A few weeks ago we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants in Braselton, Georgia. Scrolling down through the menu, we decided to try a Chicken Caprese dish. Not a cold salad with chicken on top, but chicken breasts with cooked spinach, slices of mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, artistically drizzled with balsamic. Our Skillet Chicken Caprese with Spinach tastes even better – enlivened with spices and flavors, and with only 7 net carbs, it fits right into a Keto/Low Carb lifestyle.
It’s a one-pan meal, combining seasoned chicken breasts with shallots, garlic, fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzerella pearls. We drizzle on balsamic and top with fresh basil for a meal that takes only 25 minutes, from prep to plate.
We use Perdue Perfect Portions boneless skinless chicken breasts because they’re individually packaged, and each breast is about 5 ounces. While they’re still in their individual pouches, pound any thicker areas down to 1/2 inch thickness. This will aid in uniform cooking. Don’t forget to pat the chicken breasts thoroughly with paper towels before sprinkling both sides with seasoning mixture. This step helps the seasonings to better adhere. Add your own seasoning mix instead of ours. Spice it as you like it.
In a large skillet, heat 2 T of olive oil over medium-high heat. We use cooking olive oil because it is best for high temperature cooking. If you don’t have cooking olive oil, use a high quality olive oil instead. Add all four chicken breasts and cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. This will sear in the flavors and juices of the meat. Flip the chicken over, add the remaining 1 T of olive oil and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover. Important: allow the pan to cool down a couple of minutes, and don’t forget to reduce the heat to medium, so as not to burn the next addition of butter, shallots, and garlic. Sautée the shallots for 1 minute, add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
Now add 8 cups of fresh spinach – stems and all – and stir until coated, cooking just until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. We use large tongs for this job as the spinach will fill the skillet to the brim before it cooks down. Add the chicken back into the skillet, then add the cherry tomatoes. Simmer until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. It should only take a minute or two, depending on the thickness of the chicken breast
Reduce the heat to low. Add the fresh mozzarella pearls (or four – 1 ounce slices of fresh mozzarella) and place the lid over the skillet for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese starts to soften. Then plate the chicken breasts and surrround with coated spinach, tomatoes, and cheese. Drizzle with a good quality balsamic and garnish with fresh basil.
We took our refrigerated leftovers and sliced the chicken into thin pieces. Then on a fresh bed of uncooked spinach, we placed the chicken, added cherry tomatoes, a little extra mozzarella, and drizzled the salad with olive oil and a splash of balsamic for a delicious cold caprese salad!
Check out more of our delicious chicken meals:
Skillet Chicken Caprese with Spinach
Bring the fresh flavors of summer into your kitchen with our one-skillet, keto/low carb meal. Juicy, pan-seared chicken breasts are surrounded by sautéed shallots, garlic, wilted spinach, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella cheese, then drizzled with balsamic and topped with fresh basil. An easy, complete meal in only 25 minutes, with just 7 net carbs per serving,
- Large skillet with lid
- 4 -5 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp seasoned salt (Montreal chicken seasoning; Lawry's; Kosher)
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup minced shallots
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 8 cups spinach (fresh)
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese (pearls or 4 thick slices)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh basil (torn)
Using a mallet, pound thicker sections of the chicken breasts to ½ inch thick. Using paper towels, pat both sides dry. In a small prep bowl, combine seasoned salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes. Sprinkle both sides with mixture.
Heat 2 T olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook 3 minutes. Flip the chicken over, then add remaining 1 T olive oil. Continue cooking additional 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover. Reduce heat to medium.
In the same skillet, add butter and melt. Add shallots and sauté 1 minute. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Add spinach and stir to coat, cooking just until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
Add chicken back to the skillet. Add tomatoes and simmer until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165° F. This should only take a minute or two, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Reduce heat to low. Add mozzarella, then place lid over skillet for approximately 2 minutes, or until cheese begins to soften.
Plate and drizzle with balsamic. Garnish with fresh basil.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.