Caprese Stuffed Chicken

4.78 from 9 votes
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Elevate your next chicken dinner with this caprese stuffed chicken recipe! Juicy and tender chicken breasts filled with fresh tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil leaves. Served with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze.

For more low-carb recipes, try my mozzarella stuffed chicken and pineapple chicken stir fry.

Four caprese stuffed chicken breasts in a dutch oven.

This Caprese stuffed chicken combines fresh Italian flavors into one protein-packed dish! It’s easy to elevate a simple piece of poultry using simple yet flavorful ingredients. You only need some juicy and ripe tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil.

To maximize the dish’s flavors, the chicken is sliced open to fill. It’s ready to cook once stuffed with fruit, cheese, and herbs. I use two methods for maximum flavor: a brief sear on the stovetop to develop a golden crust, then finish in the oven. A homemade two-ingredient balsamic glaze is drizzled on top. It’s a gourmet meal that’s surprisingly easy to make.

Recipe ingredients

Ingredients needed to make this stuffed caprese chicken recipe.
  • Chicken: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts between 8 to 12 ounces in size. Smaller pieces will cook quicker, so keep an eye on doneness.
  • Cheese: Use fresh mozzarella cheese that is round and soft. The cheese is delicate, with a slightly sweet and milky taste. It’s a must when making a Caprese salad. You’ll need 8 ounces.
  • Tomatoes: Any type of tomato can be used for the recipe, but I prefer Roma tomatoes for their balanced sweet and tangy flavor and firm texture that holds up well when cooked.
  • Herbs: Fresh basil leaves add an aromatic minty, anise, and slightly peppery flavor.
  • Balsamic Glaze: A simple balsamic reduction using fermented sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar and honey. Start the process at the beginning so that it turns into a thick glaze when the chicken is done cooking.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Make the balsamic glaze

Step 1: With only two ingredients, a quick balsamic glaze enhances the flavor of the caprese stuffed chicken. The process is easy! Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium-low heat until the moisture evaporates and concentrates the mixture to about ¼ to ⅓ cup.

Once cooled down slightly, you’ll notice it will have a maple syrup-like consistency. Reduce it for a few minutes longer if it’s not thick enough. The process takes about 20 minutes, so make the balsamic glaze first. It’s great to add to salads or a fig pizza.

Step 2: Set the oven rack to the lower-middle position and the temperature to 375ºF (191ºC).

Prepare the chicken

Person slicing a chicken breast to make a pocket to stuff.

Step 3: Use a sharp chef’s knife to butterfly the chicken open. Slice the meat horizontally to create a pocket to add the cheese and tomato filling. Be careful not to cut all the way through, or you’ll make separate cutlets! Keep one side intact to hold everything together. Season the surface with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Stuff the chicken

Two slices of tomato inside the pocket of a chicken breast.

Step 4: Stuff the chicken breasts with two slices of tomato and season with salt and pepper to enhance the flavor.

Slices of mozzarella tomato, and basil leaves inside a chicken breast.

Next, layer the mozzarella cheese on top, then the basil.

Seasoned and stuffed chicken breasts on a rimmed baking sheet.

I like to finish by securing the edges with toothpicks so the cheese doesn’t ooze out too much. Just remember to remove them before serving! It’s okay if you fold the chicken over, but the filling will protrude out more as the protein contracts during cooking.

Sear the chicken

Metal tongs being used to flip over a piece of chicken breast to sear the surface.

Step 5: Use a heavy-bottomed oven-safe pan or Dutch oven to sear the chicken. Pan-searing the pieces in hot olive oil creates a delicious golden brown crust. The process takes about 5 minutes per side.

Smaller 8-ounce pieces may be entirely cooked on the stovetop, but larger pieces must be further baked. This will gently finish cooking the lean chicken breast to prevent dried-out bites.

Bake to finish cooking

Four chicken breasts in a dutch oven with tomatoes and juices.

Step 6: Take the temperature of the chicken in the thickest part. If it hasn’t reached 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC), then bake it in the oven to finish. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes to thoroughly cook the meat, especially for larger 10 to 12-ounce portions.

If you don’t have a pan that can be placed in a hot oven, no problem! Transfer the pieces to a foil-lined sheet pan after searing, then place them in the oven.

Garnish and serve

Spoon drizzling a balsamic reduction over caprese stuffed chicken breasts.

Step 7: Immediately transfer the pieces to a cutting board or serving platter, and remove the toothpicks. Before serving, add a generous drizzle of the sweet and tangy balsamic glaze on top. I like to add fresh basil for garnish and a pop of green herbaceous aroma.

