Who’s ready for a super simple Italian dish? This baked Caprese Chicken is foolproof and packed with gourmet flavor. Perfect for Sunday dinner or for next week’s meal prep lunches. It’s low carb, protein-rich, filled with flavor, and kid-friendly for the win. Ready for it?
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Low carb Italian can be hard
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, guys – but I’m feelin’ myself in the perfectly roasted cherry tomato department. That recipe (and the fact that I totally wanted something Italian) was my inspo for a delicious Caprese meal. Since we don’t eat pasta or all the heavy carbs you find in many traditional Italian dishes (omg, stuffed ravioli, lasagna, pasta…paaaaaaaaasta) I needed to come up with something much lighter. This baked Caprese chicken idea popped into my mind and I improved my way to a totally flavorful dinner.
The best part was that my 5-year old liked it too. She’s not a huge meat eater, so most chicken dishes are out. But, she tasted it and absolutely loved the super melty fresh mozzarella and sweet balsamic drizzle (surprise! It’s sugar-free!). We’re definitely making this again for family dinner night next week (dinner’s together as a fam on Wednesdays is our new ritual).
Great for meal prep
If you follow along, you know I meal prep and plan every Sunday. Anytime I find a recipe that makes all of that a bit easier, I’m doing cartwheels. This baked Caprese chicken was perfect for dinner the night I baked it and even better on day two (we popped the other two servings in meal prep containers and ate them for lunch the next day). If you feel like you need to bring more to the dish, you can easily add some steamed broccoli (I’m a steam-in-microwave bag gal…because I’ve got zero time to deal with a full head of broccoli) or another veggie you love, lovity love.
Bake in simple stages
Most of my recipes involve one round of baking, but this one requires a few stages to reach its full potential (don’t worry, it’s not like ten hours of extra work or anything!). I roast the chicken in the first stage (20 minutes) to make sure it gets a nice bake before I go on to the next. In stage 2, I add the cherry tomatoes and roast for an additional 20 minutes. This gives the chicken a solid 40 to roast through, allowing the cherry tomatoes to burst a bit without getting too mushy.
The last stage is the Mozzarella and basil. I top the chicken and cherry tomates with the fresh mozzarella and basil and pop it back in the oven for just a few minutes to get its melt-on. While it may seem like a lot, I promise you it’s not cumbersome at all. I’m the queen of easy-peasy and know you need that too!
Sugar-free balsamic glaze optional
If you don’t feel like adding anything sweet to the dish you can totally skip the sugar-free balsamic glaze. I personally have no plans of every skipping it because that hint of sweetness went a long way in pulling all of those delicious Caprese flavors together.
A true balsamic glaze takes an additional 15 plus minutes to prepare. So, instead, I simply whisked a little stevia into regular ol’ balsamic vinegar and drizzled it over the baked Caprese chicken. It’s not thick and syrupy, like a traditional glaze, but it does add the flavor without all of that added sugar.
Fresh basil makes this dish
Basil is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and part of the mint family (who knew?). It’s common in Italian dishes and the hero in most Caprese style dishes. There are tons of basil varieties out there, but the stuff you’ll find most commonly in your local grocery store is Sweet Basil (also the most commonly used in cooking). That’s what I used for this recipe.
While I love fresh herbs, I usually steer clear from them because I find it annoying to prep them for quick dinners. Something about washing, drying, trying to figure out how to get them in tiny pieces…I don’t wanna. That said, I did get a little wild for this baked Caprese chicken dish. And, if I can encourage you to do anything with this recipe, it’s to go with the fresh basil. You don’t have to chop it or do anything crazy other than making sure it’s clean. I put whole leaves into the roasting pan (and we even added fresh ones to our plates just before we took our first bite).
Do it. You won’t be disappointed.
Baked Caprese chicken recipe
The recipe for my Baked Caprese Chicken is below. A few hot tips: Choose a baking dish that gives a small amount of space once you place your chicken breasts in. You want it small enough so that the cherry tomatoes have a chance to burst and marinate the meat while cooking, but not so big that the meat and tomatoes are flying solo in the pan. Also, grape tomatoes work nicely with this dish, but heirloom tomatoes or regular ol’ cherry tomatoes would work fine too. Choose your own adventure!
*As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Post may contain affiliate or referral links. I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, which helps me continue on this fabulous journey of blogging! Full disclaimers avail. here.