Caprese-Style Baked Chicken

Hello, all! It’s another beautiful evening in Chicago and I just finished up a Flexibility and Strength yoga flow with Sanela. I had all the windows open to let in some fresh air, a Bath & Body Works scented candle going, and a Synergy Gingerberry kombucha. I feel loose and relaxed and wanted to take a little time to write about the dinner I made yesterday: Caprese Baked Chicken. Since I am leaving for a trip to Tacoma in a couple days, I wanted to use up the groceries and make a nutritious dinner, so I considered what I had lying around and decided to make a Caprese-style dish.

This dish is super-simple to make, and as always, easy to customize. If you want to make it vegetarian, you can easily sub zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower rice, or even pasta. It’s also low-carb and full of protein and veggies. To make this dish, you will need:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast, tenderloin, or thigh
  • Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • Red onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Spinach
  • Baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • Ball of fresh mozzarella
  • Optional: Balsamic & fresh basil – the only reason I didn’t add these is because I am not a fan, but it definitely makes for a more authentic caprese!

First, I bake the chicken. I’ve found the best way to roast it off is to butter a glass baking dish on the sides and bottom of the dish and season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, a little cayenne, and a dash of paprika. Then I butter a piece of parchment and cover the pan so the butter drips from the parchment as it bakes. I will bake for about 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees.

While the chicken is baking, I roughly chop the spinach and mushrooms and dice the onions and garlic. I saute them in a pan with a little olive oil until the vegetables are tender.

While the vegetables are cooking, I shred the chicken into large chunks so the consistency is similar to pulled chicken. They can be left as whole pieces if you prefer that. Once done, I pour the vegetables into the glass baking dish and mix them directly into the chicken. After they are evenly spread, I slice thick, round pieces of mozzarella and tomatoes and layer them into the dish.

After assembling the dish, I sprinkle Italian seasoning over the top. This is a simple one I found at Target, and it is made up of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and basil.

It’s best to broil this dish, but I did not have proper cookware for the broiler, so I bake it at 350 degrees for an additional 15-20 minutes. Once done, you can drizzle the top with a little olive oil, balsamic, and fresh basil, or you can serve as-is! This dish works well with a side salad or Parmesan-garlic broccoli. This isn’t the best photo, but more than half the pan was devoured by Julian, so I think the recipe is a keeper!

I think the next time I make this, I will use layers of zucchini and eggplant. This was a quick dish packed with flavor and a great post-workout meal. Let me know in the comments if you like it!

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