Caprese lovers – this one’s for you! It has all the flavors of your favorite caprese salad just turned into a simple and delicious chicken dish!
Looking for a simple chicken dinner that tastes delicious and is easy to make? I’ve got you covered loves! This baked balsamic chicken breast recipe is one of my family’s go-to meals AND it’s out-of-this-world tasty too! (Seriously, even Charlie’s asked for it multiple times now, which just tells me that it’s a winner for sure! 😉 ) But it’s so easy to see why! There’s minimal ingredients ✔, everything can easily be prepped beforehand ✔, it takes no time at all to cook ✔ and it’s served with the best caprese salsa too!
Ingredients for balsamic chicken with caprese salsa
- Chicken breasts: Use boneless skinless chicken breast for this recipe.
- Balsamic vinegar: Adds flavor and helps to “tenderize” your chicken.
- Dijon mustard: Adds a little bit of tang to your marinade.
- Dried thyme: Adds some zest and really brings out the balsamic flavor!
- Garlic salt: I love using cracked garlic salt for this dish because you get bigger pieces of salt and garlic. (You can also use regular garlic salt or cracked sea salt instead too.)
- Caprese salsa: Helps take this chicken dish from drab to fab! 😉 (See below for the directions and ingredients!)
How to bake balsamic chicken in the oven
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Then place your chicken breasts in a large plastic bag and whisk your marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Pour your marinade into the bag with your chicken and let them marinade for at least 30 minutes – all day. (If you’re running short on time, you can always skip the “marinating” step and put them straight in the dish with your marinade completely covering the chicken. Marinating them just helps to infuse the chicken with it’s flavor more.)
- Once the chicken is done marinating, pour the chicken breasts and their marinade into your prepared dish and season them with cracked garlic salt & pepper.
- Then place the dish in the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 145 degrees. Take your chicken out of the oven and serve immediately with your caprese salsa.
How to make the best caprese salsa for your balsamic chicken
Alright loves, when I say I could easily eat this salsa as a meal all on it’s own…I really mean it! It’s soo good! And so easy to make too! Here’s everything that you’ll need:
- Cherry tomatoes: Look for tomatoes that are bright red, round and plump for the best flavor! (You can also replace them with diced larger tomatoes if you prefer)
- Mozzarella pearls: Since this is meant to be a salsa, try using the smallest balls of mozzarella you can find. Or you can also cut a larger mozzarella ball into smaller cubes too!
- Fresh basil: Always, always, always use fresh basil whenever you’re making any type of caprese! It brings so much freshness to your dish and makes it look so colorful and pretty too!
- Red onion: Adds a little bit of crunch/texture to your salsa! (Make sure to chop your onion pretty finely so it’s flavor doesn’t over power the rect of your ingredients.)
- Balsamic vinegar: Can also be replaced with a store bought balsamic glaze instead. (My recipe has us reducing the balsamic vinegar down into a glaze which I personally love because we get a bolder more “vinegary” flavor that’s less sweet than more store bought glazes. I know that probably sounds difficult, but it’s really so easy and only takes about 5-10 minutes too!)
To make your salsa: Add your balsamic vinegar to a small pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, lower your heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 6-7 minutes. (It should reduce down by half and become a thicker glaze.) Then transfer your glaze to a bowl and let it cool completely in the fridge. Once it’s cool, add your tomatoes, mozzarela pearls, basil and onion to bowl and drizzle your desired amount of balsamic glaze over the top. Toss it to coat and keep it chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to eat!
Tips for making a homemade balsamic glaze
- Don’t overcook your balsamic vinegar! This glaze can go from perfect to burned very fast so I would suggest pulling it off the burning before your think it’s actually done. (You can always simmer it longer to reduce it down more but you can’t “un-reduce” it. 😉 )
- Use the “spoon test” to tell if the glaze is done! You’ll know it’s done if the glaze lightly coats the back of a spoon. If the glaze is too thin and doesn’t stick, then keep reducing the vinegar until it does. If it’s too thick and sticky then your glaze is overcooked and most likely burned.
- Keep your glaze chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to use it! It longer your glaze cools the thicker it will become. (Sometimes I’ll put it in the freezer if I’m running short on time.)
Why you’ll love this baked balsamic chicken with caprese salsa
- It’s so easy! You can marinate your chicken ahead of time and have your caprese salsa chilling in the fridge. Then when you’re ready to eat, just place your chicken in a pan, bake it and serve it with your salsa and an extra side!
- It’s a great dinner option for busy weeknights! Because everything can be prepped ahead, all you have to do is throw the chicken in the oven when you get home!
- It’s so flavorful! Balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard are already super tasty on their own, but when you combine them together it’s like a match made in taste-bud heaven!
- It’s great for leftovers too! This meal can easily be packaged up for a quick work lunch or even a fun picnic lunch too!
- Make it lactose free! Believe it or not you can actually make this lactose free too! Just use your favorite lactose free log of mozzarella and cut it into cubes for your salsa! This is our favorite to use – Buf Creamery. (⬅ The mozzarella log is at the bottom of the page.)
I hope you all love this baked balsamic chicken recipe just as much as my family does!
More recipes you might like:
- Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
- Crispy Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings
- BBQ Turkey Meatballs
- Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes & Mozzarella
- Baked Sugar Spiced Salmon
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]
Baked Balsamic Chicken with Caprese Salsa
For the balsamic dijon chicken:
- 4 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Garlic salt & black pepper, to taste
For the caprese salsa:
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 8oz package mozzarella pearls
- ½ cup fresh basil, sliced thin
- ¼ of a red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar*
- Salt & pepper, to taste
To make the caprese salsa:
- Pour your balsamic vinegar into a small pot and bring it to boil. Once boiling, reducing the heat to medium low and let the vinegar simmer for 4-5 minutes. (It should reduce down by half and be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.) Pour your balsamic glaze into a glass jar and place it in the fridge until it cools completely. (It will thicken the more it cools.)
- Once it's cool, add your tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, basil and onion to a bowl and drizzle your desired amount of glaze over the top. Toss it to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep your salsa chilled in the fridge while you prepare the chicken.
To make the balsamic chicken:
- Mix your balsamic vinegar, mustard and dried thyme together in a bowl and pour it into a large plastic bag. Then place your chicken breasts in the bag and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Once the chicken is done, place them and the marinade in your prepared dish and season them with garlic salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake the chicken for 20-22 minutes. Serve it immediately with your caprese salsa.