Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad

This is a sponsored post for HemisFares™ brand that is available exclusively at Kroger family of stores.  All opinions are honest and 100% my own.

Caprese salads are one of my favorite things, especially in the summer, and I made this amped up version which includes chicken and pesto.

It’s an easy dish that’s healthy, light, intensely flavorful, and ready in 20 minutes. I broke the recipe down into three easy-peasy sections. Pesto, chicken, caprese salad. Done.

Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad - Homemade pesto coats every bite of JUICY chicken, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella in this fun twist on caprese salad!! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with rich basil flavor!!

I love pesto and with all the fresh basil this time of year, ’tis the season. It’s easy and comes together in a food processor in one minute. Homemade is so much better than storebought.

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Simply combine fresh basil with parmesan, pine nuts (I’ve seen people sub walnuts, cashews, or pistachios), garlic, olive oil, and you’re in business. I used HemisFares Olive Oil from Ralph’s (or Kroger depending on where you live).

Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad - Homemade pesto coats every bite of JUICY chicken, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella in this fun twist on caprese salad!! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with rich basil flavor!!

This velvety and flavorful estate-grown oil features Nocellara del Belice olives grown and harvested by the same family for over 100 years, available only from the province of Trapani in Sicily.

Cold-pressed within eight hours of being picked, the oil has notes of artichokes and almonds and a peppery finish that’s perfect for dipping, cooking, and finishing. For more information on HemisFares you can check out the website HemisFaresFinds.com or facebook.com/Hemisfares.

Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad - Homemade pesto coats every bite of JUICY chicken, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella in this fun twist on caprese salad!! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with rich basil flavor!!

The chicken cooks in the pesto and it really helps the chicken stay tender, juicy, and adds so much basil-infused flavor.

The cooked chicken is tossed with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and lightly drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad - Homemade pesto coats every bite of JUICY chicken, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella in this fun twist on caprese salad!! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with rich basil flavor!!

All the different textures and flavors complement each other beautifully.

You’ll likely have extra pesto which is great the next day on pasta, zucchini noodles, make a pesto pizza, or simply eat as a dip.

Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad - Homemade pesto coats every bite of JUICY chicken, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella in this fun twist on caprese salad!! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with rich basil flavor!!

Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad

I made an amped up caprese salad which includes chicken and pesto. It’s an easy dish that’s healthy, light, intensely flavorful, and ready in 20 minutes. I broke the recipe down into three easy-peasy sections. Pesto, chicken, caprese salad. The pesto is easy and comes together in a food processor in one minute. The chicken cooks in the pesto and it really helps the chicken stay tender, juicy, and adds so much basil-infused flavor. The cooked chicken is tossed with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and lightly drizzled with balsamic reduction. All the different textures and flavors complement each other beautifully.

Ingredients:

Pesto

  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves (from about one 4-ounce container)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 3 cloves garlic, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup HemisFares Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons HemisFares Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • about 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup pesto

Caprese Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if desired
  • one 8-ounce container fresh mozzarella ‘pearls’ or small mozzarella balls, drained
  • about 10 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze for drizzling, or to taste (homemade or storebought)

Directions:

  1. Pesto – To the canister of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice (helps pesto from oxidizing as quickly) salt, pepper, and blend on high speed momentarily to break ingredients down.
  2. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive until the pesto is smooth and emulsified; set aside.
  3. Chicken – To a large skillet, add the olive oil, chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat; stir and flip intermittently so chicken cooks evenly. When chicken is about 90% cooked through, add the pesto, stir to combine, reduce the heat to low, and allow the chicken to simmer in the pesto for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until chicken is done (internal temp of 165F).
  4. Caprese Salad – To a large bowl, add the chicken including the pesto/pan juices, mozzarella, basil, evenly drizzle with balsamic, stir to combine, and serve immediately. Dish is best fresh. Extra pesto will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days, noting it will oxidize as time passes although the lemon juice helps to minimize this.
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Post is brought to you by HemisFares. The recipes, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own.

10 comments on “Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad”

  1. I love this! So fresh and flavorful with an extra protein boost. This is a great summer salad and it’s going on my “to-make”list later this week.

    • This has SO much flavor! The pesto is just so herby and fresh and flavorful. We loved it! LMK how it goes if you try it!

    • This was the perfect lunch today (and Jon was home to enjoy it too)! I love fresh herbs all year around but basil is one of my three favorites…especially when tomatoes and mozzarella are involved. The balsamic glaze is just the right finish!

      • I am so glad you loved it and I had a feeling when I was making it, I thought, yep…Paula will probably make this one and love it :)

        Fresh basil is the BEST! And I love that this has so much really robust basil flavor! And you can’t beat balsamic glaze!

  2. So colorful and pretty. I love all things pesto!!!

  3. This caprese salad is gorgeous! I could eat it every day!

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