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This recipe for Grilled Chicken Caprese is easy to make, with simple ingredients. It’s bursting with summertime flavor and can be made in 30 minutes! Perfect for alfresco dining or outdoor gatherings. Video.
Hello summer! Here’s a light, delicious, summery meal highlighting sweet ripe summer tomatoes -Chicken Caprese! It’s another recipe we made a LOT in our catering days, and thought I’d share it.
I love this recipe because it can be made on a grill or on the stovetop, depending on the weather. I also love how it presents- so fresh and colorful- with minimal effort. Very satisfying. 🙂
What is Chicken Caprese?
Chicken Caprese is similar to the classic Italian salad we are all familiar with – fresh mozzarella cheeses, tomatoes, and fresh basil paired with chicken that can be grilled or pan-seared. Finish it with a balsamic glaze and pesto for an extra burst of flavor.
These simple classic Italian flavors are especially delicious during the summer months when tomatoes are sweet and at their peak of flavor.
Chicken Caprese Video
Ingredients in Caprese Chicken
- Chicken Breasts
- olive oil
- lemon zest
- fresh thyme ( or sub-dried thyme) or sub oregano
- fresh mozzarella cheese ball (or sub goat cheese),
- cherry or grape tomatoes
- fresh basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Optional Garnish: Balsamic Glaze, Basil Pesto
How to make Chicken Caprese
Pound chicken breasts into equal thickness, about ¾ inch thick- this is essential to not only get even cooking but to create a flat surface for the melting cheese!
Place in a big bowl, drizzle with olive oil to coat all sides, then sprinkle all sides with the salt, pepper and garlic powder, tossing to coat evenly. Toss in the lemon zest and thyme.
Grill the chicken (see notes for the stovetop version). While the chicken grills, make the fresh tomato-basil salad.
Make the tomato salad, by placing all in a medium bowl and tossing well with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.
TIP: To make the basil ribbons, stack them in the same direction, roll them up into a roll, then thinly slice.
Slice the fresh mozzarella and place it on the chicken – let it melt, closing the lid.
Once the mozzarella cheese is perfectly melty- the chicken is ready to serve- and best served soon!
Place the chicken on a platter, spoon the tomato salad over the top, and garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. For extra flavor, a few drizzles of pesto are also nice here, but not mandatory.
Serve the chicken with your starch or veggie of choice and dinner is served!
Here we’ve served it up with colorful Pesto Potatoes, and here is our favorite Pesto Recipe.
Enjoy the Chicken Caprese and have a fun holiday weekend!
More Chicken Recipes you may like:
- The Best Grilled Chicken
- Easy Grilled Chicken Shawarma Recipe
- Mexican Grilled Chipotle Chicken
- Indonesian Grilled Sambal Chicken
- Five-Spice Chicken with Roasted Plum Sauce
- Moroccan Chicken
- Lebanese Chicken with 7-Spice
Chicken Caprese Recipe
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: chicken breast recipes
- Method: grilled, stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Gluten Free
This recipe for Chicken Caprese is easy to make with simple ingredients. Grill it or pan-sear it. It’s bursting with summertime flavor and can be made in 30 minutes! Perfect for alfresco dining or outdoor gatherings.
- 4–6 x 6-8-ounce Chicken Breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or more to coat
- 3/4– 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder ( or 2 garlic cloves, finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme ( or 1 teaspoon dried) or sub oregano
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella ball (or sub goat cheese), sliced into 1/3 -inch slices ( one slice per piece of chicken)
Fresh Tomato “Salad”
- 1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes ( 3 cups), cut in half
- 15 basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Optional Garnish: Balsamic Glaze, Basil pesto
- Preheat Grill to Med-high heat. (See notes for a stovetop version.)
- Pound chicken breasts into equal thickness, ¾ inch thick. Place in a big bowl, drizzle with olive oil to coat all sides, then sprinkle all sides with the salt, pepper and garlic powder, tossing to coat evenly. Toss in the lemon zest and thyme.
