Chicken Parmesan featuring Barilla® Whole Grain Pasta

Several times over the last few years, Joe and I have tried to switch to whole grain pasta.

chicken parmesan There are so many reasons to switch. Whole grains are healthier in general. The USDA’s MyPlate guidelines recommend making at least half of your grains whole grains. Whole grains contain more fiber than processed grains, and there is some evidence they can improve cardiovascular health.

Unfortunately, our switch to whole grain pasta has not, to this point, gone very well.

The whole wheat pasta we’ve tried has always been strange. Its texture has been off, sometimes excessively chewy or gritty. We’ve tried several brands and many varieties. We want to eat better. We want to like whole grain pasta; we haven’t. We always switch quickly back to regular white pasta.

We like Barilla® PLUS; we have eaten it for a few years. It’s not a whole grain product, but Pasta Plus is more nutritious than plain white pasta.

A couple of weeks ago, BlogHer offered me the opportunity to participate in a review campaign for Barilla® Whole Grain pasta. I agreed, hoping for good results.

We were tempted to try a brand new recipe from the Dinner Kit at, but instead used our Barilla® Whole Grain pasta in an old favorite – Chicken Parmesan. Joe and I wanted to see exactly how the pasta would compare with the white stuff we’re used to in a familiar recipe.

More about our results after the recipe.

4.4 from 9 reviews
Chicken Parmesan
Serves: 4
  • 1-2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (or so)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound of Barilla® Whole Grain Spaghetti
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Prepare Barilla® Whole Grain Spaghetti according to the package directions.
  2. Heat spaghetti sauce in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
  3. Slice the chicken breast horizontally to make several thin chicken cutlets.
  4. Place breadcrumbs in a pie plate or other flat-bottomed container. Flop the chicken around in the breadcrumbs, until it is well-coated.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken, keeping it in a single layer. After 2-3 minutes (once the chicken looks done - Joe says you'll know what that means), flip each chicken cutlet to brown the second side.
  6. Remove the chicken to a paper towel-covered plate to remove any excess oil. When all of the chicken is cooked, you're ready to prepare the chicken Parmesan.
  7. To serve, place one chicken cutlet and some spaghetti on a plate. Spoon spaghetti sauce over both the chicken cutlet and the pasta. Sprinkle ¼ cup mozzarella cheese over the chicken cutlet. If the chicken and spaghetti sauce don't melt the cheese to your satisfaction, zap it in the microwave for a 15-20 seconds.
Joe sautéed 1 pound of mushrooms and 2 sliced onions to top our spaghetti. It's simple. Just heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until both are tender.

Barilla® Whole Grain Pasta

The first thing I noticed about the whole grain pasta is that it’s a little darker than regular white pasta. Aside from that, we wouldn’t have known it was any different.

Barilla® Whole Grain tastes great. There’s no bitterness at all, and the texture is perfect.

Like our homemade whole wheat pizza dough and whole wheat bread, Barilla® Whole Grain pasta uses 51% whole wheat flour. That proportion preserves the taste and texture of normal white pasta and still provides the benefits of whole grains.

There’s even a taste guarantee! If you don’t like the Barilla® Whole Grain pasta, let them know, and they will give you a free box of your favorite Barilla® pasta.

What do you have to lose?

Win a $100 gift card!

BlogHer and Barilla® are providing me with a $100 gift card to give away to one lucky Feels Like Home reader.

To enter, answer this question:

What do you love about Barilla® Whole Grain?

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  • Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  • Tweet about this promotion @BarillaUS with the following unique term in your message, #BarillaWG, and link to your Tweet in a comment on this post
  • Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to your post in a comment on this post
  • For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

No duplicate comments. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winner will have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 2/21/12-3/30/12.

Be sure to visit the Barilla® Whole Grain round-up page on where you can read other bloggers® reviews and find more chances to win!

I was compensated to write a recipe using Barilla® Whole Grain pasta. All opinions are my own.

