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ZESTY ITALIAN CHICKEN
Zesty Italian Chicken is an EASY dinner idea made with only 4 simple ingredients! Chicken, Italian dressing, garlic & Italian seasoning combine for a juicy, flavorful Italian Chicken Recipe that everyone will love.
You are going to love this simple Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade Recipe because it is perfect for an easy family dinner or a large gathering. It is simple made with your favorite bottle of Italian salad dressing and some chicken breasts, the results are delicious tender and flavorful chicken.
ITALIAN DRESSING CHICKEN
I bet you did not know that your favorite salad dressings can do more than just coat some lettuce on a plate. This simple Italian chicken is marinated in dressing and then cooked for maximum flavor. Serve up this zesty chicken with pasta salads for a nice summer dish or keep it warm and hearty for winter with some roasted potatoes and green beans. Any way you serve this dish will be great, the dressing speaks for itself and is just such a great and easy way to prepare a yummy dinner for you and your family.
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ZESTY ITALIAN CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
-Chicken: You will need 4-5 chicken breasts for this recipe. I recommend having them be similar in size so that they cook nice and evenly.
-Minced Garlic: Using 1 teaspoon of minced garlic for added flavor and freshness.
-Italian seasoning: You will need 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to help spice up the mix and give a little more flavor to the chicken.
-Zesty Italian dressing: You can use any 16 ounce sized bottle of your favorite Italian dressing. Wishbone brand, Kraft brand, store brand, etc. will all work fine. You can not go wrong with the one that is already your favorite!
HOW TO MAKE ZESTY ITALIAN CHICKEN
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Then, spray a glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. If you are preparing your chicken to marinate for 30 mins, hold off on preheating your oven at this time.
In a large bowl or in a ziplocked bag, combine the Italian seasoning, garlic, and Italian salad dressing, mix together to combine.
Next, add in your chicken breasts and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. You can also choose to prepare this chicken and marinate it over night or in the morning. I usually marinate mine all day covered in the fridge.
Now, place your marinated chicken inside the glass dish. For added flavor, spoon a bit of the marinade over the top of the chicken.
Cook in the oven for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Enjoy!
CAN I MAKE THIS CHICKEN DINNER IN THE CROCKPOT?
You definitely can! Slow cooker chicken is my all time favorite week day dinner style! For this recipe, just add all the ingredients to your crockpot, along with ½ cup chicken broth. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. The chicken will be done by 4 hours, but if you want to have fall-apart chicken that can be shredded, cook the full 6 hours. I am not a huge fan of cooking chicken on HIGH in the crockpot as I feel it causes the chicken to be tougher and dry.
CAN I MAKE THIS IN AN INSTANT POT?
I love my instant pot! Using it is a great option as it helps chicken be super moist. Just add all the ingredients to your instant pot, then pour ½ cup chicken broth on top. Do a high pressure cook for 10-12 minutes, 12 minutes being for more fall-apart chicken that can be shredded. NPR (natural pressure release) for 20 minutes, then toggle the switch and QPR until the pin drops. (You can also just NPR the full way.)
Zesty Italian Chicken
Zesty Italian Chicken is an EASY dinner idea made with only 4 simple ingredients! Chicken, Italian dressing, garlic and Italian seasoning combine for a juicy, flavorful Italian Chicken Recipe that everyone will love.
Course: chicken, dinner
Keyword: Zesty Italian Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- 4-5 Chicken Breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 tsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 16 oz Italian Dressing
- In a dish or Ziploc bag mix garlic, seasoning and dressing.
- Place chicken in and marinate at least 30 mins, ideally 2-3 hours. I generally put it together in the morning and leave it all day.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray & transfer chicken to pan. Bake for 1 hour or until internal temperature is 165°F.
- Serve with side dish & vegetable and enjoy!
CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS
- Slow cooker chicken is my favorite! Just add all the ingredients to your crockpot, along with 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. Chicken will be done by 4 hours, but if you’d rather have fall-apart chicken that can be shredded, cook the full 6 hours. I’m not a huge fan of cooking chicken on HIGH in the crockpot as I feel it causes the chicken to be tougher and dry.
INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS
- I love my instant pot! Using it is a great option as it helps chicken be super moist. Just add all the ingredients to your instant pot, then pour 1/2 cup chicken broth on top. Do a high pressure cook for 10-12 minutes, 12 minutes being for more fall-apart chicken that can be shredded. NPR (natural pressure release) for 20 minutes, then toggle the switch and QPR until the pin drops. (You can also just NPR the full way.)
Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade
Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade is an Italian Chicken Marinade that doubles as a salad dressing! This is one of my tricks for easy midweek meals and it’s a highly effective method to make delicious meals with less effort.
I use this Double Duty trick in a handful of recipes, like this Lemon Chicken Salad and Mexican Chicken Salad – and readers love it!
Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade
Did you know that most salad dressings also make great marinades? Not creamy ones. But pretty much all non creamy ones do, including French Dressing, Honey Mustard Dressing, this Asian Sesame Dressing and Balsamic Dressing.
Today I’m sharing an Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade. So it’s an Italian dressing recipe – that doubles as a chicken marinade, made with:
- White wine vinegar – sub with other vinegars
- Olive oil
- Sugar, salt and pepper
Use some to marinade the chicken, and the rest to dress your side salad!
You’ll love how the Italian Dressing does double duty as a marinade AND salad dressing in this recipe!
Italian Chicken Marinade
For the Italian Chicken Marinade, I do like to add some dried herbs – just to make the flavour of the chicken slightly different, otherwise everything tastes the same.
Cook this Italian marinated chicken on the grill, stove – or even bake it!
How long does the chicken need to be marinated? It’s best overnight, but even 20 minutes is enough, especially if you make this with chicken breast cut in half horizontally to make 2 thin steaks.
Best chicken for Italian Chicken Marinade? I’m a brown meat gal so for most chicken recipes, I opt for thigh over breast because it’s juicier with not much difference in calories. But this recipe will work just fine with breast too!
Italian Dressing Side Salad
I’ve made a side salad using very thinly sliced raw zucchinis – something a little different! I really enjoy raw zucchini – it actually doesn’t have that much flavour so it’s a great vehicle to add pretty much any type of dressing and it works very well with the Italian dressing.
BUT you can use the Italian Dressing/Marinade for any type of leafy salad you want – or even for steamed vegetables. Enjoy!
Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Barbecue, BBQ, Chicken, Grill
4.93 from 13 votes
Tap or hover to scale
Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade is an Italian Chicken Marinade that doubles as a salad dressing! This is one of my tricks for easy midweek meals and it’s a highly effective method to make delicious meals with less effort. I’ve made a zucchini side salad here, but feel free to use the dressing for ANY salad you want!
- ▢4 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar (Note 1)
- ▢2 cloves garlic
- ▢2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ▢1 tbsp dijon mustard
- ▢1 1/2 tsp sugar
- ▢1 tsp salt
- ▢Black pepper
- ▢1/2 tbsp olive oil
- ▢2 1/2 tsp mixed Italian dried herbs (either a packet mix or mix herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme)
- ▢1 tsp dried red chili flakes (optional)
- ▢750 g / 1.5lb chicken thighs, boneless skinless, or breast (cut in half horizontally)
- ▢1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ▢2 zucchinis , finely sliced into rounds using a mandolin
- ▢2 tbsp baby mint leaves , or 1 tbsp sliced larger mint leaves
- Place the Dressing Marinade ingredients in a small jar and shake well to combine.
- Put the Marinated Chicken ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag and add 5 tablespoons of the Dressing Marinade.
- Massage / mix to coat the chicken. Set aside for marinade for at least 20 minutes, ideally 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Grill/BBQ: You shouldn’t need any oil, but if you are concerned, brush your grill with oil. Heat the grill on medium high and cook the chicken for around 3 to 4 minutes on each side. (Cook breast for less)
- Stove: Preheat 1/2 tbsp oil in a large non stick fry pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook each side for around 4 to 5 minutes, or until dark golden brown and cooked through.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill/fry pan onto a plate, loosely cover with foil and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Serve the chicken with the zucchini salad and toasted bread.
SALAD & DRESSING:
- Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil (from the Zucchini Side ingredients) into the jar with the remaining Dressing Marinade and shake well. Set aside.
- Toss the zucchinis and mint with the Dressing Marinade.
