Grilled chicken caprese is a recipe Patty and I make frequently in the summer. It’s a light and refreshing dish that comes together quickly with really fresh ingredients.
The recipe is based on Italian caprese salad. Grilled chicken topped with thinly sliced roma tomatoes, melted mozzarella cheese, fresh chopped basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. It’s an elegant dish packed with so much flavor and it’s really easy to prepare.
There are a few ways you can cook chicken caprese—grilled or baked. Baked chicken is a little more hands-off as you can throw everything in the oven. Grilling adds texture and flavor that’s really hard to beat. The steps are more or less the same.
Balsamic Reduction (Balsamic Glaze)
A balsamic reduction is made by simmering balsamic vinegar in a saucepan until it reduces and thickens. You’re essentially evaporating the water rendering a thicker sauce. Bring about 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
The sauce may not look thicker until it’s been removed from the heat for a few minutes. You can expedite the chilling process by placing the pan in an ice bath. If you boil it for too long, it can easily burn and char the bottom of the pan. A splash of warm water will help thin the sauce if it gets too sticky.
Perfect Grilled Chicken
Preheat your grill, clean the grates well, and lightly oil the grates with olive oil. Cook chicken breast on medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink and fully cooked through. Always use a digital thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is 165°F.
I like to use roughly 3/4 inch thick slices of chicken for best results. If your chicken is large and or very thick, slice in half lengthwise to form two thinner slices. Always use a freshly sliced ball of mozzarella cheese. It’s far superior to shredded and much more authentic. Dried basil cannot be substituted—it’s just not the same in terms of flavor. See recipe notes on alternatively baking chicken.
More Chicken Recipes
- Roasted chicken with butternut squash
- Grilled jerk chicken wings
- Grilled honey Sriracha chicken thighs
- Chicken thighs with lemon & rosemary
- Cilantro lime chicken thighs
- Chicken pesto panini with mozzarella
- Chicken pesto pasta
Grilled chicken topped with thinly sliced roma tomatoes, melted mozzarella cheese, fresh chopped basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. It’s a simple yet elegant dish packed with so much flavor.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast (keep under 3/4 inches thick, slice if possible)
- 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 medium roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick lengthwise
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 8–10 leaves fresh basil, chopped
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Clean the grates well and lightly oil with olive oil.
- Grill chicken for 5-7 minutes per side (lid closed) or until chicken is no longer pink and fully cooked through. Always use a digital thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is 165°F. See note below on alternately baking chicken.
- Top each piece of chicken with 1-2 slices of tomato (sprinkle tomatoes with a pinch of salt to really set it off) then 1-2 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Close the lid and grill for 2-3 more minutes or until cheese is warm and starting to melt.
- Remove from the heat, drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
- While chicken is cooking, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil, and reduce heat to low/simmer as soon as it bubbles. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced by half. The sauce may not look thicker until it’s been removed from the heat for a few minutes. A splash of warm water will help thin the sauce if it gets too sticky.
The recipe works best with 3/4 inch thick chicken. Make all slices uniform for the best results. Larger, thicker chicken breasts should be sliced in half to yield two thinner slicers.
To bake the chicken: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a baking sheet/dish and bake for 15-18 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165°F and meat is no longer pink. In the last 3 minutes, top with sliced tomato and cheese and bake until melted. Remove from the heat, drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 416
- Sugar: 0.9g
- Sodium: 361mg
- Fat: 17.7g
- Saturated Fat: 5.2g
- Carbohydrates: 1.5g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 61.4g
- Cholesterol: 157mg
Keywords: chicken with mozzarella and basil, chicken caprese