© 2012 – 2013, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    Love how easy and healthy this recipe is. I really like how kid-friendly Barilla’s Whole Grain Pasta is – I make it for my kids a lot and find it especially good with tomato based sauces, pestos and in stir-fries.

  2. Vickie Couturier says

    What do you love about Barilla® Whole Grain?
    anything whole grain is a hit with us,we are trying to get more healthy


  3. Lisa says

    I love Barilla Whole Grain Pasta, and have been using it for a year or more now! I think it takes great and is healthier for my family!

  4. says

    Love Barilla pasta and switched to whole grain over a year ago. My family couldn’t much tell the difference but I sure feel better serving it to them!

  5. Bev Edge says

    I love that Barilla’s Whole Grain pasta has the same texture as regular pasta. I also love that it is more healthy for my family!

  6. says

    I love that I can eat one of my favorite foods without having to feel guilty about it!!!!
    thanks for a chance to win!
    And, have a GREAT day!

  7. Debbie Gilbert says

    I love the new Barilla whole grain too, however. it is my picky kids that do not like the change!

  8. cw says

    I love that it has 3 time the amount of fiber of other pastas and made with whole wheat and you can’t tell the difference in taste

  9. Jessie C. says

    I like it’s whole grain and also taste great. Kids love it as well.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  10. Valerie C. says

    I love that I can feed my two children a healthier food without them complaining. It’s perfect :)

  11. Kelly D says

    I love Barilla Whole Grain because I can enjoy pasta without going off my diet, and it is delicious.

  12. Susan Schaller says

    Well we all really need that extra fiber and the whole wheat has 3X the amount of fiber. You can not really tell the difference.

  13. says

    I love that Barilla Whole Grain pasta is available at so many stores and I know what I’m getting.

    Thank you.

    won2xx at gmail dot com

  14. MelissaO says

    I love all the extra fiber…I typically use it for filling vegetarian lunches to take to work.

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

  15. Dahbou says

    I love the fact that it delivers three times the fiber of regular pasta and still tastes delicious!

  16. Devona Fryer says

    I love how healthy it is. It’s a great way to add whole grains to our diet. I love your recipe also.

  17. Debra F says

    I have to admit that I prefer white pasta, but we’ve made the switch and I love that Barilla is a really great source of fiber for our family’s diet….especially for my sons who eat a lot of the wrong foods when left to their own devices.

  18. Erica Best says

    I like it’s whole grain and also taste great plus is all natural
    purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

  19. Christina Tong says

    I love Barilla’s Whole Grain Pasta because it provides more fiber, it is nutritious and delicious. I have been buying the Barilla’s regular pasta for many years and switched to this whole grain once I tried and love it’s texture.


  20. Leann Lindeman says

    Pasta that is good for you AND tastes good! Ya can’t go wrong! I won some of this pasta and have gone thru most of it1 Yummy!

  21. sy says

    I love the fact it’s whole grain and their variety of noodles. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  22. linda brooks says

    I love Barilla Whole Grain because of the taste, Im not a big pasta eater, but this is so good.

  23. Gina M Maddox says

    I love that Barilla Whole Grain is all natural and is a great source of fiber. Thanks for the chance to win!
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  24. Gina M Maddox says


    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  25. says

    I love that its a very well known name brand offering whole grains to the masses. I am a huge proponent of eating whole foods, especially whole grains and have noticed that lots of people have a negative opinion of “health foods.” With the Barilla name comes a guarantee that its going to taste great and hopefully that will get more people to try it and see that eating healthy tastes great!

  26. ewhatley says

    I use Barilla but haven’t tried the whole grain yet. Guess it’s time to get on that train.

  27. Mari says

    I like that it contains three times more fiber than regular pasta.

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  28. Anne K. says

    I have 3 boxes of Barilla Whole grain in my cabinet right now (which means I have to stock up, we go through 2-3 boxes a week). It is my favorite pasta because it tastes great and is good for you too! Win / win!