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There is something about purchasing a set of casserole dishes that will REALLY make you feel like an adult. Last weekend I got 3 shiny new casserole pans from Crate and Barrel and my brain immediately started churning on what I could make with them. Almost weekly I meal prep chicken so I settled on this Italian baked chicken and zucchini. It was so easy to throw together and pop into the oven that I couldn’t wait to share it with you. I am thinking some baked macaroni will be next on my list of casserole dish recipes to try out.
I wanted to make this recipe as easy and approachable as possible so I simplified the ingredients down to just 5 simple things: pizza sauce, chicken breast, Italian seasoning blend, zucchini and mozzarella cheese. When choosing a pizza sauce I always look for one with 0 added sugars because tomatoes are fruit and they make some pretty sweet sauce on their own. I was hesitant to use an Italian seasoning blend, but my girlfriend encouraged me to try it out and I was so happy with the results. The chicken was flavored with herbs and spices without having an overpowering garlic flavor. To make this recipe I first did a layer of pizza sauce in the bottom of the pan followed by 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts and then the Italian seasoning blend.
After the first layer of pizza sauce, chicken and seasonings are in the pan I added a layer of shredded zucchini. There is an extremely important step in this part that you may be tempted to skip, but I would not unless you want to end up with a soggy, watery dish at the end. After you shred the zucchini in the food processor, it is imperative that you place it in a tea towel and squeeze out as much moisture from the zucchini as possible.
On top of the shredded zucchini layer add a second layer of pizza sauce and then a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Then your work is done! Just 5 ingredients in one pan and you have a fully balanced meal. At this point you can choose to cover the dish and save it to bake later or bake immediately and enjoy! If you are saving to bake for later, be mindful of the expiration date on your chicken. Bake the chicken for about 35 minutes at 400 F and then finish with a quick broil to brown the cheese. This makes for a satisfying dinner along side a salad or for a quick meal prep! When I made this I immediately placed it in a Tupperware for lunch.