Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

If you’ve never had it, Melt in Your Mouth Chicken is a classic dish that transforms boring chicken breast into a superb dinner.

Chicken breast isn’t exactly my number one choice of meat, but this recipe has completely changed my mind.

A blend of mayo, parmesan, and seasonings guarantees unbelievably moist and tender chicken that literally melts in your mouth.

This is chicken heaven! Sure, it’s not the healthiest way to cook chicken, but come on, live a little!

Indulge yourself once in a while. Trust me, it’s worth every calorie.

Do you know what else makes this dish a must-try? It’s effortless to make. Just 5 minutes of prep, and the oven takes care of the rest.

If you only cook one thing this week, let it be this. Melt in Your Mouth Chicken is a definite show-stopper.

 

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken is a classic recipe that’s been around for ages. Its origins are unclear, but I’m glad whoever came up with it did.

The idea of topping chicken breast with mayo and parmesan is pure genius! The mixture turns beautifully golden post-baking, and it smells phenomenal, too.

The flavor is so rich, so creamy, and so addictive!

More importantly… OMG… the chicken is insanely tender and moist! That’s something that’s hard to come by with baked chicken breast.

Best of all, this recipe is impossible to mess up. Even if you’re a newbie in the kitchen, you can easily pull it off.

If you’re looking for a dish to shock and impress your family and friends, this is the one.

 

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breast – The star of the dish. Chicken breast is the most traditional cut for this recipe, but I’ve tried it with tenders and thigh fillets and they work just fine, too. In fact, they’re more tender and flavorful. Keep in mind that the baking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken, so adjust accordingly.
  • Mayonnaise – The main ingredient for the topping. Apart from flavor, it also helps prevent the chicken from drying out in the oven. Have diet restrictions? You can swap it out with Greek yogurt and sour cream.
  • Parmesan – Because you can never go wrong with chicken and cheese! Aside from parmesan, you can also use gruyere, sharp cheddar, asiago, or mozzarella.
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder – To add flavor to the topping. Feel free to add more herbs and seasonings to suit your taste.

Tips for the Best Chicken

  • Get a block of parmesan and grate it yourself. Pre-grated parmesan won’t melt as well as freshly-grated cheese. It’s pricier, too!
  • No one wants over or under-cooked chicken. Be sure it’s cooked all the way through by checking it with a meat thermometer. The temperature should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When it comes to chicken, there’s no such thing as an exact length of baking. The duration varies depending on how thick or thin the meat is. This is why a meat thermometer is extra handy.
  • If you want extra flavor and moisture in the chicken, coat it with seasonings and let it marinate for 30 minutes.
  • This recipe is a great make-ahead dish. Make the topping, spread it over the chicken, cover the baking dish in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. You can prepare the dish up to a day in advance. Pop it in the oven when you’re ready to bake!
  • This recipe calls for only three seasonings: salt, pepper, and garlic powder. That already yields pretty flavorful meat, but you can more herbs and seasonings as you please. Thyme, rosemary, cumin, Italian seasoning, paprika, and lemon slices all add great flavor to the chicken. Have fun with it, and feel free to mix and match!
  • Did your dish turn out too runny? That’s okay, it happens. Chicken releases its juices during baking, and all of it gets stuck in the baking dish. Here are some ways to avoid having too much juice:
    • Do not overcrowd the baking dish. If you’re doubling the recipe, make sure to use a bigger dish.
    • Pan-sear the chicken beforehand. This will seal in the juices, preventing them from leaking out during baking.
  • If, despite all these efforts, the dish is still runny, simply drain the liquid.
Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Steak with Peppers and Lemons

What To Serve with Chicken

As tasty as MIYM chicken is, it’s hardly a complete meal. Round out your dinner with these awesome sides.

The dish is super creamy, so you’ll want light and refreshing sides to balance out the richness.

Any veggie dish, such as oven-roasted cauliflower and broccoli, baked potatoes, steamed asparagus, garden salad, or baked Brussels sprouts all make great options.

