The Best Keto Chicken Parmesan (Restaurant style!)

This recipe for keto chicken parmesan is truly the best- Crispy and juicy chicken topped with marinara sauce and two kinds of cheese, and all baked to perfection, no one will be able to tell it is low carb!  

Keto Chicken Parmesan

Remember how I said that I had a second stomach for fried chicken? It seems like I also have one for chicken parmesan. 

Growing up in Australia, chicken parmesan, or, commonly referred to as the chicken parmigiana, is a comfort food staple for many. Every pub or Italian restaurant would have it on their menu, and many places claim to have the best in the country. 

Now, I’ve tried hundreds of chicken parmesans in my lifetime and no one does it better than the Italians. I reckon it comes down to the sauce that they use, but I’ve never eaten one I’ve been disappointed with.

Since going keto (and trying to be healthier), chicken parmesan has been something I’ve wanted to tackle. Many assume it’s a labor-intensive and time-consuming dish to make, but that is far from the truth! 

Is keto chicken parmesan keto? 

Unfortunately, chicken parmesan is not keto friendly. It has a breading made of flour AND bread crumbs, and are often served with non-keto side dishes, like potatoes and pasta.

Luckily, you can make your own restaurant-style chicken parmesan that tastes just as good as the ones breaded and seasoned. The chicken cutlets are perfectly crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, and it’s topped with marinara sauce and two kinds of cheese, giving you an incredible flavor hit

The secret to the perfect chicken parmesan recipe is frying the chicken before baking it in the oven- You never risk any soggy chicken, even when the sauce and cheese are baked on top!

What you’ll need to make a keto parmesan chicken

keto chicken parmesan ingredients

For the chicken

  • Chicken breast– Use either 4 small chicken breasts or two large ones sliced down the middle. Pounding the chicken beforehand helps the chicken cook evenly and remain flavorful. 
  • Salt– Just a pinch to balance out the flavors. 
  • Almond flour– Blanched almond flour is mixed with parmesan cheese to create a delicious low carb breading. 
  • Parmesan cheese– Finely grated or freshly grated parmesan cheese. Avoid using the pre-packed shelf-stable ones, as they will yield a gritty texture. 
  • Garlic and onion powder– For extra flavor without needing any garlic or onion. 
  • Oil– To fry everything in. The best oil for frying is ones with a high smoke point, like peanut oil or safflower oil. 

For the toppings

  • Tomato sauce– Any sugar free tomato sauce can be used (not ketchup). I either use a homemade spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce.
  • Mozzarella cheese– Sliced mozzarella cheese, not pre-shredded varieties. 
  • Parmesan cheese– A small amount is added on top to give the chicken parmesan a more flavorful bunch. 

How do you make a low carb chicken parmesan? 

1. Lightly dust the pounded chicken breast pieces in almond flour.

almond flour chicken breast

2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. In a second bowl, add the remaining almond flour, along with the other dry ingredients. Dip the chicken in the egg mix, followed by the dry mix, until completely coated.

crumbed chicken cutlets

3. Fry the chicken until golden brown.

fried chicken breast cutlets

4. Place the fried chicken breast pieces on a baking tray. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese has melted. 

chicken parmesan

FAQ and tips to make the best recipe

How many carbs are in chicken parmesan?

Traditional chicken parmesan has around 49 grams of carbs per serving, mainly due to the bread crumb coating. As this dish is typically served over pasta or with a side of fries, you’d be looking at over 150 grams of carbs per serving. 

This keto version yields a mere 2 grams net carbs. Serve it over some keto pasta or keto french fries and you’d still be under 5 grams of net carbs per serving. 

Are chicken parmesan and chicken parmigiana the same thing? 

Depending on where in the world you are located, you may call this dish a chicken parm, chicken parmesan, or chicken parmigiana. In fact, the latter is a classic Australian dish, often referred to as a parma or parmi. 

Is marinara sauce keto friendly? 

Most store bought marinara sauces have added sugar in them and aren’t suitable for a keto diet. There are several grocery store brands, like Prego no added sugar and Yo Mamma’s food that don’t have excess sugar in them.

However, do as we did and use a keto spaghetti sauce instead. Not only does it taste incredible but it has no artificial sweeteners in it! 

Can I bake or air fry the chicken instead? 

For the extra crispy exterior, frying in a generous amount of oil is the best. However, you can definitely skip that and bake or air fry it instead. 

  • Baking– Place the crumbed chicken on a baking tray and bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  • Air fryer– Easily air fry the breaded chicken by placing it in the air fryer basket and cooking at 200C/400F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Regardless of which option you choose to cook your chicken, be sure that the internal temperature is 65C, so it is fully cooked. 

Storing, freezing, and reheating chicken parmesan

  • To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. 
  • To freeze: Place individual portions of the chicken parmesan in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
  • Reheating: Either reheat in the oven or the air fryer. You can microwave it, but you risk the chicken coating being slightly soggy. 

low carb chicken parmesan

What to serve with chicken parmesan

Take some inspiration from Italy, by serving it over pasta or take on from the Western countries, and pair it with some fries- keto, of course! 

keto parmesan chicken
  • 6 small chicken breasts 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp oil to fry
  • Pound the chicken breast until ¼ inch in thickness. Sprinkle each breast of chicken with salt and lightly coat both sides of the chicken with the almond flour until covered. 

  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. In a separate bowl, add the parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, and the remaining almond flour that was leftover after coating the chicken. Dip the chicken breast pieces in the eggs until coated, letting excess drip off, followed by the parmesan/almond flour mixture. Repeat the process until all the chicken is coated.

  • Place oil in a non-stick pan and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden on one side. Flip and cook for a further 3 minutes. Transfer the fried chicken breast fillets to a plate covered in some paper towel, to soak up any oil.

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  • Place the crumbed chicken onto the baking sheet. Top with enough marinara sauce to cover the top, followed by 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden on top.

  • Remove the chicken parmesan from the oven and serve immediately.

To oven bake the chicken– Place the crumbed chicken on a baking tray and bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
To air fry the chicken– Easily air fry the breaded chicken by placing it in the air fryer basket and cooking at 200C/400F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Place individual portions of the chicken parmesan in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
TO REHEAT: Either reheat in the oven or the air fryer. You can microwave it, but you risk the chicken coating being slightly soggy. 

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 714mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 311IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 2g