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 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 squash in the oven then kick back any enjoy some tunes while dinner baked.
Then we chowed down.
David enjoyed it so much he barely minded the ‘fake noodles’ of spaghetti squash. And that says something.Print
This Baked Italian Chicken dish is the perfect healthy weeknight meal. Prep ahead and place in the oven when you are ready and you will have a nutritious home cooked meal on the table in no time!
- 4 chicken breasts, pounded flat
- 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 25 ounces marinara
- 6–8 ounces fresh Mozzarella
- 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp basil
- 2 Tbsp freshly grates 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.
- Pan fry 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 slices of mozzarella.
- Evenly distribute the breadcrumbs over the mozzarella, followed by the basil and the Parmesan.
- Cover with tinfoil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for a remaining 10 minutes.
- Serve over spaghetti squash or noodles with more freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.
What is your favorite prep-ahead meal?