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This chicken Caprese recipe comes together fast and is irresistible with tender chicken, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, plenty of cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Can’t get enough of these summery flavors? Try my Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad, these Simple Caprese Crostini, or Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe next!

chicken caprese close-up in a skillet

What is chicken Caprese?

“Caprese” is an adjective that simply means from the island of Capri, Italy. In food terms, it denotes a recipe that has a classic flavor profile of mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and sweet basil. This Caprese chicken is a riff off the popular Italian Caprese salad, and it’s so cheesy and flavorful!

This is the ideal warm weather meal since you can use up fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden or local farmers’ market. It’s made all in one skillet and seamlessly goes from stovetop to your oven for an effortless, simple 30-minute dinner.

What you’ll need

  • Chicken breasts – we’re using two cut into four smaller cutlets so they cook faster
  • Garlic powder – along with salt & pepper, we’re seasoning the cutlets directly to infuse savory flavor
  • Olive oil – for pan frying
  • Chicken broth – makes the tasty base of the sauce
  • Spinach – a bed of spinach gives some freshness
  • Mozzarella – it’s a great melting cheese
  • Tomatoes – use whatever kind looks best that you can find and is ripe and in season! I don’t have a particular variety I use for this recipe.
  • Basil – there’s nothing better than fresh basil in the summer
  • Balsamic glaze – for that tangy sweetness. I use Nonna Pia’s brand of balsamic glaze. It’s much thicker than balsamic vinegar, almost like a syrup consistency, and has a much more mellow taste. You can find balsamic glaze in the oil and vinegar aisle, or try the salad dressing section if you can’t find it there. Or whip up a Homemade Balsamic Reduction.

How to make chicken Caprese

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

pan frying chicken and spinach in a cast iron skillet

Preheat the oven. Cut the chicken in half lengthwise and season it. Sear the chicken in the oil until golden. Transfer it to a plate, then add the chicken broth and spinach to the skillet and cook until it starts to wilt.

adding mozzarella to chicken in a skillet

Place the chicken back in the skillet and top with mozzarella, then transfer it to the oven and bake until the cheese is melty and the chicken is cooked through. I like to broil it too for a bit of browning.

topping chicken caprese with tomatoes and fresh basil

Take the pan out of the oven and top the chicken with tomato slices, fresh basil, and a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze!

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • Chicken is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Use an instant read digital thermometer to ensure it isn’t overcooked or undercooked. Keep in mind that it continues to cook as it rests, so if it’s around 160F when you take it out of the oven, it should be perfectly done by the time you’ve topped the chicken with the tomatoes/basil/balsamic.
  • I love my Le Creuset skillets and use them all the time. I highly recommend adding an oven-proof skillet to your collection if you don’t have one.
  • I use cooking tongs to easily turn the chicken while searing it.

Substitutions and variations

  • Omit the spinach if you wish. It’s an easy way to get more greens and the flavors go well together, so I added it. If you don’t want the spinach, I’d skip adding the chicken broth as well, leave the chicken in the pan, and go straight to step 6.
  • You can use fresh mozzarella (the kind that comes in balls and you slice) if you prefer, but I like the way the shredded stuff melts past just the chicken and onto the spinach.
  • To amp up the flavor even more, try adding in a layer of my Easy Homemade Pesto Sauce!

What to serve with chicken Caprese

Leftovers and storage

  • Leftovers of this chicken will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep in mind the spinach and basil will wilt, though.
  • Reheat in a small saucepan over a low heat until warmed through. You could also give it a bit of time in the oven to melt the cheese again.
  • I wouldn’t recommend freezing leftovers of this one because of the dairy.
caprese chicken in a skillet on marble background

Did you make this balsamic chicken Caprese recipe? Please leave a star rating and review below! You can always tag me on Instagram with your creations as well.

