Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken is a simple, delectable dish for chicken thighs covered in marinara sauce and cheese.

Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

The main course of this simple chicken dinner is ideal for a cozy, family-friendly evening supper. It’s a simpler, lighter baked version of chicken parmesan that requires neither deep frying or breadcrumb coating.

A simple recipe with baked chicken, marinara sauce, Italian spice, and three types of cheese—Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella—is Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken. This is the most delicious and satisfying chicken dish with a hint of Italian flavor that is sure to please the whole family! For a lighter, lower-carb dinner, serve it with a large salad or your preferred pasta.

Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

Making this Cheesy Baked Italian Chicken couldn’t be simpler! Season some boneless chicken thighs with salt and pepper before cooking them. Spread some Italian herbs and spices on top of the chicken after blending some ricotta cheese. Your preferred marinara sauce is then poured over the cheesy chicken, which is then roasted until it is almost done. At last, a generous amount of mozzarella is added, and the dish is cooked until the cheese is completely melted and gooey. All of everything is required to make a meal of juicy, cheesy chicken bursting with Italian tastes!

A simple, gooey Italian chicken bake may serve as the foundation for a plethora of delicious midweek dinner ideas. Serve the cheesy chicken bake with spaghetti, a fresh garden salad with Italian dressing, and some buttery garlic bread for a whole Italian restaurant experience at home.

Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

How to Make Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

  • Set up: Turn on the oven. After seasoning both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, put them, smooth side down, in a baking tray.
  • Add-ons: In a small bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, Parmesan, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle the chicken with the cheese mixture. Drizzle chicken with marinara sauce, allowing it to dribble around the bird.
  • Bake: If the baking dish has a lid, cover it with that or with foil. Bake the chicken for thirty minutes in a preheated oven. After removing the foil, top each piece of chicken with a little mozzarella cheese.
  • To finish, bake for a further fifteen minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is browned and bubbling. Accompany with garlic bread and spaghetti.
Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

Key Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs: Easy to prepare for this straightforward meal, flavorful chicken thighs are a fantastic source of lean protein. Compared to a whole chicken breast, the boneless chicken thighs are simpler to serve and cook more quickly. Remove the skin from bone-in thighs before using them, since the sauce and cheese will cause the skin to become soft.
  • Seasoning: A small amount of dried herbs and spices will do to give the chicken flavor. These classic Italian flavor ingredients—dried basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes—taste fantastic in this dish.
  • Marinara Sauce: To assist keep the fluids within, tomato pasta sauce is poured over the chicken thighs. An essential ingredient in Italian cookery is marinara sauce, which doubles as a sauce for warm bread or pasta sides. You have two options for marinara sauce: make your own or buy a jar at the supermarket.
  • Cheese: Baked cheese Three different types of cheese are combined to make Cheesy Italian Chicken. The chicken is covered with a mixture of Parmesan and Ricotta cheeses before baking. Then, just before the final few minutes of cooking, sprinkle on some mozzarella. It is crucial to hold off on adding the mozzarella in order for it to melt and become oozy without scorching.
Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

Can you make Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken ahead of time? 

This Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken is definitely something you can prepare in advance for a quick weekday supper. Put the chicken, ricotta, and sauce together in the baking dish and store it in the fridge for up to one day. Bake directly from the refrigerator, extending the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes if necessary. Prepare it in a baking dish that is safe to freeze for up to three months. Bake it straight from the freezer, adding roughly fifteen minutes to the cooking time. Add the cheese when the chicken is done, then continue baking as normal.


  • Chicken Breasts: You can still prepare this dish with boneless chicken breasts if you don’t have chicken thighs. Butterfly or chop into tenderloins or cutlets your chicken breasts so they cook fast and evenly. Tightly pound them to a uniform thickness, but keep an eye on the interior temperature as cooking durations might vary for thighs and breasts.
  • Seasonings: Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken can be seasoned with a variety of additional spices and herbs. Toss in some chopped garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, or rosemary with the ricotta cheese mixture. For a more vibrant flavor, you may also replace the dry herbs with fresh ones.
  • Sauce: Use your favorite pasta sauce, such as Alfredo or Pesto, in place of the marinara. If you’re using Alfredo sauce, you may opt to go for a more cheesy flavor or forgo the mozzarella cheese topping in order to reduce the amount of cheese. It would taste fantastic even if you marinated the chicken in a combination of sauces, such pesto sauce first!
  • Veggies: By adding some tiny chopped veggies to your skillet, you may turn this into more of a one-pan supper. Before adding the sauce, you can scatter chopped red bell peppers, onions, and/or sliced mushrooms around the chicken in the pan. The ricotta cheese combined with some thawed frozen spinach is a delicious and simple way to sneak in some greens!

FAQs for Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

When is chicken fully cooked?

It’s crucial to check that it’s cooked through, and since the sauce covers everything, you can’t tell by looking at the temperature, so you should use an instant-read thermometer. The chicken is fully cooked and safe to consume when the temperature reaches at least 165 degrees, which may be measured using the thickest piece of flesh.

What do you serve with Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken?

A bed of prepared linguine, spaghetti, or penne would be the perfect accompaniment for Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken. To complete the meal, add a bit more marinara sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan. For a more nutritious and well-balanced lunch, try serving whole wheat spaghetti with steamed vegetables. Roasted potatoes, sautéed vegetables, creamy polenta, and buttered gnocchi would all taste fantastic with the saucy, cheesy chicken and Italian tastes.

Do you bake chicken covered or uncovered?

To prevent the boneless, skinless chicken thighs from drying out, you should bake this chicken dish mostly covered. In order for the cheese to thoroughly melt and brown, it is cooked uncovered at the very end.

How to make chicken juicy inside?

In order to preserve the natural liquids that result in soft, juicy chicken, boneless chicken has to be coated thickly, like the sauce and cheese in this dish, or breaded. Another way to achieve extra juicy insides for your chicken is to cook it gently in a covered dish.

How to Store

  • Store: Cooked chicken should not be kept at room temperature for longer than two hours. After allowing the remaining Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken to cool to room temperature, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for three to four days.
  • Reheat: It is best to reheat the chicken in a covered baking dish at 325 degrees in the oven with the sauce. By doing this, the chicken may heat up gradually without drying up.
  • Freeze: Move the remaining chicken, together with the sauce, to a freezer-safe container as soon as it has fully cooled. For up to three months, freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving, then reheat in the oven.
Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

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Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken is a simple, delectable dish for chicken thighs covered in marinara sauce and cheese.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5


  • 5 chicken thighs boneless skinless
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded


  • Set the oven’s temperature to 375.
  • Place the chicken thighs, smooth side down, in the pan after seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes. Spoon the mixture over each chicken piece.
  • Cover and surround the chicken with marinara sauce.
  • Bake for 30 minutes with a lid on.
  • Before serving, remove the cover, put some mozzarella cheese on top, and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
Keyword Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken

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