Yes, the herb. That’s not the milkman’s name or something! I just love the sweet, pepper taste of fresh basil leaves, especially pair with chicken and tomatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
If you’ve only ever used dried basil, you are MISSING OUT! Fresh basil leaves are much more aromatic and flavorful. While I do still keep dried basil on hand to use in certain recipes, I’m a true convert to fresh basil, and luckily my local farmer’s market keeps me supplied.
I would grow it myself, but my thumb is definitely not green. I can’t even grow mint, which is like the weed of the herb world.
Anyway, onto today’s recipe for chicken bruschetta bake, which is one of my favorite ways to use basil. (I also recommend French bread pizza if you have an excess amount of basil on hand that you need to use.)
This recipe originally comes from…well, I wish I could remember. I’ve been making it much longer than Pinterest existed, and over the years have put my own spin on it. There are lots of versions out there, but this one is mine.
To make this recipe, you need: boneless, skinless chicken breast, tomatoes, stuffing mix, fresh basil, salt and pepper, garlic, and cheese. Oh, and a little bit of water.
I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand, so I used canned, but if your garden has been good to you, go ahead and use fresh. You can also use some of your homemade cheese if you’ve been making your own like I have!
First, cut the chicken into bite-size chunks and layer it in the bottom of a casserole/baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
Next, it’s basil time! Oh mama, this is going to be good. Rip the basil leaves off of the stalks and tear into pieces to sprinkle over the chicken layer.
You know you’re a food blogger when you get excited about fresh basil.
Cover with a layer of cheese.
In a separate bowl, mix together stuffing, garlic, tomatoes, and water. Don’t drain the tomatoes if you’re using the canned version, and add a little extra water (a tablespoon or two) if you’re using fresh. This is the top layer.
Cover and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
Come to me, lover. Come to my mouth.
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained (or fresh tomatoes, diced + 2 Tablespoons water)
- 1 package chicken or veggie flavored stuffing mix
- ½ cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5-6 basil leaves, ripped into small pieces
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- salt and pepper
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and layer on bottom of a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle basil and the cover with a layer of cheese.
- In a second bowl, mix together the tomatoes, stuffing mix, water, and garlic. Spoon over top of cheese.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.