Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Zucchini and Mushrooms - Spice & Dice

I’ve had a hankering for chicken parmesan ever since I saw a photo of something similar a few weeks ago. It may sound silly, but every time I thought about moving chicken from the freezer to defrost in the fridge, I mentally prepared for some good ol’ chicken parm.

Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Zucchini and Mushrooms - Spice & Dice

Chicken parmesan was a staple growing up. It was something that the whole family could agree upon. Those who disliked marinara sauce could forego it and enjoy the chicken atop some garlic noodles. Those who didn’t like breaded chicken (what!?) could still have a meal of spaghetti. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the whole shebang.

Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Zucchini and Mushrooms - Spice & Dice

While hiking yesterday, I decided that I was most definitely going to make some in the next few days. Because I have a tendency to go overboard with pasta, I figured I’d substitute the pasta with something more healthy. Darren brought home a zucchini from the school’s garden and it got me thinking – bingo! I have a mandoline with a spiralizer attachment that I had yet to use.

Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Zucchini and Mushrooms - Spice & Dice

The zucchini and mushrooms soak up the delicious garlic flavor, but the real rockstar of this dish is the chicken. If you’re going to make this, whatever you do, don’t leave out the smoked paprika. That smoky flavor is so perfect for the dish and it makes your whole house smell wonderful while it’s cooking!

Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Zucchini and Mushrooms - Spice & Dice

chicken parmesan with garlic zucchini and mushrooms

yields: 4 servings


  • cooking spray
  • 4 chicken tenders or 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted or 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup marinara


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick (cooking) spray.
  2. Line your chicken up on a cutting board and trim most of the fat off. If you’re using chicken breasts, (carefully!) cut each breast in half, so that each piece is thin. If using the tenders, cover with a bag and towel and pound them flat using a meat tenderizer. Aim to make each piece of chicken no more than 1/3 inch thick.
  3. In a bowl, mix the panko with the basil, oregano, smoked paprika, garlic powder, thyme, rosemany, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Brush each side of the chicken with the melted butter or coconut oil, coat with the panko mixture, and place on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the chicken for 18-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. While the chicken is in the oven, prepare your zucchini “pasta.” In a sauce pan, add the olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Cook on medium low, covered, for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. The garlic should be very aromatic.
  6. Using a mandoline or spiralizer (I use this one), slice the zucchini. Add the zucchini to the sauce pan. Cover, stirring occasionally, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. In another sauce pan, heat up your favorite marinara sauce.
  8. When the chicken is done, remove from the oven. Top with the mozzarella cheese and put it back into the oven for 1 minute – so that the cheese melts.
  9. Assemble your layers and enjoy immediately!


Yesterday we embarked on a much-anticipated 3-peak hike. I was really looking forward to this hike for a few reasons – first, it’s a relatively quick hike for being able to conquer 3 4,000-footers, and second, we had tried twice before to do this hike, having to reschedule. This was finally it!