30 Minute Mozzarella Chicken in Homemade Tomato Sauce

IKL Pars
30 Minute Mozzarella Chicken in Homemade Tomato Sauce
30 Minute Mozzarella Chicken in Homemade Tomato Sauce
This little mozzarella chicken recipe has been hidden deep in the files since early spring. I’ve been itching to bust it out along with my sweaters, soup recipes, fuzzy socks, and jar of pumpkin spice since the first day of autumn. And though i’ll be honest, it was 95ºF this weekend, I went to the mall, bought an oversized sweater, virtually shopped for boots, and enjoyed a cozy bowl of homemade soup for lunch on Sunday. Believe me, i’m so determined, it WILL get cooler soon.

But you know, whatever the weather may be, I’m all in with this mozzarella chicken dinner. That slow simmered homemade tomato sauce is everything. Here we are. We’re talking a quick an easy sauce that is bright, tangy, and beautiful.

When the sauce is ready, nestle the chicken breasts back into the pan. Use a tablespoon to cover the chicken breast with a little sauce. You don’t want them to dry out in the oven. Top them with shredded or sliced mozzarella. Even provolone would work for this recipe. And give it a quick broil to just get that cheese HOT and BUBBLY. Top with fresh basil or parsley.


Ingredients:
  • 4 small chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato pesto (homemade or store-bought) (see notes)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon EACH Italian seasoning AND red pepper flakes (see notes)1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper + ¼ cup water
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese (or 1 cup shredded)

TO SERVE:
chopped parsley or basil + pasta or crusty bread

Directions:
  1. CHICKEN: Sprinkle the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side or until the chicken is completely cooked through, remove to a plate. If you are planning on serving this with pasta, get the water going and cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. TOMATO SAUCE: Preheat the oven on the broiler setting. Add the onions to the oil remaining in the pan. If there isn’t any, add in about ½ teaspoon and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes until the soften, add the garlic and let cook for 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, dried basil, and pesto and stir to combine. When the sauce reaches a simmer, add a ¼ cup of water, lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. ASSEMBLE: Nestle the chicken breasts into the sauce and using a spoon, cover the chicken with sauce. Top each breast with a slice of cheese. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese gets nice and bubbly and just melts. Top with chopped parsley or basil ribbons. Serve with pasta or crusty bread and a salad.
Notes:

Though I do recommend using sun-dried tomato pesto for this recipe as it really enhances the flavor of the sauce and makes it taste like it was simmered all day, basil pesto will also work in the recipe.
Also, you can use more or less red pepper flakes to taste. Omit for a milder sauce.


Related For 30 Minute Mozzarella Chicken in Homemade Tomato Sauce