by Olena

Caprese Chicken and Zucchini

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 21 votes

Caprese Chicken and Zucchini cooked in fresh tomato sauce, with melted fresh mozzarella cheese on top and garnished with basil. Serve on its own for an easy low-carb dinner or with spaghetti for a family meal. In our house, everyone loves this fresh ingredient Italian Ukrainian summer dinner.

Like one-pan chicken dishes similar to this chicken zucchini tomato recipe? You might also like this chicken breast and tomatoes, one-pan chicken and veggies (or chicken and potatoes), or even roasted thighs and potatoes!

Caprese Chicken and Zucchini

Fresh and Healthy Caprese Chicken and Zucchini

Combining chicken and zucchini is one of my favorite summer dinners! The combination makes a fantastic one skillet meal and there are so many combinations I have made using lean chicken breast and fresh summer zucchini. If you are new here, you absolutely have to try the most popular Pinterest recipe of mine – Tex Mex chicken and zucchini.

Every year I come up with a different flavor profile. And this year, we have an Italian-Ukrainian-inspired low carb dinner; a chicken Caprese with zucchini. And if you love the combination of tomatoes and zucchini as much as I do, you might also like this zucchini tomato bake or zucchini pasta dish.

First, we make easy fresh tomato sauce with garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar. Then we simmer cubed chicken and zucchini in it. Top it off with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, wait until it melts, and top with more fresh basil and freshly cracked pepper. To die for!

Kids and husband gobbled it up with spaghetti. And I enjoyed probably 1.5 servings on its own. Winner, winner chicken {and zucchini} dinner!

Zucchini has become a quick favorite in this house for its neutral flavor and ability to bulk up all kinds of meals with color and nutrition. In fact, I have over a dozen recipes with zucchini on this blog including chicken zucchini casserole, lemon dill shrimp with zucchini and peas, chicken, corn and zucchini, and tons more (check the bottom of the post for more suggestions).

Why This Chicken Zucchini Tomato Recipe Works?

  • Fresh ingredients: Using fresh produce and fresh basil really makes this dish shine and adds so much flavor! Fresh mozzarella (or buffalo mozzarella!) is delicate, light and has a milky-fresh taste that adds to the fresh, light taste of this Italian meal.
  • Healthy low carb meal: Low fat chicken breasts, healthy zucchini, fresh tomatoes – only 17g of carbs per 2 cup serving!
  • Easy one skillet meal: Making dinner in one skillet means less time washing dishes and more time enjoying summer!
Caprese Chicken and Zucchini garnished with basil and balsamic glaze

Ingredients for Caprese Chicken Skillet

  • Chicken breasts or thighs: Boneless and skinless meat’s cook time is a perfect match for delicate zucchini. 
  • Zucchini or squash: Advice for summer – feel free to use dark green, light green, or yellow zucchini or squash. Doesn’t matter.

Any fresh summer squash works in this dish! The color does not matter, but choose smaller, thinner squash that is uniform in size for a total of 2 pounds.

  • Fresh or canned tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are the best as we cook them down into sauce. But you can also use 28 oz of canned diced tomatoes – please drain them.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese: Buffalo or fresh mozzarella cheese is a soft log-shaped white cheese in brine. It is traditional cheese used to make anything Caprese. Find this located (usually) in the deli area of your grocer with other artisan cheeses.
  • Basil: Fresh basil adds incredible flavor to this dish, and dried wouldn’t be the same. Use fresh parsley, if you wish.
  • Fresh garlic cloves: Fresh, fresh, fresh minced garlic is the best!
  • Pantry staples: Balsamic vinegar for depth of flavor, oregano for Italian taste and salt/pepper to season.

