This Chicken Caprese Skillet is topped with a honey balsamic reduction and fresh basil, the perfect way to use fresh summer tomatoes.
Chicken Caprese Skillet
The classic Italian combination of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella is one of my favorites. This Caprese Chicken Skillet takes all the typical caprese salad ingredients and adds chicken, red onions, garlic and thyme to make a delicious yet simple summer dinner. For more caprese-inspired recipes, try my Chicken and Spiralized Zucchini Caprese, Chicken Caprese Salad and French Bread Pizza Caprese.
This one-pan balsamic chicken caprese is from my friend Erin’s beautiful new cookbook, The Well Plated Cookbook, featuring 130 fast, healthy recipes you will actually want to eat. Her book includes tips on storing and reheating leftovers and creative ways to turn them into an entirely new meal. When I saw the front cover of her book, I knew I had to make this recipe, and I’m so glad I did. It was delicious!
- Balsamic Glaze: Balsamic vinegar and honey
- Chicken: Four small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and Pepper for seasoning
- Red Onion: Dice one small red onion.
- Garlic: Mince four garlic cloves.
- Fresh Tomatoes: Whatever kind of tomatoes you have in your garden or can find at the supermarket will work for this dish. Grape, cherry, and plum tomatoes are all great.
- Thyme: You’ll need a quarter teaspoon of dried thyme.
- Mozzarella: Dice four ounces of cheese into bite-sized cubes or use a cup of part-skim mozzarella pearls.
- Basil: Thinly slice fresh basil.
How to Make Chicken Caprese
- Reduce the Balsamic: Combine a half cup of balsamic and a tablespoon of honey in a small saucepan. Gently simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by slightly more than half. Remove it from the heat and set aside.
- Pound the Chicken: Place the chicken on a cutting board and cover it was a large sheet of plastic wrap. Lightly pound the chicken until they’re a half-inch thick. Throw away the plastic, and sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Cook the Chicken: Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts top-side down and cook for four minutes. Flip and cook for another three minutes. Check the breasts with a thermometer – it should read 165°F at the thickest part. Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm.
- Cook the Remaining Ingredients: Reduce the heat to medium, add more oil, and cook the onion until soft, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, and then the tomatoes, thyme, and the remaining vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften.
- Melt the Cheese: Return the chicken to the pan and scatter the mozzarella over the top. Cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let it stand for a minute or two while the mozzarella melts.
- Garnish: Uncover the skillet, drizzle with the balsamic reduction, and sprinkle with basil.
What is Chicken Caprese?
Caprese chicken breasts have all the same ingredients as a caprese salad, but they’re cooked in a skillet with chicken to make it a meal. I love the combination of chicken and balsamic with mozzarella. It’s served warm, so the mozzarella gets nice and melty! And the tomatoes get even sweeter when cooked. The chicken, mozzarella, and tomato dish is drizzled with a balsamic reduction and sprinkled with fresh basil.
- Chicken: This recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thin to ensure even cooking. You can substitute them with bone-in chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Balsamic: If you want to skip making the balsamic glaze, you can use premade glaze to save time.
- More Veggies: Add fresh spinach to the skillet for an extra serving of vegetables.
- Herbs: Swap thyme for oregano or rosemary. You can also use fresh herbs instead of dried ones.
What to Serve with Chicken Caprese
This balsamic chicken dish is very filling on its own, but if you’d like a side dish, here are some ideas.
- Crusty French bread
- Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper
- Zucchini Carpaccio
- Orzo with Tomato and Zucchini
- Wilted Baby Spinach
To re-purpose leftovers you can turn them into a Caprese Chicken and Arugula Salad. Chop leftover chicken. Add to a mixing bowl with any remaining leftover tomatoes and mozzarella, and a few handfuls of arugula. Drizzle with a few splashes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
More Chicken and Tomato Recipes You’ll Love:
- Spaghetti with Sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes
- Pollo in Potacchio (Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Rosemary)
- Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Red Onions
- Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomato Kebabs
- Chicken, Leeks, Tomatoes in White Wine Sauce
Chicken Caprese Skillet
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey, divided
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (24 oz)
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 4 cups sliced tomatoes: halved cherry or grape tomatoes, (2 pints) or ½- inch- diced peak season plum or other garden tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 ounces part- skim mozzarella pearls, (scant 1 cup) or 4 ounces block- style part- skim mozzarella cheese cut into bite-sized cubes
- ¼ cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the honey. Gently simmer over medium- low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by a little more than half, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- While the balsamic reduces, arrange the chicken on a cutting board and stretch a large sheet of plastic wrap over the top. Lightly pound the chicken breasts into an even ½- inch thickness. Discard the plastic, then sprinkle the chicken with ¾ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper, seasoning both sides.
- In a large, heavy- bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium- high heat. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chicken breasts top- sides down, being careful of oil that may splatter. Let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Flip and cook an additional 3 minutes. Check for doneness. The chicken should reach 165 degrees F at the thickest part when tested with an instant- read thermometer, and when sliced, the juices should run clear.
- If it needs additional time, ﬂip again and continue cooking for a few minutes on each side, until done. The total cooking time will vary depending upon the size of your chicken. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Without wiping out the pan, reduce the skillet heat to medium. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, swirl to coat the pan, then add the red onion and let cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan as it cooks.
- Add the garlic and let cook 30 seconds, just until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, thyme, and remaining 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat back to medium high and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pan, nestling it into the tomatoes, and scatter the mozzarella throughout.
- Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the mozzarella to become soft and melty.
- Uncover, drizzle the balsamic reduction over the top, and sprinkle with the fresh basil. Serve warm.