If you’re looking for an easy dinner that’s absolutely delicious, you’ll definitely want to try this baked pesto chicken caprese recipe! It’s perfect for busy weeknights, as it comes together quickly with minimal effort. This baked chicken is one of my new favorite recipes because it’s simple and uses lots of fresh ingredients, like cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese.
Brining the Chicken
Brining the chicken is a super helpful step when wanting to bake chicken that’s tender and full of flavor. Chicken breast (especially when baked) can easily be dry and tough if it’s even a little bit overcooked. Brining the meat ahead of time is the easiest, practically foolproof way to cook the best tender and juicy chicken!
So, how do you brine meat? After pounding out the chicken, just submerse it in a bowl of saltwater and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking. It’s that simple! It may take a little bit of forethought, but it only takes a few minutes, and makes for the best chicken.
How to Bake the Pesto Chicken Caprese
Once the chicken is brined and patted dry, it’s time to add the pesto. In this recipe, you’ll spread pesto on the bottom of a 9×13 glass pan, then place the chicken in a single layer on top. Then, cover the top of each chicken breast with more pesto so that the meat is completely covered.
While the chicken bakes, prepare the tomato topping. This consists of quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper, mixed together in a medium-sized bowl. Once the chicken has baked for 10 minutes, you’ll take it out of the oven and place slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on top. Then, you’ll evenly spread the tomato mixture on top of the cheese. The chicken will bake for another 10 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
This baked pesto chicken recipe pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as roasted vegetables or some crusty French bread. It’s also perfect for meal prep, as you can easily make a large batch and store leftovers in the fridge for several days. Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments below!