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This chicken caprese salad perfectly combines juicy chicken, creamy avocado, sweet tomatoes, and fragrant basil leaves. The simple yet flavorful salad is a refreshing and nutritious meal that is easy to make and perfect for any occasion.
The salad is dressed with a homemade tangy balsamic vinegar dressing with the perfect sweetness and a pleasant pucker. Enjoy this salad as a light lunch, a healthy dinner, or a side dish for a barbecue or potluck.
Salads are my go-to all year round, although of course, I try to buy ingredients when they’re in season so they’re extra fresh. This grilled blackened chicken salad is beyond fresh tasting, and this spring salad with dill buttermilk dressing is perfect for a filling lunch.
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Why Choose Chicken and Avocado Caprese Salad?
When it comes to nutritious ingredients, chicken and avocado are excellent choices. Chicken is a great source of protein, which is necessary for helping our bodies heal, and of course, helping us build muscle tissue. Avocado, on the other hand, is packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Together, they create a power-packed salad that is satisfying and fulling, and also beneficial for your body.
The marriage of flavors in this salad is divine. The baked chicken pairs beautifully with the creamy avocado, while the combination of fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, and tangy mozzarella creates a beautiful balance. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch, a refreshing dinner, or a wholesome side dish, this Chicken and Avocado Caprese Salad is sure to hit the spot.
Is this Salad Healthy?
You should always speak to your doctor before deciding what foods are best for your individual health, but generally speaking, here are some health benefits of a Chicken and Avocado Caprese Salad:
Health Benefits of Chicken and Avocado Caprese Salad
Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, which promotes muscle growth, supports weight management, and aids in bone health. It also contains essential nutrients like vitamins B6 and B12, selenium, and phosphorus.
Avocado is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce bad cholesterol levels. It also provides a good amount of fiber, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, and B-vitamins. These nutrients contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system, improved digestion, and glowing skin.
The remaining ingredients in the salad also have many health benefits.
By incorporating Chicken and Avocado Caprese Salad into your diet, you’ll benefit from a filling meal that also supports overall well-being.
Balsamic Chicken Avocado Caprese Salad Ingredients
- Chicken breasts – you can also use the breast from a rotisserie chicken if you prefer
- Olive oil – avocado or grapeseed oil will also work well
- Paprika – this adds a richness with just a touch of heat to bring out the flavors dressing
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Balsamic vinegar – this makes the balsamic dressing, so buy some good-quality balsamic for this recipe
- Brown sugar
- Cherry tomatoes – and variety of tomato will do
- Fresh mozzarella balls – you can also slice fresh mozzarella, or use grated mozz in a pinch
- Fresh basil leaves
How to Make a Chicken Caprese Salad
STEP ONE: Cook the chicken. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake chicken breasts on a baking sheet for 15-18 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165F. Slice into strips and set aside until ready to serve.
STEP TWO: Make the glaze. Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepan on the stove and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes until thickened.
STEP THREE: Build the salad. Add the tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella balls, and fresh basil to a plate or bowl. Top with sliced chicken, and then drizzle the salads with the balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.
Tips and Recipe Notes
- Look for avocados that are just a touch soft when you gently press on them. If they feel overly soft or mushy, leave them behind.
- You can grill the chicken if you want to. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F to be sure it’s fully cooked.
- Slice uniform pieces of chicken, avocado, tomatoes, and mozzarella. This makes your salad look even more pleasing.
- Choose ripe, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and good-quality mozzarella cheese. The better the ingredients, the more flavorful the salad will be.
- Don’t add too much salt because the mozzarella cheese also adds some saltiness. Taste first.
Can I make this ahead?
It’s ideal to put this salad altogether just before serving it, but you can prepare the ingredients in advance. Slice the chicken, avocado, tomatoes, and mozzarella and store them separately in airtight containers. When you’re ready to eat, just assemble and pour the dressing on the salad.
What can I add to this salad?
You can replace the chicken with chickpeas if you want to make this a vegetarian salad. Also, coconut aminos is wonderful instead of the balsamic glaze.
I really like the addition of pesto on top of the chicken! And if you don’t want to make the chicken, you can use a rotisserie chicken instead. Just gently remove the breast and slice it carefully.
Steak is a great protein option as well since it tastes really good with balsamic reduction. You can grill it or pan-sear it to your preferred doneness.
Mozzarella can be replaced with feta cheese or goat cheese, and of course, add any veggies you want!
How to Store
Leftover salad is best stored without dressing on it. Place it in a Ziploc bag or container and keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days. The balsamic glaze will last a week in a container. You may need to shake it up before using it again.
Is this salad gluten-free?
Yes, this Chicken and Avocado Caprese Salad should already be gluten-free. However, it’s important to note that sometimes, ingredients contain hidden gluten, so check your labels carefully.
Yes, you can substitute the chicken with grilled tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas for a vegan version of this salad.
To add extra flavor, you can incorporate ingredients like roasted red peppers, sliced red onions, or a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.
It’s best to prepare this salad shortly before serving or the salad could look wilted and soggy. However, you can prep the individual components in advance.
A store-bought balsamic vinaigrette or a lemon herb dressing would taste great with the flavors of this salad. You can also drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a simple and light dressing.
Looking for more salad recipes? Give these a try:
- Fruit Salad with Watermelon
- Grilled Blackened Chicken Salad
- Quinoa Chickpea Salad
- Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
- Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
Chicken and Avocado Caprese Salad
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls
- Fresh basil leaves rolled up and thinly sliced
- Cook the chicken. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake chicken breasts on a baking sheet for 15-18 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165F. Slice into strips and set aside until ready to serve.
- Make the glaze. Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepan on the stove and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes until thickened.
- Build the salad. Add the tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella balls, and fresh basil to a plate or bowl. Top with sliced chicken, and then drizzle the salads with the balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.