Baked Bruschetta Chicken

While John was away last week, he went to Red Robin 3 times.  THREE TIMES.  It was the only restaurant within walking distance.  By his 3rd trip, he was hamburgered out, so he got a bruschetta chicken sandwich (something I honestly never thought he’d ever order!) with a salad on the side (no fries!!).  He liked the sandwich so much that he suggested I make something like it for dinner this week – so I did!

This chicken is marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing based mixture, baked, then topped with mozzarella cheese, a delicious bruschetta topping (which includes tomatoes, garlic, scallions, and basil).  Served over some crusty Italian bread, you have yourself a delicious and relatively healthy meal that will satisfy both your meat and veggie cravings!  The recipe was inspired by a Hunt’s grilling recipe.

What will I change next time?  I think I’d like to pound the chicken breast nice and thin, and THEN marinate.  The chicken breasts I used were so thick that I think I lost out on some of the flavor from the marinade.  I would also use fresh sliced cherry tomatoes.  Canned tomatoes are great when you don’t have much time, but I much prefer fresh.  That being said, the recipe is superb as-is – but I’m always looking for ways to make it even more tasty!!

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Baked Bruschetta Chicken

Active Prep: 15 minutes
Marinating time: 1-8 hours
Cook time: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 45 minutes (plus marinating time)

Ingredients:

Marinade

  • ¾ c balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 (6 oz) can tom paste
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (~1 lb each), cut in half

Topping

  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • ½ c balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • ¼ c tomato paste
  • ½ c chopped scallions
  • ¼ c chopped basil
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 slices Italian or French bread
  • 6 slices mozzarella cheese (~6 oz total)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together marinade ingredients. Pour into Ziploc bag and add chicken.  Mix until chicken is covered.  Marinade in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425° Spray a 9×13” baking dish with nonstick spray and add marinated chicken.  Bake until no longer pink in the middle, about 20-25 minutes.  Add one slice of cheese to each piece of chicken and bake for an additional 2 minutes until cheese is melted.
  3. While chicken is cooking, make the topping. In a medium bowl add diced tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette, tomato paste, scallions, basil, and minced garlic.  Mix well and refrigerate until chicken is done.
  4. When chicken is done, toast slices of bread and put on plate. Place chicken breast directly on top of bread.  Top with several spoonfuls of bruschetta topping.

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