One of the coolest things about having been blogging for over ten years is seeing how my cooking style and skills have changed through this experience. One of my first recipes to go viral was my Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken. It was a tasty recipe for sure, but way too much work for current day Beth. 😅 This Baked Pepperoni Chicken is an easier, just as delicious interpretation of pizza-style chicken. It’s perfect for weeknight dinners and holds up in the refrigerator for meal preps. Hopefully you’ll appreciate the lack of breading, stuffing, and frying in this newer version as much as I did.
How to Serve Baked Pizza Chicken
I plated my Baked Pizza Chicken with some Homemade Garlic Bread and simple salad of spring mix with light coating of Italian dressing. I like to keep my side dishes simple so that dinner doesn’t get over complicated. Bonus: you can bake the garlic bread in the oven during the last 5 minutes or so that the chicken cooks.
You could also serve your pizza chicken over a bed of pasta with red sauce.
Another fun way to eat this Baked Pizza Chicken would be to make a sort of chicken sandwich out of it. Put it on a roll with a little extra pizza sauce, maybe some sliced red onion, and treat it like a meatball sandwich!
Is Fresh Mozzarella a Must?
Fresh mozzarella (the type packed in water) definitely works best because it melts so beautifully, but it can be pricey. If you’re lucky enough to live near an Aldi, you can get it for a steal, like I did. If you can’t get fresh mozzarella for a good price the next best is full-fat mozzarella (not packed in water). And as a last resort, you can use part-skim mozzarella. Part-skim is dryer and does not melt as smoothly, but it will work in a pinch.
Can I Add Other Toppings?
Sure! If you want to add more than just pepperoni, I suggest chopping the toppings up in to very small pieces so they kind of get stuck in the cheese and don’t fall off. Red onion would be awesome, as would black olives and maybe some finely diced bell pepper.
Baked Pizza Chicken
This easy Baked Pizza Chicken is the perfect fast and easy weeknight dinner. The chicken cooks quickly and always stays tender and juicy!
|1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend|
|1/8 tsp garlic powder|
|1/8 tsp salt|
|2 Tbsp olive oil|
|2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2/3 lb. each)|
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together the Italian seasoning blend, garlic powder, salt, and olive oil.
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent splatter. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to an even thickness, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut each chicken breast in half to make two equal sized pieces.
- Place the chicken breasts in a shallow baking dish or on a baking sheet, making sure they have at least an inch of space around them. Spread the oil and herb mixture over the surface of each piece of chicken.
- Bake the chicken in the fully preheated 400ºF oven for 15 minutes. While the chicken in baking, slice the mozzarella.
- After 15 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven. Spread 1 Tbsp pizza sauce over the surface of each piece. Next top each piece with about 1oz. mozzarella and two slices of pepperoni.
- Return the chicken to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes more, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF. Remove from the oven and serve.
Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Place two boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2/3 lb. each)on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to an even thickness, about 3/4-inch thick. This helps the chicken cook quickly and evenly in the oven.
Since 2/3 pound is a LOT of chicken per serving, I always cut my chicken breasts in half. I like to cut on a diagonal to make two pieces that are similar in shape to the original piece.
Place the chicken pieces in a shallow baking dish or baking sheet, making sure there’s about an inch of space all around. Coat the chicken pieces in the Italian herb and oil mixture. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes in the preheated 400ºF oven. While the chicken is baking, slice 4 oz. of fresh mozzarella.
After 15 minutes, take the chicken out and add about 1 Tbsp pizza sauce to each piece. Spread the sauce over the surface of the chicken.
Next, add about 1 oz. fresh mozzarella to each piece of chicken, then finish each with two slices of pepperoni.
Return the chicken to the oven and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF. Mine was at 163ºF after 5 minutes, so I gave it 1-2 more minutes in the oven. The total cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces and how long the chicken was out of the oven while adding the toppings.
Then your Baked Pizza Chicken is ready to serve! Dig in and enjoy that juicy chicken, melty mozzarella, flavorful Italian herbs, and spicy pepperoni!