Forget that whole, “can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” “so last season” thing. Chicken parm ain’t having it.

The Italian-American classic, which features breaded chicken cutlets smothered in marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan, shows it can hang with the current mood by finding all kinds of clever ways to team up with fall’s favorite ingredients. Spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes prove to be a top-notch pasta doppelgängers, while pumpkin and kale fill in the gaps as sauce substitutes and sandwich toppers.

Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

Layers of Happiness

Chicken parm’s faithful sidekick, buttery spaghetti, is replaced here with its veggie doppelgänger: spaghetti squash. In this more health-conscious spin on the Italian-American classic (don’t worry, the chicken’s still fried), the squash is halved and used as the boat upon which all that crispy-saucy-gooey-cheesy goodness is served. Get the recipe.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Damn Delicious

Alternatively, the clever, pasta-substituting concept also works as a casserole: Line the bottom of the dish with a nest of spaghetti squash and top with chunks of juicy fried chicken, marinara, and oozy mozzarella. Get the recipe.

Chicken Meatball Parmigiana and Sweet Potato Noodle Bake


Chicken parm gets the (faux) spaghetti and meatballs treatment here with the seasonal favorite—sweet potatoes—stepping in for the noodles. There’s no breading or frying here, so you can enjoy this comfort dish double-whammy without worry. Get the recipe.

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins


Okay, so this isn’t so much about fall-specific ingredients as it is about fall-appropriate comfort and flavor. Chicken Parmesan transformed into mini meatloaves with molten mozzarella centers and crisp panko-and-Parmesan tops are just the thing to warm you up and make you cozy. (Incidentally, our Chicken Parmesan Mac and Cheese Bites are good for that too.) Get our Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins recipe.

Baked Pumpkin Chicken Parmesan

Recipe Girl

Traditional tomato sauce gets the bench in favor of cheese-laced pumpkin purée in this seasonally-inspired take on chicken parm. Get the recipe.

Chicken Parm Sandwich and Kale Caesar Salad Sandwich

Sarcastic Cooking

Its ubiquity in supermarkets today can make it easy to forget that kale is actually at its peak of seasonality in the fall. So why not take this as an opportunity to up your chicken parm sandwich game by adding a Caesar-dressed kale salad garnish to the mix. It could even work with other favorite fall greens like swiss chard and collards. (Or if you just want to skip the whole bread/sandwich thing, that works too). Get the recipe.

Chicken Parmesan-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Rachel Cooks

Use this as inspiration for whatever delectable, wide-topped wild shrooms you come across at the market this fall. Get the recipe.

And in case you want to ditch the chicken and go full fall veggie on your parm, here are some ideas for butternut squash, cauliflower , and fennel.

Related Video: How to Make Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Maryse Chevriere is a certified sommelier, James Beard Award winner for @freshcutgardenhose, and author of "Grasping the Grape," a no-nonsense but really fun guide to wine.
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