This Italian-style baked chicken caprese recipe is a super delicious and easy chicken dinner recipe perfect for busy weekdays. Chicken Caprese can be prepared in advance and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Caprese Chicken is an easy chicken dinner recipe that not only saves you time but is loved by almost everyone!
One of the best things about this juicy one-pan Caprese Chicken recipe is, that you can prepare it beforehand throughout the day. You can marinate the chicken breasts beforehand in the morning or even the day before. All you need to do when it comes to cooking this delicious chicken dinner recipe is to roast/fry the chicken breasts for 2x 2 minutes in the pan, add tomatoes and mozzarella, and then bake them in the oven for 20 minutes. In less than 30 minutes you’ll end up with a fresh, healthy, and tasty caprese chicken.
This one-pot caprese chicken is both, fancy enough for having together with guests but also great as a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Watch how to make Baked Caprese Chicken
What is Caprese Chicken made of?
Caprese Chicken is made of just a few ingredients like chicken breasts, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and a simple marinade that also acts as the sauce. This Italian-inspired dish is known for its simplicity and the classic combination of flavors from an Italian Caprese salad, which includes tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar.
Chicken breast with mozzarella and tomato goes especially well during the summer cause of the seasonal ingredients. It is not only a quick and easy chicken dish for a weeknight dinner but offers you a healthy, balanced, and nutritious meal. In terms of nutrition, you get vitamins from the tomatoes which are also rich in antioxidants. On the other hand, you get a low-fat and lean chicken breast loaded with proteins.
In terms of flavors, Caprese chicken is a balanced dish that offers saltiness, sweetness from honey and balsamic vinegar, and acidity from the cherry tomatoes as well as the vinegar.
It is also a rather light dish that not only suits every season but especially fits during the warmer summer months.
What goes with Caprese Chicken?
I like to pair this baked caprese chicken recipe together with a side dish like rice or quinoa. Regarding the amount of cherry tomatoes, you’ll end up with a good amount of savory, light, and juicy sauce. This rather light sauce is great to pour over the rice or quinoa which will take up the flavors of the sauce. However, this quick and easy chicken dish also goes well with any other side dish like potatoes, pasta, or even without a side dish just on its own.
What to avoid when cooking chicken breast
There are two main things you want to avoid when cooking chicken breast:
One is to undercook the chicken breasts and run the risk of a bacterial infection. Undercooked chicken breasts may contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or Campylobacter. Be sure the chicken breasts reach a safe and minimum inner temperature of 74°C / 165°F. You can check that using a meat thermometer. If you cook them at a too-high temperature or for too long, you’ll end up with the next point you want to avoid.
If you cook or bake the chicken breasts for too long, you will get a tough and dry piece of chicken that nobody will enjoy eating. To avoid that, there are several options.
- You can fry the chicken breasts on both sides on high heat just for 1-2 minutes a side as I did in this recipe. This helps the moisture to stay inside the chicken breasts while baking them.
- The second option, or let’s say an additional option is to measure the inner temperature of the chicken breasts while cooking them. When baking in the oven, they’re ready at an inner temperature of about 74°-85°C / 165°-185°F. When cooking in a pan, you can fry them cross for 1-2 minutes on each side and then cook at a lower temperature until you reach the optimal inner temperature.
- The third point is to cover the chicken breasts after cooking and give them a few minutes of rest before cutting. This helps retain their juice and ensures a more tender and flavorful result.
Another thing to avoid when cooking chicken breasts is to skip marination. Although this is not as weighty as under- or overcooking, seasoning the chicken breasts beforehand adds moisture and flavor. Chicken breasts are a rather bland part of the chicken due to the lack of fat. This is why seasoning is more important here to get more flavor out of the chicken breasts.
Ingredients you need for this baked caprese chicken recipe
- Chicken Breasts
This is the main ingredient here, so be sure to get some quality chicken breasts. When the chicken breasts are too unequal in thickness, you can flatten them with a mallet. This ensures that the chicken breast is cooked equally throughout.
