All you need for a quick dinner is your oven, thawed chicken, jarred sauce and garnishes or sides of your choice.
How? Hang on and I will show you!
First thing, pat your chicken dry with paper towels.
I use boneless, skinless breasts. The ones I buy are usually pretty large and pretty thick. See?
The problem with trying to cook them in this state is the outside will get finished way before the inside. By the time the middle is cooked, the outside is dry. Yuck. To ensure even and faster cooking, try butterflying them.
Take your knife and carefully slice through the thickest end to the other end. The result is two pieces of chicken that are now even.
Both pieces are also significantly thinner, allowing more even cooking.
There are many good jarred sauces out there, allowing for many variations on this dish. I have used marinara, alfredo sauce and salsa verde. For this post, I used enchilada sauce and canned green chiles. (Side note, I don’t make a lot of Mexican style food at home as we have sooooo many delicious restaurants in the Coast Bend. However, budget and time don’t always allow for eating out.)
Pour sauce into baking dish. This dish holds two breasts split in half, or four pieces of chicken.
Brush chicken with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and nestle into the sauce. Don’t worry if the chicken is not all the way covered.
Cover dish with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Chicken is finished!
Top with cheese and pop under the broiler until melted.
Dinner is ready! There is plenty of sauce, so in this example, you could place a piece of chicken on top of some rice or some refried beans and top with more sauce.
That’s it. Quick. Healthier than fast food. Easier on the wallet than going out. See below for written recipe and variations I have used. Enjoy!
- 1 16-oz. jarred sauce of your choice
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into even halves
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1 1/2 c. cheese of your choice (optional)
- Cooked starch of your choice (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pour sauce into a large baking dish.
- Brush chicken all over with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken into sauce and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Optional – Remove chicken from the oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve over cooked starch.
Use jarred salsa verde. When chicken is cooked, melt Monterrey jack cheese on top. Remove from oven, top chicken with cilantro and lime juice. Serve over rice.
Use jarred marinara sauce. Cook chicken for 15-20 minutes. Remove dish from oven, top partially cooked chicken with pepperonis, return to oven and finish cooking. Melt mozzarella on top. Pizza chicken!
Use jarred Alfredo sauce. (Classico Light creamy Alfredo pasta sauce is yummy and Weight Watchers friendly.) When chicken is cooked, melt Parmesan cheese on top. Remove from oven, serve over noodles or on top of toast.