After making that spicy tomato sauce last week, I couldn’t wait to try it out in a recipe. At first I was leaning toward a chicken parmesan dish, but decided to go the gluten-free route instead with a quick chicken and pasta dish. With the pasta sauce already made, this dinner can be put together in under 30 minutes which is great for the busy week night.
Cooking chicken can be tricky and in the past I had a tendency to steer away from cooking it often because unlike beef, this protein needs to be cooked ALL the way through. This used to result in chicken that had definitely been cooked all the way through, but to the point of a dried out little chicken that couldn’t be saved with all the sauce in the world. After experimenting and researching, I have finally found an easy way to cook chicken thoroughly without drying it out. Victory dance time!
What is this miracle method you ask? Broiling. Before cooking chicken with the broiler, the only other time I had used this part of my oven was when melting cheese on french onion soup. Turns out, it is great for cooking chicken and quickly too! Just broil for seven minutes on each side and you’re set. This method is universal and by switching the sauces up, you have endless possibilities for dinner just by mastering one easy technique. I chose to heat up some of the spicy tomato sauce I made last week (Roasted Sweet Pepper Tomato Sauce) and cooked up some gluten-free spaghetti. I must issue a precaution in regards to gluten-free pasta: be sure to carefully watch the cooking time and do not overcook it. To overcook will result in gummy pasta that will not be a good accompaniment to our tasty chicken.
And that’s all there is to it! Skip that drive-thru on the way home and head to the kitchen!
- 1 cup of pasta sauce (I used my homemade roasted sweet pepper tomato sauce)
- 1 chicken breast, halved
- gluten-free pasta (can be substituted with any pasta)
- 1 tbsp. parmesan cheese for topping
Steps to a Quick Dinner
- preheat broiler
- trim fat off of chicken breast, slice in half and place on foil lined baking sheet
- once broiler is heated, cook chicken for 7 minutes
- while chicken is cooking, heat pasta sauce on low heat in small saucepan for 5 to 7 minutes
- if pasta sauce was frozen, increase cooking time until sauce is heated throughout; I recommend defrosting sauce one day in advance
- start to boil water for pasta
- after 7 minutes of broiling chicken, flip each half and brush with ¼ cup of pasta sauce, entirely coating upward facing side
- pop chicken back into broiler and cook for an additional 7 minutes
- while the chicken is finishing cooking, cook pasta according to instructions on bag or box
- tip for cooking gluten-free pasta: do not overcook as it will become gummy, make sure to carefully watch cooking time and test tenderness when time is close to being up as cooking times can vary slightly
- once chicken has finished cooking, let it rest on the pan on the stove top for two minutes before slicing to ensure that all of the juice is retained and does not escape and dry out the chicken when you slice into it
- slice chicken into quarter-inch thick pieces and place on top of pasta
- drizzle remaining sauce on top of chicken and pasta and top with sprinkled parmesan cheese