Piccata alla Milanese is like the Italian version of a German or Austrian Schnitzel which is served with spaghetti in tomato sauce. Today, we’re making this northern Italian classic a little bit healthier and serving it with delicious and simple one pot spaghetti. Therefore, we cook the pasta directly in the tomato sauce which enhance the flavors and saves us some dishes. Finally, we’re going to mix in some spinach and then serves these spaghetti together with our healthy chicken piccata.Jump to Recipe
Healthy Chicken Piccata – The Lean Alternative to the Classic Milanese Cutlet
Traditionally, piccata alla Milanese is made with small veal cutlets. These are coated with a mixture of flour, egg, Parmesan cheese and sometimes breadcrumbs and fried in plenty of oil. So, apart from the parmesan cheese, the preparation is quite like the Vienna Schnitzel.
However, to make the piccata a bit healthier and more balanced, we will change three things for this healthy chicken piccata recipe:
First, we use thin chicken cutlets or thinly sliced chicken breast fillets. Next, and this step is optional, I like to replace half of the parmesan cheese with a lower-fat alternative. My favorite low-calorie cheese is the eatlean cheese, which is a British brand. But feel free to just use regular Parmesan or Pecorino cheese instead.
Finally, we don’t pan or deep fry our chicken piccata. Instead, we use just a tiny bit of oil and sear them over medium to medium-high heat. Overall, we’ll save lots of excess calories with those three changes.
Eventually, to make this dish a bit more wholesome, I like to sneak a large portion of spinach into the one pot spaghetti right before serving. Because of the heat the spinach will has wilted really quickly and it’s hardly noticeable. So, it’s perfect for picky eaters.
The quantities given in this healthy chicken piccata recipe refer to approximately three servings. However, feel free to double, triple, or halve them, depending on how many people you’re cooking for.
In case you like to meal prep this recipe, make sure to leave out the spinach and add it to each serving right bevor you are going to eat it. Once heated, spinach shouldn’t be reheated.
If you like to have a larger portion or one with more or less calories, carbs, proteins, or fats, feel free to adjust the amounts to your individual needs.
I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do.
Ingredients for the One Pot Spaghetti
- one shallot
- three cloves of garlic
- one teaspoon of olive oil and some salt
- about 200 to 300 grams of cherry tomatoes (7 to 10 ounces)
- 500 grams or 17 ounces of strained tomatoes and 250 milliliters or one cup of water
- 180 grams of whole wheat spaghetti
- some salt, pepper, dried oregano, and thyme
- 300 grams or 10 ounces of spinach leaves
Ingredients for the Chicken Piccata
- three small and very thin chicken breast fillets or chicken cutlets (about 100 to 120 grams or 3.5 to 4.5 ounces each)
- one large egg
- 15 grams of pecorino or parmesan cheese
- 20 grams of Eatlean cheese (or the same amount of pecorino or parmesan cheese)
- some whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- some vegetable oil for frying (about one teaspoon)
Variations and Substitutions
If your can of tomatoes only consists of 400 grams or 14 ounces, you can replace the missing 100 grams with water. For a more intense flavor, you can add some tomato paste to it, but that’s totally optional.
You can also replace the spaghetti with short cut whole wheat pasta like penne or fusilli if desired.
For a vegetarian version you can use well-squeezed tofu or an eggplant instead of the chicken. The preparing process remains the same. However, you won’t need to fry them as long as the chicken piccata. So, just be careful not to burn them.
One Pot Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Spinach
Before we take care of our healthy chicken piccata recipe, let’s prepare the one pot spaghetti. Thus, they can cook while we take care of the meat.
For the one pot spaghetti, first peel the shallot and the garlic clove and finely dice both. You can also wash and halve the tomatoes. Then heat the oil in a large, deep pan and fry the garlic and onion cubes with a generous pinch of salt until translucent.
Now add the tomatoes and sauté them for a few minutes. Then add the strained tomatoes, the water and the pasta. Now put a lid on your pan and let the pasta simmer in the tomato sauce for about 15 minutes.
