No-Breading Chicken Mozzarella Bake

Do you ever go to a restaurant and order the chicken parmesan only to realize that once your meal is served, it’s loaded with thick, greasy, fried breading and a really thin piece of chicken? Well, this is the risk we take when ordering from a restaurant and I’m here today to give you a simple and nutritious home-cooked solution. Today I’m featuring a chicken mozzarella (**parm or mozz works – see below) baked recipe that tastes just like the restaurant classic but it’s HEALTHY, too! This chicken will impress your family, friends or loved one, or even a stranger…I promise! The dish tastes delicious and nutritious without the added breading and carbs, which is basically a win-win in my books. On top of it all, eating at home saves you money as well as the extra calories and fats that we so often find in restaurant cooking. Why not bring delicious meals into your own home and get creative and healthy in the kitchen?

**As a side note, Frank isn’t the biggest fan of parmesan and I really, really like fresh mozz, so instead I used thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Feel free to swap out the mozz for the parm and, as always, cook to the likings of your taste buds!

No-Breading Chicken Mozarella Bake

This recipe serves 3, enough for leftovers the next day!

Ingredients

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved butterfly style (but cut all the way through)

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I used Classico Tomato Basil)

6 large basil leaves, rinsed and left whole

4 oz. of thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (Try for 12 small pieces)

4 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Once you’ve halved your chicken breasts, use 2 tbsp. of the olive oil and distribute evenly to coat each piece.

3. Season both sides of each chicken breast with the Italian seasoning, dried basil, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.

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4.Prepare the baking dishes (I used two) by adding 2 tbsp. of tomato sauce to the bottom of each dish. This allows for the tomato sauce to coat the bottom of the chicken breast and keeps the chicken from sticking.

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5. In a sauce pan, on Medium High, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil until warmed through.

6. Cook three of the chicken pieces at a time and sear for about a minute or so on one side and 1 minute on the other. You want to get a nice browning on each side (Could take longer than a minute depending on your stove top), place the seared chicken in the baking dish on top of the first layer of tomato sauce.

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7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the second batch of chicken breasts are seared and placed in the baking dish.

8. Top each chicken breast with a 1/8 to 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. (There should be some sauce left over if you make a pasta on the side. In this case, we enjoyed zucchini pasta sauteed in tomato sauce sprinkled with fresh basil).

9. Then top each piece of chicken with a basil leaf and two thin slices of mozzarella cheese.

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10. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle.

11. Serve hot with a side of zucchini spaghetti and a fresh salad.

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Enjoy!

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