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Mozzarella Chicken is a fabulous weeknight dinner, made up of a rich, made from scratch tomato-based sauce, linguine pasta and chicken all topped with melty cheese.
Easy Mozzarella Chicken
This dinner is DELICIOUS, people. Like, lick the plate, and grab a spoon and eat any leftover sauce from the skillet kind of delicious.
It’s all made from pretty basic ingredients, that you probably already have. Isn’t that how some of the greatest dinners are made? Using what you have, and winging it a little? That’s how it works at my house!
Usually, my basic tomato sauce is onion, garlic, tomatoes, with some fresh herbs (I usually use basil). However, I didn’t have any fresh basil, so I added some basil pesto to the sauce.
I have to tell you, I think this is THE key ingredient to it all. It brings such a fresh and complex flavor to an otherwise fairly simple sauce. It’s kind of divine, actually. Happiest accident, ever!
I make the sauce in the same skillet that I cook the mozzarella chicken in, scraping up all the yummy flavor and whisking it in with the sauce – it really does give the sauce an extra touch of flavor, and ties it in beautifully with the rest of the meal.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy to make – this is an easy chicken recipe perfect for keeping around when you need dinner, fast! It’s on the table in around 30 minutes.
- Uses pantry ingredients – nothing fancy, and there are plenty of ways to sub in what you have.
- Family friendly – trust me, make a double batch and take it for lunch the next day!
Season the chicken with some garlic powder and onion powder for an even bigger flavor boost
You can use a store bought marinara sauce if you wish, but DO add the basil pesto!
Add some red pepper flakes to the sauce if you like a kick!
If you don’t have an oven proof skillet, no worries! Just add your cooked chicken breasts to a baking dish, pour the sauce over the top and add your shredded mozzarella over the top, and broil.
You can use fresh mozzarella if you have it!
If you are looking for side dishes, go for a basic salad, or some roasted broccoli.
Chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F when tested with a digital meat thermometer in the thickest part.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
How to make this recipe
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Step 1: Cook the chicken
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron or other oven proof skillet, over medium high heat and season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
Cook on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side until browned and fully cooked (cooking time will vary based on thickness of your chicken. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
(Meanwhile, boil some water to cook your pasta).
Step 2: Make the Sauce
Add the other 1 Tbs olive oil to the skillet, and heat. Add the onions, and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the water and deglaze the skillet, scraping up the flavor from the bottom. The browned bits have amazing flavor, we want it ALL in the sauce!
Add the crushed tomatoes, pesto, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste, and stir until fully combined.
Bring the sauce to a simmer, and allow to cook a further 10 minutes on low. (Now is a good time to cook your pasta).
Taste test the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Step 3: Add the chicken back into the sauce
Add the chicken back into the skillet, and submerge in the sauce.
Top with mozzarella cheese (use more or less, as to your own taste – I vote for more), and melt until the broiler until browned on top. Serve with cooked linguine.
Want more weeknight meals? Of course you do!!
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Skillet Lasagna Recipe
- Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy
- Skillet Chicken with Garlic Herb Butter Sauce (from Cooking Classy)
Italian Style Mozzarella Chicken
- Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large cast iron or other oven proof skillet, over medium high heat.
- Season the chicken then cook on both sides, until browned and fully cooked. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
- Add the other 1 Tbs olive oil to the skillet, and heat.
- Add the onions, and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the water and deglaze the skillet, scraping up the flavor from the bottom.
- Add the tomatoes, basil pesto, dried oregano, salt and pepper, and stir until fully combined.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer, and allow to cook a further 10 minutes on low. (Now is a good time to cook your pasta)
- Taste test the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Add the chicken back into the skillet, and submerge in the sauce.
- Top with cheese (use more or less, as to your own taste), and melt until the broiler until browned on top.
- Serve with cooked linguine.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Update: This was originally posted in December of 2016, and has been updated to improve reader experience.