If you don’t mind more richness, though, pair the chicken with mashed potatoes or mac and cheese. It’s a drool-worthy combo that will make the child in you ecstatic.

Feeling extra hungry? Serve the chicken over a bowl of white rice or buttered noodles. It’s a simple pairing, but believe me, it’s so good, you’ll want to have seconds.

 

What Does the Mayo Do?

Aside from forming a rich and creamy sauce, mayo plays another crucial role in this dish.

Without it, the chicken breast will dry up as it bakes, resulting in tough and dry meat.

Mayo is the best way to keep the chicken moist and tender, so do not skip it! If you can’t stand it, you can use Greek yogurt or sour cream instead.

 

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

Servings:       4 servingsPrep time: 5 minutesCalories:250k cal

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the chicken breast halves in a single layer in a baking dish.
  • In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until combined.
  • Spread the mayo/yogurt mixture evenly over the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping has browned and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Note: You can substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream for mayo.
Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Giada’s quick pasta is easy to make on weekdays, but impressively, some fans even serve it as a holiday dinner.

 

Level: Easy        Total: 15 min        Prep: 5 min        Cook: 10 min        Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

2. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with the salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

3. Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan and chopped basil.

 

Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms and Snap Peas

Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms and Snap Peas

Golden-brown chicken chops are always a family favorite—nothing beats a rich, creamy sauce dipped in every bite. This recipe is sure to become a weeknight favorite.

 

Level: Easy        Total: 35 min        Prep: 10 min        Cook: 25 min        Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Dredge 2 chicken cutlets in flour, shake off any excess and place in the skillet. Cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes per side; transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the other 2 chicken cutlets. Cover the dish loosely with foil; place in the oven while you prepare the vegetables.

2. Add the butter to the hot skillet, then add the scallions and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms brown, about 4 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce thickens slightly, 3 to 4 more minutes. Stir in the snap peas and heat through; season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken topped with the creamy vegetables.

3. Photography by Antonis Achilleos

 

How To Make the Best-Ever Lamb Chops

How To Make the Best-Ever Lamb Chops

If pork chops and beef steaks are the only chops you sear, it’s time to try lamb chops. Lamb chops have a distinctively rich and savory flavor, and while they’re fancy enough for a dinner party, quick-cooking lamb chops also add variety to weeknight meals.

These easy lamb chops are rubbed with fresh thyme, seared in a hot skillet, and topped with a decadent (and oh-so-simple!) pan sauce flavored with dry white wine, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a knob of butter.

 

Lamb Chops 101

Surprise — you can buy lamb chops at your local grocery store! While lamb isn’t allotted the same volume of real estate afforded to beef, pork, or chicken, you’ll still find a good number of cuts available. The two most popular types of lamb chops are loin and rib chops. (You may also see blade or sirloin chops in the meat case; these cuts are a bit tougher, so they take slightly longer to cook and have a gamier flavor.)

Lamb loin chops look like mini T-bone steaks with both the loin and filet sold as part of the steak. Lamb rib chops are a carnivore’s lollipop — they’re the individual servings cut from a rack of lamb. You may see the chops “frenched” (cleaned of the fat and meat along the bone), leaving only the tender meat at the end. Frenching the chops is for appearance only, so if you don’t feel like tackling the task, you can ask your butcher to do it or skip it altogether.

Purchase lamb chops that are about one-inch thick, so that you can brown both sides without overcooking the center (for lamb, you are looking for a medium-rare cook, or 145oF).

 

Make a Simple Pan Sauce for the Finishing Touch

After searing the lamb chops, you’ll move them to a cutting board to rest. Don’t rush to clean the skillet, because the little brown bits (also known as the fond) that are clinging to the bottom of the pan will become the foundation of your sauce. You’ll then sauté minced shallots, crushed garlic, and a fresh sprig of thyme in the rendered fat until glossy and brown, then deglaze the pan with white wine or chicken broth and lemon juice, being sure to scrape up the fond. The acidic punch of lemon juice balances the richness of the lamb and butter (which gives the sauce body).

