Grilled Chicken Caprese, a delicious twist on the classic Italian salad! The chicken first takes a balsamic marinade bath to get more tender. Then it is grilled and, wait for it, the balsamic vinegar caramelises. Finally, it’s topped with mozzarella and a delicious cherry tomato salad with basil of course. Simply delicious!
I always have cherry tomatoes in the fridge. They are tasty all year round and last longer than other tomato varieties, which makes them a great nutritious resource to have on hand. Also, if you have glanced over my About Me page, you will have seen that chicken breasts are probably another ingredient that I always have in the freezer.
Then, Jennifer from the Lemon Apron shared a Caprese Tortellini Salad which made me think… If a classic Caprese can turn into a delicious pasta salad, why couldn’t chicken turn into Chicken Caprese as well? And here we are.
Caprese Salad Turned into Grilled Chicken Caprese
Caprese salad is a traditional Italian salad made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil (yeap, the colours of the Italian flag). These are seasoned with salt and olive oil or a balsamic vinaigrette.
What are the changes then?
- Obviously added the chicken, but not a plain one. It’s marinated with a balsamic herby vinaigrette first.
- I’ve swapped the fresh mozzarella with low-moisture mozzarella slices. Low-moisture mozzarella melts quickly and releases less water, meaning that the caramelised balsamic vinegar from the chicken marinade will remain concentrated after adding the mozzarella (using fresh mozzarella would release water that, in turn, would dilute the caramelisation juices).
- The tomato, basil topping is dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette with a special addition, onion. This adds a delicious pungent touch to the chicken when combined in the mouth.
Cooking the Chicken to Perfection
You know I love grilling, but sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate or just feel like cooking indoors. You can cook the chicken on a grill, in a skillet on the stovetop, or in the air fryer, whatever works best for you. Here’s how to do it:
- Grill: Cook the chicken on a preheated, well-oiled grill over medium heat, about 190°C. Turn the chicken once after 5 minutes to cook evenly on both sides.
- Stove Top: Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 12-14 minutes, turning once halfway through, until cooked through.
You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. The minimum safe cooking temperature of chicken is (74°C)
If you want to bake your chicken breasts, that’s an option too! I highly recommend that if that’s the case, you take a look at this amazing blog post by Downshiftology, it’s literally called BEST BAKED CHICKEN BREAST (and it’s true).
What Tomatoes are Best?
Cherry tomatoes tend to be crisp and flavorful, even when they’re out of season, so they work great in such a recipe all year round. You can substitute other tomatoes, but ensure they are not too soft. They need to have a bite to contrast with the tenderness of the chicken.
Plum tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes would be a great option. I’d stay away from Monterosa variety for example, which is seedy and not as crunchy.
Can I Store Leftovers?
Absolutely! They keep very well in an air-tight container in the fridge. You should store the tomato salad separately from the chicken though.
You can prepare everything (the salad and cooking the chicken) up to 2 days in advance and keep it in the fridge. Just don’t add the mozzarella until the day you want to eat it. When you reheat the chicken breasts, then it’s time to add the mozzarella.
What Can I use the Tomato Salad with?
You can repurpose the salad and have it
- On pizzas
- On pasta, with Rocket Pesto it’d pair so well.
- In salads, like my Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- In wraps, such us this Mediterranean Spiced Chicken Wraps
- On toast, bruschetta style
- As a salad on its own to accompany other things, such as eggs
If you make this Grilled Chicken Caprese recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Grilled Chicken Caprese
- 2 chicken breasts
- Black pepper
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp dried parsley
- ¼ tsp dried rosemary
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 low-moisture mozzarella slices
- 250 cherry tomatoes - quartered
- 1 garlic clove - core removed and minced
- 2 tbsp onion - finely chopped
- A handful of basil - chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Marinate de Chicken
- Set the chicken breasts in a rimmed dish or baking pan. Season with salt, black pepper and the herbs on both sides. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and turn to coat on all sides, gently massaging the chicken with the marinade. Set it aside for 30 minutes, or cover and set in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- While the chicken marinates, prepare the tomato topping. Mix the tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, oil, vinegar and salt together in a bowl. Set aside or cover and keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Cook the chicken
- Heat a skillet over medium heat or preheat a grill. Set the chicken breasts on it and cook for about 6 minutes without moving them. Flip it and cook for another 5 minutes. See Notes.
- Top each chicken breast with a mozzarella slice, if using a skillet cover it and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.
- Serve the chicken on a plate. Spoon some tomato salad over it and serve the remaining in a bowl on the side.
- Cook time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts and heat source. To be precise, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 74°C.