By in Food

Quick, Easy, and Low-fat Chicken Marinara

When I was first married at 18-years-old, I loved to have people over for dinner. One of my favorite meals to cook was Chicken Marinara, which took a bit of time to prepare and then bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.

In those days, I used a whole chicken, cut it up into pieces, leaving the skin on. I breaded the chicken to give it a nice coating, pan-fried it in oil, then put it in a baking dish, topped it with a commercial marinara sauce and a layer of cheese, baked it in the oven and served it over pasta. It was served with a small side salad and a loaf of Italian bread turned into garlic bread, dripping with butter.

It was always a hit with company. I am sure that the calories, fat and sodium levels were sky high.

In the 40-plus years that have passed since so many of us cooked like that, we now understand that the comfort foods of the 1960s and 1970s were not always so healthy for us. Our palates are now reaching out for fresher versions of our favorites, with additional fiber and less sodium, without sacrificing the flavor.

This is the quicker, healthier version that I make today.


  • 4 4-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to uniform thickness of approximately 1/4 inch)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 zucchini squash
  • 6 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (14-oz.) Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spaghetti squash, cooked and pulled into pasta-like strings
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Slice bell pepper, carrot, and zucchini into uniform thin long strips, approx. 3 in. x 1/4 in. long. Set aside with the mushrooms and olives.
  • Heat large skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil, and add chicken breasts. Cook and brown for about 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and the dried oregano. Remove chicken and set aside.
  • Add tomatoes and the vegetable mixture to the skillet. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, and increase the temperature to medium high.
  • Cook uncovered until sauce is a bit thickened and the vegetables are tender, approx. 5 minutes.
  • Serve over spaghetti squash "noodles" and sprinkle with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.

© Copyright 2015- Coral Levang - All Rights Reserved.

Original written and submitted March 2014 at Bubblews, and removed by author.

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wolfgirl569 wrote on August 25, 2015, 9:34 AM

Looks good except I think I will use rice instead of the squash if I try it. Never liked squash

CoralLevang wrote on August 25, 2015, 9:41 AM

Or use regular pasta. I use the spaghetti squash to cut down the starches.

Rufuszen wrote on August 25, 2015, 10:13 AM

You didn't do all this cooking yesterday, did you?

CoralLevang wrote on August 25, 2015, 10:22 AM

No, sir. I just have been in a recipe/cooking frame of mind the last few days.

LoudMan wrote on August 25, 2015, 10:57 AM

Those who haven't discovered spaghetti squash might not know what they're missing.

CoralLevang wrote on August 25, 2015, 11:14 AM

LoudMan , I agree. I love the stuff!

LoudMan wrote on August 25, 2015, 11:31 AM

Yeah. It's good and cheap too.

Now, do you also have the full-fat recipe too?

CoralLevang wrote on August 25, 2015, 11:38 AM

The old way is mentioned before the new recipe.
I haven't used the old recipe in a very long time. I'd need to go through my recipe box.

DWDavisRSL wrote on August 25, 2015, 7:50 PM

The new healthier version does sound delicious, with plenty of flavor.

CoralLevang wrote on August 26, 2015, 1:31 AM

It is good, and I love veggies.

lexiconlover wrote on August 27, 2015, 5:52 AM

MMM. I love squash, but I'd probably still have to make it with pasta. Maybe whole wheat but I have a hard time sacrificing my noodles lol

CoralLevang wrote on August 27, 2015, 7:17 AM

I LOVE pasta, but do not like the whole grain wheat pasta. I eat a lot of pasta though. More rice, however.

PriscillaKing wrote on September 13, 2015, 7:02 PM

I like spaghetti squash when it's in about now.

CoralLevang wrote on September 14, 2015, 6:26 AM

I just bought one the other day. It was about the size of a soft ball. So cute.