Books to Belly: Heart-Shaped Chicken Parm Pops


I'm the mom packing the heart-shaped sandwiches with heart-shaped fruit kabobs. And of course I also include heart-shaped post-it notes for each of my two lovebirds. I wasn’t always a fan of the day, that is until I became a mom. My pre-mom self can totally relate to the boy in the story A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger. Crankenstein does NOT like Valentine’s Day. He does not like heart-shaped sandwiches accompanied by heart-shaped napkins. He doesn’t like his new underwear with hearts on them. He doesn’t want to participate in the school Valentine’s Day pageant or make heart garland. It is all just plain “YECHHHHH” to him…that is, until he finds a friend who dislikes the day just as much as he does! This is a very cute story for the little crankensteins in your life!

Of course I just had to pair heart-shaped food of some sort with this story! Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, so I wanted to make something for those of you who, like myself, will be having a low key dinner at home with the kids. These chicken parm pops are so fun to make and absolutely delicious! My kids loved dipping them into marinara sauce. They are cute enough for the little kids and tasty enough for us big kids! Make it along with some pasta and a salad and you got yourself a family friendly Valentine's Day meal without the crowd and chaos of a restaurant.


Chicken Parm Pops


  • 1 pound ground chicken 92% lean 8% fat
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • cooking spray (I use coconut oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Marinara sauce, for dipping



  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, egg, garlic, grated parmesan, shredded mozzarella, breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread the chicken mixture evenly onto the cookie sheet.
  4. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts out.
  5. Mix the egg and milk together in a bowl. Add the flour to a separate bowl and the breadcrumbs to another. Line up like an assembly line.
  6. Dip each heart into the flour first, then the egg/milk mixture, and lastly, the breadcrumbs.
  7. Spray a clean baking sheet and arrange the hearts.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.


Let cool for 5 minutes before inserting pop sticks. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

Happy Valentines Day!



Picture of Tara Lotufo

Author: Tara Lotufo

Tara lives in New York with her husband David and children, Chloe and Max. Being a New Yorker can be difficult come winter, so Tara spends a lot of time in the kitchen with her kids, who have become her little sous chefs. They enjoy mixing and measuring, pouring and prepping, and eating! They’re her inspiration for creative meals and the reason she’s such a happy mommy. Tara blogs about food, cooking and all things delicious.

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