Not quite Chicken Parm, not exactly a chicken patty. Technically within the keto carb limit but high enough that you couldn’t eat it twice in one day. I present to you Pesto Mozzerella Chicken patties baked over a vodka sauce reduction and a side of classy green beans straight out of the can. Plus, it sounds fun to say your serving ‘pan seared, oven finished ground chicken over a tomato-based vodka sauce reduction and topped with basil pesto and a grated mozzarella’. It’s a chicken patty, and we cooked some excess liquid out of the pasta sauce and melted the cheese, but it sure sounds fancy.
Pesto Mozzerella Chicken Patties W/ a Vodka Sauce Reduction
This dish is a take on chicken parm. Rather than batonning butterflied chicken breasts into cutlets to batter and fry we instead sear chicken thighs and finish in the oven over our sauce. We reduced carbs by limiting the volume of sauce consumed and forgoing any dredging and breading. Those pesky canned green beans sneak in there but overall this dish is still lower carb and the beans can easily be subbed for something even lower.
Don’t overprocess the chicken thighs and leave all of the fat you can intact. Only pulse until it reaches a course grind and this will let the chicken hold it’s shape once it is formed into a patty without needing a binder. Still be gentle when flipping.
Nutritional Information and Ingredients
Nutritional Information taken from a combination of the ingredient packaging and running 20 ounces of boneless skinless chicken thighs through the MyFitnessPal app. Serves 2.
Calories (Ignore the photos, one serving is 2 patties): 675
- 1/2 Cup Victoria Vodka Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Raos Basil Pesto
- 1/2 Cup Happy Farms Shredded Mozzerella.
- 20 Ounces Bonless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 Can of Green Beans
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Italian Seasoning
Instructions- Pesto Mozzerella Chicken Patties
To begin this recipe, put ½ cup of the vodka sauce into a medium oven safe pan on low heat. Spread the sauce to coat the bottom and just keep an eye on it while prepping the other ingredients. We are reducing the commercial sauce by cooking some of the liquid out of it. We want to see the steam rising as the water evaporates off, but don’t really want to sauce to start bubbling.
This should gradually thicken into a consistency closer to a paste than a sauce. Stir gently if needed so that the edges do not burn. Pull off of the heat and set aside if it thickens before the rest of your ingredients are ready. This is also a good time to preheat your oven. We set the temp to 450F.
We used a package of skin on bone in chicken thighs. Peel the skin off and cut the bone out. Then afterwards slice the thigh meat into chunks and pulse in a food processor until it reaches a ground meat texture.
You can add whatever kind of chicken or poultry seasoning that you prefer. For this particular meal we seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and basil. Fold the seasonings into your chicken until they are incorporated.
Pre-heat a separate pan on medium heat. The use some simple nonstick spray. We shaped the chicken with a patty mold and let another frying pan preheat while we did that. We got 4 patties out the 20 ounces of chicken we used.
Cook the chicken patties like you would a burger. It should have some color on the outside but approaching the 165F range internally. Then move them to the oven safe pan that we reduced the vodka sauce in. Each patty gets slathered in pesto and topped with mozzarella cheese before going into the oven. Let them sit in the oven until the cheese is melted. It shouldn’t take long.
(Our patties wouldn’t all fit in the pan without overcrowding so we cooked two in the vodka sauce pan and two got their own baking sheet).
Once the cheese is melted sprinkle a bit more basil over the top and let rest on the counter while you prep your side dish. Or in this instance, open and drain a can of green beans. When plating be careful to scoop up as much of the vodka sauce as you can to go with your patties. We only portioned a half cup of sauce between the two servings and you want all of that to make it onto your plate and not get left in the pan. Enjoy.
The pesto sneaks in a bunch of the calories but the carbs come mostly from the green beans. Furthermore, the macros are also a little protein heavy, but you could sneak some more fat in there by cooking the chicken in an actual oil or subbing the green beans for some avocado.
Another option to cut calories would be to simply omit the pesto. Pest is delicious but calorie heavy by volume.
Live it, love it, make it, modify it, Sub it, snack size it, do something else entirely, moreover just make it special.