Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joe’s are an easy, veggie-filled weeknight meal with lean ground chicken, shredded zucchini, and buttered breadcrumbs, that will be a family pleaser!
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% of the things I make. The hard part is just convincing them to TRY IT.
These Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joe’s were no exception. When I put the plate in front of Lars he goes “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 Re-Invented
Chicken Parmesan was one of my favorite homemade meals that my dad made growing up. I loved the crispy breaded chicken with marinara with lots of cheese, and served with spaghetti noodles. Making it into sloppy Joe’s felt a little more family friendly because for one, the sloppy Joe version isn’t nearly as time consuming.
How to Make Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joe’s
This recipe starts with browning ground chicken and chopped onion. To that, marinara, Italian seasoning, and some grated zucchini are added. The zucchini is completed unnoticeable and a great way to sneak in some veggies to your family’s dinner.
While the chicken mixture is cooking, the recipe calls to crisp up some breadcrumbs in butter on the stovetop. I couldn’t have Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joe’s without the crispy factor of real Chicken Parmesan! These golden brown breadcrumbs are sprinkled on top of the mozzarella cheese topped sandwiches.
We served these Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joe’s with a side of sweet potato fries and a side salad, for a super simple and (eventual) family pleasing meal!
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Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joe's
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 white onion diced
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 cup shredded zucchini about 1 small zucchini
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups marinara
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 4 buns we love Brioche buns!
- In a large skillet, add the olive oil 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 another 3-4 minutes to slightly cook the zucchini.
- 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 4-5 minutes. Alternately, if you are making this in an oven-proof skillet, you can broil the cheese.
- Serve on top of toasted Brioche buns, topped with golden buttered breadcrumbs.
To Make Buttered Breadcrumbs:
- While the chicken mixture is cooking, you can make the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the butter over medium heat.
- Add the breadcrumbs, and stir to mix with the melted butter. Season with salt, to taste.
- Cook 2-3 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are slightly golden.