Mary Berry’s chicken, mozzarella and tomato bake

Easy and quick but hearty, this chicken mozzarella and tomato bake will become a firm family favourite. Sun-blushed or sun-soaked tomatoes – only partially dried and usually preserved in oil – have a delicious, concentrated flavour. You can find them in the supermarket in a jar or in a pack in the chiller cabinets.

chicken, mozzarella and tomato bake
Georgia Glynn Smith

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes

400g (14oz) passata
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
75g (3oz) full-fat cream cheese
100g (4oz) ready-grated mozzarella cheese (see note)
leaves from 1 small bunch of basil, chopped
6 sun-blushed tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 small skinless and boneless chicken breasts (about 150g-175g/5oz-6oz each)
25g (1oz) Parmesan, grated

1. You will need a wide-based, shallow ovenproof dish that is large enough to hold all four chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

2. Mix the passata with the Worcestershire sauce, season with salt and pepper and pour into the base of the dish.

3. Mix the cream cheese, mozzarella, basil and tomatoes in a small bowl and season.

4. Cut a slit three-quarters of the way through each chicken breast to make a pocket. Divide the cheese mixture between the chicken breasts, pushing it into each pocket. Press any remaining mixture on top of the breasts and then season.

5. Place the chicken in the dish on top of the passata mixture and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, with no traces of pink, and the tomato sauce is bubbling.

6. Serve with a fresh green salad or steamed green beans.

COOK’S NOTES

Using ready-grated mozzarella from a packet makes this dish extra quick! You could use a ball of buffalo mozzarella instead – you’ll just need to tear it into pieces.

PREPARE AHEAD

The dish can be assembled up to 4 hours ahead and kept, covered, in the fridge.

FREEZE

The stuffed chicken breasts can be frozen for up to a month. Defrost thoroughly, then bake in the tomato sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan, to serve.

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