: @express @depop @somethingnavy @nordstrom @makebeauty @ patmcgrathreal @brandymelvilleusa @gooseberry.seaside @amazonfashion {via @colette.prime}
hashtags: #sfblogger #memorialdayweekend #vintage #expresslife #90sstyle #80sstyle #ootdwomen #ootdvacation #californiafashion #wearthisnext #lifestyleblogger #thriftfinds #swimsuit #bayareablogger #brandymelville #brandyusa #ootd #wiw #vacation #mdw #mdw2019 #louisvuitton #japan #outfitinspo
  • *literally one day in learning katakana*:
me: **buys this sweatshirt**
if you wanna know what it says go to essellesse.com 💱 #slsootd #brandyusa #brandymelville #katakana #learningjapanese
  • i bought this lipstick because I saw @alexachung wearing it 💋 #influenced #slsootd #shiseido
  • I’ve lived in SF for like 6 years and this is my first Pliny lol 🍻 #plinytheelder #slsootd
  • old world vs new world wine tasting 🍷 the gigondas was my fav #happymonday ⚜️ #slswine #winetasting #gigondas #wine #slsootd
  • drizzly pre-dinner walks to l’ocean pacifique 🌧 tonight he’s grilling steaks & I’m making a maitake rosemary asiago risotto 👅✨ #ssootd #slssf #sanfrancisco #pacificocean #momentswithsunday

Follow & say what's up!