Stir well every now and then to prevent it from burning. If necessary, you can always add a little more water.
Healthy Chicken Piccata Recipe – Here’s How to Make It
As soon as the pasta is simmering in the tomato sauce, we can start with making the chicken piccata. To do so, we first whisk the egg in a deep dish and grate the cheese.
Then add the cheese to the egg and mix well. If it is a little too firm, you can add a little milk or some egg white. Next, put some flour in a second, deep plate and start breading the meat.
Therefore, first coat the thin chicken pieces in flour and then in the egg mixture. Transfer them directly to your pan, which should be already hot and greased with some oil.
Sear the chicken piccata over medium heat for about four to five minutes before carefully flipping them over. Then continue to sear them for another three to five minutes on the other side, depending on the size and thickness of the fillets.
An Easy, Healthy Pasta Meal
Now we are almost ready to serve. Before that, we just need to wash the spinach and fold it into the pasta until it has wilted. In case your pan is a bit to small to add all the spinach a once, just add it gradually. Since the spinach will wilt very quickly, it shouldn’t take you too long.
Now it’s time to arrange the plates. Therefore, first cut the chicken piccata into thin strips. Then place the pasta on your plates and serve them with the piccata strips and maybe some fresh basil leaves or some extra cheese on top.
I hope you like this simple and healthy chicken piccata recipe with one pot spaghetti and that you give it a try soon.
And in case, you’ve tried this chicken piccata recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and rating on this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.
Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
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Healthy Chicken Piccata with One Pot Spaghetti
- 1 large, deep sauté pan (alternatively a pot)
- 2 deep plates or shallow bowls
- 1 cheese grater
- 1 large, coated frying pan
One Pot Spaghetti
- 1 shallot
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 200 – 300 g cherry tomatoes (7 to 10 oz)
- 500 g strained tomatoes * (~17 oz)
- 300 ml water (~1 ¼ cup)
- 180 g whole wheat spaghetti (~6.3 oz)
- pepper, dried oregano and thyme
- 200 g spinach leaves (7 oz)
- 3 small and very thin chicken breast fillets or chicken cutlets (about 100 to 120 grams (3.5 to 4.5 oz) each)
- 1 large egg
- 15 g pecorino or parmesan cheese (~0.7 oz)
- 20 g fat-reduced hard cheese or the same amount of pecorino or parmsean cheese
- whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- ~1 tsp vegetable oil for frying
One Pot Spaghetti
- Peel the shallot and garlic and finely dice them. Wash and halve the tomatoes. Heat the oil in a large, deep sauté pan and sauté the shallot and garlic cubes with some salt over medium-high heat until translucent.
- Add the tomatoes and sauté for a few minutes. Then deglaze with the strained tomatoes and water.
- Now add the spaghetti (break them if necessary), make sure that all the pasta is well covered with sauce, and let it gently simmer on medium heat with the lid closed for about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary to prevent the pasta from burning.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg in a plate, grate the cheese and add it to the egg. Add a sip of milk or egg white, in case the mixture is a bit too dry (the consistency should be like in the picture, not too liquid, not too solid). Add a little flour to the second plate.
- Spread the oil evenly in the second pan (e.g. with a kitchen towel) and heat it over medium heat. First coat the chicken fillets with flour, then cover them with the egg and cheese mixture and place them directly in the pan.
- Sear the chicken fillets over medium heat for about four to five minutes. Then carefully flip them and sear the other side for about four minutes (deepening on the size and thickness of your chicken).
- Season the pasta with salt, pepper, some dried oregano, and thyme. Wash the spinach and fold it into the pasta until it has wilted.
- Remove the chicken piccata from the pan and cut it into thin strips with a very sharp knife and serve it on top of the pasta.
- calories: 486 kcal
- fat: 9.8 g
- carbohydrates: 53.6 g
- proteins: 43.2 g