This simple one Skillet Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Chicken is the perfect dinner to livin’ up any night of the week. Mozzarella stuffed and parmesan breaded chicken, seared until crispy and golden. Finish the chicken in a simple tomato Alla vodka style sauce with fresh burst cherry tomatoes, basil, and pepperoni. This dish has all the flavors of a classic pepperoni pizza, but in a skillet with cheese stuffed chicken. Simple, yet mouthwatering. Just be sure to top with plenty of fresh basil and serve with crusty bread for scooping up all of that delicious sauce.
There are times when I’m working in the kitchen and the days do not go as planned. It might be that I don’t have a recipe concept I’m excited to create. Or that something I was working on just didn’t turn out. Sometimes those days end with no new recipes created, but other times they end with a recipe I wasn’t even planning to create. Enter this cheesy, skillet chicken with all the basics of a cheesy pepperoni pizza. Well, there is no crust, so maybe I shouldn’t have called this pizza, but hear me out…
The crispy Panko breaded chicken makes up for the loss of carbs in a very delicious way. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pizza, but it’s fun to switch things up. So pizza chicken it is. Just go with it, promise this is a delicious skillet chicken dinner no matter what you’d like to call it.
I made this at the end of the day, just as the sun was setting…and my day in the kitchen should have been ending. To be honest, I made this more because I needed something to serve for dinner and not because I ever planned to share the recipe. That all changed once I started cooking and creating and just doing what I love to do in the kitchen. It smelled so good as everything was cooking. Then I knew I’d be recreating this to share with you guys too.
I love it when recipes come together like that. It’s how I first began cooking, and how my love of cooking really grew…just having fun and being creative. That’s the long version on how this recipe was created…that you probably didn’t need, but I told you anyway.
Let’s move onto the details already.
Start with the chicken. We’re going to stuff it with mozzarella cheese and basil. This means the chicken breasts need to be halved horizontally, then add some mozzarella, a basil leaf and close the chicken like a book. It’s a little weird, but use the photos as a guide. Promise it’s not difficult.
Next, coat the chicken in a mix of yogurt, then Panko and parmesan.
And now you have parmesan breaded and mozzarella stuffed chicken. Pan sear the chicken until the crust gets crispy and golden on both sides, then remove it from the skillet. Add in some garlic, some herbs, and tomato paste.
And now…some vodka.
Vodka. Yes. Vodka in your sauce…it’s the secret.
Let me explain. First, if you don’t drink, I totally understand. In this case, just swap the vodka for water. That will be totally fine and your sauce will still be great.
If you do drink, or you’re ok with using alcohol for cooking, you must add the vodka to your sauce. It’s a game-changer. The vodka adds a sharp bite that helps to balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes. When used in small amounts, the vodka will boost and intensify the aroma of the sauce. It’s not a must, must, but if you have vodka in your pantry, I would use it.
Once you add the vodka, toss in the cherry tomatoes and simmer away until the tomatoes burst. Then add the chicken back into the sauce, sprinkle on lots of mozzarella cheese, and add the pepperoni. Transfer the entire skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese melts and those pepperoni slices are crisp.
Finish with a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes and all the basil you can find.
SIMPLE, yet so delicious.
Everyone here right now loved this recipe, but then I wasn’t too shocked. I mean there’s nothing not to love about cheese-stuffed crispy chicken sitting in a simple tomato basil sauce. Classic flavors that never get old.
To serve, just add crusty bread and a simple spring salad. Great any night of the week dinner. This dish would be perfect for a dinner with friends…you know, once those are a thing again (hopefully soon!).
Also, if you’re looking for other sides to serve with this chicken, mashed cauliflower would be an equally great option.
Looking for more pizza recipes? Here are some favorites.
Or how about more skillet recipes? Enjoy!
watch the how to video:
Lastly, if you make this skillet cheesy pepperoni pizza chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Skillet Cheesy Pizza Chicken
Calories Per Serving: 902 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk
- 1 1/3 cups Panko bread crumbs (using GF, if needed)
- 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 8 ounces dry mozzarella cheese, torn
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, plus more for serving
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup vodka (or wine, or water)
- 2 1/2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
- 3 ounces pepperoni sliced
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the yogurt in shallow bowl. Add the Panko and parmesan to a separate shallow bowl. Season the crumbs with salt and pepper. 2. Slice the chicken through the middle horizontally to within a 1/2 inch of the other side. Open the two sides and spread them out like an open book. Layer a handful of mozzarella on 1 side, then place a basil leaf over the cheese. Close the chicken sides like a book, covering the filling (see above photos). Dredge both sides of the chicken through the yogurt and then through the Panko, pressing gently to adhere. Place the chicken on a plate.3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and cook until the bottom side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and season with salt.4. To the skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the tomato paste. Add the vodka, 1/2 cup water, and 1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes, cook 5-8 minutes, then remove from the heat. 5. Place the chicken on top of the cherry tomatoes. Arrange the remaining cheese around the chicken. Top with pepperoni slices. Transfer to the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted. 6. Serve the chicken topped with the remaining cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Enjoy!