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Grilled Chicken Caprese

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Grilled Chicken Caprese


Grilled Chicken Caprese is the ultimate summer dish that combines the smoky flavors of grilled chicken with the fresh, vibrant tastes of a traditional Caprese salad. This delightful combination not only looks stunning on your plate but also tantalizes your taste buds with every bite. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or looking for a light yet satisfying meal, Grilled Chicken Caprese is a go-to choice that never disappoints.

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History of Caprese Salad

The origins of the Caprese salad can be traced back to the island of Capri in Italy. Traditionally, this salad features fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves, all drizzled with olive oil. Its colors are a nod to the Italian flag, making it a patriotic dish as well as a delicious one. Over time, chefs around the world have put their own spin on this classic, leading to creative variations like the Grilled Chicken Caprese.

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Ingredients Needed

To make a mouthwatering Grilled Chicken Caprese, you’ll need the following fresh ingredients:

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  • Chicken Breasts: Opt for boneless, skinless cuts.
  • Tomatoes: Vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes offer the best flavor.
  • Fresh Mozzarella: Buffalo mozzarella is creamy and perfect for this dish.
  • Basil Leaves: Freshly picked for the most aromatic experience.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin for a robust flavor.
  • Balsamic Glaze: Adds a sweet and tangy finish.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.

Variations and substitutes can include using cherry tomatoes, swapping mozzarella for burrata, or adding a touch of garlic to the marinade for extra zing.

Health Benefits

This dish is not only delicious but also packed with health benefits. Grilled chicken is a great source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C and K, potassium, and antioxidants like lycopene, which is known for its cancer-fighting properties. Basil leaves offer anti-inflammatory benefits, and fresh mozzarella provides calcium and protein, making this a well-rounded and nutritious meal.

Preparation Tips

Choosing the Right Chicken Cuts

For the best results, choose boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. They cook evenly and are easier to handle on the grill.

Picking the Freshest Produce

When selecting tomatoes, look for ones that are firm but yield slightly to the touch and have a deep, vibrant color. For basil, the leaves should be bright green and free from dark spots.

Prepping Ingredients Ahead of Time

To make your cooking process smoother, marinate the chicken and slice the tomatoes and mozzarella ahead of time. This ensures that everything is ready to go when you start grilling.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Detailed Instructions for Grilling Chicken

  1. Marinate the Chicken: Combine olive oil, salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices you like. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the Grill: Aim for medium-high heat to get those perfect grill marks.
  3. Grill the Chicken: Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
  4. Rest the Chicken: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing to retain the juices.

Assembling the Caprese Salad

  1. Slice the Tomatoes and Mozzarella: Aim for even slices to ensure a balanced bite.
  2. Arrange on a Plate: Alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella, then tuck basil leaves in between.

Tips for Perfect Presentation

Drizzle olive oil and balsamic glaze over the salad. Garnish with a few whole basil leaves for a beautiful finish.

Marinating the Chicken

Marinating is crucial for flavor infusion. The best marinades often include a mix of olive oil, vinegar or citrus juice, garlic, and herbs. Letting the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours) allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, making it more tender and delicious.

Grilling Techniques

To achieve perfect grill marks, make sure your grill is preheated and the grates are clean. Cook the chicken over direct heat initially, then move to indirect heat to finish cooking. This method ensures that the outside is nicely charred while the inside remains juicy.

Creating the Caprese Salad

Slicing Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Use a sharp knife to slice the tomatoes and mozzarella evenly. Thick slices work best as they hold up better and provide a satisfying bite.

Arranging Basil Leaves

Place whole basil leaves between the tomato and mozzarella slices for a burst of flavor in every bite.

Combining Chicken with Caprese

Layering Ingredients

Start with a base of Caprese salad on a plate. Slice the grilled chicken and layer it on top of the salad. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also ensures that each bite includes a bit of everything.

Adding a Drizzle of Balsamic Glaze

Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a sweet and tangy contrast that ties all the flavors together.

Serving Suggestions

Grilled Chicken Caprese pairs wonderfully with light side dishes like a green salad, roasted vegetables, or a slice of crusty bread. For beverages, a crisp white wine or a refreshing iced tea complements the meal perfectly.

Tips for a Perfect Summer Meal

Outdoor Dining Tips

Set up a comfortable outdoor dining space with plenty of shade and seating. Keep your meal light and refreshing to match the summer vibe.

Keeping the Meal Light and Refreshing

Avoid heavy, creamy dishes that can weigh you down in the heat. Stick to fresh, vibrant ingredients that leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed.

Variations and Twists

Feel free to get creative with your Grilled Chicken Caprese. Add slices of avocado for a creamy texture, or try using different cheeses like feta or goat cheese for a unique twist. You can also incorporate other veggies like roasted bell peppers or zucchini for added flavor and nutrition.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overcooking the Chicken

Keep an eye on the grill to prevent the chicken from becoming dry and tough. Use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to perfection.

Using Out-of-Season Produce

The quality of your ingredients significantly impacts the final dish. Always use fresh, in-season produce for the best flavor and texture.


Grilled Chicken Caprese is a delightful and healthy dish that embodies the flavors of summer. By following these tips and tricks, you can create a meal that is not only delicious but also visually stunning. So, fire up the grill and treat yourself to this refreshing and satisfying dish. Your taste buds will thank you!


  1. How long should I marinate the chicken? Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, but for the best flavor, aim for 2-4 hours. You can marinate it overnight for maximum flavor infusion.
  2. Can I use a different type of cheese? Absolutely! While fresh mozzarella is traditional, you can experiment with other cheeses like burrata, feta, or even goat cheese.
  3. What’s the best way to store leftovers? Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 2-3 days for the best quality.
  4. Can this recipe be made ahead of time? Yes, you can marinate the chicken and prepare the Caprese salad ingredients ahead of time. Grill the chicken and assemble the salad just before serving to keep everything fresh.
  5. What other meats can be used in place of chicken? You can use grilled shrimp, steak, or even tofu as a substitute for chicken. Adjust the cooking times accordingly to ensure they are properly cooked.
Yield: 4

Grilled Chicken Caprese

Grilled Chicken Caprese

Grilled Chicken Caprese is the ultimate summer dish that combines the smoky flavors of grilled chicken with the fresh, vibrant tastes of a traditional Caprese salad. This delightful combination not only looks stunning on your plate but also tantalizes your taste buds with every bite. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or looking for a light yet satisfying meal, Grilled Chicken Caprese is a go-to choice that never disappoints.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices mozzarella
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 2 tablespoons basil, sliced
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar


  • Preheat grill to medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with italian seasoning, garlic and onion powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Spray the grill with non stick cooking spray and cook the chicken breasts until they are almost fully cooked.
  • Top each chicken breast with a slice of mozzarella. Close the grill and allow it to cook for a few additional minutes to melt.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and top with tomato and basil. Drizzle with the homemade balsamic reduction. Serve immediately and enjoy!

    Balsamic Reduction

  • Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Keep warm until ready to use.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402
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