There’s literally nothing you won’t love about this Italian dressing chicken! Not only is it full of amazing flavor, it also takes practically zero effort to make. If you’ve got chicken breasts and a bottle of Italian salad dressing on hand, then you’re about 30 minutes away from a simple but surprisingly delicious entrée.
🫒 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- I don’t know what I love more – that Italian dressing chicken tastes so good or that it’s so easy to make. I mean, this is the epitome of a “no spoons” recipe. You know those days when you know you need to eat something nutritious but you just don’t have the energy or the time to do anything super involved? Those days when you’re all out of proverbial “spoons”? Well, grab a package of chicken breasts and a bottle of Italian salad dressing. Your night just got so much easier.
- This is one of those recipes where you can keep the ingredients on hand at all times. Chicken and Italian dressing are both fairly budget-friendly, the chicken freezes well, and the dressing has a decent shelf life. An opened bottle of dressing can be refrigerated up to 8 months or so, and an unopened bottle can sit in the pantry up to 18 months! Keep an eye on those sales and coupons, and don’t hesitate to buy a bottle or two to stash away!
- It’s a simple recipe, and it goes really well with the simplest of sides. Sure, you can prep a creamy risotto or impressive fondant potatoes to serve with it. But you don’t need to. Buttered pasta, a basic side salad, air fryer broccoli (cooked straight out of the freezer!), a microwaved sweet potato… Practically everything goes with Italian dressing chicken.
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- The longer the chicken marinates, the more Italian dressing flavor it’ll soak up. Just be careful not marinate the chicken too long. Up to 24 hours is typically fine, though the USDA says even up to 48 hours is technically safe. If you leave the chicken in the marinade too long, the meat will start to break down. When it breaks down, it gets mushy and just really, really unpleasant. Do not recommend.
- Don’t have much time for a marinade? You can cut it down to as little as 15 minutes, or, honestly, you can skip it altogether. That being said, I only recommend skipping it if you really have to! If you don’t marinate the chicken for at least a little while, it won’t take on as much of the dressing flavor. You’ll definitely still taste it, though – you’re still using the dressing, after all! The marinade also tenderizes the chicken, so the unmarinated chicken won’t be quite as tender as it would otherwise. Still plenty tasty, though!
🥘 More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
- Chicken Romano
- Best Ever Easy Roast Chicken
- Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken in the Air Fryer
- Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Chicken Vesuvio
- Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- Cranberry Chicken Salad
- Air Fryer Chicken Katsu
- Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Sausage
- Marry Me Chicken
- Dreamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
For the Italian Dressing Chicken
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts approximately 8 ounces each
- salt to taste, see Notes
- freshly ground black pepper to taste, see Notes
- 1 cup Italian dressing divided; store-bought or homemade, see Notes
- large cutting board
- Sharp chef's knife
- meat pounder or rolling pin
- 9×13 baking dish
- Plastic wrap to cover baking dish
- Tongs optional
- internal meat thermometer
To Marinate the Chicken Breasts
- Place 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts on cutting board. Trim away any fat or unappealing spots and discard.
- If needed, pound chicken breasts with meat pounder or rolling pin just until all 4 chicken breasts are mostly equal in size and thickness. Season chicken breasts on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set chicken side.
- Pour half of 1 cup Italian dressing into bottom of 9×13 baking dish, covering bottom of dish as much as possible. Place chicken breasts on top of dressing in baking dish, laying chicken breasts side-by-side but without overlapping.
- Pour remaining Italian dressing evenly over tops of chicken breasts. Flip chicken over 2 to 3 times to fully coat all sides of each chicken breast in dressing. When satisfied with coverage, reposition chicken breasts to lay side-by-side in baking dish without overlapping.
- Cover baking dish tightly with plastic wrap, then place baking dish in refrigerator. Let chicken marinate in dressing at least 1 hour, and no more than 8 hours. Approximately halfway through desired marinating time, flip chicken breasts over once to allow both sides to marinate evenly.
To Cook the Chicken Breasts
- Toward end of desired marinating time, preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. If needed, adjust oven racks so that baking dish will sit in center of oven. Remove baking dish from refrigerator, then remove and discard plastic wrap.
- Place baking dish in preheated oven. Bake chicken, uncovered, 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, insert internal meat thermometer into 1 or 2 chicken breasts to check doneness. Continue baking as needed, checking temperature every 3 to 5 minutes, until chicken reaches 160° Fahrenheit internally.
- Once internal temperature of chicken reaches 160° Fahrenheit, remove baking dish from oven and set dish aside. Let chicken rest 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, transfer chicken to serving plates. Spoon Italian dressing from baking dish over tops of chicken, if desired. Sprinkle finely grated fresh parmesan over tops of chicken (optional) and serve immediately with small leafy side salad, angel hair pasta, quinoa, broccoli, or sides of choice.
- Salt & Pepper: Be careful not to go too heavy with the salt and pepper on the chicken. Italian dressing typically contains salt, along with plenty of other spices, and you don’t want to inadvertently overdo the seasonings!
- Italian Dressing: If you like a really saucy chicken dish, you’re welcome to use more than 1 cup of the Italian salad dressing.
- Marinade: If you’re short on time, you can cut the marinating time down to as little as 15 minutes. You can skip it entirely, but you’ll get the least amount of Italian flavor that way.
- Food Safety: The chicken will cook residually during the 5-minute rest period after it comes out of the oven. I tell you to take it out at 160° Fahrenheit to allow for that, so that the chicken shouldn’t be over-cooked by the time you eat it. You want the chicken to reach 165° Fahrenheit internally before serving it, though, for food-safety purposes.
- Make it Keto: Use an Italian dressing that doesn’t contain any non-keto sugars or sugar substitutes.
- Make it Whole30/Paleo: Use a compliant Italian dressing. Be sure to read the ingredients list! You can also make your own dressing (see below) to ensure it’s compatible.
- Nutrition Info: Your actual macronutrient breakdown will depend on the weight of the chicken breasts you use and the content of the Italian dressing you choose.
Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe
- ¾ cup high-quality olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¾ teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.