How to Make Caprese Chicken Breast, Zucchini and Tomatoes

  • Prep and chop ingredients. This moves this skillet recipe along in a timely manner, meaning dinner can be on the table even quicker!
  • Pick a large 12″ – 14″ skillet to cook this dish comfortably. I am using this skillet in 14″ size I got from Costco but can’t seem to find it online.
  • Cook chicken for about 10 minutes and push to the side – that’s why a large skillet is handy. 🙂
  • On the empty side, cook tomatoes with garlic and spices – they will cook down into fresh and quick homemade sauce. Make sure this part is over the burner.
  • Add zucchini, stir with chicken and sauce, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Do not peek in.
  • Add cheese and cover to melt for 5 minutes. Again, do not peek in – let heat do its job.

Tips for Best Chicken and Zucchini Skillet

  • Zucchini is ready when firm to the touch with a fork.
  • Do not overcook zucchini, as veggies will become soggy and dish watery.
  • If you don’t have fresh mozzarella, use shredded regular mozzarella cheese.
  • No fresh basil? Use fresh parsley but not dried basil.
  • Tomato paste adds a depth of flavor. You can skip it – still tasty but a bit less. 🙂

Fresh is really best for this light and flavorful caprese chicken skillet! If budget is of concern, pick and choose your fresh ingredients, I recommend basil and garlic!

Optional Add-ins

  • Diced onion: Add with garlic, could use red or sweet onion.
  • Sliced mushrooms: Use baby portobellos or white button mushrooms and add with zucchini.
  • Pesto: Stir in with zucchini, use homemade or store bought.
  • Sun dried tomatoes: Julienned or chopped, stir in with zucchini.
  • Avocado: Sliced avocado could be added right before serving for extra creaminess.
Caprese Chicken and Zucchini on a spoon

FAQs

What is chicken Caprese?

Chicken Caprese combines the classic Caprese salads flavor in a chicken dish. Insalata Caprese as it’s called in Italy, is an appetizer that usually contains layers of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. This salad was so named Caprese because it originated from the island of Capri, located off the coast of Naples. The colors also ironically mimic the Italian flag.

Of course, as it made its way to the state, the original salad has become Americanized and is served in a variety of ways, but always retaining some combination of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil and then often drizzled with balsamic.

How else can I enjoy Caprese?

Caprese food choices are found in abundance these days! You just can’t keep a classic taste contained only to a salad. Caprese sandwiches, paninis, toast, pasta salad, pork chops and even stuffed Caprese portobellos mushrooms are all ways you can use this classic Italian taste in new ways. I have even heard of making skewer appetizers with Caprese ingredients.

What else can I make with chicken and zucchini?

Now we are talking my love language. Chicken and zucchini are a match made in heaven. Here are a few of my favorites: Tex Mex zucchini chicken, zucchini skillet with chicken and corn and chicken zucchini casserole.

Is chicken zucchini tomato recipe low carb?

Yes! Total carbs per serving will be 17g. Now if you add cooked spaghetti noodles to serve it over, that will up the carb count, but as is enjoy a low carb, low fat healthy chicken skillet dinner.

Can I bake Caprese chicken skillet?

This specific recipe is made to be cooked all in one skillet for an easy weeknight dinner and I have not tested baking it. That being said, you could try baking your chicken breast – not cut into cubes – separately in oven following my recipe for baked chicken breast (or even meal prep chicken breast in the Instant Pot) and then making your fresh tomato, zucchini and fresh basil sauce in skillet. Once chicken is done, pour sauce over your chicken breasts, top with fresh mozzarella and pop back in the oven until mozzarella is melted. Garnish with drizzle of balsamic and additional basil. This method will be a lot more pans to wash – I encourage you to try it in the skillet to save some time!

You might also be able to try the method I outlined for baking in this chicken recipe with tomatoes.

What is buffalo mozzarella?

Buffalo mozzarella is made from the milk of Italian Mediterranean water buffalo. It is very creamy and flavorful. If you are unable to find this amazing cheese, fresh cows-milk mozzarella can be substituted. Tip: look in the deli section of your grocer for fresh artisan cheeses.

Caprese Chicken and Zucchini on white plate with black fork

Serving Recommendations

While this caprese chicken skillet could be considered a meal on its own for those enjoying lighter fare, a common question I get is ‘What can I serve with chicken caprese?’. Try the following options to feed your hungry family!

