GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Chicken Parmesan? Yes, please! Chef Lisa O’Connell has a great recipe for you. Don’t have time to cook? She’s got a short-cut version for all you busy chefs out there that have other duties…you know like carpool duty, laundry, a 40-hour work week. And if meat isn’t your thing, Chef Lisa’s got a vegetarian version that will please any palate. There’s simply no reason not to have dinner on the table tonight!

Some of her shortcuts are pre-breaded chicken or already prepared sauces. If you do decide to do the more labor-intensive version, make extra and freeze it, so you’ll have dinner almost ready for another night.

Homemade Chicken Parmesan

4 Chicken breasts or 8 chicken tenderloins

2 Cups breadcrumbs, Italian or panko style

1 Cup flour

2 large eggs

½ Cup Parmesan cheese, divided (more as desired)

¼ Cup buttermilk, cream or milk

1 Tablespoon salt

8 slices fresh mozzarella or provolone

8-10 Basil leaves

1 jar of prepared pasta sauce such as Anna Lisa, or your favorite marinara sauce

Canola, vegetable or other high heat oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400

Pound chicken between plastic wrap to flatten to ½ inch thick pieces. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.

Add flour to a bowl and season with 1-tablespoon salt and about 1 teaspoon of pepper.

Whisk eggs with a thinning agent such as buttermilk or milk in separate bowl.

Place the panko or Italian breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Dredge Chicken in flour, egg and breading, in that order and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium in a well-oiled pan. Once the pan is hot add chicken, cook about 3- 5 minutes per side or until breading is golden brown.

** Note: Once the chicken is breaded and cooked, you can place in a freezer safe bag, date and use at a later time.

In an oven-safe skillet or baking dish add a layer of marinara sauce. Place chicken breasts on top of sauce and top each with a spoonful or two, of sauce. Add a basil leafs to each breast and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately with fresh pasta or vegetable and your favorite crusty bread.

Fast Chicken Parmesan

4 Pre breaded/prepared chicken tenderloins

8 slices of mozzarella or provolone cheese

1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese (more as desired)

8 Basil leaves

1 jar of prepared pasta sauce such as Sauce Anna Lisa, or your favorite marinara sauce

Cover the bottom of a baking dish or oven safe skillet with marinara sauce. Place pre-prepared tenderloins or breasts on top of sauce. Top each piece of chicken with basil and a spoonful of sauce. Cover with cheese and bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and chicken is cooked through (follow specific package instructions) Serve immediately.

Zucchini Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400

3-4 zucchinis washed and dried

1 Cup shredded mozzarella

½ Cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 Cup flour, seasoned

Buttermilk or milk

Salt and pepper

1 jar of Sauce Anna Lisa or your favorite prepared marinara sauce

Starting on one end slice zucchini into 1/3-inch pieces. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and a splash of buttermilk. In a separate bowl place four and season with salt and pepper. Toss zucchini pieces into egg mixture and press into seasoned flour. Place on a baking sheet and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake until golden brown approximately 15 minutes. Alternatively heat zucchini pieces in a sauté pan, turning once until golden.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish with marinara sauce and place zucchini coins. Top with a dollop of sauce on each one and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Leftover Chicken Parmesan wraps

4 Large tortillas

2 breasts previously prepared chicken Parmesan

1 Cup or 4-6 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese

½ Cup Sauce Anna Lisa or your favorite brand of prepared marinara sauce

Handful of basil or spinach *optional

Chop Chicken into small pieces, set aside. Spread out tortillas and place a few spoonfulls of chicken in the middle of the tortilla. Top with cheese a spoonful or two of sauce and spinach or basil for extra color/flavor *optional. Fold sides to the middle to create a square and press down to flatten. Be sure to enclose all the fillings. Heat in a medium skillet over medium heat seam side down first until golden brown. Flip and heat the other side until golden brown. Serve immediately with marinara sauce for dipping.

* Seasoned flour: for breading, use approximately 1 tablespoon of salt 1 teaspoon of pepper as well as any additional desired spices- per cup of flour.