This Easy Caprese Chicken Recipe is the ultimate summer grilled chicken recipe. It's perfect for the Caprese lover, and bonus, it's easy and healthy. It's made with perfectly grilled, char-tender chicken breasts tenderized in an easy pesto chicken marinade, topped with fresh mozzarella and adorable cherry tomatoes seasoned to perfection.
The Ultimate summer Grilled Chicken Recipe
This Caprese grilled chicken recipe is a classic and is perfect for grilling season! It takes only a few minutes to prepare this grilled chicken marinade and then only about 20 minutes to cook on the grill.
If you love the flavors of Caprese, you are going to love this Chicken Caprese Recipe. I'll show you how to use up those summer-fresh tomatoes from your garden along with a few recipe variations that will keep you coming back for more.
Ingredients for Caprese Chicken
- Chicken Breasts- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You could also sub for chicken tenderloin if desired.
- Balsamic Vinegar Glaze Reduction- Add it to your chicken once it is done grilling or baking. Delicious!
- Mozzarella Cheese- Fresh Mozzarella is great in this recipe but really any mozzarella cheese will do.
Ingredients for Pesto Marinade
- Pesto-Prepared pest or make your own. This works great for an easy marinade.
- Olive Oil- This will make sure your chicken stays nice and moist as it's grilling. Not necessary if you plan to bake your chicken.
- Lemon Juice-Fresh lemon juice is best.
- Garlic Powder-Really the only seasoning you need since we use pesto as a base for the marinade.
- Salt- to taste.
- Cherry Tomatoes- cut the cherry tomatoes in half. If you have regular Roma or steak tomatoes from your garden, just dice them up into bite-sized pieces.
- Fresh Basil-Sliced thinly, this is a must for a great Caprese recipe.
- Lemon Juice- Fresh is best.
- Garlic Salt- or equal parts garlic powder and salt.
How To Make Pesto Chicken Marinade
This pesto chicken marinade recipe is so easy to throw together. It only takes a few minutes, you can save a few minutes by using a prepared pesto sauce or you can make your own homemade pesto sauce.
- Start by adding the pesto sauce. (I like to use the store-bought pesto from Costco but you can find prepared pesto in any grocery store. Sometimes it's by the specialty cheese. You can always find it by the refrigerated fresh pasta.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pesto sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk these ingredients together until combined.
- If your chicken breast is thick, for best results, lay chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer (a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy glass jar will work too), and pound the raw chicken breasts lightly to even out the thickness of the chicken breast. (This will ensure your chicken cooks evenly)
- Add the chicken breasts to the mixing bowl with the marinade or add a few chicken breasts to a ziplock bag and add the marinade. (Spill-proof method. Is there anything more exhausting than cleaning up raw chicken juices in the fridge?)
- Place the pesto chicken marinate in the fridge for 2-24 hours, until ready to cook.
Caprese is considered a salad made of mozzarella slices, tomatoes, basil and olive oil with Italian seasonings. When making chicken Caprese, these items are added to chicken breasts and grilled or baked.
1. Tenderize the chicken by using the flat side of a meat tenderizer to even out the thickness of the raw chicken breast.
2. Marinate chicken in the marinade for at least 2 hours.
3. Cook chicken on medium heat until the internal tempreture of the chicken is 165 degrees.
4. When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the heat and place it on a plate with foil over the top. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
What to serve with Caprese Chicken
- Rice- Lemon Herb Rice, Green Chile Rice Casserole, or Spanish Rice tastes amazing with this.
- Rolls- If you're wanting a quick roll recipe, try out dinner rolls, Brazilian cheese balls are fun and biscuits with garlic butter are always a hit.
- For more Caprese flavors, try our tomato bruschetta recipe.
Tips and Variations
- Use a prepared pesto or make your own.
- Use a different cheese such as Havarti, gruyere, pepper jack, or smoked white cheddar cheese.
- Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar reduction for a total blast of flavors.
- To ensure you have moist chicken, Tenderize the chicken by using the flat side of a meat tenderizer to even out the thickness of the raw chicken breast.
- Marinate chicken in the marinade for at least 2 hours.
- Cook chicken on medium heat until the internal tempreture of the chicken is 165 degrees.
- When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the heat and place it on a plate with foil over the top. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Easy Grilled Caprese Chicken
- 36 ounces Chicken Breast 4-5 medium sized chicken breasts
- 1 pinch Pepper to taste
- 1 pinch Salt to taste
Pesto Chicken Marinade
- 3 Tablespoons Pesto Prepared
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil Sliced Thinly
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp Garlic Salt
Other Caprese Chicken Ingredients
- 6 ounces Mozzerella Cheese
Pesto Chicken Marinade
- In a glass dish or gallon-sized ziplock bag, add the Pesto, 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, Garlic Powder and salt. Add the chicken breasts. Zip the bag closed and roll the chicken around to cover completely with the pesto marinade. Let the chicken marinate for 2-24 hours.
- When you're ready to grill, preheat the grill to about 325 degrees. Coat the grill with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the chicken breasts on the grill and cook on both sides for 4-6 minutes or until it's golden brown and 160 degrees Fahrenheit inside the chicken breast. (165 degrees is when the chicken is at a safe temp to eat but you still need to melt the cheese) Use a digital thermometer to ensure your chicken is done completely and not over-cooked.
- When the internal temp of the chicken reaches 160 degrees, place a slice or two of fresh mozzarella on the chicken and close the lid of the grill. Let the cheese melt and the chicken continue to cook until it reaches 165 degrees.
- Take the chicken off the grill, cover with the tomato mixture and let the chicken sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- To make the tomato basil mixture, cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Wash and pat dry the fresh basil, roll it up and slice thinly. Add the lemon juice and just a little garlic salt. Let this mixture sit until the chicken is ready. This can also be made a couple of hours ahead of time.
- When the chicken is done, spoon the tomato basil mixture on top of the grilled pesto chicken.
How to Bake Chicken Caprese
- Make the pesto marinade and marinate the chicken for 2-24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the chicken breasts in a 9 by 13" baking dish.
- Mix up the tomato mixture and top the chicken
- Add cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the internal tempreture of the chicken is 165 degrees.
- Remove from the oven and top with a balsamic glaze reduction (if desired) Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
More Grilled Chicken Recipes
- Rosemary Garlic Chicken Breasts Marinade
- Simple Oven Baked Chicken Breast
- Grilled Chicken Teriyaki
- 3 Citrus Chicken Marinade
- Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
- Garlic and Herb Drumsticks
- More Chicken Recipes
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We love this easy grilled Caprese chicken. It is the ultimate summer grilled chicken recipe. It's perfect for the Caprese lover, and bonus, it's easy and healthy. It's made with perfectly grilled, char-tender chicken breasts tenderized in a pesto chicken marinade, topped with fresh mozzarella and adorable cherry tomatoes seasoned to perfection. Your family is going to love this classic summer recipe!