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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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  • 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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  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was INCREDIBLE! And so easy! Definitely putting it on my “will make again” list.

    P.s. my mom gets SO excited when I try a new recipe from you because your recipes, as she put it, “always make her tastebuds sing” lol 🙂

    1. Aw that is so amazing to hear! Thank you so much for trying this one, Lindsey! I hope you both continue to enjoy my recipes! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I just made your Chicken pizza for dinner.
    It was delicious? Chicken pizza has always been a family favorite but I think your recipe is now our favorite way to make it!

  3. Hi Tieghan ! I’ve been seeing lots of recipes requiring a cast-iron skillet, but I sadly do not own one – and apparently a regular skillet does not yield the same results. Do you think I could use a Dutch oven instead ? It’s the only thing I own that is made in cast-iron…

    1. Hey Laura,
      Yes that should work! Also, any oven safe skillet is fine to use as well! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. I loved the flavors in this, but had some of the same challenges as other commenters. Most of my crispy topping was left in the pan, not on the chicken. I had a hard time keeping the fillings from falling out and had to cook the chicken breasts about twice as long to get them cooked through. I want to try to rework this because the flavors were so good. Next time I would use chicken tenders and thin the yogurt with water or milk. I would add the mozzarella and basil on top of the chicken or among the tenders in the pan. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Hi Robin! I hope this turns out better for you the next time! If you need anything, please let me know! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious and was approved by both sons and husband enthusiastically. I did have an issue when putting the chicken in the skillet. The breading stuck to the pan. Likely this is user error but I would love to know your thoughts. I used buttermilk instead of yogurt. Skillet was hot and I put oil in it as instructed. I will be making it again…even if I goof again.

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipe, so sorry you had issues with the breading sticking to the pan. My tips would be a super hot cast iron skillet and oil in the pan, which you said you did. Maybe next time try the yogurt? I hope this helps! xTieghan

  6. Really excited to try this recipe, but have a question about the vodka. If you wanted to replace the vodka with wine, what kind of wine would you use? Thanks!

    1. Hey Nicole,
      I would use your fave white wine! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    WOW!! Hands down, one of the best meals I’ve ever enjoyed! I typically have never been a huge fan of stuffed chicken breast, but this dish changed everything! Such wonderful flavors married together, and the fresh basil & cherry tomatoes on top just makes it even more enjoyable!
    The greek yogurt as a binding agent was a first for me; I had a bit of a hard time trying to not get the breading to stick to the pan but it didn’t stick too bad. And I actually used my own homemade vodka sauce recipe instead which worked beautifully! We had a loaf of garlic bread that we dipped into the skillet, so yummy!!
    My husband said this was definitely top 3 of all the meals I’ve cooked at home, and I can’t wait to make this again! This will easily become a weekly meal. Tieghan, you are a mastermind! 🙂 Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    1. Wow this is so amazing to hear! I am really glad this turned out so well for you and your husband Char!! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    I didn’t have yogurt so I just used EVOO. It was AHHHHHmazing!!!! The vodka sauce, the cherry tomatoes are so sweet and delicious, the crispy pepperoni, omg all of it! My husband and I were wrestling for the pot for seconds. So good and easy! Thank you for sharing. Trying it again tonight with bone-in chicken thighs, I’ll take my chances!

    1. YES!! I am so glad this turned out so amazing for you Liz!! Thank you so much for trying it! xTieghan

    1. Hi Matt! I am really sorry to hear that! Is there anything I can help you with? Or anything that could have gone wrong? xTieghan

  9. Hi!! Love this recipe and sadly never can get my hands on organic chick breast these days so I used thighs instead. I’m new to cooking, can you tell me how to cook this with thighs (skipping the butterfly and stuffing part, just using thighs alone with every other step except moz stuffing part) and still have a lot of success? -Marie

    1. Hi Marie,
      I would just increase your cooking time for the thighs to 5 minutes per side in step 2. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Shyla,
      I haven’t given almond flour a try, but that should work! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  10. Oh My Goodness!! This was the most amazingly flavorful dish!! Even though we didn’t have any chicken breasts in which to sandwich the cheese and basil that didn’t get in the way of it’s beauty! We simply used seasoned and browned chicken thighs which we moved to a platter to keep warm while we made the sauce. When we reassembled it all together to put in the oven we finely sliced the basil and stirred that into the sauce. We went the mini marinated mozzarella ball route and nestled those in as well. In checking on the chicken I noticed the pepperoni getting a smidge too brown so we nestled that down into the sauce for the last few minutes. And boy oh boy what amazing flavor!! And it looked so beautiful, too. Certainly a dish we’ll be making for quests when having guests is a thing again. You’re a genius.

    1. Hi Isabel,
      Thanks so much! 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

  11. This was SO great! salty, a little spicy, and enough sauce to dip while you eat. Will definitely make this again!

  12. 5 stars
    Oh, wow! delicious! I had all the ingredients on hand (except the fresh basil, had to use dried). It came together so quickly with your step by step directions and produced a restaurant quality meal! Your right, plenty of bread to sop up the sauce is a must; it was so good!