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Basil Chicken with Marinara
and Italian tossed salad

Active: 40 Total: 70

We featured this classic summer combination of chicken, marinara sauce, and fresh basil in 2016, but we're giving it an extra summery twist by adding instructions for the grill. 



Spicy Marinara Sauce:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1/4 tsp
  • Tomato paste - 4 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 1/2 cup (sub water)
Italian Tossed Salad:
  • Tomatoes, medium (sub half a cup cherry or grape tomatoes for each medium tomato) - 1 , diced
  • Lettuce, romaine - 2 hearts , chopped (sub green leaf or iceberg)
  • Olives, black and sliced (2.25 oz / 63 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Oil, olive - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, red or white wine - 2 tsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1/4 tsp
  • Pepitas / pumpkin seeds - 1/3 cup
Basil Chicken with Marinara:
  • Zucchini - 1 lb , sliced into spears
  • Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Basil, fresh - 10 leaves , chopped
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Spicy marinara sauce (ingredients listed separately) - ~3/4 cup


  1. Make sauce - (If prepping right before cooking and using grill, get grill heating before continuing with prep.) Chop garlic. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil (portion for sauce) and when hot, add garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano (portion for sauce) and saute until fragrant, ~1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and stock and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, ~1 minute. Add more stock if needed to reach a smooth, spreadable consistency. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Zucchini - Slice into spears. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

  3. Chicken - Pat dry and season with some salt and pepper. 

  4. Basil / Tomatoes / Lettuce - Prep as directed.

  5. Olives - Drain and rinse.

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  1. If cooking on the grill: Preheat grill to 425F / 218C degrees, keeping one part over direct heat and one part over indirect heat.

  2. If cooking on the stovetop: Heat a large skillet or frying pan with first part of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear until both sides are deep golden brown, ~3 minutes on each side. Set chicken aside and return pan to heat.

  3. {grill}: Brush grates with first part of oil and place chicken over direct heat. Brush zucchini spears with second part of cooking oil and place over direct heat. Sear chicken and zucchini on both sides until lightly charred. 

  4. {grill}: Move chicken and zucchini to indirect heat and continue cooking until zucchini is tender and chicken is cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. (Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F / 74C degrees.)

  5. {grill}: If sauce was made ahead, reheat in the microwave. 

  6. {stovetop}: Add second part of cooking oil and then zucchini to heated oil. Cook on on all sides until zucchini spears are tender and golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add sauce and basil and stir to combine. 

  7. {stovetop}: Nestle chicken in sauce and cover with a lid or foil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. (Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F / 74C degrees.)

  8. When chicken is nearly cooked through, whisk together olive oil (portion for salad), vinegar, and oregano (portion for salad). Toss dressing with lettuce, olives, tomatoes, and pepitas. Season salad with some salt and black pepper. 

  9. Serve chicken and zucchini with sauce (if using grill instructions, pour sauce over top and sprinkle with basil right before serving). Enjoy salad on the side.



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