This delicious, versatile and easy to make dish is perfect for a healthy family tea yet impressive enough to serve to guests. It is cheap to make, costing around £10 for a family of 5 (Ingredients bought from Lidl). The breadcrumbs can be made from leftover or stale baguette in advance and freeze really well and the sauce recipe can be doubled up ready to use in many other wonderful recipes like for homemade pizzas or simply as a tasty pasta sauce.

Ingredients (to serve 5)

For the Tomato Sauce:

2 Onions, chopped (red or white)

4 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped

500g Passata

400g Chopped Tomatoes

Fresh Basil

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

½ tsp Sugar

Pinch of Salt

Oil (I used Rapeseed Oil)

For the Chicken:

5 Chicken Breasts

200g Breadcrumbs (I made my own by putting half a stale baguette, 75 grams of parmesan and a handful of fresh basil in a food processor)

2 Eggs, beaten

250g Mozzarella, sliced

*see footnote for serving suggestions.


  • Heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the onions and garlic until soft (approx. 10 mins) then add the passata, chopped tomatoes, salt, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir, cover and simmer for approximately 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile make the breadcrumbs(see above for details)
  • Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of cling film and bash out with a rolling pin until roughly 5mm thick. Dip the chicken in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs making sure they are totally covered. Grill the chicken for a few minutes either side or until the breadcrumbs are crisp and brown.
  • Add a handful of fresh basil to the tomato sauce and blend until smooth (blending not essential). Transfer the sauce to an oven proof dish that is big enough for the chicken pieces. Place the chicken in the dish with the sauce and top with the sliced mozzarella. Cover with any remaining breadcrumbs and cook in a medium/high oven (200°c/Gas mark 6) for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the topping has browned and the chicken is cooked through.

*Serve with Pasta: Linguine, Spaghetti or Tagliatelle, potato wedges. Alternatively roast broccoli or courgetti would go perfectly if you are on a carb free diet.

 Recipe used and prepared by Ruth Edwards