This baked Catalina Chicken is smothered in a tasty sweet and tangy sauce that is bursting with flavor. You only need six ingredients and a few minutes of prep to get dinner on the table!
I got this recipe from a good friend several years ago. Her recipe called for more catalina dressing, and while it was tasty, it turned the chicken a strange neon pink color.
After experimenting a few times, I finally settled on a recipe that thought was worthy of sharing.
- Browning the chicken adds a rich depth of flavor, and means less time in the oven.
- Using more jam than dressing adds a nice fresh fruit flavor, and cuts down on the crazy pink color that comes with too much catalina.
- A bit of worcestershire adds a perfect savory flavor that balances out the sweet sauce.
Yes, French dressing is a suitable substitute. They have similar flavor, but Catalina is usually thinner and has a more tangy, acidic flavor.
French dressing has a more subtle orange color instead of the brighter red color of Catalina.
Yes, it works well in a slow cooker. If you brown the chicken, cook on low for 3-4 hours, or high for 2-3. If you don’t brown the chicken first, add another hour of cooking time.
HOW TO MAKE CATALINA CHICKEN
- PREP – Preheat your oven to 350°. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. (I should have used a casserole dish, the 9×13″ pan was a little too large.)
- SEAR CHICKEN – In a large non stick skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Brown the chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes per side. (No need to cook them through, just brown the exterior.) Transfer the chicken to the pan.
- SAUCE – Whisk together the jam, dressing, dry onion soup, and worcestershire in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken.
- BAKE – Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Tip: If you want a thicker coating, leave the chicken uncovered. For a thinner sauce, cover the pan with foil.
- SERVE – Let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes, then serve hot over cooked rice. Add a fresh salad or vegetables to complete the meal.
Whether you’re serving it for a family dinner or a special occasion, this Catalina chicken recipe is sure to please everyone at the table. So grab a plate and dig in!
If you have any leftovers, they will keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. I recommend storing the rice and chicken separately.
To reheat, I like to cover the chicken and reheat it in the microwave for just a minute. You can add water to thin out the sauce
I personally like to slice up the leftover chicken and serve it over a bed of greens and fresh veggies for a tasty salad. You can use additional Catalina dressing, but I’m a big fan of ranch. 🙂
- The best way to ensure that your chicken is juicy is to use a meat thermometer. I made a meat temperature chart and got a meater thermometer a few years back, and it has been a game changer. No more dry chicken breast!
- I always use homemade freezer jam, and it is so tasty. But if you don’t have homemade, make sure to buy a good quality jam for best flavor.
What to serve with chicken catalina:
- We like to serve it with white rice to soak up the sweet sauce. Brown rice, orzo, or quinoa would also work well.
- Oven roasted cauliflower or roasted green beans are tasty sides.
- You can’t go wrong with a simple side salad, or even a bagged salad.
- Vegetables like zucchini and carrots add a nice pop of color.
- Homemade French bread makes an irresistible side to any meal!
- Peach or apricot jam are traditional for this recipe, but feel free to experiment with other flavors of jam. I think orange marmalade or grape jam would be particularly tasty.
- Sometimes I add some pineapple chunks and diced green peppers with the sauce. Tasty!
- Feel free to use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.
- If you don’t want to dirty two pans, you can skip the step of browning the chicken. It does add a nice layer of flavor though! Keep in mind that your chicken will take longer to bake.
MORE EASY CHICKEN RECIPES:
- Chicken Fajita Quesadilla
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
- Chicken Cesar Wrap
- Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken
CATALINA CHICKEN RECIPE
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (4 - 6 small breasts)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup peach jam (or apricot jam)
- 1/3 cup Catalina salad dressing
- 3 Tbsp Lipton dry onion soup mix
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- Spray a baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes per side. (They do not need to cook completely.) Place in the baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the jam, Catalina dressing, dry onion soup mix, and worcestershire. Pour over the chicken.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- If desired, serve over hot cooked rice.
-We like our sauce thick. If you prefer a thinner sauce, cover your pan with foil.
-Baking time will change based on the size of your chicken breast. For best results, use a meat thermometer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 554mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 36g
When you need a quick and easy dinner recipe and are in the mood for something sweet and tangy, this catalina dressing chicken is the perfect solution!