Chicken parmesan muffins

Two words that usually make me cringe when I see them on a menu: chicken parmesan.

Why?

Because it epitomizes crap Italian-American food, restaurants with a white, green & red color scheme on their sign (something that will immediately deter me from ever entering) and a deep fried piece of dry meat slathered in a jarred red sauce. And the saddest part is that most Americans think that’s what actual Italian food is. That, fried calamari and mozzarella pronounced like it’s related to the applesauce company. I know we all can’t be Giada, but the “motts-a-rella” thing kills me. Killlllls me.

I’m not trying to be some elitist American of Italian descent, but chicken parm should be light, full of fresh herb flavor with a hint of a salty bite from the parmesan cheese. Not doused in sodium filled marinara sauce with enough grease dripping off of it to fry 10 lbs. of potatoes.

So when I accidentally picked up ground chicken instead of turkey a couple of weeks ago, I decided to run with the whole parmesan thing but in a meatloaf, muffin kind of way. A way that incorporated all the flavors of what chicken parmesan should be without the typical American bastardization (<—that’s kind of a fun word to use) of it.

They ended up coming out moist, filled with plenty of freshness from the parsley and basil, just enough salt from the parmesan and plenty of flavor from the sun dried tomatoes. Topped with a dollop of sauce and shaving of fresh parmesan, it’s what Italian should taste like.

I made them with the intent of having a premade high protein quick option to add to meals for the week (similar to the turkey quinoa muffins) and they lasted all of 2 days between the two of us eating them at every meal we could justify (breakfast would’ve been a little weird).

No gaudy flag inspired decor, no grease, no nasty sauce.

4.4 from 7 reviews

Chicken Parmesan Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
All the flavors of chicken parmesan in a little meatloaf muffin.
Author:
Recipe type: entree, chicken
Serves: 9 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon liquid egg whites
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin tin or line with muffin cups.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together with hands until ingredients are fully distributed.
  3. Roll into balls to fit muffin tin (the mixture will be pretty wet) and drop in.
  4. Bake for approximately 35 minutes.
  5. Use a knife to help remove muffins once cooked and let cool on a wire rack.
  6. Top with fresh tomato sauce, basil and parmesan cheese.

 

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Comments

  1. 1

    wow, these look like the best savory muffins, ever. i hate when Giada does her “mott-se-rella” accent..really annoys me, but i love that woman so i guess i’ll put up with that. i agree with you on the restaurant quality of italian food…jason’s half italian so when i went to his mom’s side for cmas this past year, his authentic italian grandparents (i like how i just called them authentic) made italian food and OMG. to die for.

    i picked up ground chicken by mistake once..maybe i should do that more often so i can make these cute muffins..seriously, love what you did with them here!!

  2. 2

    I love your rant about chicken parmegian! We have a legit Italian friend who was visiting from actual Italy and made us real italian food. She explained how America eff’s up Italian food, generally speaking, at that moment I knew all the stuff, well not all, but lots, is pure crap. Some of it totally tastes great, but it’s not italian, it’s just fried, salty, cheesy basically comfort food.
    Aaaaaaanyway, all that to say, these look great… light, and you can actually taste the food, not just the fried batter, nice!

  3. 3

    LOVE it. Mark is the same way. He’s part Italian (last name is Cecconi) and he totally has the same attitude.

    These look good. I’ve been meaning to do turkey muffins for a long time, but I think I shall do these instead.

  4. 4

    OMG I cannot STAND when Giada says that — same with her pronunciation of parmesan, omg enough already! We get it, you’re Italian Giada, we knowwww. haha.

    Anyway, this muffin recipe looks AWESOME!! SO with you on the gaudy Italian restaurants with the crap food. Homemade is WAY BETTER. I’m so spoiled by my own Italian roots and my husband’s family’s roots. I will NEVER order or go to an Italian restaurant for that very reason. I get the best Italian right at home!

  5. 5

    What a great meal turned into muffin! I would definitely like to try these sometime in the near future! Savory muffins are always good because you can eat them quick! Perfect on the go meal!

  6. 6

    Oh yes. Totally added these to my dinner menu!

