Are you looking for easy chicken dinner recipe ideas? Caprese stuffed chicken is a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for any night of the week. It’s a simple recipe that combines the classic Caprese salad ingredients – fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil – with tender chicken breasts.
Why this recipe works
This recipe is perfect for a special occasion or just a regular weeknight dinner. It’s an easy, yet flavorful way to switch up your regular chicken dinner. This recipe works because the chicken breasts are stuffed with delicious caprese ingredients, such as fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and ripe tomatoes, which elevate the chicken to a whole new level. The chicken is seasoned with thyme and extra virgin olive oil, which gives it a nice, herby flavor. Plus, the dish is so easy to prepare and can be ready in just 30 minutes.
What is Caprese Stuffed Chicken
Caprese stuffed chicken is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that consists of boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves. The chicken breasts are cut in several places, seasoned with thyme and extra virgin olive oil and then filled with the caprese mixture. The chicken is then baked in the oven until cooked through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
The result is a mouthwatering dish that’s bursting with flavor and texture. The chicken breasts are tender and juicy, while the melted mozzarella cheese provides a creamy and savory taste. The sliced tomatoes and basil leaves add a refreshing and slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the chicken. The dish is simple, healthy, and easy to make, making it perfect for busy weeknight dinners!
Best ingredients for Caprese Stuffed Chicken
The key to making the best Caprese stuffed chicken is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: Choose chicken breasts that are roughly the same size and thickness, so they cook evenly.
- Fresh mozzarella cheese: Use high-quality, fresh mozzarella cheese that is firm enough to slice into thin rounds. This will help the cheese melt evenly and create a gooey, delicious filling.
- Tomatoes: Use ripe and juicy tomatoes for this recipe. I recommend using medium-sized tomatoes that can be sliced into thin rounds and fit nicely into the chicken breasts.
- Fresh basil leaves: Use fresh basil leaves for their bright, herbaceous flavor.
- Olive oil: Use extra-virgin olive oil for its fruity and slightly peppery flavor.
- Thyme: Use fresh thyme for its floral, earthy flavor.
- Salt and pepper: To season the chicken.
How to make Caprese Chicken
Please note: This is just an overview – the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Prepare chicken breasts. Use a sharp knife to cut chicken breasts in 4-5 places about 1 inch deep without cutting all the way through the meat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, rub them with thyme and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Step 2: Stuff chicken breasts with caprese ingredients. Cut mozzarella and tomatoes into thin slices (as many slices as cuts), season with salt and insert them into pockets in the chicken. Then add basil leaves between them.
Step 3: Bake chicken caprese in the oven. Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional fresh basil leaves, if desired.
Storing and freezing tips
This Caprese Stuffed Chicken recipe is best served fresh and hot out of the oven. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When reheating, make sure to reheat it thoroughly in the oven or microwave.
Top tips for the best Caprese Stuffed Chicken
- Use a sharp knife to make the cuts in the chicken breast. This will create pockets for the cheese and tomatoes to be inserted.
- Use high-quality, fresh ingredients. The flavor of this dish comes from the freshness and quality of the ingredients used.
- Make sure the chicken breasts are about the same size and thickness so that they cook evenly.
- Rubbing the chicken breasts with olive oil and seasoning them with thyme, salt, and pepper will add flavor and moisture to the chicken.
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This will help the juices redistribute throughout the chicken, making it more tender and juicy.
Can I make this Caprese Chicken ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble the chicken up to the point of baking it, cover it with plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.
What to serve with Chicken Caprese?
Chicken caprese pairs well with a variety of sides, such as garlic roasted vegetables, lemon risotto, or mashed potatoes. You can also serve it with a side of pasta or boiled rice, for a more filling meal.
Can I freeze Chicken Caprese?
While it is possible to freeze the chicken after it has been baked, we do not recommend it. The texture of the cheese and tomatoes may become mushy and the chicken may become tough after reheating. It is best to enjoy this recipe fresh.
Is Chicken Caprese Italian?
Yes, chicken caprese is an Italian-inspired dish that features the classic combination of tomato, mozzarella, and basil, which are popular ingredients in Italian cuisine.
Is Caprese Chicken gluten-free?
Yes, this Caprese Stuffed Chicken recipe is naturally gluten-free. Always check the list of ingredients to make sure the recipe or product is gluten-free.
How to reheat Chicken Caprese?
To reheat chicken Caprese, place the leftover chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat the chicken in the microwave, but be careful not to overcook it as the cheese can become rubbery.
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