Baked Chicken Caprese combines the fresh Italian flavors of tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese. This delicious skillet recipe is ready in less than 40 minutes!
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What Is Baked Chicken Caprese?
Baked chicken caprese is inspired by one of my favorite Italian appetizers, the caprese salad.
Perfectly seasoned chicken breasts are topped with melted mozzarella cheese and vibrant tomatoes, then drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze, and garnished with fresh basil.
This caprese chicken is an easy but fancy chicken recipe that will always impress!
Ingredients for Chicken Caprese
You’ll need a small handful of simple ingredients to make flavorful baked chicken caprese.
- Chicken breasts: 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, they can be different sizes because we will be pounding them. You can also swap with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Italian seasoning: Adds a ton of flavor. Homemade Italian seasoning is my go-to and takes 5 minutes to combine, but store bought is good too.
- Olive oil: For frying chicken, I love the traditional taste of extra virgin olive oil.
- Fresh mozzarella cheese: Thinly sliced for the perfect melty topping.
- Tomatoes: You can use any ripe, vibrant tomatoes like garden tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, or tomatoes on the vine.
- Balsamic glaze: The depth of flavor is perfect for drizzling over chicken caprese. Balsamic vinegar can also be used.
- Seasoning: A pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- Fresh herbs: Garnishing with fresh basil is a must for any caprese recipe.
How to Make Chicken Caprese
Make baked chicken caprese in 4 simple steps. Here is a quick overview, there is a full recipe card below.
- Tenderize chicken breasts: Start by preheating your oven to 400 F. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound lightly using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
- Season chicken: Sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Sear chicken: In a hot cast iron skillet add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add chicken breasts and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Bake: Transfer skillet with chicken to the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove and top each chicken breast with mozzarella cheese, I put two slices on each. Then place tomato slices on top.
- Melt cheese: Place skillet back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Then broil for a few more minutes if you like your tomatoes more wilted.
- Garnish and serve: Remove from oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Drizzle caprese chicken with balsamic glaze, garnish with fresh basil leaves, and serve hot with a simple side dish.
Tips for Best Results
Here are my top tips for this amazing chicken caprese recipe.
- If using chicken thighs: You can skip pounding. Start by seasoning the chicken thighs and follow the same instructions.
- If you don’t have cast iron skillet: Use a regular frying pan to sear the chicken, then transfer to a baking pan and bake.
- Don’t skip resting: To prevent dry chicken, let oven baked chicken breast rest before serving. This will lock in the juices and flavor before slicing.
Here are some easy ways to get creative and add even more flavor to this chicken caprese recipe.
- Make stuffed chicken breast: Butterfly each chicken breast leaving one edge intact. Then place mozzarella cheese and tomatoes inside before baking.
- Add pesto: Add a nutty, garlic taste by spreading some pesto on top of the chicken before adding cheese and tomato.
- Use sun-dried tomatoes instead: Sun-dried tomatoes would add a naturally sweet, tangy flavor to this caprese chicken recipe.
- Grill the chicken: We love grilled chicken in the summer. Follow the same instructions but cook the chicken on the grill instead of the oven. It’s just as easy and delicious as bruschetta chicken, and perfect for sharing!
- Make caprese chicken sandwich: A great lunch option! Toast a piece of your favorite bread and place a piece of baked chicken caprese on top.
- Add some pasta: Make a full Italian meal and add this dish to pasta.
- Use cherry tomatoes: If you have cherry tomatoes on hand feel free to use them, you don’t even have to cut them first.
What to Serve with Chicken Caprese?
Easy baked chicken caprese is a healthy, one pan meal that pairs well with so many sides.
How to Store
Store: Store leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I prefer to store chicken breasts whole to retain the most moisture.
Reheat: For best results, heat oven to 350 F, place chicken in a casserole dish, and reheat. You can also microwave until just warm.
Freeze: Cool baked caprese chicken completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I recommend removing the tomato before freezing as it will turn mushy when thawed.
Thaw in the fridge overnight or on a counter for a few hours. Top with fresh tomato and heat in oven.
Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, caprese chicken will need to bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 F.
Insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part, chicken is fully cooked when it reads 165 F.
You should bake chicken breasts at a higher temperature to seal in the juices. For this reason I prefer baking at 400 F.
They also cook faster than at 350 F and you always end up with juicy chicken breast.
Dry or rubbery caprese chicken is a result of overcooking. The longer it cooks the more moisture it loses.
More Chicken Recipes to Try
Baked Chicken Caprese
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 pounds
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced into 8 rounds
- 3 large tomatoes sliced into 8 rounds
- Handful fresh basil finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover with a plastic wrap and pound lightly with a meat mallet or rolling pin until even thickness.
- Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning evenly on both sides.
- Preheat large cast iron skillet on medium heat and swirl olive oil to coat. Add chicken breasts and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Transfer skillet with chicken to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and top each chicken breast with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese followed by tomato slices on top.
- Bake for another 5 minutes and broil for a few more minutes, if you wish, to get tomatoes more wilted.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze, garnish with basil and serve hot.