Sorry for the long wait in between posts – my husband celebrated his 31st! birthday this weekend so my Thursday – Sunday got eaten up between all the events.
So happy birthday again to my wonderful husband, lol I’m glad I didn’t close the match! (Long story short – we’re meet on EHarmony ).
Anyway, with work being so crazy recently and the days seemingly getting shorter (I blame daylight savings) I thought I’d feature a quick and easy weeknight meal. Plus I don’t think my body has adjusted to the time difference yet, so usually by 6 pm I’m feeling pretty worn out so I’ve been focusing on a lot of throw it together quickly dishes.
This dish combines all my favorites – artichokes, spinach, tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes are all used to top chicken breasts which have been marinated in a balsamic/basil/garlic vinaigrette. The chicken is quickly cooked under the broiler to start, and then mozzarella, Parmesan and breadcrumbs are lightly sprinkled on top to melt and really finish the dish off.
On the side were some simple, Italian seasoned roasted potatoes that I cooked while the chicken marinated. To make ahead, you could marinate the chicken overnight and do a steamed or microwave steamed version of the potatoes to get dinner on the table extra quick.
Prep time does not include marinating.
- 6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh sliced basil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp onion powder
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 (4 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves pounded to ½ inch thickness. Note: you may need to buy 2 (8 oz) breasts and either butterfly them (harder to do) or cut them on the diagonal (easier to do) and pound them to an even ½ inch thickness.
- 1/4 cup pasta sauce (use your fav)
- 1 cup of frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed as dry as possible
- 2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, defrosted if frozen, chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
- Combine balsamic vinegar through salt and pepper, whisking well to combine. Place flattened, 1/2 inch thick chicken in marinade for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Preheat broiler and set up a broiler pan (you could also grill this or if you had a cast iron grill pan you could start it on the grill pan, then pop it under the broiler to finish).
- Spray broiler pan with nonstick spray. Place chicken breasts on broiler pan and broil for 5 minutes. Turn and top each chicken breast with marinara, spinach, artichokes and tomatoes (in that order). Sprinkle the tomatoes with mozzarella, breadcrumbs and Parmesan and place bake in the oven. Broil for an additional 5 – 6 minutes or until chicken is done and cheese has melted.
To make the potatoes: I cut the potatoes into a small 1/4 inch dice then tossed them with 1/2 Tbsp melted butter, 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp Italian seasoning,1 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper. After spraying a roasting pan with nonstick spray, I roasted them in a preheated 450 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes, flipping them half way through cooking time until browned and tasty.