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This dish gets its name from the famous Caprese Salad: a mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad that was originated on the isle of Capri. Those 3 salad elements are a feature of this dish; hence, Caprese Chicken.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are well-seasoned and baked in a hot oven with grape tomatoes and onions, bathed in a sweet balsamic glaze, topped with a smidge of mozzarella are served over seasoned spaghetti squash sprinkled with a touch of fresh Parmesan. Does mozzarella and Parmesan sound too cheesy to be permissable? Don’t worry–it’s all about the amount! A mere ounce of mozzarella here and a tablespoon of Parmesan there add tons of luxurious flavor without compromising your healthy food goals! Try it!
Caprese Chicken Over Spaghetti Squash
Adapted from: various Internet recipes
Ingredients for the Spaghetti Squash:
- 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in two vertically, with seeds removed.
- Olive oil spray or 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Ingredients for the Caprese Chicken:
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 box grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 3 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs coconut sugar or agave nectar
- 4 oz grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
- fresh basil leaves, chopped
Instructions for the Spaghetti Squash:
- Preheat oven to 450° Line a baking pan with foil. Place the deseeded squash halves on the pan, cut side up. Spray lightly with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
- Using a fork, scrape the squash strings from the squash halves and place on a large platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; cover with another piece of foil and keep warm. If you have double ovens or a warming oven, just put the platter in an oven on “Warm.”
Instructions for the Caprese Chicken:
- Set the oven temperature to 425° F. Line a 3” deep baking dish with aluminum foil. Lightly oil the foil.
- Sprinkle the bottom sides of the breasts with half of the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place the breasts in the pan, seasoned side down. Lightly oil the top of the breasts and sprinkle again with the rest of the seasonings.
- Place tomato halves and diced onion all around chicken.
- Combine the balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar/agave in a small dish. Drizzle the tomatoes/onions with the mixture.
- Bake for 18-24 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the largest breast reads 160°.
- Pull the pan out of the oven and sprinkle each breast with 1 oz mozzarella cheese.
- Set the oven to Broil, move a rack to the top position, and place pan back in oven. Broil for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Check frequently to ensure the cheese doesn’t burn.
- To serve: uncover the platter of spaghetti squash. Arrange the chicken breasts over the spaghetti squash, and spoon the roasted tomatoes/onions over the entire dish. Sprinkle with the fresh basil.
Notes: Serve this meal with a simple salad of dark leafy greens!
Photograph via allrecipes