This savory stovetop chicken recipe features the delicious flavors of a traditional Caprese salad. Sweet grape tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, basil, and a rich balsamic glaze elevate otherwise basic chicken breasts to a whole new level. You’ll want to work this one into your regular weeknight dinner rotation because you can get it from the refrigerator to the table in just twenty minutes!
Mozzarella Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Glaze
- 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bonelessskinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- ½ small red onion finely diced
- 8 oz. Ciliegine fresh Mozzarella, quartered
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Season the prepared chicken breasts with Italian seasoning and garlic powder on both sides and add to the hot skillet.
- Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Cook until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
- While the chicken is cooking, combine the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a small saucepan and set over medium heat.
- Simmer until the mixture thickens and is reduced by half, stirring frequently for approximately 5-6 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine grape tomatoes, red onion, fresh Mozzarella, and basil. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
- When the chicken is done cooking, turn off the heat and move the skillet to a cool burner.
- While still in the skillet, top each chicken breast with the tomato and mozzarella mixture and cover for a couple of minutes or just until the tomatoes are warmed through.
- To serve, transfer the chicken to a serving platter or individual plates. Top each breast with the tomato mixture and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Tip: For easier cleanup, place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap before pounding with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Choosing the Best Balsamic Vinegar for Your Balsamic Glaze
What is balsamic vinegar and why is it used so often to flavor foods? It is a very dark, concentrated, and intensely flavored vinegar from Italy, made from freshly crushed grape juice, including all the skins, seeds, and stems (a combination called grape must). The best tasting balsamic vinegar is aged in wooden barrels, much like wine is.
That said, balsamic vinegar is not to be confused with red wine vinegar. They are not the same and can not be switched out in this recipe. Balsamic is darker, sweeter, and thicker than red wine vinegar, which is why it makes a better glaze.
When you go to the grocery store to buy your balsamic, you will find that there is some variety. The price will give you some clue to the quality but pay more attention to the name. What you want is Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena (or Reggio Emilia). Write that down on a piece of paper, stick it in your wallet and take it with you to the store. You don’t want to get confused and accidentally purchase the lower quality kinds of vinegar with similar names Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP and aceto balsamico.
Kitchen Creativity is so often about making substitutions that make sense for your tastes, your locality, or just for the fun of it. Here are some substitution ideas for this recipe.
- Instead of using maple syrup, use honey. This will make the glaze sweeter.
- Want a darker, less sweet glaze? Try using molasses instead of maple syrup. It will give it a bittersweetness.
- Live in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or someplace else that you can find cheese curds, try those instead of the Mozzarella.
- Get colorful and use yellow grape tomatoes. They are sweeter than the red ones.
- Up the Italian ante and toss in some kalamata or green, garlic-stuffed olives.