- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
- 16 oz marinara (we used Mezzetta Italian Plum Tomato marinara, sold in most grocers)
- 16 oz pasta (we love Colavita paparadelle nests) or sub your favorite GF pasta
- fresh mozarella (sliced into 6 – 1 oz rounds)
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 16 oz low sodium chicken stock or broth
- 6 tsp Italian breadcrumbs
- extra virgin olive oil – 3 tsp + 1 TBS
- handful fresh basil, cut into long, thin strips (technique is chiffonade – lay leaves on top of one another, roll into a “cigar” and very thinly slice)
- 6 tsp Parmesan cheese
Pre-heat broiler on high with top rack 6″ from heat element.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While water is coming to a boil, continue with instructions below.
Season each side of chicken with salt + pepper, then drizzle each size with 1/4 evoo and rub it in using your fingers or a silicone brush. Sprinkle each side with 1/2 tsp breadcrumbs.
Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat and add 1/2 TBS evoo. Once pan is hot, add 3 chicken breasts and cook for 3 minutes per side (do not move chicken while it is cooking). Once pan starts getting very hot, reduce heat to medium and add a little chicken stock at a time (this is a substitute for cooking the chicken in a lot of olive oil which prevents burning and sticking to pan) – you will have to keep adding chicken broth slowly as all the chicken cooks. Once chicken is sauteed 3 minutes per side, remove to a plate and cover with foil. Repeat with remaining 1/2 TBS evoo and chicken breasts, adding stock as needed, then remove from heat and cover with foil with first chicken batch.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Let rest in colander. (When chicken is pulled from oven, run pasta under some hot water to loosen, add back to pasta pot and add excess marinara from chicken pan and stir well to coat all pasta.)
Lower heat to medium, add shallot and saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add more chicken stock (around 1/4 cup) to deglaze pan, use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan and work into shallots. Add jar of marinara, stir well then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add chicken and all accumulated juices on bottom of plate back to pan with marinara. Using a spoon, cover chicken with some marinara, top each chicken breast with one slice of fresh mozzarella. Move pan to oven and broil for 4 minutes or until cheese has melted (keep your eye on it). Carefully remove pan (we recommend putting an oven mitt over the handle once you set the pan down to remind yourself that the handle is hot!)
Serving suggestion: add steamed spinach on the side (microwave fresh spinach for up to a minute, season with salt + pepper).
To plate: ~2/3 cup pasta, 1 chicken breast, 1 tsp Parmesan cheese + fresh torn basil (you will have leftover pasta for those who need larger servings or for lunches the next day)
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Nutrition per serving: Calories: 433 / Total Fat: 15.7g / Saturated Fat: 5g / Trans Fat: 0 / Total Carbs: 41.2g / Protein: 28.7g / Sodium: 480.9mg / Dietary Fiber: 2.3g / Sugar: 3.7g