Chicken Parmesan Recipe Shortcut

I have a confession to make… there is no parmesan whatsoever in this recipe. I should probably call it something else, but the finished product resembles chicken parmesan so closely that you won’t really notice its absence. When preparing traditional chicken parmesan, the chicken is dipped in a bread crumb and parmesan cheese mixture before being baked or fried. This recipe shortcut uses the pre-breaded and cooked frozen chicken tenders from Trader Joe’s which do not contain any parmesan in the breading. Hopefully the ease and taste of this recipe will help you forgive my omission of the title bearing ingredient.

I was introduced to this recipe back when I was a member of a local moms group that met for playgroups, coffee walks, park dates, field trips and nights out. The camaraderie, advice and reason to get everybody dressed and out of the house was invaluable as during those first years at home with my kiddos. One of the other mama’s shared this recipe in the monthly newsletter as her go-to dinner on busy nights. In the year’s since I have turned to this recipe often when I am running short on time, dinner ideas, and ingredients. Spaghetti, marinara and mozzarella are easy ingredients to always have on hand and I make a point to pick up a new bag of breaded chicken tenderloin breasts whenever we start to run low. They are perfect for this recipe, but also great for when your kiddos are in the mood for plain chicken tenders. One chicken tenderloin breast is the perfect serving size for little bellies, but you will want to prepare at least two pieces of chicken for older children and adults.

Chicken Parmesan

serves 4

Trader Joe's recipe


  • 8 Trader Joe’s breaded chicken tenderloin breasts
  •  ½  jar of Trader Giotto’s organic marinara sauce
  • 4 slices of the Trader Joe’s fresh mozzarella cheese log, halved
  •  ½  package of Trader Joe’s organic whole wheat spaghetti


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place 8 breaded chicken tenderloin breasts in a 9×9 glass baking dish. Bake the chicken for 12 minutes. Flip overeach piece of chicken. Spoon marinara sauce over the chicken. Place ½ of a mozzarella cheese slice on top of each piece of chicken. Bake for another 12 minutes. Add whole wheat spaghetti to the boiling water, cook for 10 minutes and drain. Serve chicken parmesan on a bed of spaghetti. Enjoy!

I like to serve this with a side salad, broccoli or Brussels sprouts. This recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze cooks for the same time and temperature as the chicken parmesan so that you can put everything in the oven together. I buy the bagged Brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s toss them with olive oil salt and pepper and drizzle them with the Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze.

Last month’s recipe for A Simple and Delicious Chicken Marsala Shortcut was such a hit that I knew this recipe would appeal to you all as well. Don’t you just love finding a dinner that is well balanced, takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and gets gobbled up without complaints!

Trader Joe's Recipe


  1. Nichole

    March 25, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    We made this tonight to accompany a salad and pasta and everyone loved it!! I have to add this to my regular rotation! Thanks for the great idea!

    1. Parker

      March 27, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Yay! I’m so glad you’re family enjoyed it! Thank you for letting me know 😘

  2. AB

    March 7, 2019 at 11:27 am

    That looks great and fast n easy to make!! Thank you

    1. Parker

      March 7, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you! Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine!

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