  • Whole wheat spaghetti noodles: As a mom, I eat less carbs for dinner than my husband and boys. For them, I cook spaghetti and it becomes a true Italian dinner. With Ukrainian twist.
  • Low carb: Alternately, you could serve with spaghetti squash to stay low carb but add a ‘noodle’.
  • Salad: A fresh side salad really will capitalize on using summer produce in your meal – lettuce salad , spinach salad or even try grilled romaine.
  • Potatoes: Again, when feeding hungry family members baked potatoes or mashed potatoes always fill them up!
  • Grains: Serve over rice or quinoa to soak up the fresh Caprese tomato, basil and cheese.
  • Side vegetables: Roasted cauliflower, asparagus or fresh green beans would also be delicious as a side.

Making Mozzarella Zucchini Skillet Recipe in Advance

Refrigerate leftovers in a glass airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

Do not freeze. Once thawed, zucchini will “leak” all liquid and become a mushy mess. If this recipe is too many servings for you, cut recipe in half and leftovers will keep well for lunch/dinner next few days.

Reheat in a covered ceramic non-stick skillet on low-medium heat, for about 5-7 minutes. I wouldn’t add any liquid or oil to it at first and then “play it by ear”.

More Zucchini Recipes to Try

You might also enjoy this healthy Tuscan chicken pasta (one pot!), tomato mozzarella salad, and this list of 65 healthy chicken recipes!

Caprese Chicken and Zucchini recipe
Caprese Chicken and Zucchini

Caprese Chicken and Zucchini {Easy Skillet Dinner!}

Caprese Chicken and Zucchini cooked in fresh tomato sauce, with melted fresh mozzarella cheese on top and garnished with basil. Serve on its own for an easy low-carb dinner or with spaghetti for a family meal. In our house, everyone loves this fresh ingredient Italian Ukrainian summer dinner.
5 from 21 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 377kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 lbs zucchini cut in to 1″ cubes
  • 9 oz fresh mozzarella cheese thinly sliced
  • 7 garlic cloves minced
  • 1.5 lb tomatoes sliced
  • 6 oz can tomato paste low sodium
  • 2 tbsp oil divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt divided
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Handful fresh basil thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat large deep skillet on medium heat and swirl 1 tbsp oil to coat. Add chicken, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once.
    Caprese Chicken and Zucchini
  • Move chicken to the side of the skillet and keep empty part over the burner. Add 1 tbsp oil, garlic and saute for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
    Caprese Chicken and Zucchini
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, oregano, 1/4 tsp salt and a handful of basil. Cook this “tomato pile” for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Caprese Chicken and Zucchini
  • Add zucchini, stir everything together, cover and cook on low-medium for 12 minutes.
    Caprese Chicken and Zucchini
  • Lay mozzarella slices on top, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
    Caprese Chicken and Zucchini
  • Sprinkle more basil and ground black pepper on top. Serve hot, on its own or with spaghetti, brown rice or quinoa.
    Caprese Chicken and Zucchini

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 – 4 days. Do not freeze.

    To reheat: Simmer on low heat in a skillet for 5 minutes covered. If you use non-stick skillet you should not need any water or oil to reheat the dish as zucchini will release water.

      Video

      Notes

      • Zucchini is ready when firm to the touch with a fork.
      • Do not overcook zucchini as veggies will become soggy and entire dish watery.
      • If you don’t have fresh mozzarella, use shredded regular mozzarella cheese.
      • No fresh basil? Use fresh parsley but not dried basil.
      • Tomato paste adds a depth of flavor. You can skip it – still tasty but a bit less. 🙂

      Nutrition

      Serving: 2cups | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 574mg | Potassium: 1129mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1568IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 265mg | Iron: 2mg
      Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes anywhere including social media, print and all world wide web. Nutritional info is provided for informational purposes only and to the best knowledge.

      Did you try this recipe?

      Follow @ifoodreal on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #ifoodreal. Show me what you are making!

      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

      This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy. ifoodreal.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!