chicken caprese close-up in a skillet
5 from 10 votes

Easy Chicken Caprese

This chicken Caprese recipe comes together fast and is irresistible with tender chicken, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, plenty of cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes sliced
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil or more, to taste
  • Balsamic glaze to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 400F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
  • Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner pieces. Sprinkle both sides of each piece with the garlic powder and salt & pepper (be generous).
  • Add the oil to an oven-proof skillet and let it heat up for a few minutes so it's nice and hot. Add the chicken and cook for about 4-5 minutes/side or until it's golden but not quite cooked through (chicken will finish cooking in the oven). Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Add the chicken broth to the skillet and scrape up any brown bits. Add in the spinach and toss with the broth for about a minute or so (it'll start to wilt).
  • Turn the heat off and add the chicken back into the pan, on top of the spinach.
  • Top the chicken with the mozzarella.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 5 minutes, then broil for a few minutes until the cheese has browned lightly (watch it carefully). If you don't want to broil, bake the chicken for 6-8 minutes or so, or until the cheese has melted and the chicken has cooked through. Take care not to overcook the chicken.
  • Take the skillet out of the oven and top the chicken pieces with the tomato slices, basil, and drizzle the balsamic glaze on (I add about a teaspoon or so to each piece of chicken). Serve immediately with the spinach and pan juices. Season with extra salt & pepper as needed.

Notes

  • If your chicken breasts are on the smaller side, keep them intact and use 4 of them. Cook time may need adjusting a bit. Chicken is safe to eat at 165F. Use an instant read thermometer for perfect chicken every time.
  • If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the chicken to a baking dish just prior to putting it in the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 382mg, Potassium: 730mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2898IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 178mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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22 Comments

  1. SherronGladden says:

    5 stars
    Second time making this. We love the fresh favors. I do think the shredded mozzarella is the way or go.

    1. Natasha says:

      So glad you like this one! 😀

  2. Jenn L says:

    5 stars
    I tried this one tonight – I’m so afraid to overcook the chicken and then I panic that
    It’s undercooked, but it wasn’t. Fresh basil is hard to come by in my area for some reason, I ended up with a jarred chopped version that I spread on like a pesto and layered underneath the mozzarella. I think I would prefer fresh mozzarella rather than melted – next time! The spinach was delicious cooked in the pan juices. I’ll try this one again!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so glad you liked it!! Do you have an instant read thermometer? They’re a game changer.

  3. AngelaML says:

    5 stars
    Hi Natasha,

    I love anything Caprese! I waited to make this recipe until tomatoes were in season and it was so worth the wait! I loved it. Served it over rice.

    The spinach was a nice add. Next time I will take your tip to also add a layer of pesto (another fav).

    Huge hit in our family. Thank you!

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!! In-season tomatoes make all the difference. Glad you enjoyed it, Angela. 😀

  4. Allison says:

    Do you prepare a balsamic glaze or is it already bottled ready to use?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! It’s a bottled one… it’s explained in the blog post (exact brand I use and what to do if you want to make one). Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. Val Williams says:

    5 stars
    What a wonderful recipe! Once again you did not disappoint! My husband and I both enjoyed the chicken with all of the ingredients for Caprese Salad! The drizzle of balsamic glaze was the perfect touch. I cooked according to the recipe with the exception of the spinach which i didn’t have on hand. I was heavy handed with the garlic powder and used a garlic infused olive oil which always makes things better! Thank you for creating new recipes! Keep them coming!

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      Hi Val, we’re thrilled you enjoyed it! That garlic infused olive oil sounds amazing. Thank you so much for the 5-star review and for being a reader 🙂

  6. Amanda says:

    5 stars
    Just got back from a vacation where I spent the whole time indulging and eating super unhealthy, and I needed something healthier and easy to make to get me back on track. This was perfect! So easy and restaurant-quality! Thank you!!

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome, Amanda! 😀

  7. Stephanie Steinman says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner and loved it! Going to add it to the regular rotation. Only thing I did differently was dice up the tomatoes to make almost a bruschetta topping. Delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      Fabulous! Love that idea.

  8. Jenny says:

    5 stars
    I made this dish for my family of 5 with three kids 9 and under. They thought they didn’t like tomatoes until this dish. They gobbled it up without complaint! It took making it twice for them to even realize they were eating a load of spinach too. My husband and I love caprese salads, so we loved this too. Five stars, it’s a new dish in the rotation!

    1. Natasha says:

      That makes me so happy!! 😀 Thanks for letting me know, Jenny!

  9. Adele says:

    5 stars
    Yep! Easy…yummy. My chicken breasts were fatties..I sliced them as you said, but pounded them too. I always over cook chicken. This time I really tried hard not to as you said. I think these are very much like chicken parmigiana, but so much less work and I didn’t miss the breading. Again, yum! Thanks Natasha, your hard efforts have become my go to.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂 And thank you so much.

  10. Angelina says:

    5 stars
    EXACTLY as I always make them. Absolutely delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      So happy you liked it!! 🙂 Thank you!