Nonna Gina’s Italian chicken and potato bake

‘Diano’ – which literally means baking dish in my family’s town dialect, is how my Nonna Gina used to call this dish. It’s one of those humble, soul comforting dishes that I has forever been a part of my life. This Italian chicken and potato bake has massive importance within my family. Even though my Nonna passed away over 15 years ago, it’s still being cooked regularly by many family members including by my mother who was her daughter-in-law. More times than not, when my mum asks me what I would like for Sunday lunch, my first option is this beauty.

As with many Italian dishes, there is never only one method to cook a meal. Every region, town and family member has their own version with a tweak here, a tweak there. So, if you were to google Italian chicken and potato bake, you will be presented with many different recipes across many pages. However, this version is very dear to me as it’s my Nonna’s recipe. I never thought I would share it via the Tiny Italian as I didn’t believe anyone would be interested in such a humble and simple dish. I used to think, that maybe my readers wouldn’t find it exciting enough. How wrong was I? VERY.

During COVID-19 lockdown living, I decided to film a recipe video sharing the simplicity of its preparation and the response was so overwhelming. I never thought this nostalgic dish would be so popular amongst so many of you.

There are only a handful of steps to prepare and cook this recipe, making it incredibly simple for anyone to recreate it. A key tip is to ensure you use a baking dish that ensures all the ingredients are perfectly snug within and not too large. Secondly, it’s essential that the chicken is marinated and seasoned for at least 15 minutes (with the onion, garlic, pepper and thyme) before it’s placed in the baking dish with the other ingredients, to maximise flavour. Thirdly, the potatoes must be sliced as thin as possible to ensure that they cook through alongside the chicken, otherwise, you may find yourself with raw potato which won’t be pleasant to eat. When it comes to the stock, it needs to be poured around the edges of the baking dish, rather than on top. Otherwise, you will find that the parmesan crumb will be washed off the top of the potato slices. Finally, it’s important to brown those potatoes towards the end to get a lovely crunchy topping.

Italian chicken and potato bake
Print Recipe



4 servings

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

60 minutes

Italian chicken and potato bake

  • 6 chicken thighs

  • 1 red onion, finely diced

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced or 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 tsp dry thyme

  • 4 medium white potatoes

  • 60g breadcrumbs

  • 60g grated parmesan

  • Fresh parsley, handful, finely chopped

  • 400ml vegetable stock

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt

  • Black pepper


  • Pre-heat the oven to 190c
  • First, prep the chicken by placing it in a bowl. Add the onion, garlic, sliced pepper or tomatoes and dry thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Then make sure you coat the chicken well with all the ingredients. Set aside.
  • Next, prepare the potatoes. Peel them and then cut them into 0.5cm slices. Set aside
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley
  • Now we are ready to build our bake. Make sure you coat the baking dish with a little drizzle of olive oil. First, place a layer of potato slices, season with salt, then sprinkle on top with a quarter of the parmesan crumb.
  • Next, layer the chicken on top and add all the ingredients which has been marinating in. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and sprinkle a third of the remaining parmesan crumb.
  • Place another layer of potato slices on top, ensuring that they overlap slightly with each other and the chicken is well covered. Season with a little salt and sprinkle the remaining parmesan crumb. Drizzle with olive oil on top.
  • Finally, carefully pour stock around the sides and make sure that the chicken is covered in liquid.
  • Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil., turn the heat up to 220c and bake for another 15 minutes until the potatoes have browned.
  • Serve immediately

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