Sheet Pan Chicken Parm with Rotelli + Broccoli
- Active Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- 11⁄4 pounds Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless)
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Dried Italian Seasoning (or dried oregano)
- 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- 1 pound Rotelli Pasta (or pasta shape of choice)
- 1 15-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes (or diced tomatoes)
- 8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella
- 1 bunch Broccoli (about 1.25 pounds)
- 1⁄2 Lemon (zest and juice)
- 1⁄2 cup Parmesan Cheese
GLUTEN FREE:use the “faster method” for no breading, or simply sub GF crumbs. Use GF pasta or rice for a side dish
DAIRY FREE:omit the mozzarella or use your favorite dairy free cheese
COW DAIRY FREE:buffalo mozzarella may work for you, or use a dollop of fresh goat cheese on top
PALEO:use the “faster method” to skip breading. Omit pasta and serve with cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash or add another vegetable to the broccoli bake
PANKO:regular breadcrumbs work just as well
BUTTER:the butter helps it brown but you can easily use your favorite oil instead. Final result may be more pale
EGG:you can you use 1 Tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch instead of the egg to adhere the breading. Or use a few Tablespoons of vegan mayo (sounds weird, actually is delicious)
MAKE IT FASTER:you can skip the egg and breading step! Season the chicken with salt and Italian seasoning and bake in the same way, but line the pan with parchment so it doesn’t stick. Top with sauce and cheese
KIDS CORNER:if this isn’t a kid slam dunk, we’d venture to guess it’s because of the sauce. Leave it off!
1PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 450 DEGREES
Place an empty baking sheet (with rimmed sides) in the middle of the oven while it preheats.
2BRING A LARGE POT OF WATER TO A BOIL
Are your chicken breasts huge? Ideally for 1.25 lbs of chicken, you should have at least 4 pieces. If you have fewer than that, cut them in half, mimicking the natural shape of the breast – slice on a gentle angle into 2 pieces.
Place chicken on a clean work surface and sprinkle evenly with half of the salt. In a bowl whisk the egg with 1 Tablespoon water. Place the breadcrumbs in a casserole dish or a plate and stir in a ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning.
Set up a clean plate or dish to catch the breaded chicken.
Dip each breast piece in the egg, turn to coat, then press into the breadcrumb pan. Press gently to get the breading to adhere evenly. Move to the reserved pan and repeat with the rest.
Once the oven has been fully preheated for at least 5 minutes, carefully remove the pan from the oven.
Add 1 Tablespoon of the butter and half of the olive oil directly to the pan and swirl to help it melt. Use tongs to place the chicken pieces on the pan, swipe them through the butter and oil just a bit before letting them settle in place. Try to ultimately have all of the oil and melted butter tucked directly underneath all of the pieces of chicken. Return pan to the lowest rack in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes.
When the water boils, salt it generously (typically 1 Tablespoon of salt to a pasta pot) and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain when it’s al dente.
7SAUCE AND MOZZARELLA
While the chicken cooks, prep sauce and mozzarella. Open the can of tomatoes and stir a ½ teaspoon salt directly into it. Slice the mozzarella thinly.
Trim the florets of the broccoli. Begin by slicing about half way down the length of the stem. Then slice into florets leaving the long spear of the stem attached. You’ll be able to use most of the broccoli this way with little waste (but do save the end of the stem for chicken soup later this week!)
Place broccoli in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt, turn to coat. Set aside.
After the first 12 minutes in the oven, divide another Tablespoon of butter into small slices, one for each breast. Pull the pan out and dab each piece of chicken with butter, then flip the chicken, letting the butter land underneath.
Return to the oven and cook for 8 minutes longer.
10TOP CHICKEN + BROCCOLI
Pull the chicken out of the oven and spoon the sauce over top of each piece – we like to keep it a little thicker in the center so you can see the edges of the meat, but you could also completely smother with sauce.
Top each piece with mozzarella - you can go light or full restaurant style and smother it with cheese. Slide the breasts next to each other and add the broccoli to the other side of the pan.
Return to the oven on the top rack this time, and bake until the chicken is cooked through, broccoli is tender and mozzarella is lightly browned and melty – about 6 minutes.
As it cooks down, add a generous pinch of salt.
Toss the leaves in the pan to wilt about 80% dark green and visibly cooked. As soon as it’s at this point, I remove from the heat. The remaining leaves will keep cooking off the stove but the leaves won’t turn army green (aka overcooked).
Stir the last Tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil into the hot pasta. Zest the lemon over and squeeze half of the juice (save the other half for other recipes this week).
Give it a pinch of salt and stir to taste. Add most of the parmesan (reserve just a little for garnish), and toss.
Plate the pasta with broccoli on the side. Top with a chicken breast and sprinkle the whole plate with parmesan to taste.
Leftover chicken breasts are amazing on a roll as a sandwich, or reheated in the oven until warmed through.