Hasselback Chicken Caprese

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This Hasselback Chicken Caprese recipe features tender chicken breasts stuffed with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, lots of Italian seasoning and fresh basil, and a drizzle of pesto sauce! Pair it with gluten free pasta or a creamy pile of mashed potatoes for a mouthwatering meal the family will love.

A baking dish of Chicken Caprese garnished with basil leaves.

Why You’ll Love This Hasselback Chicken Caprese

  • Cuisine Inspiration: Italian-inspired
  • Primary Cooking Method: Oven
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Low Carb
  • Skill Level: Moderate

One of my favorite things to so is take a familiar dish and give it a twist. As a Jersey girl (yes, New Jersey tomatoes are the best), I am always a fan of Caprese salad in the summertime. So years back, I took the classic combo of tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil, and added it to the top of a perfectly grilled filet mignon. So it was time to do the same with chicken, only I gave it another little creative spin.

If you’re familiar with Hasselback potatoes (or Hasselback sweet potatoes) – a dish with potatoes cut about halfway through, sometimes stuffed with herbs, cheese, or meat, then roasted – you will recognize a similar method in this hasselback chicken recipe! This hearty main is packed with Italian flavors, fresh mozzarella, and pesto for a satisfying dinner. Here’s why you’ll love it:

  • Savory Flavor. There are so many great flavors going on in this chicken caprese, from the juicy chicken, mellow mozzarella, garlicky pesto, and fresh basil!
  • Versatile. You can serve this dish with pasta, mashed potatoes, a salad, gluten free bread – the options are nearly limitless! It goes well with so many side dishes.
  • Gluten Free. This is a naturally gluten-free recipe, meaning that all of the ingredients needed to make it are gluten free. Just make sure that the pesto is gluten-free. You can refer to my post on reading ingredient labels for tips.
A plate holds hasselback chicken caprese with more shown in the background.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make chicken caprese. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredient amounts.

  • Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Olive Oil: Coconut oil would work as well. Just make sure it’s refined. Unrefined coconut will lend a coconut flavor to the chicken, which wouldn’t fit here.
  • Italian Seasoning: If you don’t have Italian seasoning, use an equal amount of dried basil and oregano.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic: You can use ½ tablespoon of garlic powder in place of the fresh garlic if you’d like.
  • Onion Powder: Fresh onion is an option too. Use ⅛ cup minced onion instead of the onion powder.
  • Fresh Mozzarella: Use mozzarella that is sold as a ball or log rather than bricks or blocks of mozzarella.
  • Tomatoes: You can use any variety of tomatoes you prefer.
  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves give authentic Italian flavor.
  • Pesto: You can make your basil pesto or pick up a jar at the store.
The ingredients for hasselback chicken caprese are shown with text labels: chicken breast, olive oil, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper.

How To Make Hasselback Chicken Caprese

Follow along with my photos below which will guide you through making this recipe. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Prep chicken. Preheat the oven to 400°F, add the chicken breasts to a baking dish, and cut 6-7 slits in each piece.
  • Make spice mix. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder to the olive oil. Fully whisk the spices into the oil.
  • Add to chicken. Brush the mixture over the chicken.
  • Assemble. Add 1 slice of mozzarella, 1 slice of tomato, fresh basil, and pesto into each slit.
  • Bake. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Serve. Garnish each piece of chicken with fresh basil to serve. This sumptuous dish is best enjoyed warm and straight out of the oven.
Four pieces of hasselback chicken caprese are arranged on a serving dish.

Tips for Success

It’s not difficult to make, but here are some tips:

  • Use a meat thermometer. I always use an instant-read thermometer to ensure my chicken is cooked to a safe temperature. The chicken will be done when the thermometer reads 165°F.
  • Make ahead. Prepare the chicken (make slits in the breasts and season with the oil and seasoning mix) up to 2 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Allow the chicken to thaw in the refrigerator before filling the slits in the chicken with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and pesto. Bake as you normally would.
  • Try the crockpot. This recipe is easily adaptable to a crock pot. Slice and stuff the chicken according to the recipe directions, leaving out the mozzarella. Arrange the stuffed breasts in a single layer in the basin of a crock pot, slit-side up. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. Add the mozzarella 15-20 minutes before serving and continue to cook until it melts, then serve.
  • Optional balsamic glaze. Whisk together 2 cups of balsamic vinegar with 1⁄4 cup honey in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil before reducing the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the glaze is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. You could also buy a pre-made balsamic glaze to make life easy! Drizzle the glaze over the chicken before serving.

A closeup of the Hasselback Chicken Caprese on a white platter.

Proper Storage

Here’s how to store leftover hasselback chicken caprese:

  • Fridge – Place the cooled chicken in an airtight container with the chicken slit-side up so that the filling doesn’t fall out. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer – Place the chicken slit-side up in an airtight, freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the chicken in the fridge before reheating it.
  • To Reheat – Arrange the chicken in a 9 X 13-inch baking dish, slit-side up. Bake at 300°F for 10 minutes until heated through.
Looking down at a plate of two Hasselback Caprese Chicken Breasts.

Make it a Meal

Wondering what to serve with this Italian-inspired hasselback chicken caprese? It goes well with so many side dishes! Keep it easy and make some gluten-free penne and pesto sauce and add a salad, or try some of my other serving suggestions:

Three stuffed caprese chicken breasts on a white plate.
5 from 1 vote

Hasselback Chicken Caprese

This Hasselback Chicken Caprese recipe features tender chicken breasts stuffed with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, lots of Italian seasoning and fresh basil, and a drizzle of pesto sauce!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella ball , cut in half and sliced to ¼-inch thick
  • 2 large tomatoes , cut in half and sliced to ¼-inch thick
  • ¾ cup fresh basil leaves , divided (keep ¼ cup for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons basil pesto

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Arrange the chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish. Cut 6-7 slits in each chicken breast. The slits should only cut about 3⁄4 of the way through the breast. Do not cut all the way through.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder. Brush the mixture over the chicken. Make sure it gets into the slits.
  • Portion out 1 slice of mozzarella, 1 slice of tomato, a little fresh basil, and a bit of pesto into each slit.
  • Bake uncovered at 400°F for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the largest piece of chicken reads 165°F.
  • Garnish with remaining chopped basil and enjoy.
Nutrition Facts
Hasselback Chicken Caprese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 589 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Trans Fat 0.03g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 190mg63%
Sodium 1309mg55%
Potassium 1081mg31%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 62g124%
Vitamin A 1451IU29%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 362mg36%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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