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Balsamic Caprese Chicken Dump-and-Cook Meal Prep

I’m loving this simple weeknight one-pan caprese chicken dish!

This easy caprese chicken is a perfect weeknight dinner, and totally packed with flavor thanks to the melty cheese, fresh summer tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

If you’re not sure, consider this: my toddler loves this caprese chicken dish so much she calls it ‘candy chicken’. This is from the child that can go a whole 24 hour period living on four carrot sticks and a cup of milk, so the sheer fact she loves this recipe gets it a gold star in my book.

This One Pan Balsamic Caprese Chicken is drizzled with a balsamic glaze (“candy”, according to my toddler) and crazy simple to make.

The recipe here calls for chicken thighs since I find them so much more flavorful (and affordable!) than chicken breasts, but feel free to substitute breasts for thighs if you prefer.

I used sliced vine tomatoes here, but since it’s summer, you’ve got my full permission to go tomato crazy, if you want. Use cherry tomatoes, heirloom, big juicy beefsteak tomatoes; whichever looks best to you will work beautifully in this recipe. #allthetomatoes

Balsamic Caprese Chicken


Dry Goods

balsamic vinegar1/3 cup
table salt1/2 teaspoon
olive oil2 tablespoon


boneless, skinless chicken thigh2 pounds


fresh basil6-7 leaves (about 2 ounces)
vine tomatoes4 or 5, sliced 1" thick


fresh mozzarella8 ounces, cut into 6-7 slices


If you can’t find pre-made balsamic syrup, you can use that instead; Swap the plain balsamic vinegar listed in the recipe for ¼ cup prepared balsamic syrup. If you don’t have a pan lid to cover the chicken and melt the cheese, then use the oven. Place the pan with cheese-covered chicken in an oven preheated to 350*F and allow to sit for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

  1. Place a wide saute pan over medium-high heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and allow the vinegar to reduce, stirring occasionally. Allow the vinegar to reduce until it is thick and syrupy enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into a cool bowl and set aside for later. Clean the pan and return it to the stovetop.
  2. Place the chicken thighs between cling film. Using a kitchen mallet, pound thighs so that they are each about 1″ thick. Sprinkle evenly with the salt.
  3. Add the olive oil to the pan and heat on medium-high until shimmering. Add the chicken thighs in one layer and fry until golden brown on the bottom, then turn and brown the other side.
  4. Layer the chicken with 1-2 leaves of basil, then the tomatoes, then the slices of fresh mozzarella.
  5. Turn off the heat of the stovetop and place the pan in the hot oven.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese has fully melted and is beginning to brown. 
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and drizzle with the reserved balsamic vinegar glaze
  8. Serve hot.

Prep Plan

Prep it for later:
1. Pound the chicken and store in a resealable bag or container.
2. Reduce the balsamic vinegar and store in a resealable bag or container.
3. Slice the tomatoes and cheese and store in a resealable bag or container.
Store in the freezer for up to 3 months or the fridge for 3-5 days

You’ll need:
1 bag or container with pounded chicken
1 bag or container with reduced balsamic vinegar
1 bag or container with sliced cheese
1 bag or container with sliced tomato

Prepare from prepped: If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight.
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
2. Season the pounded chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, and then sear in the oil, turning the chicken with tongs so both sides brown.
3. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan, drizzling over the chicken breasts.
4. Stack the chicken breasts with fresh basil leaves (about 2-3 on each breast), sliced tomatoes, then sliced mozzarella. Place a lid on the pan and turn heat to low.
5. Cook a further 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted.
6. Serve chicken with basil, tomato, and cheese on top and any pan sauce left in the saute pan spooned around it.

Ruthy Kirwan

Ruthy Kirwan is a recipe tester and developer living in NYC with her two small kids and hard-working husband. She created Percolate Kitchen in 2016 to help busy people get their act together in the kitchen. Learn more at

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With 65+ recipes made in 45 minutes or less, using only a single sheet pan… this is the cookbook busy people need to conquer their weeknights in the kitchen!