Tender Tomato Chicken Breasts Recipe

Background and History

Tender Tomato Chicken Breasts is a dish that combines the succulent flavor of chicken with the rich, tangy taste of tomatoes. This recipe has its roots in Mediterranean cuisine, where tomatoes and chicken are commonly paired to create hearty, flavorful dishes. The acidity of the tomatoes helps tenderize the chicken, resulting in a juicy and tender meal that is both healthy and delicious. Over time, this dish has become a favorite in many households due to its simplicity and delightful taste.


For the Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

For the Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional, to balance acidity)
  • Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Useful and Interesting Facts

  • Healthy Choice: This dish is low in calories and high in protein, making it a healthy option for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.
  • Versatile: You can customize the recipe by adding vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini to the tomato sauce.
  • Make-Ahead: The tomato sauce can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, making this a convenient meal for busy nights.



4 people


  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time

30 minutes


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for sauce)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (for sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (for sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish (optional)


Prepare the Chicken

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Cook the Chicken

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Make the Tomato Sauce

  • In the same skillet, add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the chopped onion until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and sugar (if using). Bring the sauce to a simmer.

Combine and Bake

  • Return the chicken breasts to the skillet, nestling them into the tomato sauce.
  • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).


  • Remove the skillet from the oven and let the chicken rest for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired, and serve hot with pasta, rice, or a side salad.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 350
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 7g


  • For an extra layer of flavor, you can add a splash of red wine to the tomato sauce while it simmers.
  • This dish pairs well with a light, crisp white wine or a refreshing iced tea.
  • To make this recipe dairy-free, ensure that all ingredients are free from dairy products.

Allergy Warning

  • This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free if all ingredients are verified.
  • Always check labels for potential allergens and cross-contamination warnings.
  • This recipe contains no nuts, but always be cautious with ingredient substitutions and cross-contamination if you have severe allergies.

How to cook chicken breasts so they are moist and tender?

Cook chicken breasts gently and avoid overcooking to keep them moist and tender. Use methods like pan-searing, baking, or poaching, and ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) without drying out the meat.

What makes chicken breast more tender?

Chicken breasts are more tender when they are not overcooked. Proper marination with acidic ingredients like lemon juice or yogurt, pounding to an even thickness, and cooking at the right temperature are key factors that contribute to tender chicken breasts.

What ingredients tenderize chicken breast?

Ingredients like buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, or even pineapple juice can tenderize chicken breast. These acidic ingredients help break down proteins, making the meat more tender and flavorful.

How to make chicken breasts into tenders?

To make chicken breasts into tenders, slice them lengthwise into strips about 1 inch wide. You can then bread and cook them as you would chicken tenders, ensuring they are cooked through but still juicy.

How to make chicken tender and soft?

To make chicken tender and soft, marinate it in buttermilk or yogurt for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This helps tenderize the meat. Cooking the chicken gently and not overcooking it also ensures it remains soft and juicy.

How to tenderize cooked chicken breast?

To tenderize cooked chicken breast, slice or shred it thinly and use it in recipes with sauces or broths that can rehydrate and soften the meat. Alternatively, pounding cooked chicken breast gently with a meat mallet can help break down tougher fibers.

How do chefs get chicken so tender?

Chefs often use techniques like brining or marinating chicken in tenderizing agents such as buttermilk, yogurt, or citrus juices. They also pay close attention to cooking times and temperatures to ensure the chicken is cooked just until done without becoming tough.

What’s the difference between chicken breast and tender chicken breast?

Chicken breast refers to the whole pectoral muscle of the chicken, whereas tender chicken breast typically refers to the tenderloin or tender portion of the breast meat, known for its tenderness and smaller size compared to the whole breast.

Why is my chicken breast tough after cooking?

Chicken breast can become tough after cooking if it is overcooked. Overcooking causes the proteins in the meat to contract excessively, squeezing out moisture and resulting in a dry and tough texture.

How to boil tender chicken breast?

To boil tender chicken breast, place it in a pot of simmering water with aromatics like onion, garlic, and herbs. Cook gently over low heat for about 10-15 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Remove from heat and let it rest before slicing or shredding.

Percival Langley
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Percival Langley, the creative force behind this site, holds the unique and delectable title of Gourmet Expert. With a passion for elevating the culinary experiences of our furry companions, Percival shares delightful and nutritious recipes that go beyond the ordinary. His site is a go-to resource for pet owners seeking to pamper their pets with gourmet treats and meals. Percival's expertise in crafting delicious and health-conscious pet cuisine is evident in the tasteful and innovative content he curates. For those who believe in treating their pets to a culinary adventure, Percival Langley's site is a flavorful journey into the world of gourmet pet delights.