You know what always makes dinner taste great? Someone else cooking it.
You know what’s a close second to that?
Making it ahead of time so by the time dinner time arrives, it feels like someone else already prepped it.
Yesterday required a trip down to the South Park area of Charlotte, which is a solid 45 minutes from home. Knowing there is no such thing as a quick trip when you have two kids in tow, I knew it would be a full day, so I somehow managed to be on top on my game and prepped dinner, simple baked Italian chicken, right after eating breakfast.
One of the destinations on our list was South Park mall, which never disappoints. There is a new H&M, an American Girl store and a Pottery Barn Kids that I had to all but drag Hailey out of.
We chowed down on some Chipotle.
And gave Santa one more solid effort.
Despite Kaitlyn’s face, it went better, but clearly still not great.
Anyway, back to the chicken!
I was right in that it was a full day affair, and man was I happy when I arrived home that all I had to do was pop dinner and a spaghetti in a boiling pot kick back any enjoy some tunes while dinner baked.
Then we chowed down on simple baked Italian chicken!
The family vote is that this recipe can stick around for a while; everyone enjoyed it and I loved the easy prep and clean up. Let me know what you think!Print
This baked Italian Chicken dish is an easy and delicious weeknight meal. Prep ahead if you’d like and place in the oven when you are ready and you will have a nutritious home cooked meal that the family all enjoys in no time!
- 4 large chicken breasts, pounded flat (about 2–2.5 lbs)
- 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 28 ounces marinara
- 6 ounces Mozzarella (I use shredded but you can use fresh if you’d like)
- 2 Tbsp Italian bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pound chicken until it is a half an inch thick, then season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Sear the chicken, roughly 3 minutes per side.
- Pour the marinara into a 9×13 baking pan.
- Place the cooked chicken breasts in the marinara and top with the mozzarella.
- Evenly distribute the breadcrumbs over the mozzarella, followed by the Italian seasoning and the Parmesan.
- Cover with tinfoil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for a remaining 10 minutes, until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165.
- Serve over spaghetti with more freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.
What is your favorite prep-ahead meal?