Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce – Recipe

My mom used to sit at the kitchen table every two weeks with a notebook and a pen and ask us me and my four siblings what we wanted for dinner. I laugh now when I think back to it, because her menu planning consisted of the same rotation of meals twice a month, with very little variety (I wrote a bit about that in this post) I’m quite sure I didn’t see my mom ever cook with fresh herbs, or anything as fancy as boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

But I understand now how hard it is to cook for a group of picky kids and a picky husband (he refuses to touch most vegetables, particularly green ones). I like to try new things and I do, but I’ve become more selective in what I attempt because it is kind of disheartening to spend 45 minutes on a delightful new dish only to have each boy turn his nose up at it (Isla always at least tries things, and is polite about saying “no thank you.”). I imagine my mom felt the same way.

So when I find new recipes that most people eat, I am nearly ecstatic. I can usually count Grant out for anything, since his approved foods list consists almost entirely of plain chicken, pasta with plain tomato sauce, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cereal and frozen waffles.

This is a recipe that received almost unanimous thumbs up (Grant picked the cheese off), and it is QUICK to prepare. From Cooking Light. Serves 4.

Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic (I love garlic so used 1 tsp)
  • 16 slices pepperoni, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets (I used 1 lb chicken breasts and cut them in half length-wise)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and pepperoni; cook 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add oregano; cook 30 seconds. Add marinara sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil.
  3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with pepper. Add chicken to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning after 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Note: The recipe calls for reduced sodium marinara sauce. I didn’t have any on hand so I used Newman’s Own from my pantry, but it was on the salty side, so if you can find reduced-sodium marinara, I’d give it a try.

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