With hands-on prep time of only ten minutes, this tangy, cheesy, tomatoey goodness of a meal has most of the work done sitting in the oven. It is perfect if you are on an a low-carb diet and are missing Italian food, as this chicken is super tasty and really filling on its own. If you are not avoiding carbs, this is delicious over pasta (cook up rice pasta for a gluten-free meal). If you are in a household like mine, where you have a combination of ravenous carnivores and carbvories, you can easily satisfy both with one delicious, simple-to-make dish.
Start by browning some chicken breast tenderloins in olive oil and a bit of salt.
These are the ingredients you will need, plus some sliced tomatoes, if you want to add a bit of extra veg.
After assembly of sauce, chicken, basil, tomatoes, and sauce (again), it is ready to go into the oven. The cheese is added during the last 10 minutes of baking.
Serve the chicken bake on its own
Or over pasta with fresh basil, additional parmesan (optional), and roasted onions and peppers (optional). Delicioso!
- 2 pounds chicken tenderloin breasts
- Two jars pasta sauce
- Fresh basil, 12 whole leaves and 8-10 leaves torn or cut into a chiffonade
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- Sugar, Splenda, truvia, or Stevia - up to 2 TBSP
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375
- Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over Med/Hi. Add chicken breast tenderloins. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook until starting to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes each side.
- While the chicken is browning, add ¼ jar pasta sauce from each jar to the bottom one big ovenproof dish (or to 2 smaller ones). Slice tomatoes and tear or cut basil, if not already done.
- Remove chicken from skillet. Put it on top of pasta sauce in the ovenproof dish(es). Add a layer of whole basil leaves, then sliced tomatoes on top of the chicken.
- Add 2 cloves minced garlic to each of the two jars of pasta sauce (now with ¼ sauce gone out of each one). Put tops back on jars and shake. Taste sauce. If it's a little sour, vinegary, or acidic, add a little bit of sugar, about 1 tsp at a time. If the sauce is a little plain, add salt, one big pinch of the time. Shake after each addition and taste again (with a clean spoon each time), until the sauce tastes great. Pour the sauce over the chicken, basil, and tomatoes. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Place ovenproof dish on an aluminum- foil lined baking sheet. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Add the mozzarella cheese to the top and let bake, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown and the sauce is bubbly.
- Serve on its own or over regular or rice pasta, topped with the torn or cut basil.