Tangy balsamic glazed chicken with pasta tossed with fresh mozzarella, basil and grape tomatoes. This balsamic chicken pasta dinner is a fresh and flavorful summer dinner.
Post, photos and recipe updated from the archives. First published June 2016.
I first shared the balsamic glazed chicken with caprese pasta a few years back and, like a lot a of things in life, it’s evolved a bit so I’m popping in today to share some changes I’ve made since I first share it.
What’s changed isn’t so much the dish itself – it’s still a tangy balsamic chicken pasta dinner – but a few of the how-to steps (including both stovetop and grill cooking instructions for the chicken), a new shortcut (store-bought balsamic glaze!) and a pasta shape swap-out (farfalle instead of fettuccine).
It’s the sort of dinner I like to eat on repeat this time of year, so I thought I’d give it a little refresh just in time for summer.
It starts with the chicken that is cooked and coated in a balsamic glaze, which is just balsamic vinegar that has been boiled down until it thickens.
I used to make my own balsamic glaze – there are only two ingredients and 15 minutes needed to make it – but these days I buy premade balsamic glaze at the store. There are usually a few different brands and the one I use is Bertolli.
That said, if you want to make your own read on – you really can’t go wrong either way.
How to Make Balsamic Glaze
Balsamic vinegar and honey. That’s all you need to make a glossy glaze to brush all over the grilled chicken and it couldn’t be easier to make.
Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, and simmer it for about 10-15 minutes until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
How to Prep the Chicken
Whenever I cook chicken, I like to prep it first so it cooks evenly and fast. If you just toss a whole chicken breast in a pan won’t cook evenly because one end of it is usually thicker than the opposite end. So, I take a couple of minutes to prep the chicken so it comes out the pan evenly cooked and tender.
- First, place the chicken breasts on a cutting board.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the chicken in half through the middle.
- You can slice all the way through so you have 4 separate chicken pieces or, and this is what I like to do, you can stop short of slicing all the way through and unfold the chicken breast into one larger piece. This is called a “butterfly” cut, which is often used when grilling meat.
- Once you’ve sliced the chicken, cover it with plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken until it’s approximately 1 to 1 ½-inches thick. This ensures it will cook evenly and it also tenderizes the chicken so it has a really nice texture once it’s cooked.
- I also like to season the chicken with salt and pepper before cooking it.
How to Cook Balsamic Chicken
Once you have your glaze ready and your chicken prepped it’s time to cook the chicken! I’ve tested this recipe several times both on a grill and on the stove top, so I’m sharing both methods.
Stove Top Method
You will need a large non-stick skillet to cook the chicken. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan, so you may need to cook the chicken in two batches to ensure it browns properly.
- Heat some olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the chicken. Don’t move it around, just let it cook on one side for five minutes or so. Once it’s developed a nice golden crust flip it over and turn the heat down to medium.
- Brush a light layer of balsamic glaze on the top of the chicken.
- After three minutes or so, flip the chicken over again so that the side with the glaze is in direct contact with the pan. Brush a light layer of glaze on the side facing up.
- After about a minute or so, turn the chicken on more time and cook it for another 30 seconds.
- At this point, the chicken should be cooked through. Chicken that is fully cooked will be firm to the touch or, if in doubt, you can cut into the chicken to make sure it’s not pink.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board to rest.
This balsamic glazed chicken is easy to cook on the grill, too! It’s also a little faster because there is plenty of space to cook all of the chicken at the same time instead in batches like on the stove.
- Heat the grill to high heat.
- Place all of the chicken on the grill and cook each on the first side for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and grill it on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off one set of burners and move the chicken over that spot.
- Brush a thin coat of the balsamic glaze on one side of each breast and flip the chicken over. Glaze the other side.
- Flip the chicken one more time, add another thin coat of glaze and remove the chicken from the grill and place it on a cutting board to rest.
I like to serve the balsamic chicken with a caprese salad-inspired pasta. It’s so easy to toss together.
