Dinner or meal prep does not have to be complicated! Try this simple baked mesquite chicken for a healthy chicken dish made in one pan and full of smokey, peppery flavor!
Here is the thing, despite the whole having a food blog thing, there are still certain dishes that still feel intimidating to me. Until I do something once, it feels like a foreign task that I could easily screw up, would take too long, and therefore, I should avoid it.
I vividly remember feeling this way about almost everything I’ve ever made. I don’t care if it was the first time I made a quiche or the first time I made a pork brine.
So here is my confession, I’ve avoided baking chicken since pretty much ever. Why? I have no idea other than I had never done it before. I think since I had already learned how to pan-fry, grill, or crockpot chicken, those are what I stuck too. A prime example of how easy it is to get stuck in our ways and miss out on other things!
It wasn’t until my MIL was here that I realized I had avoided one of the easiest cooking techniques known to man for far too long. We always get a massive quantity of chicken from Costco and then we grill it or pan fry it, but never bake it. When she was visiting, I came home one day to a wonderful smell taking over the kitchen.
When I asked what she put on it, I’m pretty sure she responded garlic, salt, and pepper. The chicken tasted even more amazing then it smelt, so I proceeded to pepper her with questions about the process of making said chicken. When she told me how easy it was, I almost didn’t believe her. I think the feeling was mutual. I’m almost positive she almost didn’t believe I had never baked chicken.
So last week, I got the nerve up to try it for myself. I thought, “can it be that easy?” I sprayed the bottom of a 9 X 11 baking dish with cooking spray and placed as many chicken breasts that would fit in the bottom of the pan.
Then I coated it with our favorite mesquite seasoning and baked for 45 minutes. Mr. Hungry and I agreed it was delicious, and only one pan to clean up is a huge bonus!
So this past weekend, I decided to try again and get a little fancier. I coated the chicken in mesquite seasoning (we get the Costco bottle) and then topped it with sliced red onion and chopped, crushed garlic. The result was so good I’m still filled with delight.
I’m also still kicking myself for waiting till I was 28 to learn to bake chicken. I mean, I’m a Dietitian, why wasn’t that a mandatory part of my education?
PS If you have a little more time (at least 30 extra minutes), try using my mesquite chicken marinade! It’s one of my favorite marinade recipes ever!
Simple Baked Mesquite Chicken
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Spray bottom of casserole dish with cooking spray. Remove excess fat from chicken and place in dish.
- Sprinkle with seasonings, top with onion and garlic.
- Bake for 45 minutes, check to make sure chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F.
In other news here are a few scenes from the long weekend!
Mr. Hungry found a scorpion, that’s two Fridays in a row. UGGGGGGGHHHHHHH GROOSSSSSS
Friday night, we went over to a friend’s house for drinks and dessert, but I didn’t want to be the weird one whipping out a camera. I did skip the wine in favor of a chocolate lava cupcake with homemade ice cream.
Saturday was a normal Saturday, which included grocery shopping. I was laughing at this cart, looks like I’m in bodybuilder mode eating powdered peanut butter and egg whites. Clearly, given the chocolate lava cupcake, I’m not, I eat whole eggs and peanut butter too.
A legs workout (like this one) that had me sore for days!
Sunday, we spent grilling epic Jalapeno Cheddar Stuffed burgers and hanging out.
Monday, I convinced Mr. Hungry to start training for the Gilbert Half Marathon with me. Here is the training schedule I put together. Three days a week of running plus 1-2 days of cross-training.
I swear you guys, I get the best results working out SUPER hard 4-5 days a week and recovering the other days. I’d love to start incorporating yoga, but my worried about my back not liking that.
I also got on the Orange Theory train to help push me with my interval training.
Pin it for later!