This baked chicken marinara is a serious weeknight game-changer. It’s incredibly easy to make (the oven does most of the work), uses only a few simple ingredients, and is really, really yummy. I can’t wait for it to become a family favorite in your home!
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This recipe is…
Y’all, I’m not kidding when I say that I make this meal weekly for my family – it’s that good and that easy. Chicken breasts are seared and then covered in marinara sauce and topped with freshly grated mozzarella cheese, then the whole pot heads into the oven until the cheese is bubbly and delicious. Everyone in my family LOVES this recipe!
One of the reasons this recipe is on repeat weekly at my house is because the ingredient list is SO simple – this meal is truly the tastiest 6-ingredient (not including salt and olive oil) dinner on the planet. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Chicken breasts
- Sea salt + Italian seasoning
- Marinara – we love Rao’s marinara sauce, but whatever marinara sauce you usually buy is great!
- Shredded mozzarella
- Fresh basil
- Buttered noodles – for serving
How to Make Baked Chicken Marinara
These instructions are almost as simple as the ingredient list. This recipe takes VERY little hands-on effort. Here’s the full how-to:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Heat the pan + prep the chicken – heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat.
- Season + sear – season the chicken breast with half of the salt and Italian seasoning. Sear seasoned-side down for 4 minutes. Season the top-facing side of the chicken breast with the rest of the salt and Italian seasoning.
- Add the marinara sauce and cheese + bake – flip the chicken breast and then pour the marinara sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, cover, and bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Garnish, serve, and enjoy – garnish with fresh basil and cracked black pepper. Serve with fresh buttered noodles!
To get the yummiest cheese melt on top of your chicken, buy a block of mozzarella and shred it yourself!
How to Serve
Serve your cheesy, delicious chicken marinara over fresh buttered noodles for a yummy complete meal. If you want to really take things to the next level, make a side of homemade cheesy garlic bread and, if you’re feeling it, an Italian side salad to start things off!
How to Store and Reheat
Store any leftover chicken marinara in an airtight container in the fridge. Stored this way, it’ll last for up to 5 days. To reheat, either place the leftovers in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes.
We used chicken breasts here, but if you prefer chicken thighs, they’ll work great too! Do note that because the chicken is submerged in sauce, if you do use thighs, they definitely won’t get crispy (I love a good crispy chicken thigh).
You can absolutely make this dish ahead of time! I’d bake it covered for 30 minutes, let it cool and store it (ideally in the same dish you baked it in), and then, when you’re ready to enjoy, bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until heated through.
Because we sear the chicken ahead of baking it, you’ll definitely want to use thawed chicken for this dish!
If you tried this simple Easy Baked Chicken Marinara Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!
Easy Baked Chicken Marinara
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ pounds chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup fresh basil, for garnish
- Fresh buttered noodles, for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat.
- Season the chicken breast with half of the salt and Italian seasoning. Sear seasoned-side down for 4 minutes. Season the top-facing side of the chicken breast with the rest of the salt and Italian seasoning.
- Flip the chicken breast and then pour the marinara sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, cover, and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil and cracked black pepper, and serve with fresh buttered noodles!