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Balsamic Caprese Chicken

3 Reviews

What’s funny about quick and easy dinner recipes using chicken breasts is that they often end up shredded in something. But Balsamic Caprese Chicken isn’t!

balsamic chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella over the top and a sprinkle of basil

Chicken is one of the easiest forms of protein to purchase and make for dinner, but how much chicken can you really eat before you are kind of sick and tired of it. No more chicken tacos and casseroles every day, chicken can totally be classy, flavorful and not shredded.

I mean, we love shredded chicken, but sometimes you just want something different.

Wait until you try this Balsamic Caprese Chicken. It’s marinated to add extra flavor, topped with juicy, red tomatoes to really bump up the freshness and then covered in gooey cheese. The whole thing is placed in the oven to melt the cheese and then drizzled with a balsamic reduction. We love to sprinkle on a little just picked basil as well because those herbs brighten up the whole dish.

Now I know that could sound like a lot, but you can bust this out in 30 minutes or less and I’ll prove it to you.

Balsamic Chicken Marinade

Our balsamic chicken marinade has come together from a lot of trying this and that over the years. It’s a very simple marinade made up of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt. That’s it! And I bet you always have those things on hand too!

How to Make a Marinade

The formula for a fantastic marinade is really easy: An acid ingredient, something like lemon juice or vinegar, combines with a fat ingredient, like vegetable or olive oil plus additional seasonings and herbs are combined along with meat and then sealed together in the refrigerator.

You can also tenderize your meat with ingredients, like yogurt, milk, buttermilk, honey, or pineapple juice. Use them in place of the acid ingredient or in combination with them.

  • What is a good marinade for chicken?

While we are talking about marinades for chicken, can we share a few of our favorites?

  1. Asian Ginger Marinade for Grilled Chicken
  2. Grilled Hawaiian Chicken
  3. Quick Grilled Chicken with Oregano
  4. Honey Lemon Basil Chicken
  5. Tuscan Grilled Chicken Kabobs
  6. Sweet and Saucy Grilled Chicken Thighs

balsamic chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella over the top and a sprinkle of basil

When to Marinate Chicken

Whenever we pass a good marinade recipe on to someone they seem to immediately ask when to marinate chicken. That’s a very good question, and one that doesn’t have a perfect answer, so I’ll do my best to cover it all. Before I do, please know that different kinds of meat call for different guidelines, so this will only cover when to marinate chicken.

  • How Long to Marinate Chicken?

Generally, two hours of marinating is long enough for the meat surface to soak up the flavors, but I’ve found that closer to 4 hours is better with breasts.

  • How long can you keep raw chicken marinating in the refrigerator?

Let me tell you what, I’ve had dinner canceled, then forgot about marinating chicken and 3 days later wondered if I dared cook it. Now I’ve got the answer, you can safely leave marinated chicken in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, and that’s according to the USDA.

  • How Long is Too Long to Marinate Chicken?

You absolutely can over marinade and that’s often anything over 24 hours. In fact, pretty much always over 24 hours. I’m going to be really bold here and blow your minds, you do NOT marinate meat in order to let the flavors soak all the way through the meat, in fact marinades will never hit the center. Instead, a marinade allows the first thing that gets cooked in a pan to caramelize and increase the flavor.

However, the longer the meat marinates the more the meat will turn mushy and stringy. Have you ever had that happen? You marinate meat and then when you grill it it’s not what you expected? You took it too far. Stick with 1-4 hours, overnight if you must.

balsamic chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella over the top and a sprinkle of basil

Balsamic Reduction

  • What is a balsamic reduction

Balsamic reduction, or balsamic glaze as some people call it is a simple sauce or syrup that is created simply by simmering balsamic vinegar until it thickens. You can also add a touch of sugar.

  • How long to cook balsamic reduction

You will want to simmer your balsamic vinegar for 10-15 minutes after first bringing it to a boil. I’ve found cooking it in a wider pan like a high lipped skillet will also reduce things faster than a tall pot. Just make sure that towards the end you keep a close eye as the liquid can go from thick to burned quickly.

  • How to store balsamic reduction

Does balsamic reduction have to be refrigerated?

Store balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze) in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

balsamic chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella over the top and a sprinkle of basil

  • How long does balsamic reduction keep

Balsamic reduction, and this should make you very happy, does not expire. With time it will slowly lose flavor so it’s not perfect, but it does last a long time. And that’s pretty darn good news considering how strong it is to boil down.

  • Why won’t my balsamic reduction thicken?

Every once in a blue moon I’ll reduce my balsamic vinegar to make a balsamic glaze and it remains thin and liquid, so what happened?

I’m not totally sure. I do know that the lower quality the more it has happened.

There’s also the matter of under simmering in too large of a pot. Or one, or the other. If it’s a deep pot with a lot of vinegar it takes longer to heat the whole thing and reduce it. You also can under simmer, forgetting how much liquid was in the pan and not fully reducing it.

Finally, you must let the balsamic glaze cool, even in the fridge if your kitchen is too warm. It’s the cooling process that truly thickens the balsamic reduction.

balsamic chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella over the top and a sprinkle of basil

More Marinated Chicken Dishes You’re Sure to Love:



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balsamic chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella over the top and a sprinkle of basil

Balsamic Caprese Chicken

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 14 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
What's funny about quick and easy dinner recipes using chicken breasts is that they often end up shredded in something. But Balsamic Caprese Chicken isn't!


  • 4 Chicken Breasts boneless, skinless
  • 2 Tomatoes sliced
  • Mozzarella Fresh, sliced
  • Basil Leaves Fresh


  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Basil Dried
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • Dash of Black Pepper

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar


  • In a ziploc bag, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken, pressing out the air and sealing.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the balsamic reduction
  • In a high lipped skillet, over medium high heat, add the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes and remove from the heat to cool and thicken.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge.
  • Heat a grill to medium high heat or heat the oven to 350.
  • Place the chicken on the grill and turn down to medium heat. Cook for 6-7 minutes per side.
  • In the oven method, merely put the chicken in a pan and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and top with two slices of tomato per breast and mozzarella cheese.
  • Place under a broiler until melted.
  • Remove the chicken to a place and drizzle with the balsamic reduction and sprinkle with basil, as well as a crack of black pepper if desired.


left overs should be kept in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Balsamic Caprese Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 441 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 714mg31%
Potassium 1041mg30%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 49g98%
Vitamin A 580IU12%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

balsamic chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella over the top and a sprinkle of basil

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • I’m looking to make this for a wedding reception. Question…how do you get it seared in the oven without it getting dry?


    • Reply
    • You won’t get the nice sear on the outside if you do the oven method. You could do a sear on both sides on the stove top, and then bake them the rest of the way through.

      • Reply
    • Can the chicken be cooked entirely on the stove top so it will have a nice sear? If so, could you give instructions, temperature, time per side?
      Thank you!

      • Reply
      • Yes absolutely! It will be about the same as doing it on the grill. Medium high heat, 6-7 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your chicken.

  • This Balsamic Caprese Chicken looks and sounds great. Got to try it this week! I’m a newly separated man trying to learn how to cook good food.

    • Reply
    • Hey Chuck! This is a great recipe to start getting your feet wet in cooking. We hope you enjoy it, and we would love to hear what you think!

      • Reply

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