Chicken Pizzaiola

If you’ve ever had one of those days where it’s 5 pm before you know it and you don’t have a plan for dinner, this recipe might save you as it saved me one night last week.  One of the best things about it is that it’s highly adaptable.  I used pepperoni in my dish, as the recipe suggested, but you could use just about any other pizza topping that you enjoy – mushrooms, onions, peppers, sausage – the possibilities are endless!  You could probably even skip the mozzarella and substitute another cheese that melts well.  Finally, with regard to the sauce, you could definitely use jarred tomato sauce to make this recipe, but if you don’t have any on hand or happen to have time to make your own, I’ve posted a few good options on the blog previously that you could try.

You can have this chicken on the table in 30 minutes or less, making it perfect for a weeknight.  It appealed to the picky eater in this family and since it’s so adaptable, I think it would probably be a hit with most (assuming, of course, you like chicken).  Pasta would be a wonderful, and obvious, choice for a side, though a big salad would also be nice.  We have chicken a lot so I’m very happy to have yet another delicious recipe to keep things interesting here!

Chicken Pizzaiola

Chicken Pizzaiola
from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or jarred
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 ounces (1 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated
4 ounces (1 cup) mozzarella, shredded
2 ounces pepperoni, sliced thin

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 450 F.  Spread the tomato sauce in a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the Parmesan in a shallow dish, then add the chicken, turning to coat.  Lay the chicken on top of the tomato sauce.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle the mozzarella and pepperoni over it.  Increase the oven temperature to 475 F and continue to bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through (an instant read thermometer should read 160 F), about 5 more minutes.