I made this Chicken Marinara recipe after thinking about ways I could put a spin on a more traditional chicken parmesan…and I think you’ll notice that it is indeed very similar. Here, I skip the process of breading, and frying up the chicken, which saves a lot of time and effort. But, I still use a combination of a great marinara sauce, some mozzarella cheese, and a good hot over that combines the flavors into a wonderful combo. I’ve made this somewhat “casserole” style in an oven proof frying pan, but you can easily do this in any baking dish. Enjoy!
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
To make the best Chicken Breast Marinara just make sure to the following
- Most important is to make sure you don’t try out the chicken breasts. I cook mine separately on the stove top and make sure to just barely cook them through - even slightly under is ok - as we’re going to cook them again
- Use a good marinara. If you buying jarred sauce, make sure it’s a good one. Better yet, make you’re own!
- And use a good amount of sauce. I like to use a lot, ensuring all the chicken is well covered.
- Set your oven nice and hot. You want about 450 degrees to ensure the cheese melts and browns quickly; and the chicken doesn’t over cook
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 lb shredded mozzeralla cheese
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- Fresh basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat your over to 450 degrees
- Heat an over proof frying pan over med-high heat for a few minutes
- While the pan heats, season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper
- Coat the pan with olive oil, and lay in the chicken breasts
- Sear on that first side for 3 - 4 minutes, without touching for flipping
- Turn the chicken over, and sear the other side for the same amount of time; make sure to adjust the heat if the pan is scorching or not hot enough
- Turn off the heat, and remove the chicken from the pan to cool for about 10 minutes
- While the chicken cools, heat the marinara sauce on the stove top
- Slice the chicken into pieces about 1/2 - 3/4 inches thick
- Coat the frying pan (or a baking dish) with olive oil, and lay the sliced chicken in the pan, with the slices slightly overlapping in a single layer on the pan
- Season with salt and pepper
- Spoon the heated marinara over the sliced clicken, evenly, in a layer about a 1/4 thicken
- If you’d like, spread some of the fresh basil leaves around the pan, on top of the sauce
- Now cover the whole thing with the shredded mozzarella cheese
- Move the pan into the oven, an allow it bake for about 8 - 12 minutes until the cheese is fully melted, and browned in several spots
- Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 - 7 minutes
- Once cooled server it up and enjoy!
For most tomato sauce heavy/Italian inspired recipes, I tend to recommend staying with Italian wines, and this is no exception. My first choice would be a Sangiovese, which has a beautiful and natural affinity for tomato sauces. Sangiovese is also widely available. Another great choice would be Nebiolo, which also red, is on the lighter side, will go great with the tomato, and won’t over power the chicken. Enjoy!