Behold, the crowd pleaser of crowd pleasers! Needing only fridge and pantry staples, Pizza Chicken is an exceptionally easy meal that will rally the whole family like the game-winner that it is.
This recipe is sponsored by Stella Cheeses.
My husband Ben likes to remind me that I “can’t please everybody. You’re not pizza.”
WELL, after enough times of hearing this echo from him, I finally took his advice… to the dinner table.
Combining the most popular protein for family meals (chicken) with the flavors of (conceivably) the most popular food (pizza) will have kids and adults alike chanting “huzzah!”
I could happily eat pizza just about any night of the week. This recipe delivers its indulgent flavor in a healthy way, so you can feel great eating “pizza” anytime.
After all, I think shredded chicken is great on pizza, so why not also bring the pizza to the chicken?
Adults will appreciate the nuances of a simmered sauce and the ability to customize toppings (see some recommendations below). Kids will appreciate, well…PIZZA!
Secrets to the Best Pizza Chicken
Three tricks elevate this ultra easy meal into something that will convince everyone at the table that this healthy pizza chicken recipe came straight from the ovens of Italy.
- Use Good-Quality Cheese. The quality of cheese is too often overlooked, and it can make a major difference. I used Stella Fontinella Cheese. It has a creamy, smooth texture that melts beautifully in the oven. The flavor offers hints of sweetness and nuttiness. Think of it as more festive than standard mozzarella. It will boost your everyday cooking from ordinary to something special.
- Simmer the Sauce. High on my list of important pantry staples in The Well Plated Cookbook (get your copy here today!) is good-quality store-bought pasta sauce. To give it from-scratch flavor, here we add it to a pan of sautéed onions and garlic, then stir in Worcestershire sauce, and let it simmer. These tricks are far easier than starting sauce from scratch and create a sauce that tastes remarkably authentic.
- Sear the Chicken. Searing the chicken on the stove before placing it in the oven builds a foundation of flavor. This uncomplicated step is so worth it!
How to Make Pizza Chicken
This one-pan meal uses simple fridge and pantry ingredients to create a sublime spin on a quintessential protein.
- Chicken. We loved this pizza chicken with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you can also easily make pizza chicken with thighs.
- Onion + Garlic. These two are sautéed together at the beginning to create a deep, rich flavor.
- Italian Seasoning. Scrumptious Italian flavor packed into one simple seasoning.
- Red Pepper Flakes. A modest amount of red pepper flakes add a perfect pinch of heat.
- Pasta Sauce. Jarred sauce helps make this dish quick and easy, and with our flavor additions, it tastes delish. I used a tomato basil flavor sauce, but you could use any flavor you prefer.
- Worcestershire. An umami bomb that perks up our store-bought sauce.
- Cheese. Like we talked about above, using a high-quality, melty cheese is ultra important here, and Stella Fontinella Cheese is perfect.
- Toppings. See some delicious options in the “Topping Ideas for Pizza Chicken” section below.
- Season the chicken. Brown both sides of the chicken in oil. Transfer it to a plate.
- Sauté the onion with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
- Add the pasta sauce and Worcestershire, then let simmer.
- Return the chicken to the pan.
- Top with the Stella Fontinella Cheese.
- Scatter the pepperoni slices over the top.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Finish with basil and DIG IN!
Topping Ideas for Pizza Chicken
You can keep this recipe classic with pepperoni as we did, but there are many ways to top pizza chicken:
- Pepperoni. Using pepperoni requires no extra work and the pieces crisp nicely in the oven as the chicken bakes. I opted for turkey pepperoni, which is leaner than the traditional version.
- Olives. Using canned, pre-sliced olives is another topping option that does not require prep and brings some saltiness.
- Mushrooms and/or Green Pepper. Both are perfect for giving pizza that “supreme” profile. Make sure to thinly slice the mushrooms and finely dice any green peppers so each can sufficiently cook through as the chicken bakes.
- Fresh Basil. Ideal if your craving that light and bright pizza flavor with true Italian flare.
What to Serve with Pizza Chicken
- Salad. A light and simple salad like this Arugula Salad or Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons would be perfect with this recipe.
- Bread. A saucy, good-to-the-last-drop dish like this deserves to be sopped up with a slice of Rosemary Olive Oil Bread.
- Vegetables. Serve this dish alongside some healthy veggies like Roasted Broccoli and Carrots or Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic.
Meal Prep and Storage Tips
- To Meal Prep. For pizza chicken meal prep, chop the garlic and onion up to 1 day in advance. Store them in separate airtight storage containers in the refrigerator.
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm pizza chicken in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Chicken Kabobs
- Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Tenders
- Crock Pot Chicken Marsala
If you try this pizza chicken recipe, please comment below to let me what you think! I hope it’s just the thing you’re craving tonight.
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs about 3 medium breasts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic about 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 24-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce I used tomato basil
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup shredded Stella Fontinella Cheese
- 12 slices turkey pepperoni
- Chopped fresh basil
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Season the chicken 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, sprinkling both sides.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed, and ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Once hot, add the chicken breasts, top side down, and let cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the surface is golden brown. Flip and brown the other side. Remove to a plate (the chicken does not need to be cooked through).
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Let cook until very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the pasta sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Nestle the chicken back into the sauce.
- Sprinkle the Stella Fontinella Cheese over the top of the chicken.
- Arrange the pepperoni slices on top.
- Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear (my smaller breasts were done closer to the 15-minute mark; larger ones may need longer).
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and enjoy hot.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm pizza chicken in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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I am sharing this post in partnership with Stella Cheeses. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!