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!

A piece of chicken marinara and a side of noodles on a plate.

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!

Recipe Ingredients

One of the reasons this recipe is on repeat weekly at my house is because the ingredient list is SO simplethis meal is truly the tastiest 6-ingredient (not including salt and olive oil) dinner on the planet. Here’s everything you’ll need:

Ingredients for easy baked chicken marinara sit on a marble counter.
  • 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:

3 raw chicken breasts dusted with salt and Italian seasoning sitting on a plate.
3 large chicken breasts dusted with salt and Italian seasoning searing in a large enameled cast iron pot.
A large enameled cast iron pot of marinara sauce.
A large enameled cast iron pot with 3 chicken breasts covered in marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Chicken marinara (chicken breasts covered in marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese) in a large enameled cast iron pot.
Top view of two plates of chicken marinara and noodles next to a large pot of chicken marinara.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat the pan + prep the chicken – heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Garnish, serve, and enjoy – garnish with fresh basil and cracked black pepper. Serve with fresh buttered noodles!

Recipe Tip

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.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use any type of chicken for chicken marinara?

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).

Can I make chicken marinara in advance and reheat it?

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.

Can I use frozen chicken for chicken marinara, or does it need to be thawed first?

Because we sear the chicken ahead of baking it, you’ll definitely want to use thawed chicken for this dish!

Top view of two plates of chicken marinara, noodles, and a piece of garlic cheesy bread next to a large pot of chicken marinara and a bowl of garlic cheesy bread.

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

4.60 — Votes 10 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
This easy chicken marinara is so delicious! 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 melted and bubbly.

Ingredients  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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!

Recipe Notes

*Nutrition facts are per serving and do not include fresh buttered noodles.

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 1937mg | Potassium: 1197mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1266IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 338mg | Iron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian-Inspired
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 468
Keyword: chicken marinara

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.


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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is delicious! As to the concerns about the chicken being tough, I followed the directions and didn’t brown the chicken in the skillet any longer than directed, put the entire stainless steel skillet in the oven, baked for 25 minutes only (as I had cut the breasts into tenderloins and they were done more quickly) and it was tender with it perfect flavor.

  2. 5 stars
    1st off the flavor is delicious! I did think my chicken was a little tough, so thinking how I could do that differently. But thank you for the recipe will make it again!

  3. 3 stars
    Chicken breast came out a little bit tough. Flavors were there but I think I would prefer to grill the breast, then drop in sauce, add cheese and then broil to get cheese melted and then serve.
    I don’t believe I over cooked the breast in the pan but overall a good recipe.

  4. 4 stars
    Would make some tweaks. By the time the 25 minutes was up the cheese already melted and was sliding off of the chicken. Also, at the end of the 25 minutes the chicken was already cooked fully to 165 F. Would wait to add cheese to the end and not go for 35 minutes unless you are using an enamel dutch oven.

  5. 5 stars
    This was freaking delicious! I used a homemade marinara, chicken tenderloins and cooked it in a gigantic sauté pan on the stove and popped that into the oven.

    1. Homemade marinara?!?! YUM! We are so glad you loved it, Julie! Thank you for taking a moment to share!

    1. Yes, it can absolutely be made with chicken thighs!

  6. 4 stars
    This was tasty and easy. Next time I might reserve part of the cheese until closer to the end as it all slid off the chicken and into the sauce.

    1. Yes, it’s enameled cast iron! HERE’S the link to the one we used (in a different color).