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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.

overhead photo of Skillet Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Chicken with spoon in chicken

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.

raw cherry tomatoes

The details.

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.

overhead close up photo of Skillet Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Chicken

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.

overhead photo of Skillet Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Chicken with 1 piece of chicken in half

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.

overhead close up photo of Skillet Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Chicken plated and sliced

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.

overhead close up photo of Skillet Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Chicken

Looking for more pizza recipes? Here are some favorites. 

Artichoke Pesto and Burrata Pizza with Lemony Arugula

Roasted Mushroom Kale Pizza

Or how about more skillet recipes? Enjoy!

One Skillet Cheesy Cuban Chicken Rice Bake

One Skillet Greek Meatballs and Lemon Butter Orzo

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

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 4
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.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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!
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overhead horizontal photo of Skillet Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Chicken

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This dish was so delicious that my family asked me to make it again the very next night, which I did. We love it. I did increase it by 50 percent to feed all of us (easy to adjust) and I baked it for longer as the chicken breasts I had were very large. It’s nice to have a recipe that is so forgiving in terms of adjustments. This is a keeper for us!

    1. Thank you so much Leslie! That is amazing to hear! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes! xTieghan

  2. Hi – I’m excited to try this recipe for Sunday dinner. Unfortunately, Whole Foods is out of basil, is there another herb I can use for this recipe?

    1. Hi Dominique,
      Parsley would be great! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. I might have missed something but greek yogurt was not a good binding agent… I did as directed and when I went to go flip the chicken over half of the panko mixture came off… What am I missing here?

    1. Hi Sam,
      So sorry you had issues here. It is important to let the yogurt drip off of the chicken and bit and then your really need to press the panko onto the chicken. I hope this helps. xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    So delicious! I just wish I had used sliced mozzarella. And maybe added some extra veggies! I might add some sautéed mushrooms next time.
    Also, my breasts were pretty thick, so they did take longer than 10 min to finish baking.

    1. Hi!
      I like to get my pepperoni from Whole Foods! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  5. 1 star
    What makes you call it a pizza? ??
    This recipe is wrong on so many levels… disappointing , love from Italy

    1. Hi Marco! I am calling it “pizza chicken”. Almost like pizza on chicken instead of pizza crust. Thanks! xTieghan

    1. Hi Serena! I use an 11in skillet, but either should work great for you! I hope you love this recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Love that! I hope this turns out well for you Ashley!! (Hopefully better than take out!) xTieghan

  6. Looks so GOOD! I’m developing this problem where I can’t ever decide what to make for dinner because my “recipe wishlist” is getting too long from browsing your site. Ha!

    And first sentence of the post should read “liven” up, is what I believe you meant.

    Thank you for the recipe!!

    1. Haha well that is a good thing! I hope you love all of the recipes you try! Thank you so much Angela! xTieghan

    1. Hi Alyse,
      Yes, you are using 2 large chicken breasts, butterflying them, and stuffing them so it is perfect for 4 people! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. Dry Mozzarella??? I’m thinking mozzarella in a ball, not fresh? Probably what you would use for shredding. Looks mazing! Can’t wait to try this! Made your Tator Tot Casserole this week, it was awesome.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Yes, exactly that! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan