Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken (with Pantry Swaps)

This easy Chicken Caprese sheet pan meal is quick and delicious. Make it with fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes, any veggies you like, and there are so many ways to serve it.
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This sheet pan Caprese Chicken is one of those meals I make over and over again. With its classic flavors, easy preparation, and versatility – it’s something you can make with whatever you have on hand. Make it with any protein you like, use fresh or canned tomatoes, add any veggies or cheese. You get the idea. 

Is there anything better than a sheet pan dinner? I think not. One pan and Dinner. Is. Served. What did we ever do before sheet pan dinners? Was this always a thing? I feel like it must have been, right? Did we just not call attention to it or what?

No matter, we’re here now and this Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken is A++. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts smothered in Italian seasoning, tomatoes, mozzarella, and zucchini, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top to give it that sweet, slightly tart finish that makes you just want to come back for more until the entire thing is gone.

Or, if you feel like sharing, this dish is also great to serve a family of four or you can double it if you have guests. Even better if they’re surprise guests because this dish is made with lots of pantry staples you can throw together in a pinch.

This Caprese chicken dish goes great with lots of different vegetable sides like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or a tossed salad and can be customized for a variety of tastes. Serve it with pasta, quinoa, couscous, or rice. Add it over creamy polenta, white beans, or mashed cauliflower.

Chicken caprese with zucchini, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar on a plate with a spoon.

How do you make Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken?

Are you ready to make this dish? I know I’m ready for you to make it. Let’s do this.

You want to preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Then, lay the chicken out in a single layer on the baking sheet, right down the middle. Brush the chicken with half of the olive oil. Sprinkle with half of the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add a slice of mozzarella on top of each piece of chicken.

Toss the cherry tomatoes and zucchini in the rest of the oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Then, spread the tomato mixture around the chicken on both sides on the same baking sheet.

Put the whole thing in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until some of the tomatoes start to burst and the chicken is cooked all the way through. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees when it’s completely cooked through. <br> <br> Drizzle the chicken with balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.

Recipe Ideas and Pantry/Freezer Swaps

If you’d like to mix this dish up a bit, here are my recommendations:

  • Swap out the zucchini and replace it with bell peppers, eggplant, yellow squash, asparagus, or even green beans. If you opt for frozen vegetables, I recommend cooking it on the side (here’s how to roast frozen vegetables) and then adding it right before serving. Frozen vegetables release a lot of liquid when they cook and will make the sauce watery.
  • If you can’t find chicken breast, then you could use boneless skinless chicken thighs. If you can’t find chicken, you could use pork chops. Just adjust the cooking time depending on thickness and if they have a bone. 
  • To make this dish heartier and stretch the protein, toss in a can of drained white beans like cannellini or Northern beans. Chickpeas would work as well.  
  • If you don’t have a balsamic glaze, you have two options. First, you can make it with the instructions included below. If you don’t want to make the glaze, just drizzle a little bit of the balsamic vinegar on top before serving, just a drizzle. If you don’t have any balsamic vinegar, you can combine red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar with a touch of sugar to mimic the flavor. Combine 1 tablespoon of the alternate vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  • If you don’t have fresh mozzarella cheese (which is what I happened to have), just use shredded.  It can be mozzarella, Italian cheese blend, Parmesan – whatever you have. If you don’t have cheese, just leave it off. The dish is still delicious.
  • If you don’t have fresh basil, then just replace it with dried. You will want to use about 1-2 teaspoons dried.
  • Bake the chicken as directed, and instead of cutting up zucchini, make zucchini boats. Add cooked, sliced chicken and tomatoes to the inside of the zucchini.
  • For a lighter option, add the chicken, tomatoes, and zucchini to the inside of cooked spaghetti squash.
  • Make it spicy by adding drained fire-roasted tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes, crushed red peppers, spicy marinara sauce, or hot sauce on top.

Sheet pan caprese chicken in a dish with melted cheese, tomatoes, zucchini, and balsamic vinegar.

How do you make a balsamic vinegar reduction?

While drizzling balsamic on top of this dish is perfectly delicious and recommended, you can also reduce the balsamic to a thicker, syrupy consistency and pour it over.

When you reduce the balsamic, you take out a lot of the vinegar taste and what you’re left with is a sweet sauce. Reducing the vinegar evaporates the water and makes the sugars in the vinegar more concentrated, thus making it sweeter and less sour.

To make a balsamic vinegar reduction, add a cup of balsamic to a small, metal pot. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then reduce the temperature to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Reduce it as much as you like, obviously, the more water that evaporates, the thicker the reduction will be. It will continue to thicken as it cools as well, so keep that in mind.

And please, do not try to smell the vinegar as it is cooking. I’ve made that mistake before and will burn! 

Then you can use this simple sauce to add flavor to all kinds of dishes – salads, pasta, vegetables, proteins, and more. It’s an easy way to elevate almost any meal.

Looking for more sheet pan chicken recipes?


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Post Author: MNS Master

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