  7. 7

    …related to the applesauce company- ha! And I must say that you did a very good job of making meat muffins (not the most naturally aesthetically pleasing thing) look beautiful!

  8. 8

    meat muffins, right up my alley hah. Love the look of these and they’d be fair game for breakfast for me. I mean they have oatmeal in them afterall ;) And I serve chicken parm at the restaurant I work at but surprisingly is just about the only thing grilled and not fried. But the veal… oh I cringe when people get it for the exact reasons you described.

  9. 9

    Mmmmm yummy lookin’ muffin! I have liked a few chicken parm dishes before, but I never order it for myself b/c like you said, it IS really americanized and drenched in stomach pain inducing oil–so I’d rather not get it, and I only have a little bite if someone offers it to me. I grew up in Argentina and I think their food is a lot more authentic than Americanized Italian dishes! It’s to die for! (well, after all, many of them are of Italian descent) :P

  10. 10

    What a great recipe! I know what you mean about the Americanization of chicken parmesan…it’s the only thing my picky-eater father will eat, and I’m convinced if he had it the “real” Italian way he wouldn’t actually like it. ;)

    I’m not going to lie, I’d probably find a way to have these muffins for breakfast, too!

  11. 11

    Is that all just natural light? Or do you use extra light?

  12. 14

    I agree about Italian Food and I don’t know who thinks Olive Garden is Italian? I love this idea of your chicken parm muffins. This is one I”m going to make. I think my family will love it, if not, I know I will! :)

  13. 15

    This looks incredible!

  14. 16

    I absolutely love making meatloaf in a muffin tin – It’s so darned easy and perfect for portioning. I haven’t made chicken meatloaf in a long time, so I think I need to remedy that. This recipe looks perfect!

  15. 17

    I absolutely LOVE this and will definitely be giving them a try!

  16. 18

    Love this, Gina! I love Italian food but I have never been a huge fan of chicken parmesan, for the reasons you mention. These muffins are a great twist though. It sounds so good!

  17. 19

    Prettiest savory muffins ever! The food styling, the red and green, the herbs, just…gorgeous!

  18. 20

    Dumb question alert. Are the sun-dried tomatoes oil packed?

    • 21

      Not dumb at all! I should’ve specified…I used dry ones not packed in oil but if you drain them, I think it would be fine to use the oil packed ones. It’s pretty much meatloaf so it doesn’t have to be exact :)

  19. 22

    love all your new high protein ideas! And I agree–any restaurant with the white red and green color scheme completely deters me.

  20. 23

    These sound so great! And your pictures ended up beautiful! :)

  21. 24

    I bet some very well drained frozen chopped spinach would be awesome in these. I’ve been on a bit of a kick lately where I add spinach to everything.

  22. 25

    You should open a bonafied Italian (btw the way I have a friend who says “eye-talian”) restaurant and put these on the menu as an appetizer!!

  23. 27

    I never get chicken parm pretty much for that reason. Just never seems appealing to me at all. THESE on the other hand sound delish. Printed and on the schedule for next week. I’m going to try and fit bastardization into a sentence by tomorrow. CHALLENGE! HA!

  24. 28

    I have ZERO Italian in me so mottzarella it is :p lol but seriously… this is such a fun idea!

  25. 29

    Love your website, your food photso and your recipes. Just wondering when you are going Ito update your profile picutre. You are so adorable and that pic is not flattering. I don’t mean to offend or anything – I just think there could be a much better shot of you.

    • 30
      Ulysses says:

      Yes Gina please flatter us with a better profile picture…

    • 35

      Ulysses/Sam:

      Oh for the love of Mary and anyone else out there. Why don’t you post your pictures? This woman is beautiful; her foodie site is wonderful. Yes, she is adorable!!! (^_^)

      • 36

        Gracie- I appreciate the comment but just so you know Ulysses is my husband who was being a sarcastic ass to “Sam”… ;)
        btw-if you’re trying to get your picture…you need to set up a gravatar account with the same email you use here to comment. Once you do that & upload a picture, any time you comment it should appear :)

  26. 40

    I haven’t found an Italian restaurant that I’m particularly fond of. I always know I can make something better myself!

