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.
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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.
What to Serve With Italian Dressing Chicken
Serve this with a simple Italian or arugula salad and roasted red potatoes or breadsticks for a simple yet absolutely delectable meal. Don’t be surprised if you hear yourself compared favorably to The Olive Garden!
Make Leftovers Count
Lucky enough to have some extra Italian chicken after enjoying this for dinner? Of course you can simply reheat in the microwave (use 50% power for chicken to avoid it drying out!) or repurpose it as the chicken add-in for this irresistible chicken pesto pasta salad. NOW you are winning!
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Craving more of that Olive Garden feel? This creamy crockpot chicken gnocchi soup is to die for!
If you try this Italian Dressing Chicken, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Italian Dressing Chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Place chicken in the smallest baking dish that will hold all of the breasts flat in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then pour dressing on top. Cover and marinate in the fridge 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.
- When ready to bake, remove baking dish from the fridge and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with Parmesan, return to the oven, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until cooked through. (It should reach 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.
- Serve with sauce and a sprinkling of fresh parsley, if desired. Enjoy!
- Using skin-on chicken breasts or thighs? This dish can be made with 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.
- Love garlic? Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic to the marinade for an extra kick.