Chicken Caprese with Balsamic Reduction

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  • Baked chicken recipes are probably one of the most searched recipes out there. And this Chicken Caprese recipe is sure to be one of your new favorites. Juicy and delicious, this delicious recipe comes together with just 6 ingredients.

    close up of caprese chicken on baking sheet

    What is Caprese?

    Caprese usually refers to a combination of three ingredients:

    • Mozzarella or burrata cheese
    • Fresh Basil (sometimes pesto)
    • Tomato (fresh, pesto or sun dried)- I like thick slices from a beefsteak, but you can also plum or cherry tomatoes

    For this recipe we are using fresh tomato slices, boneless skinless chicken breasts, slices of mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. It makes for a great weeknight dinner or even a fancy meal. My family loves it!

    fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese

    The term comes from the Italian island of Capri, where the combination originated and is still very popular. Besides this caprese chicken, some of my other favorite caprese recipes are:

    Frisee and Caprese Salad
    Caprese Salad with Passion Fruit

    Dressings

    In Italy your salad will wear nothing but a stellar olive oil, but in the states you will see all sorts of vinaigrettes and creamy toppings.

    chicken topped with basil, cheese and tomatoes

    But in my humble opinion, nothing complements the flavors better than a balsamic glaze. Sweet and sticky, it doesn’t overpower and is super easy to make (or buy).

    How to Make Caprese Chicken

    The recipe is simple. Marinate the chicken in Italian dressing and some kosher salt to help tenderize and add flavor. I like to lightly pound the chicken to break down thick fibers and give the marinade more places to hide.

    Then you can grill or bake the caprese chicken, totally your choice. Grilling will give it a nice char but baking it totally acceptable as well.

    chicken on the grill

    Lastly, you’ll finish it off (either in the oven or on the grill). Today I did a little hybrid- my husband grilled the chicken ahead of time and I finished (and reheated) it in the oven.

    ingredients for caprese chicken

    Topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, thick cut beefsteak tomatoes and then topped with fresh basil leaves, balsamic reduction, you just can’t beat it.

    Mine is also garnishes with a small amount of finely grated Parmesan cheese, Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper. You can also use Italian seasoning, but I find those flavors to be a bit competing.

    chicken topped with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes

    Caprese Chicken

    One of the big reasons people don’t tend to like chicken breasts is because they can be dry. This is due to them being overcooked and lacking fat.

    I can’t give them more fat, but I can help you prevent overcooking. Whole chicken breasts are unevenly shaped. One end is thick and wide while the other ends is tapered and narrow. The thickness varies greatly and therefore while the thick end needs to cook longer, the smaller ends overcooks.

    caprese chicken breast recipe

    I highly suggest, even if you’re not making this Caprese Chicken specifically, that you butterfly large breasts in half and (or) tenderize them with a meat mallet so the thickness is uniform and even.

    Now they’ll need the same amount of cook time and nothing will overcook. I also suggest removing them from the cooking element when they are 5 degrees less than the optimal temperature.

    Meat temps will continue to rise while they are resting so if you take it out at 165 degrees, it will go up to 170. Most recipes will still say “165”, it is up to you as the cook to know when to remove your caprese chicken.

    baked chicken with balsamic reduction

    You can also use boneless thigh fillets for this recipe.

    What to serve with Caprese Chicken

    This is a fairly basic baked chicken recipe, so the side dish options are endless! If I’m having something that’s cheesy like this, I generally like to serve it with something green or leafy.

    You could make some steamed broccoli to go alongside it. Or even a nice leafy salad, too. I’ve also seen this dish served as “caprese chicken pasta,” so if you’re a pasta lover, consider that.

    caprese chicken recipe
    Served with Pan Fried Gnocchi

    You could totally whip up a a batch of linguine, throw some pesto on it and serve it alongside your chicken. Or just plop the chicken right on top!

    One thing is for sure. You can’t have a meal like this without some garlic bread! Here are some of my favorites:

    And if you want to take your bread a step further, try my Garlic Parmesan Olive Oil Bread Dip or Carrabba’s Olive Oil Bread Dip to dip it in!

    caprese chicken recipe for pinterest

    More baked chicken recipes:

    Jalapeno Bacon Wrapped Chicken
    Jalapeno Bacon Wrapped Chicken is a cheese stuffed chicken breast recipe using three cheeses and fresh jalapenos. Avocado and lime cool off the hot flavors. #baconwrappedchicken #jalapenopopperchicken www.savoryexperiments.com
    Jalapeno Bacon Wrapped Chicken is a cheese stuffed chicken breast recipe using three cheeses and fresh jalapenos. Avocado and lime cool off the hot flavors. 
    Chai Tea Oven Roasted Chicken
    roast chicken using tea
    Chai Tea Oven Roasted Chicken is a baked whole chicken rubbed with spiced herb butter, root vegetables and the earthy fall flavors of Chai tea.
    Bacon Ranch Baked Chicken
    baked bacon ranch chicken with sauce
    Bacon Ranch Chicken is an easy baked chicken recipe using a creamy mayonnaise base with bacon and ranch seasoning.
    caprese chicken for pinterest

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    caprese chicken recipe
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    5 from 7 votes

    Chicken Caprese Recipe

    This Caprese Chicken is sure to be one of your favorite grilled or baked chicken recipes. Juicy & delicious, it comes together with only 6 ingredients!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time25 mins
    Marinating1 hr
    Total Time1 hr 35 mins
    Course: Main Course, Main Dish
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: baked chicken recipe, caprese chicken
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 292kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • Trim chicken breasts and place in an airtight container or plastic bag along with Italian dressing and Kosher salt. Marinate for 1-24 hours.
    • To cook chicken on the grill:
    • Heat grill to medium-high heat, about 400 degrees.
    • Remove chicken and shake off excess marinade. Discard leftover marinade.
    • Oil grates and place chicken over indirect heat. Cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side. This will be determined by the thickness of your chicken and can vary greatly.
      chicken on the grill
    • Cook until chicken registers at 165 degrees. Turn off heat, but leave chicken on the grill.
    • Place 2-3 slices of tomato and mozzarella cheese on each breast. Shut the lid and allow to heat until cheese just starts to melt, about 3-4 minutes.
      chicken with tomato and cheese
    • Remove and top with fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction sauce. Parmesan cheese, Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper are optional.
    • To cook chicken in the oven:
    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
    • Remove chicken and shake off excess marinade. Discard leftover marinade. Place chicken on cooking dish with space between each.
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it reaches 165 degrees internally. Turn off oven.
    • Top with 2-3 slices of tomato and mozzarella cheese on each breast. Place back into the oven until cheese just starts to melt, about 3-4 minutes.
    • Remove and top with fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction sauce. Parmesan cheese, Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper are optional.
      caprese chicken
    • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings section!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 1472mg | Potassium: 539mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1259IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 1mg
    close up of caprese chicken

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