- Grill the chicken, place it on the hot grill, cover, and check for good grill marks after 5-6 minutes. ( While the chicken is grilling make the tomato salad.) Once you have good grill marks, turn the chicken over, cover, and grill another 5-6 minutes. Turn over again, lower heat and cook until breasts are 160F at the thickest part. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each piece, cover the grill and cook until the cheese is melty, about 4 minutes, watching carefully.
- Make the tomato salad, by placing all in a medium bowl and tossing well. To make the basil ribbons, stack them in the same direction, roll them up into a roll, then thinly slice.
- Once the cheese perfectly melty- the chicken is ready to serve- and best served soon! (Feel free to keep warm in a 300F oven.)
- Place the chicken on a platter, and spoon the tomato salad over the top.
- Optional: garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and tiny drizzle of pesto.
Stovetop Version: Follow the recipe above up to the point of grilling. Heat an extra-large lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat. Pan sear the top side of chicken, partially covering, until beautifully golden, about 5 minutes, lowering the heat to medium if getting too dark. Once golden, turn over, and continue cooking over medium heat, for another 5-6 minutes, again lowering the heat to med-low, if getting too dark. Once the chicken is cooked through (160F at the thickest part) top with the mozzarella slices, cover the pan, and cook on medium-low heat until the cheese is melty, about 2-3 minutes. Continue with recipe, making the tomato relish while the chicken is cooking.
Feel free to marinate the chicken ahead and make the salad ahead.
Sometimes I’ll tuck the pesto, under the melting cheese, or over the cheese, under the tomatoes- up to you.
- Serving Size: 7 ounce chicken breast
- Calories: 413
- Sugar: 3.7 g
- Sodium: 855.8 mg
- Fat: 18.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 5.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Fiber: 1.8 g
- Protein: 52.3 g
- Cholesterol: 167.2 mg
Keywords: Caprese chicken, chicken caprese, grilled chicken caprese
This was so good and easier to make than I first thought it would be. I didn’t use pesto because I didn’t have any. I did use the balsamic glaze. The tomato salad added such a fresh taste! I will definitely be making this again and again.
Glad you enjoyed this!
Another great summer recipe Sylvia. Fresh tomatoes, basil and thyme from the garden helped make this outstanding. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow night. Made my own balsamic glaze and that was a really nice addition. No pesto but maybe I’ll try some next time as there will definitely be a next time. The fresh tomato salad was so tasty! I might make it on its own and experiment by turning it into a salad with some orzo.
Sounds amazing Lyn!
Hello, can you please tell me what the balsamic glaze is?
Hi Jeannnine – I will link to a product so you get an idea. It is basically reduced balsamic vinegar that gets thick and slightly sweet. You can buy it or make it. I really should have a recipe on the blog for it, it is so easy! Trader Joe’s has some.
Great recipe! I gave a small piece of chicken to my one-year-old and he freaked out due to a flavor explosion! Bookmarking for sure!
Haha- love it!
This recipe is amazing I made it today and absolutely loved it. The flavour are amazing and I will be making it again! Thank you
So happy you enjoyed this!
Another wonderful review! Thank you. Fabulous for dinner and great leftovers for lunch.
Thanks, Tati, appreciate this!
Another great recipe! I ended up putting the tomatoes on the grill too. It was so delicious. Thanks!
Great idea Amanda! Glad you enjoyed.
may I ask how to make pesto potatoes?
Of course! I blanched the potatoes in boiling water, cut them in half, tossed in olive oil, threw them on the grill for a couple of minutes and tossed them with our nut-free pesto. 🙂 You could also roast and toss, or just blanch and toss, but I had the grill on…
Fantastic recipe! This was so delicious I made it 3 times for dinner last week!! Thank you Sylvia!
Yay! Glad you are enjoying this!
Quick and summer-y! Perfect prep and flavors for a hot summer night.
Awesome Laura! Glad this worked for you!