Caprese Chicken is seared golden and simmered in a tangy balsamic-tomato reduction before being covered with gooey, melty fresh mozzarella. Seriously easy and elegant!
30 Minute Caprese Chicken Recipe
Caprese Chicken is unbelievably easy to make, but something you’ll be proud to serve to guests. It tastes like something you can get at an upscale Italian restaurant, but entirely made from scratch in under half an hour!
The tangy, complex balsamic sauce perfectly complements the tomatoes and basil. In addition, the fresh mozzarella adds a wonderful creaminess to the dish. You have to try this dish to believe how delicious it is!
What does Caprese mean?
It refers to an old-fashioned Italian salad made of tomato slices, some fresh basil, and fresh, creamy mozzarella drizzled finished with tangy balsamic glaze.
What is caprese chicken?
It’s an Italian recipe inspired by the classic caprese salad. We take its essential components and turn it into a light chicken dish using breast meat.
What do you need to make caprese chicken?
- Chicken: We’re using breast fillet, a lean and quick-cooking part that is incredibly juicy when perfectly done!
- Seasonings: For that authentic Italian flavor, we’re using dried Italian herbs, a dash of balsamic, brown sugar to balance it out, and fresh, finely-minced garlic.
- Tomatoes and basil: A classic combination that adds fragrance, fresh tanginess, and a beautiful herb flavor to the dish.
- Fresh mozzarella: As much as possible, use fresh instead of shredded for the creamiest texture.
How do you make caprese chicken from scratch?
- Sear. Season your filleted breast meat with Italian herbs plus fresh-ground pepper and sea salt. Sear until golden and thoroughly cooked through. Set aside.
- Make the sauce. To the same pan, mix the brown sugar and balsamic, followed by the garlic. Sauté until fragrant before adding the halved grape tomatoes. Simmer all of these until the tomatoes break down, soften, and release juices. Stir in your fresh basil.
- Finish. Layer your seared chicken in there, then carefully cover the surface with mozzarella. Allow to melt.
- Serve. Spoon the delicious balsamic-tomato sauce over the chicken, plate up with more basil on top, and enjoy.
- Use thigh: If you love dark meat, feel free to use filleted thigh without the bone.
- Pesto: Drizzle some pesto over the dish for color plus a more vibrant basil and parmesan flavor.
- Use sun-dried tomatoes: Can’t find grape tomatoes? Use some sun-dried tomatoes. They add incredible flavor!
- Stir in some spinach: Add fresh baby spinach to sauce.
- Stuffed: Instead of layering the ingredients, stuff it into the breast fillet instead. Use a thick piece, cut a slit in the middle, and stuff it with cheese and basil. Drizzle the sauce on top.
- Spicy: Add some dried pepper flakes to the sauce for heat.
- Other herbs: Sprinkle some oregano, fresh rosemary, or dried thyme on top.
- Grilled: Instead of searing the meat, grill it to add a lovely smoky flavor to the dish.
How to make chicken breast juicy?
Don’t overcook it, or it will dry out. Only cook it until lightly golden and you see the juices running clear.
How to serve?
It’s lovely with pasta dishes like Pasta Primavera, One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta, and Pesto Pasta. If you’d like more veggies with your meal, pair it with a nice salad or these Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts. You can’t go wrong with warm dinner rolls on the side, either!
How to store leftovers:
After cooling the leftovers, transfer to a big container, preferable in a single layer to keep the cheese intact. Cover with the remaining sauce. Store up to three days, and warm up in a 400F oven until hot and mozzarella has remelted.
How to freeze:
We recommend separating the components separately. Cool the seared chicken, flash freeze, and transfer to a freezer bag. Cool down the balsamic sauce, pour into a Ziploc, and freeze.
When ready to serve, defrost overnight. Heat up the sauce in a skillet. Once it’s hot, place the thawed chicken on top then the cheese, and simmer until the dish is warm and ready.
- Don’t overbrown the meat. Stop cooking once the juices are clear and you have a light golden surface.
- Use FRESH mozzarella. Trust us, you’ll notice the difference!
- Switch up the flavor by using Herbs de Provence instead of Italian herbs.
- You can use honey as sweetener instead of brown sugar.
Caprese Chicken Recipe
CapreseChicken is seared golden and simmered in a tangy balsamic-tomatoreduction before being covered with gooey, melty fresh mozzarella.
- 4 chicken breasts or skinless/bone-in chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
- 1 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese cut into 4 slices
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 420 F.
Pat dry chicken and season with oregano, basil, Italina herbs, salt, and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large oven-proof pan over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on both sides until nicely golden brown, about 4-5 minutes each side.
Transfer chicken to a plate and add the garlic to the pan, cook for 30 seconds.
Add the vinegar and brown sugar, stir to combine wand bring to a simmer, cook until glaze has thickened, about 5-6 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pan, and coat in the glaze. Add the tomatoes, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes. Coat with the glaze from time to time.
Top each chicken with a slice of mozzarella cheese; broil until the cheese has melted.
Serve immediately garnished with basil.