Caprese Pasta Ingredients
- Farfalle (bowtie) pasta
- Olive oil
- Grape tomatoes: I used red and gold tomatoes
- Fresh mozzarella: I like to buy small mozzarella balls also called “mozzarella perline”. If you can’t find the little balls, you can use a whole mozzarella ball and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- Fresh basil leaves
I like to get the pasta boiling while the chicken is cooking. Once the chicken is done, you can use the same pan to combine the ingredients for the caprese pasta. That way, the pasta picks up all the flavor left behind by the balsamic chicken.
I like to slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and then either top the pasta with the chicken or toss the balsamic chicken with the pasta.
Garnish with a little more basil, add a drizzle of balsamic glaze and dinner is ready to serve.
More Chicken Recipes
Looking for more boneless, skinless chicken breast recipes? Here are a few of my favorites!
- Lemon-Garlic Chicken
- Cranberry Chicken Walnut Wraps
- 29 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Recipes
- Broccoli Rabe Chicken Pasta
- Fajita Chicken Burgers
- Pesto Chicken Pasta
Chicken breasts brushed with a tangy balsamic glaze and served with a simple caprese pasta. It’s a fresh and summery dinner.
For the Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to a thickness of 1 to 1 1/2-inches (see note 1)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons store-bought balsamic glaze (see note 2)
For the Pasta
- 8 ounces farfalle (bowtie pasta)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls (see note 3)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (see note 4)
Make the Chicken
See note 5 for grilling instructions
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Depending on the size of your chicken you may need to cook it in batches
- Once the oil is hot, add the chicken. Don’t move it around, just let it cook on one side for five minutes or so. Once it’s developed a nice golden crust flip it over and turn the heat down to medium. Brush a light layer of balsamic glaze on the browned side of the chicken.
- After three minutes or so, flip the chicken over again so that the side with the glaze is in direct contact with the pan. Brush a light layer of glaze on the side facing up. After about a minute or so, turn the chicken on more time and cook it for another 30 seconds.
- At this point, the chicken should be cooked through. Chicken that is fully cooked will be firm to the touch or, if in doubt, you can cut into the chicken to make sure it’s not pink. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board to rest.
Make the Caprese Pasta
You can get the pasta water going while you are cooking the chicken and leave the chicken to rest while you assemble the pasta.
- Boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta.
- If you cooked the chicken in a skillet you can use it to assemble the pasta. All of the bits and flavor left behind in the pan will add more flavor to your pasta. If you grilled your chicken, just use the pot that you boiled the pasta in, but you may want to add a teaspoon of the glaze to give the pasta a bit more flavor.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet (or pot). Add the pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Stir to combine. You don’t need to turn on the heat, the skillet should still be warm from when you cooked the chicken. Just stir the ingredients together for a minute or so just to warm them through. Add the salt and stir again.
- Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Top the pasta with the chicken, garnish with chopped basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
- Note 1: See the photo and notes in the post to learn how to butterfly a chicken breast.
- Note 2: I’ve used both store-bought and homemade balsamic glaze. If you want to make your own, I recommend making it first before you start the rest of the recipe.
- How to Make Balsamic Glaze
- Whisk 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar with 1/2 tablespoon honey in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.
- Reduce it for about 10-15 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove it from the heat. If the balsamic glaze thickens too much while it stands just stir in a splash or two of water to loosen it up.
- Note 3: Look for small fresh mozzarella balls (mozzarella perline). If you can’t find them, just use a large ball of mozzarella and cut into small bite-sized pieces.
- Note 4: Depending on your tastes, I recommended adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the pasta to start. If you think it needs more add more to your tastes.
- Note 5: Grill Instructions:
- Place all of the chicken on the grill and cook each on the first side for 5 to 6 minutes. Flip them and grill on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Turn off one set of burners and move the chicken over that spot. Brush a thin coat of the balsamic glaze on one side of each breast and flip the chicken over. Glaze the other side. Flip the chicken one more time, add another thin coat of glaze and transfer the chicken from the grill to a cutting board to rest.
The nutrition estimate does not include the garnishes and was calculated using Bertolli brand balsamic glaze.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 541
- Sugar: 8.1g
- Sodium: 882.5mg
- Fat: 15g
- Saturated Fat: 5.2g
- Carbohydrates: 51.2g
- Fiber: 3.3g
- Protein: 48.9g
- Cholesterol: 110.2mg
Keywords: Balsamic Glazed Chicken, caprese pasta