Caprese salad gets a satisfying twist in this simple Caprese Chicken Casserole recipe! Featuring shredded white meat chicken, juicy cherry tomatoes, melting mozzarella cheese and basil pesto, it’s a dinner sent from heaven!
An Easy 6-Ingredient Chicken Casserole
Fresh, easy, juicy, and incredibly delicious! That’s how I’d describe this simple casserole version of one of my very favorite dishes, Caprese salad. I just love the combination of basil, mozzarella and tomato, so why not make it a casserole?
Honestly, I know there are people out there who don’t love casseroles. But in my book, that’s just because they haven’t met the right one! And, maybe this is the casserole of their dreams!
To get the fresh basil flavor in this dish, I’m using basil pesto, which is so delicious and can be found in any grocery store next to the pasta and pizza sauces. For protein, we’ve got some nice mozzarella, of course, and shredded chicken, as well! For the tomatoes, I’m going with juicy little cherry tomatoes. Serious yum!
What You’ll Need
If you want to make this easy dish even easier, you can use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken instead of making your own. Easy!
- Chicken: Have ready one pound of cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Tomatoes: Cut one cup of cherry tomatoes in half.
- Mozzarella: You’ll need 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into ½-inch pieces. You can also use the little balls of mozzarella.
- Pesto: You’ll need ¼ cup of basil pesto.
- Mayonnaise: To make the casserole creamy, use about a cup of your favorite mayonnaise.
- Parmesan: Fresh shredded parmesan cheese makes this casserole even more melty and delicious.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
How to Make Caprese Chicken Casserole
Putting your caprese chicken casserole together couldn’t be simpler! All you have to do is mix and bake. It’s perfect for a busy day!
- Prep Oven, Baking Dish & Chicken: Preheat your oven to 400˚F and lightly grease a baking dish with cooking spray. Shred the cooked chicken breasts with two forks.
- Assemble Casserole: Place the shredded chicken in the baking dish.
- Make Sauce: In a mixing bowl, combine the pesto, mayonnaise, half of the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
- Combine & Bake: Add the sauce to the ingredients in the baking dish and stir to mix it all together.
- Arrange cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese over the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly on the sides.
Tips for Success
This is a flexible casserole that can easily be adjusted to align with your diet preferences. Here are some tips for how to switch it up:
- Protein Substitutes: You could use chicken thighs instead of breasts, or sauté up some turkey or Italian sausage crumbles instead of chicken. This could also be a vegan masterpiece if you try using your favorite plant-based meat substitute, tofu, or just some sautéed mushrooms.
- Tomato, Tomahto: I love the sweet and juicy flavor of cherry tomatoes, but feel free to sub any good tomatoes you have on hand, from heirloom varieties to hothouse tomatoes. Just give a rough chop and go!
- Boost Nutrition: This is a nice recipe for stirring in some extra nutrients. Frozen spinach, chopped and drained well? Go for it! A bit of bell pepper? Sure! Some quinoa? Oh yeah! Make this your own, and enjoy.
What to Serve with Caprese Chicken Casserole
Wondering what to serve with your cheesy chicken casserole? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! These simple sides all go perfectly with this flavorful main course.
- Shrimp: Crispy Shrimp Tempura are a welcome side or appetizer with any meal! They’re super easy and delicious.
- Salad: Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad is the perfect filling side dish for our Caprese casserole! It’s packed flavor and oh-so-fresh.
- Bread: How about some easy No-Knead Rolls? Fresh bread is one of my very favorite side dishes!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, place leftovers in a baking dish and bake at 350°F, until just heated through. Do not overcook, or the chicken will dry out.
Can I Freeze Caprese Chicken Casserole?
- Yes, you can! Cool leftover casserole completely, then transfer to freezer bags or containers. Try not to leave much air or space in the bag/container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Caprese Chicken Casserole
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Shred cooked chicken breasts with two forks and transfer chicken to the baking dish. Set aside. (If you need a good recipe for baked chicken, grab my recipe for perfectly baked chicken breasts)
- In a mixing bowl combine the basil pesto, mayonnaise, half of the parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper; stir until well combined.
- Add the pesto mixture to the chicken mixture in the baking dish and stir to mix it all together.
- Arrange cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese over the chicken.
- Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
If you have a bunch of leftover chicken on hand or simply want to try out some new chicken recipes, the following dishes are for you!