This super simple Mozzarella Chicken in Tomato Sauce uses only one pan, but the complex flavors and satisfyingly cheesy finish taste like it came from an authentic Italian cucina! Fresh tomatoes, spinach, rich mozzarella, and pungent herbs make a truly special meal.
Easy Mozzarella Chicken in Tomato Sauce
Versatile and healthy chicken breasts get a light and fresh Italian finish in this easy pan-seared dish. The chicken breasts are cooked to perfection, layered in a sauce of fresh onions, garlic, and tomatoes cooked gently in butter, and then topped with sumptuous melted mozzarella! Bellissimo!
Whenever I make this easy chicken dinner, it is a win-win situation. I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen, and my family devours their dinner. Is there anything better? Maybe an elf magically making dinner appear on the table. Otherwise, I think not.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: You’ll need 4 breasts, about ½ an inch thick.
- Cooking Oil Spray: For coating the chicken breasts. You can also use light olive oil or melted butter and a basting brush (for meats, not pastry).
- Dried Basil and Oregano: You can also substitute an Italian seasoning blend.
- Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Paprika: I use sweet paprika in this dish.
- Salt and Pepper
- Vegetable Oil: For sauteing.
- Butter: You can use salted butter or unsalted butter; adjust the salt accordingly.
- Onion: One small yellow onion, diced.
- Fresh Garlic: You’ll need 4 cloves, minced or put through a garlic press.
- Fresh Tomatoes: Four fresh tomatoes, or about 1 pound, chopped. A 15-oz can of diced tomatoes can be substituted.
- Chicken Broth or White Wine: I use low-sodium chicken broth, or a dry white wine.
- Spinach: About 4 cups of fresh baby spinach. Thawed spinach, drained and squeezed dry between clean kitchen towels or paper towels, can be substituted.
- Mozzarella Cheese: About 1 to 1 1/2-cups shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Fresh Chopped Parsley: For garnish.
How to Make Mozzarella Chicken In Tomato Sauce
- Season the Chicken Breasts. Spray or brush the chicken breasts with oil. In a small bowl, combine basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning mix.
- Cook the Chicken Breasts. Heat the vegetable oil (you can also use Avocado Oil) and 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a large, 12-inch oven-safe skillet. Cook the chicken for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Cooking time depends on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts. I suggest pounding down the chicken to about 1/2-inch thickness before cooking. Remove cooked chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- Make the Sauce. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Then add the tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened and bubbly. Stir in the chicken broth or wine; cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
- Broil the Chicken and Mozzarella in the Sauce. Transfer chicken breasts back to the skillet. Top each chicken breast with shredded cheese. Broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Garnish and Serve!
Tips for Perfectly Cooked Chicken
- Dry the Chicken: To get the spices and oil to adhere to the chicken, try patting it dry with paper towels before seasoning.
- Let it Be: When you add the chicken breasts to the pan, resist the temptation to move them around or flip them excessively. Letting the breasts cook undisturbed will help to prevent them from getting stuck to the pan or cooking unevenly.
- What IS Medium Heat, Anyway? You want the pan to be hot enough that there’s a healthy sizzle while the chicken cooks. But if the butter-oil mixture begins to brown too much (or worse, burn!) then the heat is too high. If that happens, try taking the pan off the heat for a minute, carefully wiping out the burnt oil and butter (be extremely cautious with hot oil, always! It can cause serious burns if touched), and replacing it with a little fresh oil and butter.
What Goes With Mozzarella Chicken?
- Pasta, Baby! This dish is perfectly saucy, and goes very well with your favorite pasta, whether wheat pasta or a low/no carb version like quinoa or zucchini noodles.
- Savory Cauli-Rice: Want a hearty, warming side to go with this dish? Try my Garlic Asiago Cauliflower Rice with Mushrooms! The rich and earthy flavors go perfectly with the light and tangy tomato sauce.
- Dessert First? You can top off this meal with a lovely sweet treat like my Low Carb Pumpkin Mousse or Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake—or hey, start the meal that way! I definitely won’t judge! 😉
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To refrigerate, cover leftovers well or place in airtight food storage containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, place the chicken and the sauce in a covered skillet and cook over medium heat until just heated through. Do not overcook.
Can I Freeze Mozzarella Chicken?
- Yes! You can freeze leftovers, tightly wrapped or sealed in freezer bags (push out as much air as possible before sealing) for up to 2 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating.
More Tomato Chicken Recipes
- Saucy Spinach and Cottage Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- Easy Chicken Cacciatore
- Chicken Breasts in Tomato Sauce
Tools Used in this Recipe
Mozzarella Chicken with Creamy Tomato Sauce
- 4 (1 pound, total) boneless skinless chicken breasts, about ½-inch thick
- Cooking oil spray
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or avocado oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 to 4 fresh tomatoes, about 1 pound, chopped (or 14.5 ounces canned fire roasted diced tomatoes)
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth or dry white wine
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 to 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to BROIL. Lightly spray chicken breasts with cooking oil.
- In a small mixing bowl combine basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning mix.
- Heat vegetable oil and ½ tablespoon butter in a large, 12-inch oven-safe skillet set over medium heat. Add chicken to the hot oil and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Chicken is cooked through when internal temperature registers at 165˚F. Use an Instant Read Thermometer for accuracy. Remove cooked chicken from skillet and set aside; keep covered.
- Add remaining butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, or until it starts to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Add tomatoes; increase heat to medium-high, and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tomatoes break down and release their juices. If using canned tomatoes, cook until heated through and bubbling.
- Stir in chicken broth or wine; cook for 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook for a minute, or until spinach is wilted. Transfer chicken breasts back to the skillet. Top each chicken breast with shredded cheese.
- Broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven. Garnish with parsley and serve.