Chicken Parmesan: Our First Date Dinner

Chicken Parmesan | Life as MOM

Many, many moons ago… in fact, about 18 years ago, I made dinner for the man who became my husband and the father of my children. Chicken Parmesan was the first meal I ever cooked for him. The chicken turned out okay, but you should have seen the look on his face when I broke the spaghetti in two!

That’s how we always did it in my family. Doesn’t everybody? Uh, no. True pasta connoisseurs do not break the spaghetti noodles in half. But, thankfully, he didn’t hold it against me. And the rest, as they say, is history.

For the last few years I’ve recreated that first date dinner for Valentine’s Day. We enjoy the meal with our kids and take a walk down memory lane.

This year in light of our new food goals for the year, I healthified it just a tad. Instead of coating the chicken in egg and white bread crumbs and frying it in oil, I used buttermilk, whole wheat bread crumbs, and non-stick spray and baked the chicken.

Instead of a heavy coating of mozzarella, I used a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan. And while white pasta is super delish, I mixed it with 1/2 whole wheat spaghetti. Steamed broccoli on the side rounded out the meal.

The added plus was that, all told, the meal — to feed all 8 of us — only cost $6.47! That’s one good (and cheap) eat!

What’s your first date dinner? Want the dish on delicious ways to act your wage? Subscribe to GCE in a reader or via email.

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  1. Can I prepare the chicken breasts up to the point where you dip them in the breadcrumbs and then freeze them until a later date to bake?

    • I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to guess that you can. But don’t quote me on that. I’ll add it to my list of things to test. 🙂

  2. I love that the changes you made actually made it cheaper too!

  3. This sounds so yummy! I will definitely have to try it asap! I am like you, I always have broken the pasta. My mom always did so I did too. LOL
    God bless,

  4. Courtney says:

    This is so funny, I think that Chicken Parmesan was one of the first dinners I made my husband when we were dating also. We love it and have it regularly. While I still saute my chicken in EVOO, I do use Dijon mustard sometimes instead of eggs or buttermilk. But I think I’ll give this one a try also. Thanks. As always, a huge fan of your site!

  5. I HAVE to try this soon! Thanks!

  6. AllieZirkle says:

    We ended up trying out this recipe last night. I baked it on a cooling rack nestled on a cookie sheet. It worked out great! But we decided to saute the cooked breasts in olive oil and butter and bake in some sauce (topped with mozzarella!). It was super easy and super tasty! And yes, it was served with crockpot red sauce and spaghetti with a side salad. YUM!

  7. I made this for our Family Valentine’s Dinner last night and the family just couldn’t get enough of it. I like the fact that the chicken is baked and not fried. I did add some parmesaen cheese to bread crumb mixture. The house smelled so good while chicken was in the oven. I served it with noodles and Caesar salad and Malasada’s for dessert.

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