Healthy Naughty Food: Chicken Parmo

Making Healthy Versions of Your Favourite Takeaway Foods

In a slight departure from this blog’s usual topics, I thought I’d bring you a cheeky recipe.

I’ve just finished a 72-hour fast. This is the meal with which I chose to break my fast…

My Healthy Chicken Parmo

My healthy chicken parmo

The Parmo’s History

Before we get into those all-important macro-nutrient details (see below), here’s a bit of history on my favourite takeaway food…

A typical takeaway chicken parmo

“The parmo, or Teesside Parmesan,[1] is a dish originating in MiddlesbroughTeesside, and a popular item of take-away food in North East England. It consists of a breaded cutlet of chicken or pork topped with a white bĂ©chamel sauce and cheese, usually cheddar cheese. The name of the dish is a reference to the Italian dish parmigiana, and its variants such as chicken parmigiana, which are made with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. The parmo ranked 20th in Britain’s Top 20 Favourite Takeaways”

Wikipedia page for Parmo

The Healthy Conversion

Traditional parmos use deep-fried chicken in breadcrumbs. I just used a plain chicken breast cooked in the oven – much healthier.

Takeaways will absolutely smother their parmos with bechamel sauce and cheese. It’s often a bit excessive, but it tastes amazing. For my healthy parmo, I eschewed the bechamel, opting for peri peri chilli sauce instead. I used a modest 50g (ish) of cheddar cheese on top. I thought about adding some mayo, but it’s not really necessary.

Takeaways often provide a choice of additional toppings on their parmos, a bit like on a pizza. For my healthy parmo, I added a few slices of salami milano and spicy chorizo. They’re hard to see in the photo because they’re buried under the cheese!

Parmos commonly come with a tonne of chips, maybe a little salad if you’re lucky. I added cherry tomatoes (hidden!), grated carrot and rocket leaves. Yum!


As promised, here are those crucial macro details for my healthy parmo.

Protein: lots
Carbs: not much
Fat: a bit

Total calories: I’m guessing 400-600 kcal.

I don’t count calories. My aim on this diet is to use my hunger as a guide. When I’m on a low carb diet, I tend to feel less hungry anyway.

What do you think? Are you tempted to try a parmo?

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