Chicken Pepperoni Bake: Pizza in a Casserole

  • 55 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
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This easy recipe uses pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and herbs to spice up chicken breasts. If you think this sounds a lot like pizza, you're right. Pizza sans crust, that is. It's comfort food for sure, with an Italian twist.

This recipe is from the book "At Home in the Kitchen" by Jorj Morgan.

What You'll Need

  • Chicken:
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Sauce:
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Topping:
  • 2 ounces pepperoni, sliced into thin rounds (8 slices)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

How to Make It

Prepare the Chicken Breasts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Pound the chicken breast halves between two sheets of plastic wrap to a thickness of about 1/2 inch.
  3. In a shallow skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the oregano and garlic powder. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Coat the chicken breasts with the breadcrumbs.
  6. Saute the chicken breasts in the olive oil until browned, about 4 minutes on each side.
  1. Remove the chicken to a baking dish and set aside.

Make the Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, combine the tomatoes, sugar, oregano, basil and garlic powder.
  2. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Assemble and Bake the Casserole

  1. Pour the sauce over the browned chicken in the baking pan.
  2. Place the slices of pepperoni on top of each chicken breast and sprinkle the tops with mozzarella cheese.
  3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese melts and just begins to brown.

 

Serving Suggestions
Since this is sort of like eating chicken and pepperoni pizza without the crust, you need a starch to round it out. Pasta tossed in butter with sauteed onions and mushroom, garnished with parsley, is a good option. Or just a simple side of spaghetti tossed in olive oil and garlic is a tasty complement. Add garlic bread (more carbs, but this is Italian night) and an Italian green salad with lettuce, artichoke hearts, red onion and Parmesan with vinaigrette dressing to round out the meal.

Wash this all down with a dry white wine (it's chicken) like Orvieto or pinot grigio. If you prefer red wine, you can feel good about going that direction since this might be chicken, but it is in tomato sauce and then there's the pepperoni. So go ahead and indulge in a Chianti, barbera, Valpolicella or Montepulciano.