Chicken Marinara Bake is an easy, family-favorite dinner featuring chicken breasts baked in a flavorful marinara sauce and topped with melty mozzarella cheese!
Preheat the oven to 350° and allow to come to temperature. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Have ready a 9x13" casserole dish.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of seasoning, and rub to adhere.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the heated pan, and allow to come to temperature. Add the chicken and sear for 3- 4 minutes, just until golden-brown. Flip the chicken and sear for 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion and sauté 5-8 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
Add the canned tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper and stir. If using basil, add it to the pan, stir, and remove from the heat.
If desired, for a smoother sauce, puree using an immersion blender or a blender with the feed tube removed and a dish towel covering its place.
Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish and add the chicken breasts. Spoon a generous amount of marinara sauce over each chicken breast and divide the Mozzarella cheese amongst the chicken.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Serve and enjoy.