Karin Calloway

Food columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

Chicken Pepperoni Bake super easy to make

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When it gets close to the Super Bowl, I start to crave all things “appetizer,” so next week I’ll share my friend Lauren Spivey’s recipe for a delicious pizza dip to help you plan your festivities.

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This Chicken Pepperoni Bake takes about five minutes of prep time and then bakes in the oven for 35 minutes, so it's definitely a quick and easy entrée.  JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
This Chicken Pepperoni Bake takes about five minutes of prep time and then bakes in the oven for 35 minutes, so it's definitely a quick and easy entrée.

In the meantime, I’ve turned the dip into a quick and easy chicken entrée.

The recipe takes about five minutes of prep time and then bakes in the oven for 35 minutes, so it’s definitely a quick and easy entrée.

The sauce for the chicken bake is a combination of petite diced tomatoes and pizza sauce.

In place of the cream cheese that’s usually present in the dip, I’ve used a new product called cooking crème. The version that features Italian herbs is perfect for this recipe and it is soft, so spreading it on the chicken is a snap.

Look for cooking crème near the cream cheese in your supermarket’s dairy case.

If you have regular or whipped cream cheese on hand, you can substitute it for the cooking crème. You’ll want to sprinkle the chicken cutlets with salt, pepper and dried Italian seasonings. Then, just stir the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth or heat it for a few seconds in the microwave to soften it and then spread it over the top of each chicken cutlet.

Shredded mozzarella and turkey pepperoni are the final touches before the chicken is baked.

I like to serve the chicken with cooked spaghetti with a big tossed salad on the side.

The dish is rich, so you might want to cut the chicken cutlets in half horizontally to prepare eight servings.

CHICKEN PEPPERONI BAKE

1 16-ounce can or jar pizza sauce

1 16-ounce can petite diced tomatoes

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each cut horizontally into two thin cutlets*

8 tablespoons from one 10-ounce container of Cooking Crème with Italian herbs

4 ounces part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese (1 cup)

16 slices regular or turkey pepperoni

Cooked pasta, for serving

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the pizza sauce and diced tomatoes in a bowl. Spread half of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the prepared dish.

Place the cutlets on top of the sauce. Place dollops of the cream cheese over each chicken breast cutlet. Spoon some tomato mixture over each cutlet, sprinkle with mozzarella and top with 4 slices of pepperoni.

Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, until chicken is done and cheeses are bubbly. To serve, place pasta on dinner plate and top with chicken and sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

*Cutlets can be cut in half so that the recipe makes eight servings.

WHAT’S COOKING?

We’re looking for your best kitchen creation, whether it’s a simple chili or an elaborate concoction. Our food writer, Karin Calloway, will re-create your dish, and we’ll feature it on the Wednesday food page of The Augusta Chronicle. Send your recipe and contact information to karin.calloway@gmail.com, or write to Recipe Favorites, Newsroom, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928.


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