 

Serving Lamb Chops

Serve the chops with mashed potatoes or polenta to catch the pools of sauce. Lamb chops are smaller than similar cuts of beef or pork, so plan on two loin chops or two or three rib chops per person.

If you have a skillet and a thermometer you can make these easy, delicious lamb chops.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • lamb loin or rib chops (1-inch thick)
  • tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 large sprig
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • small shallot, finely chopped
  • large garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
  • teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

EQUIPMENT

  • Chef’s knife and cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Microplane
  • Citrus reamer
  • 12-inch cast iron or stainless steel skillet
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs
  • Plate
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Season the lamb. Remove the lamb chops from the refrigerator and massage the chopped thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper into the meat. Set the lamb chops aside at room temperature for 5 minutes.

2. Cook the lamb. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb chops and cook until a rich, brown crust forms on the bottom, 4 to 6 minutes (if you’re using thicker lamb chops, this could take up to 10 minutes).

3. Turn the lamb. Flip the lamb chops and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145°F, 4 to 6 minutes more.

4. Transfer to a plate. Transfer the lamb chops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat.

5. Cook the shallot, garlic, and thyme. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the shallot, garlic, and thyme sprig to the pan and cook until shallot softens and begins to brown, about 1 minute.

6. Deglaze the pan. Deglaze with the wine or broth and lemon juice, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

7. Finish the sauce. Cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook until the butter melts and the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Pour the sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.

 

RECIPE NOTES

Make ahead: Lamb chops can be seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, and lemon zest up to 1 hour in advance and refrigerated.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cooking lamb blade or sirloin chops: To cook 4 (1-inch-thick) lamb blade or sirloin chops, season the chops as instructed above. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes per side or until deeply browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145°F. You may need to cook the chops in 2 batches to avoid crowding the pan.

 

No-Fuss Prime Rib

No-Fuss Prime Rib

A slow roasted Prime Rib recipe with step by step instructions and tips for how to slow roast a boneless or bone-in prime rib roast. This herb and garlic crusted prime rib is unbelievably easy to make and is sure to “WOW” your dinner guests!

Cooking prime rib can seem intimidating, especially since it is so expensive and you don’t want to ruin it, but it is actually really simple!  This easy prime rib recipe has simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions that will allow even the most novice cook to have success!  Let’s start with the basics:

About the Price:

This section of beef is so tender and delicious that is comes at a cost.  Most local grocery stores carry choice grade prime rib for between $10.99 to $11.99 per pound. I’ve found Costco to have the lowest prices for the best quality.  They even sometimes carry prime grade meat.

Prime Rib is expensive, but just like most things, it’s much cheaper to serve at a dinner party at your house then to buy for everyone at a restaurant!

How much do you need?

Prime rib roast is also referred to as standing rib roast and it is the cut of meat that is taken from the back of the upper ribs of the cow.  This prime rib section typically makes up about 7 ribs.  You don’t have to buy the whole section, just specify to your butcher how many pounds you would like.

The rule of thumb for buying prime rib is to buy one pound per person.  A bone-in standing rib roast will feed about 2 people per bone. Also, be sure to consider how many side dishes you plan to serve.  If you are preparing a large holiday meal with plenty of other food you could plan on ½ – ¾ pound prime rib per person.

A standing rib roast tied with kitchen string, resting on a marble board.

Bone-in or boneless Prime Rib:

You can choose to buy your prime rib bone-in or boneless.  Many chef’s would say that bone-in ribs are more flavorful and cook better. I typically buy bone-in but I’ve cooked a boneless prime rib from Costco and honestly couldn’t really tell a difference

If you buy a bone-in prime rib you should ask the butcher to cut the bone off and tie it to the roast for you.  My local butcher does this without asking, but ask them just in case. This way you can cook the bones with the meat: they make a nice rack for the meat to sit on, but then you can easily remove them before carving the roast.

If you decide to buy a boneless prime rib you will want to set it on a rack to roast. I’ve had success using the wire rack from my instant pot set on top of my cast iron skillet.

