Extra sharp cheddar, parmesan and whole grain mustard lend a savory bite to these creamy baked chicken breasts, topped with crispy Panko, for an easy weeknight dinner.
For me, weekends are made for taking time in the kitchen to labor over the more complicated recipes I’m craving to make. You can see some favorite recipes here.
These Cheesy Mustard Baked Chicken Breasts are not one of those recipes.
Instead, it’s the perfect recipe for busy weeknights, wedged in between soccer practices, helping with homework (gah, this core curriculum is harder on the parents than the kids) and folding laundry.
And the best part is that it turns boring chicken breasts into a dinner that tastes far more complicated and time consuming than it really is.
Because sometimes chicken dinner is not always a winner, winner.
If I wanted to sound like an old fart and pose the question, “Sonny…if I had a nickel for each time I’ve made a meal centered around the standard chicken breast that turned out sub par in flavor or overdone in texture…” Let’s just say I’d have a few more nickels than I do now.
I suppose that adds up to me learning a trick or two. And one of my tricks is a saucy trip to the oven for a fast weeknight bake.
I serve this chicken with one of my favorite rice side dishes and a simple salad. There’s so much flavor going on with the chicken that you really don’t need much more to fill your plate.
About the Recipe
The chicken is popped into the oven and while it bakes, the sauce cooking begins. The sauce starts with infusing garlic and shallots into a bit of butter for a flavorful base and then just a tablespoon of flour gives this sauce it’s thickening power.
Using extra sharp white cheddar cheese and strong Parmesan creates a sauce with a cheesier flavor, without needing mega quantities of a mild or medium cheese, keeping the sauce silky.
To add a bit of crunch, I’ve made a mix of a bit more Parmesan with bread crumbs sprinkled on top of the chicken. It delivers a contrasting crunch to the creaminess of the dish.
Remember that all ovens cook differently and chicken comes in different thicknesses, so be sure to check the internal temperature of the breast and know it’s ready at an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 heaping tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese (4 ounces), grated
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray and place chicken in the dish. Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter onto the chicken breasts and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake the chicken breasts for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 155 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan and add the shallots and garlic clove and cook for 2 minutes, stirring until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots begin to soften. Add the flour and cook for another 2 minutes so the flour smells lightly nutty. Whisk the milk into the flour mixture and raise the heat to medium high. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens and slightly bubbles. Stir in the mustard and white cheddar cheese and ¼ of the Parmesan cheese, whisking until the cheese is smooth. Season with a pinch of cayenne pepper and kosher salt to taste.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and raise the oven temperature to 475 degrees F. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and sprinkle each of them with the panko bread crumbs and remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 5-10 more minutes or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the tops of the chicken and sauce is golden brown. Garnish with parsley.
Weeknight Dinner Winners
Chicken breasts don’t need to turn blah. Check out these super-infused flavors for your next chicken dinner below, or read on and get cooking from this list of 15 chicken breast recipes.
Roast Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Mustard Sauce
It’s just like we’re dining in Provence. Pass the wine, please.
Get the recipe | The View from Great Island
Chipotle Salsa Baked Chicken
Rice would be traditional, but why go status quo? Try it with pasta too.
Get the recipe | Simply Recipes
Garlic Basil Chicken with Tomato Butter Sauce
Yes! You should add butter to tomato sauce. I did in this sauce recipe and love the spin Lindsay’s put on hers.
Get the recipe | Pinch of Yum
What do you do to take your chicken breasts from boring to the best?
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