Chicken Marinara Pasta: Elevate Your Pasta Night

December 11, 2023
Chicken Marinara

So step away from those jars, break out the pasta pot, and get ready to seriously upgrade your next spaghetti night with luscious homemade chicken marinara

Pasta night is a weekly ritual for many. While a simple bowl of noodles and jarred sauce certainly hits the spot, taking the time to prepare the sauce yourself pays incredible dividends. Enter chicken marinara – an easy yet utterly flavorful sauce that will become your new favorite pasta topper.

This robust, garlicky marinara gets boosted with savory chicken flavor thanks to sautéed cutlets cooked right in the sauce. The marriage of sweet tomato and juicy chicken takes this classic sauce to new heights. Even better, it comes together quickly with mostly pantry staples.

So step away from those jars, break out the pasta pot, and get ready to seriously upgrade your next spaghetti night with luscious homemade chicken marinara!

Why Make Chicken Marinara?

Here’s why this sauce deserves a permanent place in your pasta rotation:

  • It’s simple – With just 2 chicken breasts and basic aromatics, prep is a breeze. The sauce then simmers away until ready.
  • Packed with flavor – Between spices, wine, fresh herbs, garlic, and concentrated tomatoes, every bite explodes.
  • Very versatile – Toss with pasta, serve over chicken parm, fill lasagna, top pizza – the possibilities are endless!
  • Freezes beautifully – Make a big batch to reheat for effortless meals all month long.

Need even more convincing? Keep reading to learn how satisfying and simple it is to make restaurant-worthy marinara right in your own kitchen.

Step-By-Step Method for Chicken Marinara

Get your pasta pot boiling and let’s get cooking! Here’s the easy process:


  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh basil, for serving
  • Grated parmesan, for serving


  1. Pat the chicken dry and generously season all over with salt and pepper. This adds great flavor.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear chicken skin-side down until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip breasts and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add onions and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Season with red pepper flakes.
  4. Stir in crushed tomatoes, wine, oregano, and 1 tsp salt. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned chicken bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Nestle seared chicken into the sauce, skin-side up. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce reduces.
  6. Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Carefully shred the meat, discarding skin and bones.
  7. Add shredded chicken back to the sauce. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes if desired.

And that’s all, folks! An easy yet exquisite marinara loaded with savory shredded chicken that beats any jar of sauce hands down.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken marinara is delicious tossed with pasta, spooned over garlicky bread, stuffed into lasagna, or any way that your heart desires! A few serving ideas:

  • Pasta – Toss sauce with al dente spaghetti or rigatoni. Top with grated parmesan and fresh basil. Bellisimo!
  • Pizza – Spread over rolled pizza dough and top with cheese for next-level chicken pizza.
  • Chicken parm – Spoon over breaded chicken breast then top with cheese for saucy chicken parm.
  • Freezer meals – Portion into freezer bags to reheat for effortless weekday dinners.

Now pull up a seat, twirl your fork, and get ready to fall in love with chicken marinara – guaranteed to be your new favorite pasta topper!

Frequently Asked Questions About Chicken Marinara

1. What is marinara sauce made of?

At its most basic, marinara sauce contains olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, herbs like oregano and basil, salt, and pepper. Some recipes may also include onions, wine, spices, or some type of meat. But the core ingredients are olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes.

2. Is marinara sauce chunky?

Marinara sauce can have different textures depending on personal preference. Some marinaras are smooth and creamy, while others are left chunkier with tomatoes in larger pieces. A rustic-style marinara usually has more texture from the tomatoes and garlic, but marinaras can be blended or processed for a perfectly smooth consistency instead.

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