Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Pesto Ranch Sauce: Without Breadcrumbs

This low carb Parmesan chicken recipe is so easy you won’t believe how fast it goes from fridge to skillet to table. You can have dinner on the table in a short fifteen minutes and make it look like you slaved over the meal all day. Top it with a super simple creamy pesto ranch sauce that brings out the flavor of the cheese crust and adds even more moisture to an already mouth-watering dish.

For this recipe you’ll need: butter, avocado oil, thin chicken breasts, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder, ranch dressing, basil pesto

Crispy parmesan chicken without breadcrumbs.

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Parmesan Chicken Recipe Backstory

My husband is a big fan of Parmesan chicken. Of course, he is in love with the traditional chicken made with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. I knew I wanted a lower carb version for our dinner, so I decided to experiment a bit and see what I could come up with. Normally, I have to try a recipe several times to get it just right, but this is one of those rare times that every element came together and the dish turned out even better than I imagined.

Sometimes my experiments don’t turn out so great and need quite a bit of tweaking. My husband, who is my guinea pig to help taste test new recipes. He gave this experiment two thumbs up.

The result was a chicken breast filled that was moist on the inside and bursting with crisp cheesy flavor on the outside. The creamy pesto ranch sauce added just the right amount of pizzazz to balance the saltiness of the cheese. I suspect this will become a new favorite for nights when it’s just the two of us.

Creamy pesto ranch sauce topping no breadcrumb parmesan chicken.
The creamy ranch pesto sauce is so easy to make and turns this basic recipe into a culinary delight.

Parmesan Chicken FAQs

How do I make Parmesan chicken with creamy pesto ranch sauce?

Steps to create easy parmesan chicken without breadcrumbs.
Put easy parmesan chicken on the table in 15 minutes.

Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? You’ll be amazed at how fast this recipe pulls together with items you likely have on hand.

  1. Beat one egg lightly and pour onto a paper plate.
  2. Grate Parmesan cheese, mix in seasoning and place on second paper plate.
  3. Put oil and butter in a medium size skillet and set burner to medium heat.
  4. Dredge each chicken breast in egg and then “breading” mixture. The chicken does not have to be completely coated, but you want a loose coating on all sides.
  5. Place coated breasts in heated oil and butter mixture and cook on medium heat for six minutes on each side.
  6. While the chicken cooks, add pesto to ranch dressing and stir together.
  7. Cook breasts until they are a crispy golden brown and cooked through.
  8. Remove from heat and top with creamy pesto ranch sauce.
  9. Enjoy!

Is there a difference between Parmesan chicken and chicken parmigiana?

Traditionally, chicken Parmigiana is made with breadcrumbs, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and baked in the oven. This recipe is more of a pan fried dish and missing the mozzarella and tomato sauce. Taking away the tomato sauce lowers the carb counts considerably.

Is chicken Parmesan an Italian dish?

Chicken parmigiana is an Italian-American dish. It has traditional Italian elements and seasonings, but we’ve Americanized it as we’ve done with pizza and other favorite dishes.

How do I make baked Parmesan chicken in the oven?

Personally, I think frying this chicken Parmesan recipe is what gives it that little extra crunch and buttery flavor. However, if you’re trying to reduce fat a bit or prefer the taste of oven-baked chicken, you could certainly adapt this recipe for the oven.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, preheat oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Easy parm chicken using real parmesan cheese and no breadcrumbs.
Real parmesan cheese is the secret ingredient in this recipe.

Variations to Parmesan Chicken Recipe

I spent some time thinking about different ways I’ve had easy Parmesan chicken over the years with and without breadcrumbs. There are a number of ways you could serve this chicken and still stay low carb.

  • Add fresh tomatoes or some homemade salsa to the top of the chicken.
  • Use a different flavor of cheese.
  • Mix a little almond flour with the Parmesan cheese for more of a breadcrumb like coating.
  • Use pork rinds mixed with seasoning and cheese as the coating.
  • Serve over zoodles.
  • Replace chicken breasts with pork tenderloins.

You May Need

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Low Carb Parmesan Chicken Recipe

This low carb Parmesan chicken recipe doesn’t use breadcrumbs but still comes out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The recipe is enough for two people, but you can easily double amounts (cook for same time) and make more. Parmesan chicken is delicious as leftovers or cut up and served on top of a salad the next day. Use the pesto ranch dressing for salad dressing.

This creamy parmesan chicken is crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.
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Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Pesto Ranch Sauce

The perfect weeknight meal - easy to throw together in 15 minutes or less. The result is a meal bursting with flavor, crispy edges and moist interior. The creamy sauce pulls it all together with a slight Italian flare. 
Course Low Carb Main, Main Course, main dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword chicken, keto, low carb, parmesan
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 335kcal
Author Lori Soard

Ingredients

  • 4 thin chicken breasts
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning can sub basil and oregano
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 teaspoon pesto basil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

Instructions

  • Rinse thin cut chicken breasts in cool water.
  • Lightly beat egg and place on paper plate (can use a regular plate or shallow bowl).
  • Grate Parmesan cheese and mix in pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Place all on second plate.
  • Put oil and butter in skillet and heat on medium.
  • Place chicken breasts one at a time in egg, coating both sides.
  • Immediately move breast to plate of cheese mix and coat both sides lightly. Transfer into heated skillet. Repeat with other chicken breasts.
  • Cook for six minutes on one side and then flip and cook for six minutes on the second side. 
  • Breasts are done when they are golden brown and inside of chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove immediately and place on paper towel lined plate to drain.
  • Stir pesto into ranch dressing. 
  • Put breast on a plate and top with as much creamy pesto ranch sauce as desired.
  • Eat every last bite.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 5.1% | Vitamin C: 2.3% | Calcium: 9.8% | Iron: 5.1%

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Last Updated 02/09/2019

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