This Baked Chicken Caprese is an easy dinner recipe that comes together in less than 30 minutes! A simple balsamic sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes, juicy chicken breasts, and Mozzarella cheese.
See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.
Table of Contents
It’s a known fact around here that I’m obsessed with balsamic vinegar. It is the perfect punch of flavor in so many dishes, including this Instant Pot Beef Stew, this Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin, and these Honey Balsamic Chicken Thighs.
In this Chicken Caprese, the balsamic vinegar balances out the sweetness of the tomatoes, the herbiness of the basil, and the savory Mozzarella cheese — they all work together to create something really incredible!
I know that many recipes for Caprese Chicken are done on the stove top, but I love throwing this in the oven.
I am really loving having these easy recipes tucked in my back pocket for days I don’t feel like standing over the stove!
You can find more easy Baked Chicken Recipes here.
Baking this Chicken Caprese means that they come out perfectly juicy with loads of flavor, and minimial prep work.
There’s no watching, and waiting, and flipping, and stirring.
Just stir a few ingredients together, pour that deliciousness over some chicken breasts and let it go.
What is Caprese Chicken?
The term “Caprese” comes from the word “Capri”, as in the island of Capri in Italy. I believe the term was first used to refer to Caprese Salad, a salad made of fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, Mozzarella, and olive oil.
Modern adaptations often include a balsamic reduction, though it’s unclear whether this was included in the original.
Chicken Caprese is a dish that pairs chicken with that classic combination of flavors: fresh tomatoes, basil, Mozzarella, and olive oil. I love the extra punch of flavor from the balsamic, so we are using it here, too!
Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Chicken Breasts: you can swap the chicken breasts for boneless, skinless chicken thighs without changing the rest of the recipe. Since they are smaller, you may want to use twice as many. I don’t recommend bone-in or skin-on chicken for this recipe as it will require a longer cook time.
- Balsamic vinegar: you can omit the balsamic vinegar if you don’t have any, but it does add such a great punch of flavor. If you do omit it, you may find you don’t need the honey to balance it out.
- Olive oil: you can swap the olive oil for any oil you have on hand
- Basil pesto: this is an untraditional ingredient but one I love because it packs in so much herby flavor! You can swap for some additional fresh or dried herbs if you do not have any.
- Honey: balances out the tanginess of the vinegar. You can omit if you prefer, or swap with granulated sugar.
- Cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes can be a bit of a splurge at the grocery store, so if you prefer you can swap for one whole large tomato, diced, or a small can of diced tomatoes, drained.
- Fresh mozzarella: You can leave this out if you require a dairy-free recipe, though I would never choose to if you can include it! You can swap for freshly shredded Mozzarella cheese if that’s what you have on hand.
- Fresh basil: because fresh basil lasts about 9 seconds in the fridge (I’m kidding, but it’s almost true!), I don’t often have it on hand. If you don’t have any, you can swap for a little extra pesto or dried herbs for additional flavor. Just go light if you are using dried basil — it has a powerful flavor!
How to prep this Chicken Caprese ahead:
This recipe only requires a few minutes prep, so I don’t usually take the time to prep it ahead.
That being said, if you are working away from home or you are coming home with just enough time to throw it in the oven, here are a couple ways you can prep it ahead:
- Stir together the balsamic sauce and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
- Trim and pound your chicken breasts so that it is roughly the same thickness throughout, then trim any fat from around the edges.
- Slice or shred your mozzarella
I don’t recommend leaving the chicken in the sauce for more than 1 hour, as the acidity can make the chicken tough after a long period of time.
How to store leftover chicken:
Leftover Chicken Caprese can be store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
I recommend reheating gently on the stove top in a covered skillet, adding a touch of water or chicken broth as needed.
Because of the fresh tomatoes, I don’t generally freeze this recipe, although it could be done. Freeze in airtight containers for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator before warming.
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Baked Chicken Caprese
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese or 1 cup shredded
- fresh basil
- Lightly grease a 9×13″ casserole dish and turn the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin, smooth meat mallet or small frying pan to pound the thick end of the chicken breasts so that they are close to uniform in size (this will ensure all the chicken is cooked at the same time).
- Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, oil, pesto, honey, corn starch, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Place tomatoes in the baking dish around the chicken.
- Drizzle balsamic mixture over chicken and tomatoes.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-23 minutes (the exact time will depend on the exact thickness of your chicken breasts), until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
- Top each chicken breast with a slice of cheese. Return to the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes, just until melted.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and serve.
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