Fresh and flavorful, this easy chicken Caprese salad just might be the ultimate chicken dinner! (Especially during the summer!) Jump to the Chicken Caprese Salad Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
How to Make the Best Chicken Caprese with Juicy Chicken
We make this Caprese chicken regularly, especially when tomatoes are in season. It’s simple, fresh and takes full advantage of three of our favorite ingredients: tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese.
Say goodbye to boring dry chicken breasts. This recipe makes chicken that’s unbelievably tender, juicy and flavorful. It’s easy, too. Scroll down to see three easy tips for making it best!
Marinate the chicken breasts. Even the simplest marinade can make a huge difference — marinated chicken becomes moist, juicy and flavorful. Just 20 minutes in a marinade will make a difference. You could leave it for longer, but there is no need to go past 2 hours for chicken breasts (a whole chicken can marinate overnight). A resealable plastic bag or small rimmed dish makes marinating easy, too. In the recipe below, we marinate in a mixture of fresh lemon juice, garlic and basil. It’s simple, but makes a major difference to the end result.
Cook the chicken in a skillet with lid. That’s right, for the juiciest most tender chicken breasts, sear them on one side in a skillet. Flip then cover with a lid and cook over low heat until done. The whole process takes 15 to 20 minutes. We do this in our Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe with Cucumber Feta Salad. Based on the reviews, you guys agree that sear, flip and cover is the way to go when it comes to chicken breasts.
Give the tomatoes some time. Whether you are making this caprese salad or another tomato based salad, it’s really important to salt your tomatoes and then set them aside for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. As they sit with the salt, they become more flavorful and release some of their juices (also called tomato water). It’s this tomato water that turns into the dressing for our salad.
Take a look at the photo below, see all that juice in the bottom of the bowl? That’s flavor!! So much flavor. When the tomatoes are ready, you can throw in mozzarella cheese and some torn basil leaves. Spoon that on top of a bed of spinach and your juicy chicken breasts and you are set!
More Easy Recipes
- Take a look at our Quick Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
- This highly rated Fresh Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
- Our Garlic Basil Marinated Chicken Breasts baked alongside fresh tomatoes and finished with mozzarella cheese
- I also love this Extra Easy Caprese Salad (it’s the best!)
- Make meal time a breeze with these 10 easy baked chicken recipes. Featuring lemon chicken, roasted red pepper and basil chicken, chicken parmesan, easy baked chicken thighs and more!
Seriously Good Chicken Caprese Salad
Delicious warm or cold, this Caprese chicken salad is the ultimate summer dinner. Choose ripe, high-quality tomatoes for this. Mozzarella cheese is traditional for Caprese salad, but this is equally delicious with feta and creamy goat cheese. We prefer to leave balsamic vinegar out since it’s so strong it overwhelms the taste of the tomatoes. However, if the tomatoes you use are not at their best, balsamic vinegar or a balsamic glaze drizzled on top is a good option for adding sweetness (sherry vinegar is also nice).
You Will NeedLemon Basil Chicken Breasts
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, for cookingCaprese Salad
3/4 pound ripe tomatoes, at room temperature
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
Handful fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
2 cups baby spinach leaves
- Prepare Chicken
1Combine lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper flakes in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken breasts, seal the bag, and then move the chicken around the marinade so that it is completely coated. Marinate 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
2When ready to cook, brush extra garlic from the chicken and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan (with lid) over medium-high heat. As soon as the oil is hot and looks shimmery, add the chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Flip, reduce heat to low then cover with lid. Cook 10 to 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Transfer chicken to a plate then cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, slice, and then serve with the caprese salad.
- Make Caprese Salad
1About 20 minutes before serving make the caprese salad. Chop tomatoes into bite-size chunks then add to a medium bowl. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add olive oil, stir then set aside for 15 minutes so that the tomatoes release some juices. Taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper. Tear or cube the mozzarella cheese and stir into the tomatoes.
2To serve, make a bed of spinach on a plate, add the sliced chicken then spoon a generous amount of the tomatoes and mozzarella on top. Drizzle some of the liquid left at the bottom of the bowl over the salad. Finish with torn basil leaves and enjoy.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.