Oven-Baked Cheesy Chicken with Zucchini & Rice

Oven-Baked Cheesy Chicken

with Zucchini & Rice

45 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

For this decadent dish, you'll smother chicken breasts in a creamy tomato sauce, mixed with some of our guajillo chile sauce for a bit of Mexican flair, and bake them under a layer of melty monterey jack cheese until perfectly tender. A side of zucchini roasted with classic Mexican spices and topped with crunchy, toasted pepitas rounds out the meal.
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Dietary Information

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45g Of Protein
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    680 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Oven-Baked Cheesy Chicken with Zucchini & Rice
Title
  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 8-Oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • ⅓ cup Guajillo Chile Pepper Sauce
  • 4 oz Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • ¼ cup Cream
  • 2 Tbsps Raw Pepitas
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican Spice Blend (Ancho Chile Powder, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Ground Cumin & Dried Mexican Oregano)
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the zucchini crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds. Halve the lime crosswise. Peel 1 clove of garlic; using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate into a paste. In a large bowl, combine the juice of 1 lime half (you will have extra), as much of the garlic paste as you'd like, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Toast the pepitas
2 Toast the pepitas

In a medium pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 3 minutes, or until toasted (be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they toast). Transfer to a bowl and immediately season with salt. Wipe out the pot.

Cook the rice
3 Cook the rice

Carefully rinse the rice (sifting through for any impurities). Drain thoroughly. In the same pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 13 to 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Cover to keep warm.

Start the chicken
4 Start the chicken

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the tomato sauce, cream (shaking the packet before opening), and guajillo sauce; season with salt and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to a baking dish. Evenly top with the creamy tomato sauce. Bake 16 minutes. Leaving the oven on, remove from the oven.

Roast & finish the zucchini
5 Roast & finish the zucchini

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with foil. Place the zucchini rounds on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). Toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Transfer to the bowl of garlic lime dressing; toss to coat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Finish the chicken & serve your dish
6 Finish the chicken & serve your dish
  • Evenly top the partially baked chicken with the monterey jack. Return to the oven and bake 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.* If desired, turn your oven to the broil function; broil 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown (watching carefully so it doesn’t burn). Remove from the oven and let stand at least 2 minutes before serving. Serve the cooked rice topped with the finished chicken. Serve the finished zucchini on the side. Top the zucchini with the toasted pepitas. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the zucchini crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds. Halve the lime crosswise. Peel 1 clove of garlic; using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate into a paste. In a large bowl, combine the juice of 1 lime half (you will have extra), as much of the garlic paste as you'd like, and a drizzle of olive oil.

2 Toast the pepitas

In a medium pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 3 minutes, or until toasted (be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they toast). Transfer to a bowl and immediately season with salt. Wipe out the pot.

Toast the pepitas
Cook the rice
3 Cook the rice

Carefully rinse the rice (sifting through for any impurities). Drain thoroughly. In the same pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 13 to 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Cover to keep warm.

4 Start the chicken

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the tomato sauce, cream (shaking the packet before opening), and guajillo sauce; season with salt and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to a baking dish. Evenly top with the creamy tomato sauce. Bake 16 minutes. Leaving the oven on, remove from the oven.

Start the chicken
Roast & finish the zucchini
5 Roast & finish the zucchini

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with foil. Place the zucchini rounds on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). Toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Transfer to the bowl of garlic lime dressing; toss to coat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

6 Finish the chicken & serve your dish
  • Evenly top the partially baked chicken with the monterey jack. Return to the oven and bake 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.* If desired, turn your oven to the broil function; broil 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown (watching carefully so it doesn’t burn). Remove from the oven and let stand at least 2 minutes before serving. Serve the cooked rice topped with the finished chicken. Serve the finished zucchini on the side. Top the zucchini with the toasted pepitas. Enjoy!
Finish the chicken & serve your dish
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