Chicken Marinara

Chicken pieces coated with Parmesan and bread crumbs, fried and covered with a tomato basil marinara sauce, and topped with melted Mozzarella. My mother made this chicken marinara for dinner tonight and it was fabulous. She uses chicken thighs because they are more flavorful, but you could easily use breasts.

Chicken Marinara Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 9 boneless chicken thighs (skinless or skin-on, your preference), if large pieces, then cut in half
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Method

1 Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Mix in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2 Blend breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in small bowl. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Coat chicken with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumb mixture.

3 Preheat oven to 350°. Heat remaining oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add chicken and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Place chicken pieces on an oven-proof serving dish. Spoon sauce over chicken pieces. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or microwave on high heat for 10-20 seconds, just until the cheese has melted.

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27 Comments

  1. lydia

    I was just thinking that I don’t cook Italian-style food often enough, especially since I’ve cut back on eating pasta. This looks too good to pass up.

  2. Meena

    This looks like the perfect comfort food to fight the bad weather we’ve been having here lately. Absolutely mouth-watering, Elise! Can’t wait to try it out!

  3. ha3rvey

    It’s so good to see recipes with chicken thighs. Thigh meat is awesome. I don’t understand skinless chicken breasts at all. Thigh meat is moister, tastier, cheaper.

    A fast food place I used to work at served grilled chicken thigh meat. It was hard not to laugh at customers who asked for the “grilled white meat chicken.”

    good times…

  4. Rathi Varadarajan

    Hi. Chanced upon this site and have become a regular visitor.
    Made this recipe but using Fish fillets. Was a big hit with family and friends. Of course being from India, had to add more of the red pepper :-)

  5. Elise Lafosse

    This looks excellent. Am going to try it this weekend. Question though, is it easy to debone chicken thighs? Or can you serve it with the bones in it. I will ask the butcher if he will do it but I doubt it. Thanks. Elise

  6. Linda

    Hi Elise

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    It is easy to debone a thigh or chicken breast.
    I have a sharp boning (curved blade) knife I use to debone meats with. I learned not to take off every bit of meat on the bones while trying to cut a chicken thigh or breast. I do not mangle the meat now. The small amount of meat left on the bones and the bones goes into my stock pot to make chicken broth. I use the broth instead of cream or milk when I make chicken gravy for roasted chicken.

    Linda

  7. Chris Cardinal

    I made this tonight, and it turned out fantastic. Seriously, a great recipe all around and a big hit, especially with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Fantastic, really.

    Thanks for this!

  8. Daniel

    I did something like this a while back, only I wrapped the chicken in bacon before dipping it in batter and frying it. Bad for the heart I’m sure, but it’s good for the tongue. Might want to cook the bacon a little before hand if you like it crispy.

  9. Linda

    Daniel,

    When I fry pork bacon for breakfast, I save the drippings which I store in a glass jar in the fridge. When I roast chicken I melt the bacon dripping with some butter and a little lemon juice and inject this into the bird. The extra fat keeps the chicken moist and yeah tasty too.

    Linda

  10. Wene

    Hi, I’m thinking of making this. However, my only apprehension is that, after dipping the chicken in the flour, parmesan, breadcrumbs, and mozzarella, the ingredients now covering the chicken may burn before the chicken itself cooks… the only solution I could think of is steaming the chicken before dipping it in the ingredients. Do you think the chicken might lose some flavor if I were to steam it first? please advise. But, dont get me wrong, the recipe looks absolutely sumptuous.

  11. Marie / Paris

    I made this recipe last night – we loved it.
    It’s absolutely delicious and easy to make.
    A great heartening winter recipe!
    Just one tip : Wene’s comment about the breadcrumbs and parmesan burning before the chicken cooks (I had the same concern) : so I dipped the raw chicken thighs in the flour, egg, parmesan and breadcrumb mixture and then baked them in the oven for about 40 minutes – I covered them for about 30 minutes so the breadcrumbs wouldn’t burn and then took off the cover to left them get golden for the last 10 minutes.
    Turned out a treat !!

  12. Janelle

    I made this for dinner tonight, and we had the extra sauce over penne (only cooked 5 thighs instead of 9). Delicious! I didn’t have a problem at all with the crust cooking/burning before the chicken was done. I did put a lid on the chicken for the last couple minutes of cooking time to make sure they got cooked through. Another winner, thanks!

  13. Matt

    I made this last night and used skinless boneless breasts (force of habit).
    I did everything as mentioned above and had no problem with the breadcrumb outer layer burning. I left the chicken breaded at room temp for about 15 mins before putting into the pan though and also covered the pan for the last few mins of cooking. Was excellent. This will be my new pasta sauce from now on also.

  14. betsy b

    I made this tonight, and I suggest to SKIP the flour. I tried it once and the crumbs and cheese mixture did not adhere well, so I dipped it only in the crumbs and cheese, and that worked fine. I also made mine in an eletric skillet, cooked it longer to be sure it was cooked through. I put a lid on it to help melt the cheese and skipped the microwave. All three of my kids liked this!!

  15. Heather

    Chicken Marinara? This is actually a recipe for chicken parmesan, although normally the chicken is put in a baking dish with the marinara and mozzarella and baked, rather than microwaving. Incidentally, the oven baked version works best if you use cuts of meat that have been pounded very thin.

  16. Shelby

    Elise, I made this dish a few weeks ago. It was outstanding with the sauce and cheese, but the chicken by itself, OMG amazing! We decided that the breaded chicken recipe was one of the best ways to prepare chicken EVER. So good on a bun. Now it’s a regular dish in our house. Thanks again. Love this website.

  17. Amazon3d

    I had a rough idea on how to make this but really wanted a guide. I found this to be one of the simplest recipes I stumbled upon. I used Bertolli marinara sauce, bowties, and chicken breast and I must say it tasted fantastic. Click my username to see the finished result, I only made 1 serving.

  18. Sara

    I made this last night as I needed to make a quick dinner. It was delicious, really tasty but I’m afraid it wasn’t very quick at all. All the prepping, sauce making and crumbing left me rather exhausted!

  19. Greentea

    This is a wonderful recipe. I tried it earlier this week. I didn’t have breadcrumbs so i toasted white sandwhich bread and cut it with a knife into tiny pieces. After pan frying the coated chicken thighs, I placed it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, then placed the delicious tomato sauce mixture on top and stuck it in the oven. Its great for leftovers too, and the chicken is so soft! Thanks for the great recipe!

  20. Wendy

    This Chicken Marinara Recipe is awesome thank you for sharing, I made it without the flour because I didn’t have any and it tasted fantastic. Thank you for your Moms recipe.I can’t wait to make it exactly as it’s suppose to be.

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