Cook time and Temperature:

The length of time you decide to cook your prime rib depends on how rare you want your meat.

Start by cooking your prime rib at 500°F for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 325° F and cook for 10-12 min per pound for rare prime rib, or 13-14 min per pound for medium rare prime rib, or 14-15 min per pound for medium well prime rib.

Bone-in or boneless Prime Rib:

You can choose to buy your prime rib bone-in or boneless.  Many chef’s would say that bone-in ribs are more flavorful and cook better. I typically buy bone-in but I’ve cooked a boneless prime rib from Costco and honestly couldn’t really tell a difference

If you buy a bone-in prime rib you should ask the butcher to cut the bone off and tie it to the roast for you.  My local butcher does this without asking, but ask them just in case. This way you can cook the bones with the meat: they make a nice rack for the meat to sit on, but then you can easily remove them before carving the roast.

If you decide to buy a boneless prime rib you will want to set it on a rack to roast. I’ve had success using the wire rack from my instant pot set on top of my cast iron skillet.

Cook time and Temperature:

The length of time you decide to cook your prime rib depends on how rare you want your meat.

Start by cooking your prime rib at 500°F for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 325° F and cook for 10-12 min per pound for rare prime rib, or 13-14 min per pound for medium rare prime rib, or 14-15 min per pound for medium well prime rib.

A meat thermometer is essential to ensure you cook it perfectly!

A fully cooked standing rib roast (prime rib) in a cast iron skillet.

Roast your prime rib until the thermometer registers:

  • 115-120˚F for rare
  • 125-130˚F for medium rare
  • 135-140° F for medium
  • 145-150 F° for medium well

Please keep in mind that the meat temperature will continue to rise 5-10 degrees when it’s resting out of the oven, so don’t over cook it! 

How to make Prime Rib:

1. Let it rest.  Remove your prime rib from the refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking to give it time to come to room temperature. Season it with a little bit of salt and cover it lightly with plastic wrap while is rests.

2. Prepare herb rub.  Combine the salt, pepper, fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic and olive oil and rub it all over the outside of the roast. Place a bone-in roast with the bones down, in a cast iron, roasting, or other oven safe pan. Place a boneless rib roast on top of a rack, and then in your pan.

A small glass bowl with ingredients for seasoning prime rib next to another photo of a bone-in prime rib roast inside a cast iron skillet with the seasoning on top.

3. Cook the boneless or bone-in prime rib at 500 degrees for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue cooking until the meat is 5-10 degrees away from the desired doneness temperature (see cooking temperature guidelines above or below in the recipe card).

4. Allow time to rest.  Remove the prime rib from the oven and and tent the entire roast with foil. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes–It will continue to cook the extra 5-10 degrees. Resting the meat is essential as it allows the juices to seal back into the meat. If you cut the meat too soon, the juices will run out and you will be left with a chewy prime rib roast.

5. Carve and Serve.  Spoon some of the extra sauce from the pan over the roast, if desired, or use it to make gravy. Cut the kitchen string holding the roast to the bones (if using a bone-in roast) and remove the bones before carving.

A seasoned and cooked prime rib in a cast iron pan with a spoon pouring the dippings over it, next to another photo of the prime rib removed from the pan, leaving the bones behind in the skillet.

Tips for perfect prime rib:

  • Use a meat thermometer! You can use a probe that stays inside the meat the entire time it cooks or you can use a simple instant read meat thermometer.  Either way, remember that each slice of meat is different and each oven is different.  Don’t take the chance of ruining such an expensive piece of meat.
  • Don’t over-cook!   The meat will continue to cook once it’s taken out of the oven (your thermometer will continue to rise 5-10 degrees) so err on the side of taking your prime rib out early. If you take it out and it seems under-cooked, you can always cook it a little longer.

Prime rib roast carved into ½ inch thick slices.