  27. 41

    Love your blog and this recipe is just amazing. Love the flavors !
    Your pics are so delicious ^^
    Californian kisses from a french girl !!

  28. 42

    Pretty clever. I love presenting traditional dishes in non-traditional ways.

  29. 43

    Thanks for this amazing recipe. I will try this for my family. :)

  30. 44

    I love how you muffinized meatloaf this way and the addition of the sun dried tomatoes. Those are so magical! Gina, your pictures are so so so gorgeous.

  31. 45

    What a great idea! Bookmarking.

  32. 46

    Amazing. Your photography is incredible!

  33. 47

    I saw these (and pinned them) on pinterest. I had to come right over to see your recipe. Bravo! These look delicious and sound quite simple to make. I also love that you used egg whites in keeping with a lower calorie dish. Oh one other thing, I couldn’t help but notice that you used a red and white checked napkin in your photo. Just sayin’ LOL

    • 48

      haha, i did! And I thought about how that was kind of flying in the face of what I was going to say too. Irony I guess. ;)

  34. 49

    Saw these on Pinterest, they look good! ALSO: I think some of those commenting missed your point with the Giada thing. I’m not Italian, but I AM originally from Brooklyn, so you’d be happy to know I say: mootza–rellllah. ;)
    Best,
    Gloria
    P.S. Personally, I hate the way Giada says: Spig-git-tee. LOL!

    • 50

      Haha, yes they definitely did miss the point on that one. Glad someone actually GOT it ;)
      And her spig-git-tee drives me nuts too. That’s just taking it a bit too far…

  35. 51

    These look phenomenal…you are a super talented photographer too!

    And from one travel lover to another…it’s great to “meet” you!

  36. 52
    cmichaelsny says:

    That’s just taking it a bit too far…But it looks very phenomenal..Thanks for sharing..

  37. 53

    This looks so amazing!

  38. 54

    Looks delicious! You amaze me with your creativity.

  39. 55

    I may not be Italian (not even a little tiny drop! Sad…), but I get what you mean about chicken parm. I cringe when anyone I know orders it, mostly because I feel bad for their arteries! It’s just too much to handle – too much breading, too much oil, too much sauce, too much cheese (and I NEVER say that!). But these little guys look juuuuuust right (Goldilocks moment, anyone?). I especially love the sun dried tomatoes in them – my favorite!

  40. 56

    You are my secret weapon in the kitchen… everyone thinks I’m so creative thanks to you! These were ridiculously amazing.

  41. 58

    I tried these last night, except I used ground turkey instead of chicken (I just don’t love ground chicken, and turkey is cheaper!). Very yummy. Thanks!

  42. 60

    These look great to serve guests as an appetizer, but for myself, I would much prefer a fresh chicken breast coated with bread crumbs, topped with feta (mozzarella is flavorless), baked, placed on a toasted sour dough roll with with garlic and a little butter, and of course marinara sauce, as a lunch or dinner sandwich. It is delicious. I am American, I do understand my sandwich isn’t authentic Italian any more than is pizza, but I don’t care. (Nor do I believe that “most” Americans think these fast food restaurants’ foods are authentic either… they are just fast and cheap.). I eat what I enjoy and don’t limit my palate by only cooking things exactly as done by a specific country or in a specific region. One of the great things about America is that it is a melting pot, not just for people, but also for ideas. I love fusion cooking, not “bastardization” and the idea that we can all learn from and be influenced by a multitude of cultures to produce new flavors. My advice is not to frequent any fast food restaurants at all or all you will do is cringe.

  43. 61

    I love making these (and eating them!). I usually get 7 muffins at 145 calories each. My husband loves them too which is a huge plus.

  44. 62

    I have made these 2 times now, love them!! I have only changed it slightly, great recipe! Now if only I could get a half way decent picture like yours I might post about them :)

    • 63
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      It’s hard to make meat muffins look appealing. That shoot took forever! haha Who cares if they taste good, right? :)

  45. 64

    Hello from Greece….googling for chicken recipes found your site! I’ll be visiting over!

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