This is my new favorite way to bake chicken. Throw some veggies and herbs into a casserole dish, top with some chicken breasts or thighs, rub with a bit of EVOO and a few more spices, and bake! The best part of this way of baking chicken is that all the juices from the chicken seep down into the veggies while they cook, adding a lot more flavor and keeping everything super tender! Oh, and the fact that it’s all in one dish to stick in the fridge for leftovers after. If there are any leftovers. We seem to have a problem with that in our house. 🙂
First step is adding all the veggies into the bottom of a greased casserole dish. I used a bag of frozen spinach (thawed and cooked), some chopped fresh kale, frozen basil from our garden, about 3 cups of broccoli florets, and some sautéed onions. I tossed in about a teaspoon of Better than Bullion (love that stuff), a bit of hot water to dilute, and some garlic powder.
Next step is to add the chicken on top. This chicken was marinated in a regular old freezer bag for a few hours (flipping the bag about halfway through) with just about a fourth cup of olive oil, about half a cup of balsamic vinegar, about 2 tsp of minced garlic, some dried basil, and a bit more garlic powder. Don’t worry about exact measurements for this part- I eyed it all. Oops. 🙂
Carefully lay the chicken on top of the greens n’ onions like so:
Sprinkle a bit of rosemary on top, and some more dried basil if you wish (can you tell I like my spices?), and now you’re ready to stick ‘er in the oven!
Bake at 375 deg for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the tomato mozzarella and basil salad. Drain a can of diced tomatoes in tomato juice, chop up a few grape tomatoes, remaining fresh basil, and a small block of mozzarella. Mix all together in a bowl and try to refrain from eating it by the spoonful like I wanted to after this picture.
When the chicken has about 10 min left on the timer, spoon about a 1/3 cup of the tomato-mozzarella mixture on each breast. Cover with tinfoil and return to oven for the rest of the time!
When you take it out, it should look something like this.
Ok I’ll stop now. I just like taking pretty pictures. 🙂
Serve over quinoa (I toasted mine first) with a little drizzle of balsamic reduction and some garlicky pita bread on the side!
But just one more. For kicks and giggles.
- 6 chicken breasts, thawed and pounded thinly
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp dried basil, plus more to taste
- 1 10-12 oz package frozen spinach, thawed
- 3 c. fresh broccoli florets
- 2 c. fresh chopped kale
- 1 onion, chopped and sliced thinly
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
- 1 c. cubed fresh mozzarella cheese
- 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped finely
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Garlic pita bread, for serving
- Balsamic reduction, for serving
- Place chicken breasts in large ziplock storage bag. Add olive oil, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp dried basil, and balsamic vinegar. Shake bag to coat chicken evenly.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, turning bag halfway through.
- Preheat oven to 375 deg.
- Coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Heat skillet to medium high and sauté onion until golden and soft.
- In a large bowl, combine onion, spinach, kale, broccoli, and remaining garlic powder and dried basil. Spread evenly in bottom of casserole dish.
- Top with chicken breasts and additional spices, if desired.
- Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh chopped basil in a small bowl.
- Spoon tomato mixture over chicken.
- Cover casserole dish with tin foil and return to oven for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted. (I also reduced the heat to 350 because I’m paranoid.)
- Serve over toasted quinoa.