You will love these incredibly flavorsome oven baked caprese chicken thighs. Juicy chicken, topped with melted mozzarella cheese, sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh basil make for a most delicious family dinner. The tangy balsamic garlic glaze perfectly supports the rich caprese flavor and makes this gluten free dish out of this world yummy.
Balsamic chicken thighs are done in just 35 minutes and can be served alongside jasmine rice, roasted vegetables, a crunchy salad or simply with a fresh loaf of crusty white bread.
Make your tomato and mozzarella chicken thighs extra special by using homemade balsamic reduction.
WHAT ARE CAPRESE CHICKEN THIGHS?
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs seasoned with oil and Italian spices, then seared in a skillet and glazed with balsamic reduction. Caprese chicken is topped with a mouthwatering blend of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella slices, before cooked to perfection in the oven. Garnished with fresh basil, this dish represents the colors of the Italian flag, green-white-red.
❤️ WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS BALSAMIC CHICKEN RECIPE
✔️ This juicy chicken dish combines all the best flavors of Italy.
✔️ It creates amazingly delicious pan juices.
✔️ Leftovers can be sliced up for an amazing caprese chicken sandwich.
CAPRESE CHICKEN THIGHS INGREDIENTS
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for chicken with mozzarella and tomatoes, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
You may have all of these oven baked balsamic chicken thighs ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry and not need to make a trip to the grocery store. See recipe card below for ingredient amounts.
- Chicken Thighs: Use defrosted boneless, skinless thighs for best results.
- Italian Seasoning: You can substitute plain oregano, or make your own Italian seasoning by mixing oregano, dried basil, and thyme.
- Black Pepper
- Oil: We recommend using olive oil or avocado oil.
- Balsamic Glaze: Use your favorite store bought balsamic reduction or make your own. Check out our super easy and quick recipe for homemade balsamic glaze. It tastes incredible! If you're eating Keto, omit the balsamic glaze. You can use a straight balsamic vinegar.
- Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes work best for this recipe, because they add an intense, slightly sweet tomato flavor. You can also use grape tomatoes.
- Mozzarella: Use fresh mozzarella slices, not low moisture cheese.
- Fresh Basil: Get a ready to use basil plant at the grocery store. It usually lasts you quite a while to make many delicious recipes. Packaged basil leaves only last for a very short time and start to look unappetizing quite quickly.
This section shows how to cook balsamic chicken thighs in the oven, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, nutritional information, to print the recipe or to have the recipe scaled to double or triple, see the recipe card below.
PREHEAT THE OVEN: Preheat oven to 400ºF.
SEASON THE CHICKEN: Drizzle the chicken thighs with oil and spices, then rub the seasonings well into all sides of the meat.
🔴 TIP: Use defrosted boneless skinless thighs, because frozen chicken thighs do not absorb the seasonings as well. Additionally frozen thighs take longer in the oven and might cause the balsamic glaze to burn.
SEAR THE THIGHS: In an ovenproof skillet, sear the chicken thighs on all sides over medium-high heat. About 4 minutes on each side.
🔴 TIP: Don't skip the browning of the chicken, because it seals up the outside of the chicken and therefore keeps the moisture inside the meat while roasting in the oven.
MAKE GLAZE: Add the garlic to the pan and sautée for a minute. Then add balsamic reduction and stir to combine. Coat chicken with the glaze on all sides then add half of the tomatoes.
COOK IN THE OVEN: Now transfer the chicken to the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
MELT THE CHEESE: Top the almost done balsamic chicken thighs with slices of fresh mozzarella. Then return to the oven and finish cooking till an inside temperature of 165ºF is reached.
🔴 TIP: Check the temperature of the chicken, by poking the thermometer through the thickest part of the chicken to make sure the whole piece is cooked through. Remove from oven immediately when internal temperature reaches 165°F.
SERVE: Top caprese chicken thighs with more sliced tomatoes, fresh basil chiffonade and drizzle with pan juices. Serve and enjoy!
Ovenproof Skillet – An ovenproof pan works well for this recipe as it goes right from the stove into the oven. If you don't have one, transfer the chicken to a baking dish before putting it into the oven.
TIPS FOR THE BEST CAPRESE CHICKEN SKILLET
Follow these tips to make the best chicken with mozzarella and tomatoes.
✔️ Do not use frozen chicken thighs. Use boneless, skinless thighs that are defrosted.
✔️ Use your favorite balsamic glaze. You can use store bought or homemade balsamic reduction for this recipe. Have you tried our balsamic glaze recipe?
✔️ Fresh mozzarella cheese is best for this recipe, but if you want to buy mozzarella to shred, buy low moisture mozzarella.
Refrigerate: Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container or ziploc bag in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to use leftovers: You can slice up the cold caprese balsamic chicken thighs and use them to make a sandwich with crusty white bread. Add some arugula salad, fresh tomato slices and a drizzle of pesto and enjoy!
Reheat: To reheat, simply pop in the microwave or put back into the oven until heated through.
Freeze: Leftover chicken thighs can be frozen in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. We do not recommend freezing the tomatoes though, as they loose their texture in the freezer.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CAPRESE CHICKEN THIGHS
Serve tomato and mozzarella topped chicken thighs with jasmine rice, or a healthy side dish, such as a crunchy salad. Try our delicious and colorful Italian salad or amazing Greek salad with caprese chicken thighs.
MORE CHICKEN RECIPES
If you love love caprese chicken thighs you'll also enjoy our other scrumptious chicken recipes. If you want to keep it on the lighter side, you have to try our caprese stuffed chicken breast, air fryer lemon chicken, grilled chicken marinade with lemon, or chicken meatballs.
In case you are looking for a more hearty chicken dish, we highly recommend trying our Instant Pot chicken thighs with lemon butter, chicken parm sandwich bake, herb roasted chicken or chicken in white wine sauce with mushrooms.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For perfect results every time, here are answers to the most common questions about cooking balsamic chicken thighs.
Insert a food thermometer at the thickest part of the chicken and make sure the inside temperature has reached 165ºF.
Yes, you can also make this recipe using chicken breast. Depending on the size of your meat you might have to adjust cooking time. Check the chicken breast for doneness after 20 minutes in the oven. Have you tried our quick and easy caprese stuffed chicken recipe?
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tsps Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil - olive oil or avocado oil
- 3 tablespoon garlic - minced
- ¼ cup balsamic glaze
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella
- fresh basil - chiffonade
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Drizzle ½ teaspoon of oil on each chicken thigh.
- Sprinkle Italian seasoning evenly over each thigh.
- Using your hands, rub in the seasoning to coat all sides of the chicken.
- Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken into the pan once the oil is hot. Sear each side until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
- First add garlic around the chicken and cook for about 1 minute. Then add balsamic glaze, and stir to combine glaze and garlic.
- Turn chicken to coat in the glaze.
- Add ½ cup of whole cherry tomatoes around the chicken thighs.
- Transfer the pan to the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the internal chicken temperature is 160ºF.
- Top with mozzarella cheese and return to the oven to melt the mozzarella. Remove from the oven when mozzarella is melted and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165ºF.
- Slice the remaining tomatoes and garnish chicken with freshly sliced tomatoes and basil.
- Spoon some of the glaze from the pan over the chicken.
- Use boneless skinless thighs that are defrosted. Do not use frozen thighs.
- You can use store bought or homemade balsamic glaze. Give our quick and easy balsamic reduction recipe a try!
- Fresh mozzarella slices are perfect for this recipe but if you want to buy mozzarella to shred, buy low moisture mozzarella.