Disclaimer: we’re going to say the word caprese a lot in this recipe. We love it that much. We’ve done Caprese Pasta, Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, and even the brunch classic Caprese and Smashed Avocado Toast. Now we’re doing it again with this Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast. You’ve probably heard of a caprese salad: tomatoes, usually a cherry or grape variety cut in half, served with torn basil leaves, high-quality fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper. Quintessentially Italian in both simplicity and flavor! We’ve taken this flavor trio of sweet tomato, fragrant basil and mozzarella to create an elegant chicken recipe. Swoon.
Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast: The Chicken
This recipe may initially look a little intense, but it’s actually incredibly quick and easy to make. It only takes a few minutes to assemble. A few tips to pulling it off: When you’re cutting your chicken into a pocket, ensure you keep your hand firmly on top of each breast. You’ll also need to be careful not to cut through the breast or you may find cheese melting rather dramatically out into your skillet. Having a sharp knife is essential here.
If your chicken breast is particularly large or you’re having trouble stuffing it, feel free to use a meat tenderizer to flatten the meat slightly. You can also use a tooth pick, some metal skewers, or even string to hold the chicken pocket closed until you’re ready to cook.
Some recipes direct you to bake stuffed chicken in the oven, but we recommend searing the breasts for five minutes before transferring them to the oven. Browning the meat not only gives you that lovely, crisped, caramelized exterior, but it also seals in the meat’s juices, ensuring a tender finish. You’ll know when your stuffed chicken is finished cooking if the juices run clear when you cut into it.
A final note on your chicken: Don’t be afraid to be liberal with the salt and pepper. Without a marinating process, it’s important you sufficiently season a thicker cut like this.
Short on time?
You can make this stuffed chicken breast ahead of time. Prepare the chicken breast and stuff it as instructed. Wrap the raw stuffed chicken breast in plastic wrap and store it in a plastic bag. You can even put it in the freezer for up to one month. To cook it, thaw it in the fridge overnight and proceed with the cooking instructions in the recipe card.
Wondering what to serve with this Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast? There a several obvious candidates: orzo pasta coated in olive oil, or perhaps a green salad with spinach, chard, a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Could I suggest further pursuing the caprese theme? Don’t laugh. We created this Grilled Eggplant Caprese with Garlicky White Bean Puree: slow cooked beans with thick strips of grilled eggplant, all topped with (you guessed it) a beautiful caprese tower. Alternatively, we love this Caprese Quinoa Salad with it’s garbanzo beans, cucumbers, and all the fresh basil that keeps us coming back to these Italian flavors.
Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast
- 4 6 to 8 ounce chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- 2 medium sized roma tomatoes sliced into 1/4 inch circles
- 3/4 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 2 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Carefully slice the chicken breast horizontally in the center to create a pocket. Divide the tomatoes evenly between the chicken breasts and place them inside the pocket of each breast. Stuff the cheese inside the pocket with the tomatoes. Season the outside of the chicken breast with the salt and pepper.
- TIP: If the pockets are not staying closed after stuffing, use a tooth pick to hold the chicken pocket closed until after cooking.
- In an oven safe skillet, heat the olive oil on high heat. Once hot, quickly sear the stuffed breasts on one side until it's lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Very carefully, turn the breasts. Place the skillet into the oven to finish cooking the chicken, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle it with the fresh basil. Drizzle each chicken breast with the balsamic vinegar before serving.
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