Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Chicken Parm Eggplant Stacks

Main Dishes

Do you enjoy any odd snack foods? I have a thing for croutons. Not only do I go out of my way to scoop as many as is politely possible onto my salad plate at buffets, I also really like snacking on them on their own – yep, right out of the package and usually when I’m making dinner. I’ve even been known to pour some in a bowl and munch on them while I’m watching TV. My very favorite use for them, however, is in chicken parm because crushed croutons are my secret breading ingredient! They make the perfectly seasoned golden crust.

Chicken parm is one of our favorite dishes and I recently decided it needed to be amped up a bit. In this version, I topped my breaded chicken not only with marinara and mozzarella, but also with a layer of creamy ricotta and roasted eggplant. Mmm, if you enjoy chicken and eggplant parm, you’ll love this!

Chicken Parm Eggplant Stacks
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Eggplant:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 1/2-inch thick long eggplant slices (from 2 medium eggplants cut lengthwise)

Chicken:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup of your favorite crouton crumbs
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied in half lengthwise so you have 6 pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil

Assembly:
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
To roast the eggplant, heat oven to 375˚F. Brush eggplants slices on both sides with olive oil and place on a large cookie sheet. Roast eggplant at 375˚F for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

To prepare the chicken, place flour and salt in a shallow dish and mix well. Place eggs in another shallow dish and mix well with a fork. Place crouton crumbs in a third shallow dish. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken in the flour, then the egg, and then the croutons until well covered. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a medium nonstick skillet. Place three pieces of chicken in the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side for or until cooked through, no longer pink in the center, and firm to your touch. Repeat with three remaining pieces of chicken and olive oil. Place cooked chicken pieces in a 13×9-inch pan.

To assemble the stacks, heat broiler. Mix ricotta cheese, oregano, pecorino romano cheese, and salt in a small bowl until smooth. Top cooked chicken pieces evenly half the marinara and then the ricotta mixture. Top ricotta mixture with roasted eggplant slices, remaining marinara, and mozzarella cheese. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until ricotta is heated through and mozzarella cheese is melted. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition: 491 calories, 23.0g fat, 6.2g fiber, 47.7g protein per serving
Cost: $2.03 per serving

Walnut Chicken Strips with Rosemary Cider Sauce

I was a really picky eater growing up, like sort of embarrassingly picky looking back...but I was always up for chicken strips or nuggets. In fact, even if they weren’t on the menu, I’d do my best to find a way to order them. At Chinese restaurants, for example, I...

Chicken Skewers over Citrus Mashed Potatoes

I love planning parties. My perfectionist and organizational sides enjoy thinking about all the details and watching everything come together. We may not have kids yet, but I already know I’ll be one of those moms attempting to throw picture perfect birthday parties...

Goat Cheese Pizza with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

We rarely order pizza or make it at home, because I get free pizza at lunch meetings at least two times a week at work. This is a very common perk in science, and I’m sure I could find pizza to eat at seminars every day if I hunted around enough! But, I actually...

Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Meatloaf

Poor meatloaf. I think meatloaf tends to get a bad rap, but I will always have a soft spot for it because it was the first dish I ever made for Apolinaras. I was a baby of 22 and just starting to get comfortable in the kitchen when I invited him over for dinner. We’d...

Mexican Polenta Rounds

I just got back from San Diego, where I attended a conference for work. The days were packed with lectures and the hotel was a bit isolated on Coronado Island, so I didn’t actually get to spend any time sightseeing. Good thing I’ve already been to San Diego a couple...

Mushroom Walnut Pesto Pasta

Apolinaras went to Costco while I was on my baking adventure and brought home a fun present - a huge canister of dried gourmet mushrooms! The blend contained a mix of porcini, morels, Brazilian, Ivory portabellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, and I immediately knew...

Pancetta and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

We just got back from our annual lab ski trip, where stayed in a huge house up in New Hampshire and hit the slopes and snowshoeing trails at Mount Sunapee. We all had a great time relaxing, hanging out, and enjoying some incredible meals. Everyone signed up to make a...

Sweet Chili Apricot Shrimp Skewers over Israeli Couscous

Apolinaras really enjoyed the last Israeli couscous dish I made. In fact, he said it would have been a 10 if I hadn’t included the spinach in the salad, haha. He snuck another box into our cart at Trader Joe’s recently, which I thought was pretty cute, and since he’s...