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This Baked Chicken Marinara is an easy recipe that has juicy chicken breasts seared and then baked in marinara sauce and topped with gooey mozzarella cheese. Perfect for a weeknight, this delicious meal will have everyone asking for seconds!
This tomato chicken bake is a rosemary chicken that is seared and then baked in a tangy, savory homemade tomato sauce that is made in the same pan. That’s right – sauce and chicken all in the same pan! A healthy and hearty dinner coming right up! Serve it with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, and experience a dish as comforting as it gets.
The combination of searing and then baking the chicken locks in the moisture, producing tender, juicy chicken breasts every single time. As you know from my Lemon Chicken Recipe, I’m a big fan of tender, juicy chicken!
Table of Contents
Why you will love this Chicken with Marinara:
- It’s a one-pan dish. This easy baked chicken is cooked in the same pan as the homemade sauce. Not only does that mean fewer dirty dishes, but a more deeply developed flavor in your meal.
- It’s super easy to make! All you need to do is brown the chicken, sauté a few vegetables, add in the remaining ingredients, and bake it all in the oven.
- It’s adaptable. You can serve this dish over noodles or with bread or rice. You can add cheese or leave it off. You can even swap the chicken breasts for chicken thighs. This recipe is adaptable to your preferences!
- Get a nice sear on the chicken. To lock in the chicken’s moisture, be sure to get a good sear on both sides. To get the best sear, wait for the pan to get smoking hot before adding the chicken.
- Use an oven thermometer. Oven temperatures can vary quite a bit and your oven’s sensor is not always accurate. Consequently, a small, reliable oven thermometer will ensure you’re baking at the right temperature at all times.
- Invest in an instant-read thermometer. A good instant-read thermometer will make cooking any meat so much easier. This way, you won’t be cutting your meat open to check for doneness and losing all of its juices.
- Olive Oil
- Chicken Breasts: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are called for in this recipe, but you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if that is what you have available.
- Rosemary: Chopped fresh rosemary is best. I would not substitute this for dried rosemary, as the flavor and texture are not the same.
- Kosher Salt
- Pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper adds a mild note of spice to this dish. I recommend buying whole peppercorns and grinding them yourself.
- Onion: I recommend using a yellow onion for this dish and for my lamb stew recipe, but a sweet onion would work well, too.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is an important flavor component in this dish. If you have garlic that has a green stem in the center, remove this stem before chopping the garlic for the best flavor.
- Bell Pepper
- Mushrooms: I suggest using either button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms for this recipe. Both are readily available at supermarkets and are relatively affordable choices. Plus, you can buy double and have some ready for an easy beef stroganoff night!
- Fennel: A tiny bit of crushed fennel seed goes a long way in this sauce. Be sure to refresh your spice cabinet if your fennel seeds have been sitting for a long time.
- White Wine: Dry white wine is best for this recipe. I like to use chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
- Thyme: Dried thyme adds more savory-ness to this dish, with an earthy, somewhat citrusy flavor profile.
- Dried Oregano
- Tomato Paste: Using a double-concentrated tomato paste will add lots of rich, savory tomato flavor to your dish, but it is just as good with regular tomato paste! You could also use any extra in an sizzling variation of Dutch Oven Beef Stew.
- Tomatoes: I use a can of diced, roasted tomatoes that has been drained. Using roasted tomatoes allows the sauce to cook for a shorter period of time because they already have so much flavor!
- Chicken Broth: You can either purchase chicken broth or make this excellent chicken stock. This flavorful brown chicken stock is another wonderful option!
- Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce adds a bright and savory flavor to the dish.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Mozzarella cheese is added to the finished recipe and melts to create a creamy, delicious topping. It’s also unstoppable in my Stuffed Shells with Meat!
- Egg Noodles & Parmesan Cheese: Egg noodles and Parmesan cheese are optional ingredients for serving the chicken. The dish is also wonderful over rice or served with bread.
- Chicken Thighs: You can make your chicken baked in tomato sauce even richer if you use chicken thighs. The dark meat of the chicken is wonderful paired with the marinara sauce.
- Chili Powder: Sometimes I add 1 ½ teaspoons of chili powder to this dish. It gives it a slight kick and a somewhat smokier flavor. You know from my Steak Chili Recipe that smoky flavors are where it’s at!
- Red Pepper Flakes: Add a tiny bit of heat to this dish with a pinch of red pepper flakes. This will make the flavor of the sauce even more vibrant.
- Basil: Try topping your finished dish with some torn fresh basil for added freshness!
- Pork Chops: You can also make this recipe using the same directions with thinly sliced pork chops instead of chicken. This is a delicious variation I highly recommend!
How to Make Easy Chicken Marinara
Use these instructions to make the perfect chicken breasts in tomato sauce in the oven every time. Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, and rosemary. Rinse and pat chicken breasts dry. Rub rosemary mixture on both sides of the chicken breasts.
Step 2: Heat a large stainless, oven-safe skillet over medium heat until it is very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, swirling to coat.
Step 3: Brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Remove them to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Step 4: Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and the green peppers are tender.
Step 5: Add white wine to the pan and scrape the bottom to get any browned bits from the chicken off. Let the wine boil for a minute or two. This effectively deglazes your pan!
Step 6: Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil.
Step 7: Place the chicken back in the pan along with any accumulated juice. Mound the tomato sauce on top of each breast.
Step 8: Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top or cover with a slice of cheese. Cover pan and bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes while you cook your noodle
Step 9: Serve over egg noodles with Parmesan cheese!
Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
Because you deglaze the pan with white wine, you should not use a cast iron skillet for this recipe. The white wine helps to build the layers of flavor in the sauce, but white wine can eat away at the seasoning of the pan and can give the food a metallic taste. Be sure to use a large stainless, oven-proof pan instead!
Frequently Asked Questions
I recommend cooking the chicken in this dish at 400°F degrees. Because the chicken is surrounded by a sauce, there is very little danger of it drying out.
You can put raw chicken in pasta sauce if you then fully cook the chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F.
A traditional marinara sauce has tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil. However, the term marinara is generally known to encompass sauces that also include onion and other vegetables.
Store this baked chicken marinara recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can freeze this dish as well. Place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months for the best flavor.
If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!
Baked Chicken Marinara
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1 onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds crushed
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 oz tomato paste 1 small can
- 28 oz diced roasted tomatoes or crushed canned tomatos
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- mozzarella cheese optional topping
- egg noodles for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, and rosemary. Rinse and pat chicken breasts dry. Rub rosemary mixture on both sides of the chicken breasts.
- Heat a large stainless, oven-safe skillet over medium heat until it is very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, swirling to coat.
- Brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Remove them to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and the green peppers are tender.
- Add white wine to the pan and scrape the bottom to get any browned bits from the chicken off. Let the wine boil for a minute or two. This effectively deglazes your pan!
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil.
- Place the chicken back in the pan along with any accumulated juice. Mound the tomato sauce on top of each breast.
- Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes while you cook your noodles.
- Optional: Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the chicken and let it melt.
- Serve over egg noodles with Parmesan cheese!
Before You Go!
I hope you enjoyed this professional chef-tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed chicken dinner recipes!