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Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad With Balsamic Glaze

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This is my go-to summer pasta salad recipe, but really I eat it year-round because it is so good and quick – and my whole family loves it!

Have you ever had one of those moments when you crave a dish that’s light and refreshing yet filling at the same time? That’s how I felt when I first came across this great recipe for chicken caprese pasta salad with balsamic glaze.

chicken caprese pasta salad with balsamic glaze

Inspired by the classic Italian caprese salad, this modern twist combines tender chicken, pasta, and the traditional caprese flavors of fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella, all drizzled with a tangy balsamic glaze. It’s become a staple for family gatherings and summer cookouts.

Chicken caprese pasta salad with balsamic glaze is a dish that exemplifies the essence of Mediterranean food. It’s light, vibrant, and packed with fresh, high-quality ingredients. The colors and flavors all work together so beautifully, so it’s a perfect choice for just about any meal time or special occasion.

What to serve with chicken caprese pasta salad

With this pasta salad, you have plenty of options to create a well-rounded meal. Serve it as a side dish with grilled meats or burgers, or simply make it the main course on its own.

You can pair the pasta salad with crusty artisan bread or a side of roasted broccoli. On a table, this salad looks lovely in a large bowl with a ladle and a bread basket tucked alongside it.

For drinks, iced tea or lemonade with fresh mint would complement the flavors well and keep it light. If you’re serving alcoholic beverages, opt for a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or a light beer to complement the salad’s flavors.

For dessert, finish with a refreshing Italian dessert like tiramisu, a fruit-based sorbet, or my easy lemon loaf, which is a nod to limoncello.

italian chicken caprese pasta salad.

Ingredients you will need to make this delicious chicken caprese pasta salad

Here are the ingredients for the pasta salad and balsamic glaze, with a bit of explanation about how each contributes to the dish’s flavors, texture and presentation.

  • Chicken Breasts: Cut into bite-size pieces, this lean protein source adds some substance to the salad.
  • Basil: This recipe calls for fresh basil and dried basil, which both bring a strong herbal note to the taste and aroma of this dish. You might also consider adding a bit of fresh oregano, as the two are commonly mixed herbs in Italian cooking.
  • Pasta: Serves as the base of the dish, providing texture and a neutral flavor. Opt for other grains or gluten-free options, if desired.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Adds richness and helps to sauté the garlic and tomatoes.
  • Garlic: Offers a savory and aromatic base for the dish.
  • Grape Tomatoes: Contributes a fresh, juicy, and slightly sweet element. You can substitute cherry tomatoes here for an even sweeter taste.
  • Fresh Basil: Provides a fragrant and herbaceous flavor.
  • Mozzarella Cheese Pearls: Fresh mozzarella adds a creamy, salty component and texture.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavors of the ingredients and balances sweetness.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a slight spice and depth to the dish.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Creates a tangy and rich flavor for the glaze.
  • Brown Sugar: This balances the acidity of the balsamic vinegar and adds a touch of sweetness to the glaze.
Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad Ingredients

Be sure to check out the full ingredient measurements and complete recipe below.

Frequently asked questions about chicken caprese pasta salad with balsamic glaze

Here are a few common questions about this recipe, with answers. If you have a question I may have missed, please let me know in the comments. I will reply just as soon as I can.

Are caprese salads healthy?

Yes, caprese salads are considered healthy due to their fresh and nutritious ingredients, such as tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese. These components provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. To keep the salad on the lighter side, use fresh, high-quality ingredients and watch your portion sizes.

What is a good substitute for mozzarella in caprese salad?

If you need a substitute for mozzarella, try using another mild, creamy cheese like provolone, burrata, or fontina. These options will maintain the dish’s creamy texture and balance the flavors of the tomatoes and basil.

chicken caprese pasta salad with balsamic glaze

Can you make caprese pasta salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the components of the caprese pasta salad ahead of time and assemble it right before serving. Store the cooked pasta, prepped vegetables, and grilled chicken in separate containers in the refrigerator, then toss them together with the dressing and fresh basil just before serving.

Why is it called Caprese salad?

The caprese salad, also known as insalata caprese, owes its name to the beautiful island of Capri in the Bay of Naples, Italy. The dish is said to have originated from this region, featuring fresh ingredients that represent the colors of the Italian flag: red ripe tomatoes, white mozzarella cheese, and green basil leaves.

Ready to celebrate the flavors of Italy with this delicious caprese chicken pasta salad with balsamic glaze? Gather your ingredients, follow our easy step-by-step instructions, and enjoy the taste of summer all year round.

More Grandma-Approved Recipes

If you loved this chicken caprese salad recipe, here are a few other recipes you should try! They are all delicious and grandma-approved.

Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad

Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad With Balsamic Glaze

This is my go-to summer pasta salad recipe, but really I eat it year-round because it is so good and quick – and my whole family loves it!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken dinner, pasta
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Laura

Equipment

  • cooking pan
  • large spoon
  • Spatula
  • pasta strainer or colander
  • small pot

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 16 ounces dry pasta
  • 2.5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves minced
  • 16 ounces grape tomatoes sliced lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese pearls
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the package in a large pot of salted water. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water before draining.
  • Mix the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small pot and stir well. Cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes, or until syrupy.
  • While pasta and balsamic vinegar cook, dry the chicken and cut into 1/2 inch cubes—season with dried basil, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a large non-stick pan on high heat and add half the olive oil.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and heat to high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the halved tomatoes to the pan and salt and pepper to taste. Cook the tomatoes until soft and tender, 5-6 minutes.
  • Once the pasta is drained, add the chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella pearls and fresh basil to the pasta. Stir until well combined and serve warm.
  • Drizzle with balsamic glaze, if desired.

Notes

  • If I don’t have time to make the glaze, I like to keep this balsamic glaze in my fridge when I’m in a pinch! 

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