Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joes
What’s better than Chicken Parmesan? Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joes, of course. Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate shares her easy, kid-approved recipe. Get ready for a sandwich that tastes so good, you won’t mind the sticky fingers.
When it comes to family dinnertime meals and feeding my two young kids, my philosophy is that they can eat what I serve them or not, but I’m not making any special meals. As in, if they don’t like it, that’s fine, but I’m not making meals to-order to replace what they don’t like. That said, I know by now that my kids don’t have picky palates. For the most part, they like 90 percent of the things I make. The hard part is just convincing them to TRY IT.
These Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joes were no exception. When I put the plate in front of my 4-year-old, he went, “UGH! This is disgusting!” Cue: my eye roll. After a little discussion about how he has liked other things that are very similar (and other convincing tactics), he tried it. “Oh, I like it!” Cue: second eye roll because hello?! I’ve been trying to tell him this for the last 10 minutes.
Chicken Parmesan was one of my favorite homemade meals that my dad made when I was growing up. I loved the crispy breaded chicken with marinara and lots of cheese and served with spaghetti noodles. Making it into Sloppy Joes felt a little more family-friendly because the Sloppy Joe version isn’t nearly as time consuming.
This recipe starts with browning ground chicken and chopped onion. Then I add marinara, Italian seasoning and some grated zucchini. The zucchini is completely unnoticeable so it’s a great way to sneak some veggies into your family’s dinner.
While the chicken mixture is cooking, I crisp up some breadcrumbs in butter on the stovetop. I couldn’t have Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joes without the crispy factor of real Chicken Parmesan. Finally, the golden brown breadcrumbs are sprinkled on top of the mozzarella cheese.
We served these Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joes with sweet potato fries and a side salad for a super simple and (eventual) family-pleasing meal!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ white onion, diced
1 pound ground chicken
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 ½ cups marinara
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup breadcrumbs
4 buns (we loved toasted brioche buns for these)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the diced onion, cooking until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the ground chicken and cook until browned, breaking it up into chunks as you go.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add the shredded zucchini and Italian seasoning and cook until the zucchini softens, another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the marinara and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Finally, add the mozzarella, turn the heat to low and cover until the cheese is melted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Alternately, if you are making this in an oven-proof skillet, you can broil the cheese to melt it.
- Top with golden buttered breadcrumbs and serve on toasted brioche buns
To make the buttered breadcrumbs:
You can make the breadcrumbs while the chicken mixture is cooking.
- Heat the butter over medium heat.
- Add the breadcrumbs and stir to mix with the melted butter.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the breadcrumbs are slightly golden.