This 30 Minute Air-Fried Caprese Chicken Recipe is the perfect warm-weather dinner. Ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and simple basil and spinach pesto top chicken breasts and pair great with your favorite pasta for a meal everyone will love!
Spring and Summer dinners don't get much better than this quick and simple meal.
Ripe and juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and the peppery and zesty pesto go so well together. No need to turn on your oven and heat up the house even more. This recipe can easily be made in an air fryer, you won't know the difference!
In 30 minutes you'll have dinner on the table that everyone in your family will love. Serve my Lemon Blueberry Tart for dessert!
My Lemon and Herb Salmon Burgers are another great warm-weather recipe you are sure to love.
We've all probably had a Caprese salad, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar. I wanted to make this recipe similar to that but so it could be enjoyed as a meal. However, I got rid of the balsamic glaze and used pesto instead and I think you will love this switch up!
Full quantities are in the recipe card below.
- Chicken breasts- you'll need to pound the chicken breasts to even thickness with a meat mallet so they will cook evenly. Thin-sliced chicken breasts are a great alternative and less work!
- Lemon- you'll need the juice from one lemon for both the chicken marinade and the pesto.
- Garlic cloves- 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves are needed for the chicken and the pesto sauce.
- Fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes- one or two will be needed depending on their size.
- Buffalo mozzarella- you will need 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella for this recipe, either a mozzarella ball or pre-sliced will work.
- Pesto- make sure you have 1 cup each of fresh basil and spinach. The full pesto recipe is below and is really easy to make but you can use store-bought for an even easier dish!
Start by pounding 4 chicken breasts so they are all the same thickness.
Marinate the chicken breasts in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt and pepper for at least two hours to overnight. The longer you marinate, the juicier and more flavorful the chicken will be.
Before the chicken is fully cooked, top with tomato and mozzarella and finish cooking to melt the cheese. Top with pesto and serve immediately!
Yes, if you don't have an air fryer, this recipe can also be made in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the chicken uncovered in a baking dish for 15-20 minutes. Next, remove the chicken from the oven, top the breasts with tomato and mozzarella slices and bake for another 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melty.
Caprese chicken pairs great with your favorite pasta and a simple side salad full of mixed greens. Seasonal vegetables, such as asparagus and zucchini also make great sides for this dish.
There are several ways to pound chicken breasts, but I like to place them on a cutting board, cover them with plastic wrap or parchment paper and pound lightly with the flat side of a meat mallet. You can also use a rolling pin if you don't have a mallet. For more detailed instructions, check out this article on how to pound chicken breast.
Store the leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat for a few minutes in the microwave, oven or air fryer until warm.
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30 Minute Air-Fried Caprese Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts pounded to even thickness
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon juiced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into 8 even pieces
- 1-2 vine-ripened tomatoes cut into 8 even slices
- 1 cup fresh basil packed
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon juiced
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Marinate the chicken breasts in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt and pepper for at least two hours.
- If using the air fryer, preheat to 375 degrees F. Once preheated, add the chicken to the air fryer basket and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- If using the oven, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth.
- Remove the chicken from the air fryer or oven and top each breast with 2 slices of tomato and 2 slices of mozzarella.
- Place the chicken back in the air fryer or oven and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through (internal temperature should read 165 degrees F).
- Top the chicken breasts with about two tablespoons of pesto sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, please leave a rating and a comment. I love to know what you are making and ratings help me to create more delicious recipes for you!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.