  • Let it REST! As with most meat, you want to let it rest after cooking to allow the juices to settle in the meat, making it juicier and more tender. If you cut into your prime rib without letting it rest, the juices will rush out and the meat will be chewy.
  • Cut meat across the grain.  That means, notice the directional lines in the meat grain and slice perpendicular to them. If you cut along the grain then the meat will be tougher and chewier to eat.

A slice of prime rib served on a white plate with horseradish sauce, mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts.

 

Prime Rib Recipe

A slow roasted Prime Rib recipe, seasoned with garlic and herbs, with step by step instructions and tips for making perfect boneless or bone-in prime rib.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef prime rib (or larger* if larger, double the spices/seasonings)
  • Sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 8 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • horseradish , for serving (optional)

Instructions

Remove your prime rib from the refrigerator one hour before cooking. Season it on all sides with salt and cover it loosely with plastic wrap as it comes to room temperature. Prime rib roast will cook better and more evenly when it’s at room temperature.

When you are ready to cook the prime rib, lower/adjust your oven rack so the meat will cook in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

In the meantime, mix together 1 ½ teaspoons salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and olive oil.

Pat the roast with paper towels. Spoon seasoning over it, rubbing it onto all sides.  Place bone-in roast with the bones down, inside a roasting pan cast iron pan. Place a boneless roast on a rack inside the pan.

Bake prime rib at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking until desired doneness:

Rare: cook until thermometer reaches 120 degrees F (about 10-12 min/pound)

Medium rare: Cook until thermometer reaches 130 degrees F (about 13-14 min/pound)

Medium: Cook until thermometer reaches 140 degrees F (about 14-15 min/pound)

Medium well – Cook until thermometer reaches 150 degrees F

A couple of things to keep in mind:

– A meat thermometer is essential to ensure it cooks to your perfect doneness. Not all roasts or ovens are the same!

– Also, the meat will continue to cook once it’s taken out of the oven (your thermometer will continue to rise 5-10 degrees) so remove it from the oven 5-10 degrees before it reaches your optimal temperature.

– Remove it from the oven and tent it with foil. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes before

carving.
Carve your roast by slicing against the grain at about ½ inch thickness. Serve with horseradish, if desired.

 

Nutrition

Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread

Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread

Prep time is less than 10 minutes, no kneading required, and the name “Ridiciously Easy Focaccia Bread” says it all! almost. So delicious too!

I feel like I’m introducing you to an old friend, as I write about this fabulous, easy focaccia bread. I’ve been making it all summer, despite the fact that it’s been a crazy couple of months as we packed up our home in Raleigh (after 37 years) and moved to the mountains of North Carolina, near Asheville. Believe me, the only frequent-flyers in my kitchen this summer have been recipes that took minimal effort and (of course) were super delicious!

The first time I made this easy focaccia bread I was thrilled with the results and knew that it had to go into our Café Ridiculously Easy Series. How does a recipe get labeled “ridiculously easy”? Well, here at The Café, it has to have certain characteristics to earn that prestigious label:

Strict guidelines for Ridiculously Easy label

  1. A recipe that takes minimal effort and minimal hands-on time to put together. (Resting, rising or chilling time is not taken into consideration.)
  2. It’s also one that produces fabulous, super delicious results, ie, results that “appear” to have taken lots of time, talent, prowess and/or hard work.
  3. Ridiculously easy recipes have to work well on those busy days when time is short and expectations are high.
  4. And last, ridiculously easy recipes are perfect for entertaining, mostly because of the first two characteristics. They take the stress out of dinner parties and gatherings of families and/or friends and allow you more time to enjoy your guests. Bottom line? They are super simple, something anyone can do. (Shhhh! We’ll keep that part our secret.)

Closeup vertical photo of a loaf of Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread on a wooden cutting board.

