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This Caprese Chicken Casserole takes the famous tomato, mozzarella, basil trio to a whole new level — it’s hearty, cheesy, and absolutely delicious!
Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe
WOW. This recipe is really good, y’all. It’s got it all: burst cherry tomatoes, hearty pasta, gooey mozzarella cheese, and fresh, bright basil. If you don’t know this already, Cassy is big on casseroles — if it can be turned into a casserole, you can bet that she’s tried it (and probably has a recipe for it!). So, it only made sense for her to turn all of the delicious, fresh ingredients of traditional caprese salad into a hearty, delicious casserole, and boy, am I glad she did (I think you will be too!).
This casserole is part two of a two-part Cook Once Dinner Fix-style dinner series. Part one is a really delicious, simple roasted chicken, veggie, and wild rice dinner. Learn how to make these meals together really efficiently HERE.
What is Caprese?
Caprese salad is a popular Italian appetizer/side that consists of fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, and oftentimes, balsamic vinegar. The combo is yummy, y’all, so incorporating it as a casserole or even a skillet (like this caprese chicken skillet) is a no-brainer.
What is Chicken Caprese Casserole?
This casserole combines all of the classic caprese ingredients (fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil) with pasta and chicken for a hearty one-dish dinner.
Is chicken caprese considered one of the easy chicken casserole recipes?
I think so! This casserole is super easy to make, especially if you’re using leftover cooked chicken breast (vs. cooking your chicken just before assembling the casserole). You will need to cook the pasta, but that’s generally a quick, easy task.
Chicken Caprese Casserole Ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this cheesy casserole:
For the Caprese Casserole
- Rotini Pasta – to start, you’ll need 12 ounces of rotini pasta.
- EVOO – you’ll also need 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil — 1 for cooking the chicken and the other to keep the noodles from sticking!
- Salt and Pepper – the only seasoning you’ll need here is a ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt and a ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Chicken Breasts – you’ll also need 1 ½ pounds of fresh chicken breasts. Feel free to use already cooked and cubed chicken to make things super easy!
- Balsamic Vinegar – to stay true to the caprese flavors, you’ll also need 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Half will head into the casserole before it bakes and the other half will be drizzled on top of the finished casserole.
- Cherry Tomatoes – what’s caprese without tomatoes?! You’ll need 1 pint of cherry tomatoes here.
- Mozzarella Cheese – 16 ounces of buffalo mozzarella pearls gets added into the casserole dish too, making the finished product ooey, gooey, and delicious. Do note that if you can’t find mozzarella pearls, you can absolutely use larger mozzarella balls cut into ½-inch cubes.
- Fresh Basil – to round out the classic caprese nature of this dish, you’ll need a ½ cup of thinly sliced fresh basil to sprinkle over the casserole once it’s out of the oven.
For the Italian Salad
- EVOO – the dressing base for this simple Italian side salad is a ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil.
- Red Wine Vinegar – in addition to the EVOO, you’ll also need a ¼ cup of red wine vinegar.
- Honey – 2 teaspoons of honey add a touch of delicious sweetness to the dressing.
- Salt and Pepper – to simply season your salad, you’ll need a ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt and a ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Romaine Lettuce – 4 cups of chopped romaine lettuce act as the salad base. Feel free to use any other greens you love here!
- Cherry Tomatoes – a ¼ cup of cherry tomatoes get thrown into the salad.
- Red Onion – ½ of a thinly sliced red onion heads into the salad bowl too.
- Carrots – as one more veggie add, 2 sliced carrots get tossed into the salad also.
If you’re looking for some simple swaps and modifications for this recipe, we’ve got them! Here are a few that are worth a try:
- Make it gluten-free: make the casserole gluten-free by using a gluten-free pasta rather than a regular, wheat-based pasta.
- Make it dairy-free: swap the mozzarella cheese for dairy-free/vegan mozzarella. There are some really great options out there!
Supplies You Need to Make this Recipe
How to make this chicken caprese recipe
The process is super simple. Here’s what you’ll do:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Boil the noodles – to start, cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
- Sear the chicken – while the noodles cook, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts to it and sear for 4-5 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Chop the chicken – once cooked through, pull the chicken out of the pan and chop it into 1-inch pieces.
- Add the noodles to the casserole dish – add the cooked noodles to a 9×13 inch, or other 3-quart, baking dish. Add one tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper to the noodles and toss to combine.
- Add the chicken, balsamic vinegar, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella – spread the cubed chicken breast over the noodles, drizzle 2 of the tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar over the chicken, then top with the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Bake – bake the casserole for 30 minutes, until the cheese is browned on top.
- Make the salad dressing – while the casserole is baking, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Assemble the salad – put the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and carrots in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Garnish the casserole and serve – once the casserole comes out of the oven, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle the basil over top. Serve with the Italian salad and enjoy!
Just for You
Want more recipes like this?
Chicken Caprese Casserole Frequently Asked Questions
We’re keeping things super simple for this recipe and leaving the cherry tomatoes whole — traditionally, though, tomatoes for caprese salad are sliced into thin rounds.
The total time needed to make this meal is about 55 minutes. It’ll take about 25 minutes to get the noodles cooked and the chicken seared and chopped, and then 30 minutes for the casserole to bake to gooey, cheesy perfection in the oven. While the casserole bakes, though, you can prep the salad, so that shouldn’t take any additional time!
That totally depends on your body and what it tolerates, so take a look at the ingredient list, and if you know that everything on the list is doable for you, it’s a great option! It’s definitely a really balanced meal loaded with flavor.
The casserole and accompanying salad included in this recipe are a match made in foodie heaven, but if you’re looking to change things up, a side of simple sauteed veggies (like these green beans) would be a great veggie add.
Any leftover casserole you have should be stored in an airtight container (or in the casserole dish with a piece of foil tightly covering it) in the refrigerator.
Stored sealed in the refrigerator, your casserole will last for 4-5 days. Enjoy!
For the Caprese Casserole:
- 12 ounces rotini pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar divided
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 16 ounces Buffalo Mozzarella pearls (may also use larger mozzarella balls cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
For the Italian Salad:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
- While the noodles cook, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Once the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts to it and sear for 4-5 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through. Pull the chicken out of the pan and chop it into 1-inch pieces.
- Add the cooked noodles to a 9×13 inch, or other 3-quart, baking dish. Add one tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper to the noodles and toss to combine.
- Spread the cubed chicken breast over the noodles, drizzle 2 of the tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar over the chicken, then top with the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Bake the casserole for 30 minutes, until the cheese is browned on top.
- Meanwhile, make the Italian Salad: in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Put the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and carrots in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Once the casserole comes out of the oven, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle the basil over top. Serve with the Italian salad.