Flavor variations

Now that you know how to make stuffed chicken caprese, it’s easy to customize the next dish! Try these delicious suggestions:

  • Cheese: Use slices of firm mozzarella or grate into shreds. Add smoked mozzarella for dimension or soft buffalo mozzarella. Brie is a delicious swap for a buttery taste. Sprinkle parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or Parmigiano Reggiano for a nutty and salty flavor. Try adding ricotta cheese for a lasagna-stuffed chicken option.
  • Herbs: Add to the basil freshly chopped oregano, parsley, rosemary, or thyme. Sprinkle on Italian seasoning on the cheese for a concentrated herb flavor. Add basil pesto sauce to the filling. It’s delicious!
  • Vegetables: Fill with sun-dried tomatoes for a concentrated, sweet flavor. Add sauteed spinach, kale, mushrooms, roasted bell peppers, or caramelized onions.
  • Sauce: Instead of a balsamic glaze, try a classic marinara sauce or alfredo sauce.

Serving suggestions

Frequently asked questions

What is Caprese chicken made of?

The flavors of a caprese salad inspire this Italian dish. Lean chicken breasts are stuffed with ripe and juicy tomatoes, slices of fresh mozzarella, and basil. It’s pan-seared, baked, then topped with a balsamic glaze.

Can I use any cheese to stuff the chicken?

Fresh mozzarella is my top choice. It’s soft and stretchy, with a nice melt that still holds its shape. Firmer grating mozzarella can be used, sliced, or shredded. It contains less moisture, so it will flatten and spread more. Burrata can be added but has a softer texture with a runner center, so scoop it out.

Can I bake the caprese stuffed chicken breast?

Yes! Add the pieces to a greased, foil-lined baking sheet if you prefer to bake the chicken. Bake at 425ºF (218ºC) for about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness. Since the meat is not seared, it will not be as golden brown.

Chicken breast on a plate cut in half to show it's stuffed with cheese, tomatoes, and basil.

Difference between fresh and processed mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella is pulled and then packed in water. This creates a softer texture due to extra retained moisture. It has a creamier taste and is gooey when heated, yet holds its structure better. It has a shorter shelf-life, so it should be used quickly. Processed mozzarella is further pressed and aged to have a low moisture content. This makes it easier to shred. When it melts, it coalesces together, losing its structure.

Caprese Stuffed Chicken

I can confidently say that making caprese stuffed chicken will elevate your dinner game. The combination of juicy chicken breasts, creamy mozzarella, tangy tomatoes, and fragrant basil creates a burst of flavors that will leave you satisfied.
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4  boneless skinless chicken breast, 2 to 3 pounds total
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 slices of Roma tomato, ½" thick
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 semi-circles
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions 

  • Make the Balsamic Glaze – Add balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer over medium-low heat with some bubbling. Reduce to ¼ to ⅓ cup, about 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, make the stuffed chicken as the sauce reduces.
    Allow the balsamic reduction to cool slightly. It should have a maple syrup consistency. Do not touch or taste the glaze; it will be hot! If the glaze gets too thick as it cools, add a small amount of water, stir, and warm over low heat.
  • Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Preheat to 375ºF (191ºC).
  • Prepare the Chicken – Butterfly the chicken breast in half lengthwise, leaving about a ½-inch uncut area on the other side. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
    In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Evenly season each side of the chicken with the mixture.
  • Stuff the Chicken – Add 2 slices of tomato to the chicken pocket, then season with salt and pepper. Add 2 slices of mozzarella and 2 basil leaves on top. If available, close the opening with toothpicks to secure the filling inside.
  • Sear the Chicken – Heat a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil. Add the chicken, presentation-side down, and lightly press the meat to make contact with the pan. Cook until golden brown on the surface, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Bake the Chicken – Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the meat is no longer pink. and the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC) on a meat thermometer, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. Immediately transfer to a serving plate.
  • To Serve – Remove the toothpicks from the chicken. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze. If desired, garnish with basil.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Make Ahead: The chicken can be stuffed 1 day in advance. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
  • Balsamic Glaze: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Gently reheat if needed. Dilute with warm water if very thick. 
  • Storing: Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Cover and reheat in the microwave on high heat in 15 to 30-second increments until hot.
  • Baking Directions: Place stuffed chicken on a greased foil-lined sheet pan. Bake at 425ºF (218ºC) for about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 431kcal (22%)Carbohydrates 18g (6%)Protein 38g (76%)Fat 23g (35%)Saturated Fat 9g (45%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0.01gCholesterol 117mg (39%)Sodium 1079mg (45%)Potassium 789mg (23%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 15g (17%)Vitamin A 1494IU (30%)Vitamin C 19mg (23%)Calcium 313mg (31%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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