An easy technique

I know, you might be looking at the pictures of this Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread and thinking that I’m spoofing you about the “easy” part, right? I don’t blame you – but it’s true! Let me convince you by sharing (in a nutshell) how it comes together:

  • Combine flour, instant yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add warm water and stir until the flour is well incorporated. Cover it up, pop the bowl into the refrigerator and forget about it until the next day.
  • About two hours before baking time, lightly grease two pans with a bit of soft butter, line them with parchment paper and give each a drizzle of olive oil. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator, divide the dough in two and plop it in the prepared pans. Now forget about it again as you putter around the house, catch up on emails, make some phone calls or whatever it is you need to do.
  • After two hours, the dough will have filled the pans and be almost ready to bake. Top the dough with another drizzle of olive oil and have some fun with your fingers, poking holes in the soft dough (for that classic dimpled focaccia texture). Sprinkle the top with sea salt and/or herbs and you’re done on your end.
  • Now the oven does the magic, transforming the fluffy dough into crisp, golden circles of deliciousness that are perfect for sandwiches, with soups or to fill your dinner breadbasket.

If you’re still a bit dubious about how easy this bread is to make, we’ve put together a little video to demonstrate it:

See what I mean, so easy! Ridiculously easy!

Closeup photo of slices of Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread on a cutting board.

Did you notice there’s NO KNEADING? In the past, I believed that you had to do a lot of work, including kneading to a achieve a beautiful, rustic, richly flavored bread with lots of big, irregular holes.

In fact, the folks at King Arthur Flour have reported that one of the most common questions they get on their baker’s hotline is “How do I get those big, irregular holes in my bread?” They devote a whole article to the complexity of how to achieve this texture – but guess what? With this Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread it (magically) just “happens”.

Another thing I love about this easy focaccia bread – in comparison to every other focaccia bread that I’ve made, this one has minimal fat. Each loaf (which makes 6-8 sandwiches or 8 generous bread servings) has only 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you google “focaccia bread” you’ll see that most recipes have much more oil. One popular recipe from The Food Network includes a whole cup of olive oil – yikes!

How do you cut focaccia?

This is a question that people often ask. Since this Ridiculously Easy Focaccia bread is made in round baking pans, there are several options for cutting. I like to cut it in long strips which are perfect for dunking in oil, sauces or soups but you can also cut it into wedges like a pie. One other suggestion is to cut it into three wide strips in one direction then turn the round loaf 90 degrees and cut it again in 3 wide strips yielding varying size pieces.

Expect rave reviews!

Have I convinced you? Are you ready to feel like a little Italian breadmaker? You probably have everything you need to make this Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread. Whip up a batch of dough tonight and tomorrow your family just might think they’ve been transported to a wonderful Panificio (the Italian word for bakery) as the incredibly delicious fragrance of baking bread wafts through the house!

Café Tips for making this Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread

  • I like to use bread flour if I have it – but it isn’t necessary. Bread flour is higher in protein and is supposed to create more stability, form, and rise in the dough, allowing it to lift and hold shape. I have used both bread flour and all-purpose flour with good results.
  • I use one of these Danish Whisks to easily mix up my dough. They’re inexpensive and make whipping up any dough super simple. With this particular brand, you get two professional-grade whisks. Keep one for yourself and give the other to a baking friend. He/she will think quite fondly of you every time they mix a batch of dough!
  • While we’re talking about mixing the dough, make sure all of the flour is well incorporated and there are not any little pockets of dry flour. I always stir it up until I think it’s well mixed and then stir a little more.
  • You can cut this easy focaccia bread into wedges or crossways, into strips. I love cutting it in strips, crisping it up in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and serving it with soup. Just brush the cut sides of the bread lightly with olive oil then heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the bread and cook on both sides until golden. Delish!
  • Be sure to grease your pan (with butter) and line with parchment paper. An easy way to line your pans with parchment? Take a piece of parchment slightly larger than the diameter of your pan. Fold it in half and then in quarters. Fold the quarter in half and then in half one last time. You will end up with a long skinny triangular-shaped wedge. Turn the pan you want to line upside down. Place the tip of your parchment paper triangle at the approximate center of the pan and lay it flat so the unfolded edges are lying over the edge of the pan. Trim the paper with a scissors, about a quarter inch in from the edge of the pan. Unfold and line your pan with the circle you created.

A collage of photos demonstrating an Easy Way to Line a Cake Pan with Parchment paper.