- Cherry Tomatoes
These tomatoes are more concentrated in terms of taste and are packed with awesome flavors. This is why I prefer to use cherry or datterino tomatoes over regular ones. For sure you can use any kind and as many tomatoes as you like for this one pan caprese chicken.
Use a fresh and soft ball of mozzarella cheese that will melt easily and will give you mild and milky flavors.
This helps to get some sweetness into the marinade and sauce which helps with caramelization when frying the chicken.
Just because the aroma of garlic is one of the best things in the world right? A no-brainer in the Italian kitchen and a fragrant that enhances almost any dish.
- Fresh Basil
As the name “Caprese” and the name of this dish suggest, basil is of course a must as a garnish. Surely it is possible without it, but it’s often the little things that make it extra special.
How to make baked chicken breasts caprese
This is how to prepare and cook this amazing one pan caprese chicken recipe. If you like to watch instead of reading the cooking instructions, check out my How-to Youtube Video below.
- First, mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper as well as honey. Put the chicken breasts into a container, pour over the marinade and mix together. Marinate the chicken breasts for 2-3 hours if possible or even overnight. They will still turn out great if you cook them right away.
- Prepare the cherry tomatoes by washing and pinching them. This helps to drain the lovely juice of the tomatoes while baking. Cut the regular tomato and the Mozzarella ball into thin slices and put aside for later.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C / 410°F
- Roast the chicken breasts in a preheated pan on high heat 1-2 on each side and turn the heat off again. When using a cast-iron skillet, you can keep the same pan for baking. If not, you can put the chicken breasts into a baking dish.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and put the tomato slices on top of the chicken breasts.
- Bake the chicken caprese for about 20 minutes in the oven. The chicken breasts should reach an inner temperature of about 74°C / 165°F to be ready. You can measure that with a meat thermometer.
- If the chicken is ready, add the Mozzarella on top and broil in the oven until melted.
- Garnish with some fresh basil and enjoy a fresh, juicy, and delicious baked caprese chicken recipe.
Here are some other Italian Recipes you might like
Baked Caprese Chicken Recipe
Marinating the Chicken Breasts
- Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt & pepper, italian seasoning as well as grated garlic.3 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp salt, 1 pinch pepper, 1 tsp honey, 1 clove grated garlic, 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- put the chicken breasts in a bowl or container and pour over the marinade. Mix well together and marinate for 2-3 hours if possible.4 chicken breasts
Preparing the Tomatoes & Mozzarella
- wash the cherry tomatoes and pinch them with a knife. This helps the juice coming out of the cherry tomatoes quicker when roasting in the oven. You can also half some of them if you will.400 grams cherry tomatoes
- Cut the regular tomato so as the mozzarella into thin slices.1-2 ball Mozzarella, 1 tomato
Roasting the Chicken Breasts
- Preheat the oven to 210°C / 410°F
- If you have a cast-iron skillet, you can make the whole dish in the same pan. Otherwise just use a regular frying pan here.Put the pan on high heat on the stove and fry the chicken breasts for 1-2 minutes each side. After that, turn off the heat.If you use the cast-iron skillet, add the cherry tomatoes and put the finely slices tomato on top of the chicken breasts.If you use a casserole / baking dish instead, put and layer the chicken breasts, cherry tomatoes and tomato slicesin the baking dish.
- Bake the chicken caprese in the oven for about 20 minutes at 210°C / 410°F
- The chicken breasts are ready if they have an inner temperature of 74°C / 165°F or above. You can check that with a meat thermometer.
- When the chicken breasts are ready, add the Mozzarella slices on top of the chicken and broil in the oven until melted.
- garnish with some fresh basil and serve together with a side dish. I like to eat baked chicken caprese together with some rice, as this dish creates a lot of juicy sauce which goes perfect with some fresh rice.