Goldfish Crusted Chicken Parmesan + Pesto Spaghetti

What could bring you back to your childhood more than a bowl of Cheddar Goldfish? This take on traditional Chicken Parmesan is even cheesier with the white goldfish and placed atop a bed of pesto spaghetti squash making it even healthier. Hey, you’ve gotta get your vegetables somehow, and to be honest, I like this combination more than real spaghetti. See Sophia Albanna’s recipe she created for ChekmarkEats below.


Tomato Sauce

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion (about ½ large cut into ¼” dice)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 Tablespoons minced or chopped in the food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to season liberally!

Chicken Parmesan

  • 1 spaghetti squash, medium or large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, to drizzle on squash
  • Salt, to season squash
  • 2 large chicken breasts (or 3 smaller), pounded to ¾-1” thickness
  • 1 ½ cups parmesan Goldfish
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, or more!
  • Crushed red pepper, optional topping
  • 1 cup pesto


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set aside two half-sheet baking pans lined with parchment paper and one baking sheet with cooling rack.

Note: the entire recipe will be cooked at this temperature.

  1. In a medium to large mixing bowl combine all ingredients listed for the tomato sauce and mix well. Place on a parchment lined half-sheet baking pan and roast for 1 hour, or until tomatoes are browned and onions cooked to transparency.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out and discard seed portion. Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil on each face and place on baking sheet. Season with salt and place in oven. After 30-35 minutes, remove spaghetti squash from outer peeling using a fork to scrape out.

Note: Cooking time will vary, but flesh of spaghetti squash should be tender enough to pull out with a fork. Over roasting will yield mushy squash with less resemblance to al dente pasta.

  1. Meanwhile, prepare chicken dredging station. First, rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel; set aside on a plate, but do not return chicken to the fridge.
  2. Next, pulverize Goldfish, rosemary, and thyme in food processor until breadcrumb (or Panko) consistency. Transfer Goldfish and herb crumbs to a wide, shallow bowl (or plate) large enough to fit the chicken.

Note: if you don’t have a mini food processor you can crush them in a thick Ziploc bag using your hands or the back of a spoon.

  1. Next, whisk eggs in a shallow, medium-sized bowl. In a third bowl (of similar size) whisk flour with cayenne, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
  2. To coat the chicken: dip first chicken breast in flour, coating both sides, then in eggs, then liberally coat sides in Goldfish and herb crumbs. Repeat with second piece of chicken. Place on cooling rack (on the third baking sheet) and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, transfer the roasted tomatoes, onions, and garlic to a bowl. Using a fork, mash the tomatoes until chunky sauce consistency. Season as needed. Transfer sauce to baking dish as shown, reserving some to put on the top of the chicken, underneath the cheese.

Note: if you choose to use one of the sheet pans (from the tomatoes or squash) instead, first place a fresh sheet of parchment down and then spread the sauce as shown.

  1. After 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven. Set each piece on top of the tomato sauce, add the reserved sauce to each piece, and then top with fresh mozzarella. Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  2. Meanwhile, reheat the spaghetti squash (if needed) and then toss with pesto, using enough to coat liberally.
  3. After 10 minutes, or when the cheese has melted, increase the oven temperature; broil for 1-2 minutes, keeping an eye on it until the cheese is bubbling and browned.
  4. Plate the spaghetti squash, followed by the chicken and sauce. Season with crushed red pepper (optional) and garnish with torn basil.