Catalina chicken could not be any easier to make. Do not let extra sauce go to waste! Spoon it over the juicy chicken before serving.
Catalina Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Chicken is rich in protein, effortless to prepare, and easy to source. It’s no wonder we often rely on it as an entree to pair with pretty much any side dish. Because it’s so simple to cook, though, we often end up using it as a fallback dish. You may very well find yourself asking, how many times can I eat chicken and broccoli before I get bored? That’s where Catalina chicken comes in. Say goodbye to the monotony of bland, boring chicken.
The heart of the delicious glaze in this recipe is Catalina dressing, which is available at most supermarkets. If you can’t find it or you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you can make Catalina dressing from scratch. The rest of the glaze comes together using store-bought ingredients. While the chicken bakes, you can prepare a starchy side like rice (here’s how chefs make white rice taste better), potatoes or quinoa. To switch up the regular broccoli that’s typically served with chicken, try crispy Brussels sprouts, sauteed green beans or Broccolini.

Ingredients for Catalina Chicken

  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 5 ounces each, will work here. If you have really thick chicken breasts, butterfly them so they’ll cook a bit faster.
  • Catalina salad dressing: This dressing gives the Catalina chicken its name and its bright, red-orange hue. If you make the dressing yourself, store any extra in a mason jar in the fridge, and serve over salads and grains for the rest of the week.
  • Onion soup mix: Of all the recipes that start with a packet of onion soup mix, this has to be one of our easiest recipes. The powdered mixture helps thicken the Catalina dressing so it binds more easily to the chicken (plus it tastes great!).
  • Grape jelly: Use your favorite grape jelly brand to amp up the sweetness in this dish. The stickiness will also help keep the marinade from dripping off while baking.


Step 1: Brown the chicken

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large nonstick skillet, brown the chicken breasts in oil. Once browned on both sides, transfer the chicken to a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Step 2: Make the glaze

Combine the salad dressing, soup mix and jelly in a bowl. Pour it over the chicken.
Editor’s Tip: You can use a basting brush to brush on the glaze, ensuring the entire chicken is coated.

Step 3: Bake the chicken

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Bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes, until a thermometer reads 170°. Sprinkle minced fresh parsley over the top for a garnish.

Recipe Variations

  • Use a different jelly: Other popular jellies that work well with Catalina chicken are orange marmalade and peach jam. You could even go one step further and use your own homemade jelly recipe.
  • Use a different cook method: Instead of pan-frying, try grilling the chicken to allow the sauce to caramelize. Another easy way to prepare this Catalina chicken recipe is in a slow cooker, which allows you to set it and forget it!

How to Store Catalina Chicken

Store cooked and cooled Catalina chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days (store it separately from any sides to preserve the flavors).

Can you make Catalina chicken ahead of time?

This chicken dish is best straight from the oven, but you can prep the dressing and any homemade jelly a few days in advance if you’re making them from scratch. Store, covered, in the fridge for up to three days. That will shave off a good bit of prep time come the day of cooking.

Catalina Chicken Tips

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What can you serve with Catalina chicken?

Serve Catalina chicken over a bed of steamed grains like rice, quinoa or couscous. Or go for something as simple as a thymed zucchini saute or garlic-roasted winter vegetables. A simple salad can turn this dish into a full meal!

Can you use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

If you have chicken thighs you want to use up, you can swap them in for chicken breasts. Note that the oven temperature should be set to 425° to cook the thighs rather than 350°. You can follow this crispy baked chicken thighs recipe, and use the Catalina marinade instead of the basic seasonings listed.

Catalina Chicken

Using salad dressing to make this family favorite helps keep the prep time to only 10 minutes. I like to spoon extra sauce over the baked Catalina chicken just before serving. —Frances Roberts, Silver Spring, Maryland
Catalina Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 10 min. Bake: 25 min.


2 servings


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup Catalina salad dressing
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons onion soup mix
  • 1 tablespoon grape jelly
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional


  1. In a large nonstick skillet, brown chicken in oil. Transfer to a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine the salad dressing, soup mix and jelly; pour over chicken.
  2. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170°.

Nutrition Facts

1 chicken breast half: 261 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated fat), 78mg cholesterol, 727mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 29g protein.