While I love spending time in the kitchen, I hate nothing more than being stuck in the kitchen while trying to entertain company. I want to sit back, have a few drinks, and relax with them! Naturally, recipes that require a little prep that can easily be done beforehand and thrown in the oven just before serving are super necessary when cooking for a crowd.
Or, like I did with this batch, you can throw it together on a Sunday afternoon and have it to eat for lunch or dinner throughout the week. It’s got all the necessary elements: lean protein, veggies, and a little starch. Plus, lots of flavor from a few very simple ingredients.
(Note: As I’m writing this post, a few days after making the original recipe, there is a pizza in my oven topped with the last bits of chicken, peppers, and spinach (on a layer of this homemade pesto!). This is, as I’ve just discovered, also an amazing, delicious, perfect, and wonderful way to use up leftovers!)
Roasted Red Pepper, Chicken, and Spinach Bake
What You’ll Need:
1.5 pounds chicken (2 large breasts, or 4 smaller ones)
1 large jar roasted red peppers
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Dried oregano, basil, and/or parsley
For serving: 3-4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, cous cous, or equivalent
What to Do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium-sized baking dish with a drizzle of EVOO and set aside. Combine salt, pepper, and herbs in a small pinch bowl and set aside.
Prepare the spinach and peppers so they’re ready for assembly: Rinse and dry spinach and set aside. Remove peppers from jar and pull apart or slice into 1-inch strips if need be. Set those aside, too!
Slice chicken breasts into thin cutlets. I like to do this by simply cutting through each breast horizontally into about 3-4 thin, long, wide slices. Set aside.
Now it’s time to assemble. Alternate layers of the ingredients in the baking dish: Chicken, a sprinkle of the salt-herb mixture, a few spinach leaves, and peppers. Then start over (chicken, herbs, spinach, peppers), and repeat until you’ve used up all the ingredients.
Sprinkle the top with a bit more pepper and herbs. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Serve on top of rice, quinoa, or something similar, and garnish with some freshly-grated parmesan cheese and pepper. Enjoy!