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This tasty grilled chicken caprese is made with pesto and is the best summer grilling recipe you didn't know you needed! Chicken breasts are marinated so they stay juicy and flavorful. Grilled to perfection, this delicious summer dish is finished off with zesty pesto, fresh tomato, and melty mozzarella cheese. As the weather warms up, we love spending more time outside and cooking meals on the grill. It's great because I don't have to heat up the house, plus it also allows me to create lighter, fresher meals for the family. Mazola® Corn Oil is perfect to use for grilling recipes, especially marinades. Its neutral taste allows for the flavors in your dish to really stand out. A clinical study also showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil, so it's a perfect substitution! To learn more about this claim, visit MAZOLA.com.
🍅 Ingredient notes
- Marinade - A marinade is a mixture of Mazola® Corn Oil, vinegar, and spices that meat or vegetables are soaked in to help provide both flavor and moisture. Mazola® Corn Oil is a great option for both marinades and grilling due to its high smoke point of 450˚. When oil is heated past its smoke point, it will start smoking and the fumes can negatively affect the flavor of your food. This all-purpose cooking oil is also a heart-healthy* choice for your family with a variety of uses including baking, stir-frying, and more! To learn more about this claim, visit MAZOLA.com.
- Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella - These ingredients along with the pesto combine to make that classic "caprese" flavor combination. I recommend using a large beefsteak, on the vine, or even a homegrown garden tomato would be excellent! For the cheese, a large 8-ounce mozzarella ball will work and will make nice slices to melt perfectly over the top of the tomato and pesto.
- Pesto - You can make your own pesto if you like or buy your favorite store bought pesto. You will need about ½ cup or a 6-ounce jar will do.
🔪 Step by step instructions
First, combine the Mazola® Corn Oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a large gallon-sized zip top bag and stir together. Alternatively, you can use a large shallow baking dish.
Next, add your chicken breast to the marinade, close the bag and shake it around a bit to cover the chicken in the marinade. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes in the fridge.
While the chicken is marinating, slice the mozzarella and tomato into 6 equal slices and preheat your grill to medium high heat or approximately 375˚. When the chicken is done marinating, remove it from the bag and place it directly on the grill to cook for 5 minutes on the first side. Flip the chicken over and top each chicken breast with a heaping tablespoon of the pesto. Add a slice of tomato to each chicken breast on top of the pesto.
Lastly, add a slice of mozzarella to each chicken breast on top of the tomato.
Close the grill and cook until the internal temperature of each chicken breast reaches 165˚F when checked with a kitchen thermometer. This should take approximately 5 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on the actual size and thickness of each chicken breast.
Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
⭐ Top tip
When selecting chicken breasts for this recipe, try to pick similar-sized pieces so they cook evenly and in the same amount of time.
Grilled Chicken Caprese with Pesto
- ½ cup Mazola® Corn Oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 chicken breasts approximately 6 ounces each
- ½ cup pesto store bought or homemade
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 1 large tomato
- Combine Mazola® Corn Oil, balsamic vinegar, italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a gallon sized zip top bag and stir together.
- Add the chicken breasts to the bag, close it and shake the bag around slightly to cover the chicken breasts in the marinade. Place bag in a dish and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, slice both the mozzarella cheese and tomato into 6 even slices and preheat the grill to medium high heat or 375˚.
- When the chicken is done marinating, remove it from the bag and cook on the preheated grill on one side for 5 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and top each breast with a heaping tablespoon of pesto, one slice of tomato, and then one slice of fresh mozzarella.
- Close the grill and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the internal temperature of each chicken breast reaches a minimum of 165˚. Cooking times may vary depending on the actual size and thickness of each chicken breast.
- Dairy free - Omit the cheese or replace it with your favorite dairy free mozzarella to make this dish dairy free!
- Spicy - Add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the marinade for a zestier flavor to your chicken.
- No Pesto - Not a fan of pesto or need a nut-free alternative? Omit the pesto and add a fresh basil leaf to the top of the cheese after cooking instead!
🥘 Alternative cooking methods
- Oven - This recipe can be made in an oven on a sheet pan instead of on the grill. Cooking times will be closer to 10 minutes on each side.
💭 Frequently asked questions
Marinating chicken for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling helps to ensure your chicken is moist. Using a kitchen or grill thermometer also helps to make sure your chicken doesn't dry out. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚.
Caprese is traditionally a salad consisting of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil that is sometimes dressed with oil and vinegar. This chicken combines all of those fresh flavors into a delicious and fresh main dish that is perfect for summertime!
Don't forget! If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram as well! It makes my day to see all of your photos of the food you have made.
DISCLAIMER: Corn Oil is a cholesterol-free food that contains 14g of total fat per serving. See nutrition information on the product label or at MAZOLA.com for fat and saturated fat content.
DISCLAIMER: *Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of Corn Oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in Corn Oil. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim. To achieve this possible benefit, Corn Oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains 14 grams of Corn Oil.