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Cheesy Mozzarella Chicken Bake Recipe

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This Cheesy Mozzarella Chicken Bake is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. With tender chicken breasts smothered in marinara sauce, Italian seasonings, and topped with gooey mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, it’s sure to be a hit with your family. Let’s get started!

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Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Step 2: Prepare the Chicken

  1. Season the Chicken:
    • Season the 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Sear the Chicken:
    • In a large oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the skillet from heat.

Step 3: Assemble the Bake

  1. Add Marinara Sauce:
    • Pour 1 cup of marinara sauce over the chicken breasts in the skillet, spreading it evenly to cover the chicken.
  2. Add Cheese:
    • Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the chicken breasts and marinara sauce.

Step 4: Bake

  1. Bake the Chicken:
    • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the skillet from the oven and let the chicken cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired. Serve hot and enjoy this delicious Cheesy Mozzarella Chicken Bake!

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Chicken: Ensure the chicken breasts are of even thickness for uniform cooking. You can pound them slightly if needed.
  • Marinara Sauce: Use your favorite store-bought marinara sauce or make your own at home for a fresher taste.

Variations:

  • Vegetable Additions:
    • Add sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach to the skillet before adding the marinara sauce for extra nutrition and flavor.
  • Spicy Kick:
    • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of hot sauce to the marinara sauce for a bit of heat.
  • Cheese Variations:
    • Use a mix of cheeses like provolone, cheddar, or fontina for a different flavor profile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Adjust the cooking time as needed to ensure they are cooked through.

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2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

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3. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dish up to the baking step, cover it with foil, and refrigerate it. When ready to bake, remove the foil and bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes if needed.

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4. What can I serve with this Cheesy Mozzarella Chicken Bake?

Serve this dish with a side of pasta, garlic bread, or a fresh green salad for a complete meal.

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5. Can I freeze this dish?

Yes, you can freeze the assembled but unbaked chicken bake. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking as directed.

The Delicious Delight of Cheesy Mozzarella Chicken Bake

This Cheesy Mozzarella Chicken Bake is a simple yet delicious dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its combination of tender chicken, flavorful marinara sauce, and melty cheese, it’s sure to become a family favorite.

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Tips for Success

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh chicken and high-quality marinara sauce and cheese will enhance the flavor of the dish.
  2. Even Cooking: Ensure the chicken breasts are of even thickness for uniform cooking.
  3. Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, especially the salt and pepper.

Cheesy Mozzarella Chicken Bake is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its combination of tender chicken, marinara sauce, and melty cheese, this bake is sure to become a family favorite. Try this recipe for your next meal and enjoy a comforting and satisfying dish. Happy cooking!