A recipe for an easy chicken caprese with fresh tomatoes and basil. Drizzle with a savory balsamic reduction. Ready in under 30 minutes!
Our family is paring down from a family of 5 every night for dinner to on some days it just being my husband and I at dinnertime. We’ve had readers in this same spot for years. You’ve needed dinner recipes for two and now we’re needing some too!
We hope to share more “dinner for two” recipes in the near future, but this easy Chicken Caprese is our first. And we think you’ll LOVE it.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- easy recipe with chicken, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil
- ready in under 30 minutes
- delicious fresh flavor
- low in carbohydrates
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Chicken breast. Chicken breasts can be quite large when you buy them at the grocery store. If the chicken breasts are too large, I like to cut them in half so that they don’t take as long to cook.
- Dried thyme. You can buy ground thyme or a dried leavy thyme. We ‘refer to use the leafy thyme since it isn’t as strong.
- Fresh mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella in the grocery store is going to be softer and is normally stored in a little bit of water. It is most often found in specialty cheese aisles. You can also use a low-fat mozzarella cheese, but I have found that it doesn’t melt as well as fresh mozzarella does.
- Cooking oil. Any will do.
- Basil pesto: To save time, I use the premade basil pesto that is normally located by the tomato sauces in the grocery store. Feel free to make your own basil pesto if you would like.
- Fresh basil. Definitely use fresh basil for this. Dried just won’t be the same.
- Balsamic vinegar.
- Brown sugar: The brown sugar tends to give the balsamic reduction a more caramel like flavor. You can always substitute it with granulated sugar if needed.
Tips for Making Chicken Caprese
- Start the balsamic glaze before you start cooking the chicken so it has enough time to reduce.
- Flatten the chicken so it is all equally about 1″ thick. This will help it to cook evenly and also be tender.
- The chicken should only take 3-5 minutes to cook through on each side if you pound it thin. We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test meat temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING. Get it here.
- Covering the pan after you add the toppings will help the cheese melt through.
- Add the fresh basil and balsamic reduction after the cheese is melted.
Can you use the balsamic glaze for any other recipes? You can use your balsamic glaze on a number of additional dishes besides the chicken caprese. I tend to drizzle it over fresh tomatoes and basil. You can also use it on top of salads, grilled chicken breast, or even burgers. And you’ll definitely have to try our chicken caprese pizza!
What do you serve with chicken caprese?
Chicken caprese is a great lunch or dinner meal. I like to make the chicken caprese into a sandwich at lunchtime or eat it plain for dinner.
You can eat chicken caprese alongside a simple garden salad, dinner rolls, roasted vegetables, soup, or use your favorite steamed vegetable. The chicken caprese can be eaten over rice or pasta, with the balsamic reduction drizzled over top.
How do I store chicken caprese?
You can store your chicken caprese in the refrigerator in an airtight container for an additional three to four days. The balsamic glaze can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Easy Chicken Caprese
For the Chicken Breast:
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 slices fresh mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 tomato cut into 4 thick slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons premade basil pesto
- 4 leaves fresh basil thinly sliced
For the Balsamic Reduction:
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Begin by making the balsamic glaze by adding the balsamic vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan. Leave pan to simmer for 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally. The glaze should be thickened and coat the back of a spoon. It will also thicken as it cools.
- While the glaze is simmering, begin working on the chicken.
- Flatten each chicken breast with a mallet until it is 1” all the way around.
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with the thyme and salt.
- Heat a skillet/griddle pan over medium heat with cooking oil and add the chicken breasts
- Cook for 3-5 minutes on both sides until browned and chicken is cooked through.
- Combine tomato slices with 1 Tbs olive oil and salt.
- Top each breast with the pesto and then add the 2 slices tomato and 2 slices of mozzarella
- Cover pan with lid and continue cooking on low until cheese has melted and the chicken has cooked through.
- Add basil leaves on top and drizzle some of the balsamic reduction before serving warm.