Chicken Parmesan

chicken parm1This Italian dish borrows an Asian trick for frying chicken: Use potato starch instead of flour and/or breadcrumbs for a crispy and gluten-free coating. Potato starch has been mentioned before as a potentially beneficial resistant starch. Unfortunately, heating potato starch can negate its RS function, which means you won’t benefit from eating it in this recipe. But it doesn’t change the fact that potato starch is gluten-free and, more importantly (if you love fried chicken), it’s a perfect crispy, crunchy coating.

Plus, with a few other easy changes, you can turn Chicken Parmesan into a completely Primal meal: spaghetti squash instead of noodles, flavorful, juicy chicken thighs instead of breasts, and only a light sprinkle of aged cheese.

To coat chicken (or even fish) with potato starch, simply dredge it through the potato starch to evenly coat the meat. Then fry in at least an inch or two of lard or oil. The smaller the pieces, the faster they’ll cook. Frying the pieces twice makes for an even crispier coating.

In the case of these herb-coated chicken strips for Chicken Parmesan, once in the frying pan is enough. Toss the juicy, crispy chicken with the spaghetti squash noodles and marinara, and it’s a bowl of “pasta” that even an Italian grandmother would love.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour


  • 2 spaghetti squash, cut in half, stringy insides and seeds scooped out
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (15 ml)
  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch/2.5 cm wide strips
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (60 g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (4 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (5 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish (15 ml)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, warm (350 g)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional) (45 g)
  • Lard, for frying


Recipe Note: Make sure to buy potato starch and not potato flour. They look similar but are very different. Potato flour will give you a soft, gummy coating, not a crispy coating.

Preheat oven to 375 °F/190 °C.

Brush each half of the spaghetti squash with olive oil on the flesh side. Season with salt and pepper. Bake spaghetti squash, face down on a rimmed baking sheet, for 45 minutes or until soft and easily pierced with a fork.

In a wide bowl, mix the potato starch, salt, oregano and basil.

Season the chicken lightly with salt. Dredge each strip of chicken through the potato starch, coating it evenly.

Heat 1 inch/2.5cm of lard in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the lard is very hot and shimmering, add the chicken in batches, cooking until both sides of the strips are golden brown and crispy.

Use a fork to loosen the spaghetti squash into “noodles.” Pour some marinara sauce over each squash, layer with chicken, and then another layer of sauce. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and fresh basil.


Want to add more cheese? Top the squash, marinara sauce and chicken with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and mozzarella. Return to the oven (or put under the broiler) until the cheese is melted.

chicken parm1

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14 thoughts on “Chicken Parmesan”

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  1. Bookmarking this to try with the squash I pull from the garden this year. I never would have thought of putting it all on the squash like that. Thank you for sharing this one. I’m always looking for more interesting ways to cook squash since I tend to get inundated with them all at once mid summer.

  2. This sounds great! I have been using an extremely light dusting of seasoned coconut flour when I want to “bread” something…anxious to try the potato starch. I don’t really love spaghetti sauce…would probably do zuchinni noodles instead.

  3. So it says to make this primal go with the thighs instead of breasts. What makes chicken breasts non -primal?

  4. I’ve got some parmesan and chicken tenders at the moment, I might try making it into goujons. I’ve “breadcrumbed” before with a ground almond (almond meal), milled flaxseed and cajun spice mix which is good.

    Spaghetti squash is harder to get here (uk), but with courgetti (spiralised zucchini) it sounds delicious!

  5. Sounds good! It seems like I’ve nearly abandoned Italian food, and it has a lot to offer. If you use spaghetti squash cut it into rings, instead of in half the long way, as shown, before baking. You’ll get longer “noodles” that way because the strands run in circles inside the squash. I agree that spiralized zucchini would work better for this dish though.

  6. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It looks so delicious. I will definitely try to cook at home for my family.

  7. Thank you for this one. I’m invariably searching for additional attention-grabbing ways that to cook squash since I tend to urge inundated with all promptly middle summer.

  8. Thanks for sharing the instruction. it’s therefore delicious. I will be able to undoubtedly try and cook reception for my family.

  9. I’m constantly hunting down extra consideration snatching courses that to cook squash since I tend to encourage immersed with all instantly center summer.

  10. Much obliged for sharing the formula. It looks so delightful. I will attempt to cook at home for my family.

  11. This sounds incredible! I have been utilizing a to a great degree light tidying of prepared coconut flour when I need to “bread” something on edge to attempt the potato starch.

  12. This sounds incredible! I have been utilizing a to a great degree light tidying of prepared coconut flour when I need to “break” something… on edge to attempt the potato starch.