Baked Chicken Caprese with a Pesto Cream Sauce

Written by Karen Coakley

Baked Chicken Caprese Header

This is one of ‘those’ dinners, one of the easiest and most delicious things you will ever make. It’s something I just flung in the oven one day and ended up being a spectacular dish and is now top of the list if I ask what they would like for dinner!

It’s a take on Insalate Caprese which I adore and brings together that classic combination of tomato, basil and mozzarella. It stinks of long summer evenings, balmy weather and definitely deserves a cool crisp glass of white wine.

I use my homemade Basil Pesto in this (I’m never without a jar of it in the fridge now). Feel free to use a good quality shop bought one but I really feel that once you make your own Pesto and see how easy it is you’ll never buy one again. The flavour will be better and in my honest opinion Pesto is one of those things that you pay through the nose unnecessarily for.

In the summer I buy my Basil really cheaply from our local Organic Communtiy Garden here in Kenmare but you can of course grow your own really easily and what a great little project for the kiddies…..growing their own Basil to make their own Pesto. The recipe for the Basil Pesto is here http://kenmarefoodies.com/hazelnut-coolea-cheese-basil-pesto/

I hope you enjoy this dish and that it’s simplicity and flavour will put it to the top of your family favourites too.



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg or gas mark 4
  2. Make 3 deep scores across the width of each chicken, you want to make a deep pocket without cutting right through the base of the fillet. Coat them with olive oil and season very well with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Next take a slice of tomato, a slice of mozzarella and 1 leaf of basil and fill the first pocket you have made with these, repeating until the chicken fillet has all 3 pockets filled with tomato, mozzarella and basil. Repeat this process with the other 3 chicken fillets
  4. Place the 4 chicken fillets into a snug fitting oven dish, you don’t want a lot of excess space around the chicken as you don’t want the juices to evaporate as these are the base for your cream sauce.
  5. Place the chicken into the preheated oven for roughly 30 mins or until the skin is crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked place it on a plate to rest. Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a saucepan and bring to a boil, pour in the cream and turn the heat down, add in the pesto, season with salt and pepper and allow to cook on a very low heat for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced down slightly and thickened.
  7. Spoon some of the thickened cream sauce onto a plate and place a chicken fillet on top.
  8. Serve with some baby roast potatoes and asparagus or some green salad and crusty bread.
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