Baked Chicken Marinara

DinnerQuick and EasyItalianChicken Thigh

Baked Chicken Marinara - chicken pieces coated with Parmesan and bread crumbs, fried and covered with a tomato basil marinara sauce, and topped with melted Mozzarella. A flavorful alternative to chicken parmesan.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This baked chicken marinara dish is my mother’s version of chicken parmesan, in that chicken pieces, are breaded, fried, smothered with sauce, topped with Mozzarella, and baked.

Rather than pounding thin chicken breasts though, my mother uses more flavorful boneless skinless chicken thighs. She adds plenty of fresh basil to the marinara tomato sauce.

Tastes great served with pasta for a chicken marinara pasta dish. So good! Comfort food at its best.

Baked Chicken Marinara

Baked Chicken Marinara Recipe

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

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Chicken:

  • 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
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Method

1 Make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Add the tomatoes, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2 Bread the chicken pieces: Combine the grated Parmesan and the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Put the flour in another separate bowl, and the beaten eggs in another bowl.

Dredge each piece of chicken first in the flour, then dip in the beaten eggs, and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

3 Preheat oven to 350°F.

4 Brown the chicken on the stovetop: Heat 4 Tbsp of olive 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.

5 Bake the chicken with the sauce and cheese: Place chicken pieces on an oven-proof serving dish. Spoon sauce over chicken pieces. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F, or microwave on high heat for 10-20 seconds, just until the cheese has melted.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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29 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lana

    Just did it this evening – it was great! I used “Mozzarella and Provolone rustic cut” — worked very well together. Didn’t use oven — covered pan with a lid for a few minutes and that was enough to melt the cheese. My preferred choice for dishes with chicken is chicken tenders that cook through fast and easy to portion. Breading worked for me well enough ( need to keep temperature lower than medium after a while ). I kept chicken mostly submerged in the sauce for 10-15 minutes.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Joanie Ferrell

    Delicious!! Thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Mark

    This sounded like a great family friendly meal. I feel that I followed the instructions exactly, but had the same problem as some other reviewers – the breading layer burned in the skillet well before the chicken was cooked.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  4. Michelle

    I made this recipe according to directions except I did pound the chicken breasts thinly, changed cooking time to 20 min. to bake the sauce even thicker and it turned out awesome!!! Going to be my tried and true.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Mark K

    The timing for this recipe was terribly wrong for us – 10 minutes in the oven is NOT ENOUGH time unless you’ve really cut these pieces up into very small chunks. Had we done it next time, we would have definitely used flour (we tried to without flour, and the breading kept falling off), and we would have done the sauteeing step with very small pieces of chicken – then baked for 10-15 min. It ended up tasting good, but it took forever to cook the chicken properly (and by then, we had basically wasted the marinara sauce, breading, and cheese). Nonetheless, I’m sure we will crush it on our second time around.

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Baked Chicken Marinara