Look no further, this Mediterranean inspired baked chicken will be your new favorite weeknight dinner. It’s quick and easy on the stove top, then pop it in the oven, all done under an hour. Bright and vibrant with fresh lemon, baby spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and chicken baked to perfection over a bed of rice and you use only one pan!
Mediterranean Baked Chicken – Quick Browning the Chicken First
A lot of internet chicken and rice casseroles place the raw chicken in with the rice so that they bake together. Raw chicken touching rice (or any other side dish) like that gives me the heebie-jeebies, just something about it has me squirm.
But, I do love an easy baked chicken recipes so for this Mediterranean baked chicken my solution is to brown the chicken first.
A quick high-heat sear will lock in the butter, garlic and shallot flavors it will also brown the chicken without cooking it all the way through which is key to having juicy chicken, it will have time to finish cooking as it bakes in the oven with the rice. The goal is to simply brown the chicken so that it is not straight-out-of-the-package raw on top of the rice.
If you’re like me, this quick step is well worth the extra 5 minutes. I do this always, with any chicken casserole recipe.
Mediterranean Inspired Baked Chicken (one-pot recipe)
- 2 TBSP Butter or Olive Oil
- 2-3 cloves Garlic - minced
- 1 Shallot - thinly sliced
- 2 lbs Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced (4-6 total) chicken cutlets
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 cup White Rice
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- 4 oz Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 2 cups Baby Spinach
- 1 Lemon - sliced into 4-6 slices.
- Feta Cheese
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Rinse your rice under cold water until it runs clear. This will make the rice fluffy and less sticky.
- In an oven-safe pan, over medium heat on the stove top, melt the butter and add the garlic and shallot. Cook until slightly colored and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt on each chicken breast. Over medium-high heat add in your chicken breasts, try not to overcrowd the pan, you may have to do it in two rounds. Quickly sear and lightly brown each side, about 2 minutes on each side, remove from pan. The chicken will not be done cooking because it is going into the oven to finish baking.
- Once the chicken is brown and removed from the pan, over medium heat, add in your rice. Add about ¼ tsp of salt. Lightly toast the rice, stirring occasionally to mix in the garlic and shallot, cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the stock, sun dried tomatoes, spinach. Stir to evenly distribute.
- Add back in the chicken and lemon slices. Place a pan-fitting lid or foil that is tightly closed around the sides of the oven-safe pan and bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Do not open the lid, the rice needs uninterrupted time to bake. After 25 minutes, remove the lid. If the rice is still wet and not fluffy, add another 10 minutes in the oven with the lid off.
- Fork fluff the rice, add feta cheese.
Groceries Are Expensive These Days – What to do with leftover ingredients
I think we are all feeling the grocery bill these days. Families and young professionals are budgeting more than ever before. I went to the store yesterday and my jaw dropped when something was double what I thought it would be.
I’m here to help create weeknight dinners that are approachable, delicious and budget friendly. Sometimes I splurge on an ingredient but with new 2023 recipes I will try my best to give you additional recipes that you can use the “leftover” ingredients on. Nothing goes to waste, including your dollars.
– Baby Spinach, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Feta Egg Scramble
– A Crustless Quiche/ Breakfast Sandwiches – follow this recipe and substitute the broccoli, leek and gouda cheese with baby spinach, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese.
– A family favorite Mediterranean Turkey Burgers by Budget Bytes