Italian marinated chicken breasts get quickly browned, topped with a luscious combination of cheeses, and baked until tender perfection in a tomato sauce. Serve over pasta for a hearty and pleasing meal.
We’re just going to jump right into the recipe here today. This ricotta baked chicken was the result of a much needed Sunday nap a few weeks back. I was laying down trying to motivate myself to peel myself up from the couch and racking my brain trying to figure out what to make for dinner and then, BOOM. Dinner was made. In my head. On the couch.
Wouldn’t that be nice if it was really made? I could get into those kind of naps.
To start, you’ll marinade 6 chicken breasts in some Italian dressing. I used a seasoning packet and added my own vinegar, oil, and water but if you have a bottle in the fridge, by all means, use it up!
Once your chicken has been the hot tub of flavor long enough (3 hours- overnight), you get to work! Mix together some ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, salt, pepper and just a pinch of nutmeg.
Heat a large skillet on the stove top, add a little olive oil, and brown the chicken on both sides. You don’t have to make sure it’s cooked through, just browned. Set the chicken aside on a plate and then pour in a can of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes. Use you spatula to scrape up all the little browned bits that got stuck the bottom of the pan while cooking the chicken.
When all the delicious little bits are up take the pan off the heat and put the chicken back into the pan.
Take the cheese mixture and spoon it into mounds on top of the chicken breasts until it’s all used and pop that sucker into the oven.
You’ll bake it uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the cheese just starts to brown a little bit on the top, the sauce is bubbly, and the chicken is cooked through. Once it comes out you can sprinkle it with just a little bit of chopped parsley and more parmesan cheese.
The tomato sauce has super flavor and is great served over pasta while the chicken stays moist from being baked under the cheese and is nicely seasoned from the dressing. I hope you’ll try it!
- 1 pkg (0.6 oz) Italian dressing mix
- 1/3 C white wine vinegar
- 1/3 C lite olive oil
- 1/3 C water
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 C Italian Seasoned Diced Tomatoes
- 2 C ricotta cheese
- 1 C mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/4 C parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- Mix Italian dressing mix with water, vinegar, and ⅓ C oil. Pour into a gallon sized ziplock bag and add chicken. Let marinade for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
- Combine cheeses, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken in remaining olive oil in batches until browned on both sides, but not cooked all the way through. Set chicken aside on a plate.
- Keep skillet on the heat and pour in the tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits left on the pan with a spatula until bottom of the pan is clean. Remove from heat. Return chicken to the pan with the tomatoes.
- Using a spoon, evenly scoop the cheese mixture into mounds on top of each chicken breast. Place skillet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is just starting to brown on top and chicken is cooked through.
- Serve over pasta.
by Heather Cheney
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