If you have been around the blog for a while, you’ll know that I can never say no to Italian food. As an ode to one of my favorite cuisines, I am always looking for ways to cook and share Italian dishes with my family and friends. (With some wine, of course!)
This balsamic chicken with mozzarella cheese is one of those delectable dishes that is inspired by Italian flavors. The chicken breasts are roasted so tenderly that people can’t tell it’s breast meat. So juicy! Marinating the meat is a sweet balsamic glaze, which is accompanied by juicy cherry tomatoes and plenty of melted mozzarella cheese. I guarantee there won’t be a single drop of the sauce left once everyone has tasted it.
This dish goes well with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, bruschetta, or a simple strawberry salad. Whether it’s for a weeknight dinner or a lunch meal-prep, these balsamic baked chicken will surely do the job. Every time I have this, I am so, so full but it’s so good it always leaves me wanting more.
It’s incredibly easy to make, too. Just season the chicken, pour the balsamic glaze over it, add the mozzarella, and off it goes into the oven. And the best part is that everything is done in one pan, which means there are fewer dishes to clean. Are you in?
If you tried this balsamic chicken recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram @cookingwithcassandra – I’d love to see what you came up with.
For this recipe, you will need:
- Chicken breasts – Get 6 skinless chicken breasts. Don’t worry about them being too lean or tough because the marinade is going to change that.
- Olive oil – Measure 2 tablespoons of olive oil to tenderize the chicken breasts and prevent them from becoming tough and dry.
- Dried oregano and dried basil – Season the chicken with dried, aromatic herbs.
- Cherry tomatoes – Roasted cherry tomatoes will burst with juices in every bite.
- Garlic – Mince 8 garlic cloves to be used in the balsamic glaze and the chicken marinade. Garlic powder works great for this recipe, too.
- Balsamic vinegar and brown sugar – To make a sweet and zingy balsamic glaze that will coat the chicken breasts and add plenty of flavors.
- Salt and pepper – Pantry staples, am I right?
- Mozzarella cheese – Shred 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese. Nothing better than melted cheese oozing over some roast chicken.
This balsamic chicken recipe calls for a total cooking time of 50 minutes including 10 minutes of prep time. The oven does most of the heavy lifting here. Yay!
Step One: Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Step Two: Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season chicken breasts equally with oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and half the minced garlic.
- Pro Tip: I highly recommend you marinate the chicken one hour in advance to get the most flavor. See more tips on seasoning below.
Step Three: Scatter the cherry tomatoes around the chicken.
- Pro Tip: Want more vegetables in your roast? The options are endless: broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, onions, squash, kale, and carrots. Take your pick!
Step Four: Mix the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and remaining minced garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken breasts and flip each breast in the sauce to evenly coat.
Step Five: Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. The chicken is ready when the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.
- Pro Tip: If you haven’t bought a food thermometer yet, it will be the best purchase ever. It has helped me on so many occasions to check the doneness of my salmon, chicken, beef patties, and more.
Step Six: Remove from the oven at the 35-minute mark and set the oven to broil. Top each chicken breast with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Step Seven: Broil for 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned golden. After baking, allow the balsamic chicken to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it.
Dinner is served!
Expert Tips & Tricks
Shred your own cheese:
I know it’s a pain, but look on the bright side: you can get an arm workout and cook dinner all at the same time. Multitasking at its finest! Even though it can be tempting to use the pre-shredded cheese in the bags, just fight the urge. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with a starchy substance that keeps the cheese from clumping, which is why the pre-shredded cheese will not melt properly. You need to shred it yourself for the best result.
How to marinate chicken for the best flavor:
Poultry has to be well-marinated, otherwise, you run the risk of it tasting bland. Try to get the marinade into all the nooks and crannies (this applies to bone-in chicken cuts only). Most people I know use tongs, but the best way to get the most flavor in is to rub it all in with your hands. Put on a pair of gloves if you don’t want the smell of raw meat stained on your hands afterward. We do this when marinating our kabobs and it works every single time.
Storage & Reheating
To chill: After cooking, allow the chicken to cool for no more than two hours (after that, there is a risk of bacteria growing on it). Seal it in an airtight container. Place it in the fridge and use it within 2 days. To reheat it, bake it at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not microwave chicken breasts as they will get even drier and tougher.
Use up the leftovers: If you don’t want to eat leftover chicken the same way, you can modify it for another recipe. Either make shredded chicken as a taco filling or chop it up and use it as a casserole ingredient. Leftover roast chicken is also a great ingredient on salads and gives you that added protein as well.
Get your fill of Italian recipes here:
- Caprese Flatbread
- Caprese Stuffed Balsamic Chicken
- Healthy Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
- Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Balsamic Chicken Recipe
- 6 skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 garlic cloves minced
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups fresh shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season chicken with oregano, basil, salt, pepper and half of the garlic divided between each chicken breast. Rub seasoning all over each breast.
- Arrange tomatoes around the chicken in the dish.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and remaining garlic to combine. Pour over the chicken breasts, flip each breast in the sauce to evenly coat.
- Bake in your preheated oven for 35 minutes
- Remove from the oven at the 35 minute mark and change oven heat to broil. Top each chicken breast with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for another 3-5 minutes on broil, or until the cheese is melted and golden.
- After baking, allow your chicken to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it.