1. You can substitute with chardonnay or apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice. Or even rice vinegar! You just need a vinegar that is not as harsh as ordinary white vinegar.
2. This can be made with breast fillets too, but just be careful with the cooking time as you don’t want to overcook it. Dry chicken breast is not pleasant!
3. Nutrition per serving assuming 4 servings.
Italian Dressing Chicken
Baked Chicken with Italian Dressing is one of the absolute easiest ways to get a home-cooked meal on the table. With 3 ingredients and less than 5 minutes of prep, you could practically make this in your sleep, but you’ll never know it when you taste the tender chicken and zippy Italian flavors.
Ever wonder if Italian salad dressing makes a good marinade for chicken? The answer is a resounding YES. This is not only because salad dressing tastes good; it happens to also contain acid, salt, and oil, three key components of a good marinade. These building blocks work together to tenderize and add flavor to protein at the same time, producing a very simple meal that tastes utterly fabulous.
This is definitely a meal to keep in mind for those days when you have zero extra time or energy to get dinner on the table. And who doesn’t love the flavor of Italian chicken, after all?
Ingredients & Substitutions
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: Although I frequently tout the benefits of using thin-sliced chicken breasts, this recipe is best for thick chicken breasts, because they will bake and stay juicy thanks to the even heat and abundance of delicious marinade.
- Parmesan Cheese: Can be grated or shredded, fresh or pre-packaged. All varieties work well for this simple dish.
- Kosher salt and black pepper.
- Italian Salad Dressing: the star of this particular show!
You can use a bottle of your favorite Italian dressing, and you’ll probably have some leftover for dressing a simple salad to round out the meal.
Love garlic? Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic to the marinade for an extra kick.
Help! I don’t have any salad dressing on hand. Can I make my own?
Absolutely! Homemade Italian salad dressing is super easy to whip up from everyday ingredients. More reasons to love it: it has the best flavor, you can control the amount of salt, sweetness, and seasonings to suit your own tastes and dietary needs, and, just like a store-bought version, it keeps well in the refrigerator so you can use it on salads and in other dishes throughout the week.
Can I make this using skin-on chicken or chicken thighs?
Yes! This dish is inherently flexible and well-suited to pretty much any type of chicken you have on hand. If using chicken thighs, be sure to plan on a longer baking time. If using skin-on chicken thighs or breasts, be sure they are facing skin-side up when the baking dish goes in the oven.
How To Make Italian Dressing Chicken
This is literally the simplest dish you can make. 🙂
Begin by placing the chicken in a baking dish. You want to choose a dish that is just big enough to fit all of the chicken in a single layer without a lot of extra space, so that the marinade will cover as much of the chicken as possible while it bakes.
Sprinkle the chicken lightly with salt and pepper, then pour the salad dressing on top.
How long to marinate chicken in Italian dressing?
When using Italian salad dressing as a chicken marinade, cover and marinate the coated chicken for as little as 15 minutes or as much as 24 hours. If marinating for an hour or more, flip the chicken over about halfway through.
How long to bake chicken breasts at 375 degrees F?
Thick chicken breasts typically bake in 20-25 minutes in a 375 degree oven. This can vary considerably, though, depending on the exact thickness of your chicken and the actual temperature of your oven — some run quite a bit cooler or warmer than their temperature gauge indicates!
For this recipe, after the chicken has marinated for at least 15 minutes, you’ll bake it uncovered for 15 minutes, then sprinkle a bit of Parmesan on top, and return to bake for another 5-10 minutes, until cooked through. (It should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F at the thickest point.)
For a browned crust on top, turn oven to broil for the final minute or two of cooking.
A sprinkling of parsley, a wedge of lemon if you are feeling fancy, and dinner is done!
Can I grill this instead?
Yup! It’s easy to grill chicken that has been marinated in Italian dressing–just remove from the marinade and grill over medium-high heat until cooked through. If you still want the Parmesan flavor, add a sprinkling right after removing the meat from the grill.
Make It a Freezer Meal
Italian dressing chicken makes a great meal to freeze! Simply place raw chicken breasts in a freezer-safe bag, grind some salt and pepper on top, and pour dressing over chicken into the bag. Seal tightly and store in the freezer for up to six months. When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to a baking dish and bake according to the recipe instructions, no changes necessary.