  • This recipe calls for Instant Yeast which is also called Rapid Rise Yeast. It’s quite magical as it doesn’t require proofing as regular yeast does. Don’t try to use regular yeast in this recipe. You can find Instant or Rapid Rise Yeast at most grocery stores, right next to the regular yeast. You can also buy it in bulk and store it indefinitely in the freezer. It’s infinitely cheaper buying yeast in bulk vs purchasing it in the little packets.
  • Don’t worry about exact time with the initial rising of this easy focaccia bread. I have done as little as eight hours and as much as 24. Your results will be wonderful as long as it rises at least 8 hours. The second rise (in the pan) should be at least 2 hours (or until the dough has nicely risen). If your kitchen is really warm, it may take a bit less time. Rather than using an exact time, use the appearance of the dough – it should be close to filling the pan.
  • Don’t be shy when you “dimple” the dough, just before baking. You want to poke your fingers in all the way to the bottom of the pan and actually make little holes with your fingers. This will ensure nice deep dimples that won’t disappear in the oven.

A collage of photos demonstrating how to dimple Easy Focaccia Bread.

  • Dry or fresh herbs can be used to top this bread. I like to use dry Italian seasoning or fresh rosemary or thyme. Chives and sage would also be delicious.
  • Use flaky sea salt to top this bread. It gives a nice little crunch and a pretty presentation. I like Maldon. It’s more expensive than kosher or regular salt but a box will go a long way. Use it as a “finishing” salt rather than an everyday salt.

Asheville and the surrounding area is well known for its wonderful restaurants. Last week, Scott and I had a lunch delightful at a Café in Black Mountain (not far from our home). I went crazy over the delicious roasted red pepper soup and promptly came home and created something similar. Check back in a few days for the recipe. In the meantime, make this Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread and stash a loaf in the freezer. It will be FABULOUS with the roasted red pepper soup!

Overhead vertical photo of a serving plate with two bowls of Roasted Red Pepper Soup next to Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread.

And if you love focaccia, I’ve adapted this recipe a bit to result in a little healthier version with a portion of whole wheat flour and lots of delicious, nutritious seeds.

Vertical closeup photo of a loaf of Ridiculously Easy Seeded Focaccia Bread being cut into slices on a wood cutting board.

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)

2 cups warm tap water

1 teaspoon soft butter for greasing pan

4 tablespoons olive oil divided

Italian seasoning or finely chopped fresh herbs

flaky sea salt I like Maldon

US Customary – Metric

Instructions

Prepare the dough:

1. In a medium-large bowl, combine flour, salt, and instant yeast. Stir well. Add the warm water. Using a Danish Whisk, sturdy wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, mix until all of the flour is well incorporated (there should be no small pockets of flour. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

2. Lightly butter two 9-inch cake pans. Line pans with parchment paper. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil into the center of each pan. Divide dough in half with a large spoon or rubber spatula and place one piece of dough in each pan, turning to coat with oil. Tuck edges of dough underneath to form a rough ball.

3. Cover each pan tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough balls to rest for 2 hours (it may take as long as 3 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen). The dough should cover most of the pan.

Bake:

1. Preheat oven to 450˚F with a rack positioned in the center of the oven.

2. Drizzle another tablespoon of oil over each round of dough. With oiled fingers, using both hands, press straight down and create deep dimples that go all the way through the dough (in other words, you’ll actually be making deep holes.) If necessary, gently stretch the dough as you dimple to allow the dough to fill the pan.

3. Sprinkle tops with Italian seasoning (or fresh herbs) and flaky sea salt.
4. Transfer the pans to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 425˚F. Bake for 22 to 28 minutes, until the tops are golden and the undersides are crisp. Remove pans from the oven. With a metal spatula remove bread rounds from the pans and transfer to a cooling rack.
5. Serve warm or allow to cool completely then store in a zippered bag.

Freeze:

1. To freeze, allow bread to cool completely, then transfer to a ziplock bag and freeze. Thaw and enjoy at room temperature or warm for 10 minutes in a 350˚F oven.