This balsamic chicken recipe requires almost no cutting and only about 5 minutes of prep time. The boneless skinless chicken breasts cook in a sauce of tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and onions, so they come out deliciously moist and packed with flavor.
Friends, I’m really excited about sharing this one with you today.
You all are always asking me for easy chicken recipes, and balsamic chicken might just be my new ideal easy chicken dinner.
What’s Great About This Recipe
- Almost no cutting required. You’ll need to slice an onion and maybe a couple of chicken breasts. That’s it.
- You can prep the ingredients in about 5 to 10 minutes. Even though this dish is big on flavor, there aren’t a ton of ingredients, so the recipe comes together FAST.
- After searing, the chicken cooks in the sauce so you can walk away and don’t have to babysit it.
- The chicken comes out PACKED with flavor. Super tangy, and a little sweet, this definitely isn’t your usual old boring weeknight chicken recipe.
I hope you immediately add this to your weeknight dinner rotation and then come back here and tell me how much everyone loved it!
Ingredient and Equipment Notes
- Chicken breasts: Chicken breast size varies wildly these days, so you can use either 4 small chicken breasts (8 ounces or less) or 2 large (12+ ounces). If using large chicken breasts, in the recipe, I simply have you slice them into cutlets before cooking.
- Sweet onion: I love using a sweet onion here, but you can substitute a red or yellow onion if that’s what you have on hand.
- Canned diced tomatoes: You can substitute crushed or whole canned tomatoes if you’re out of diced. Crushed tomatoes will change the texture of the sauce but will still be delicious. To use whole canned tomatoes, pulse them a couple times in the can with an immersion blender or in your food processor or blender before adding them to the pan.
- A deep 12-inch skillet with a lid: A standard 12-inch skillet works okay for this recipe, but it gets a little full so you’ll want to watch it closely once you put the lid on to make sure everything stays at just a simmer and does not boil over. A deeper skillet gives you a little more breathing room. If you don’t own a skillet with a lid, you can also make this in a large dutch oven.
How to Make Balsamic Chicken
1. Slice the chicken if needed: If using 2 large chicken breasts, slice each piece of chicken into 2 cutlets by placing your hand on top of the chicken breast and running a sharp knife horizontally through the breast, slicing the top and bottom into two even pieces.
2. Brown the chicken: Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and brown both sides of the meat. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
3. Cook the onions and garlic: Add butter, garlic, and onions to the pan and cook until the onions are wilted and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. While the onions cook, be sure to use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the skillet and dislodge any cooked-on bits of fond. The fond adds flavor to the sauce, but it can burn if left sitting at the bottom of the pan.
4. Add the remaining ingredients: Stir everything together and bring to a simmer.
5. Return the chicken to the pan: Nestle the chicken breasts in the simmering liquid and cover skillet. Cook for 6 to 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast reads 165°F.
Cooking time is going to vary depending on how thick your chicken breasts are, so if you’re working with thicker pieces of meat, don’t worry if they’re taking a little longer to cook.
6. Reduce the sauce. Once the chicken is cooked through, transfer it to a clean plate or cutting board to rest and tent with foil to keep warm. Simmer the sauce uncovered until the onions are softened to your desired level of doneness and the sauce reduces to a thicker consistency, about 3 to 5 minutes. You’ll know the sauce is good to go when you run your spoon down the pan and you can briefly see the bottom without the liquid immediately covering it up.
7. Time to eat: Serve chicken with sauce spooned over the top alongside egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!!
Can I use bone-in chicken breasts/thighs or boneless skinless chicken thighs?
You can, but bone-in meat will require longer cooking times, especially for chicken breasts. If the sauce becomes too thick before the meat has finished cooking, add a couple tablespoons of water back to the pan to keep the sauce from burning.
What to serve with balsamic chicken?
You can serve balsamic chicken breasts over egg noodles or with rice, but my favorite is mashed potatoes. Pair the chicken with a simple vegetable like:
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
You can. Make this dish up to 48 hours in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
More Easy Chicken Dinners
Easy Balsamic Chicken
- 12-inch deep skillet with a lid
- 4 small or 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter salted or unsalted is fine
- 4 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 1 sweet onion halved from root to tip and sliced into ¼-inch slices
- 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes*
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar optional
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- If using 2 large chicken breasts, slice each piece of chicken into 2 cutlets by placing your hand on top of the chicken breast and running a sharp knife horizontally through the breast, slicing the top and bottom into two thin, even pieces.
- Generously salt and pepper both sides of your chicken breasts.
- In a deep 12-inch skillet with a lid heat oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken breasts to the pan and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the chicken and repeat with the second side.
- Remove skillet from heat, transfer chicken to a plate and set it aside.
- To the same skillet, add butter. Melt butter over medium heat and then add the garlic and onions. Use a wooden spoon to stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any cooked-on bits. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are wilted and beginning to soften.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan and nestle it in the simmering liquid. Cover skillet, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast reads 165°F.
- Transfer chicken breasts to a clean plate or cutting board to rest and tent with foil to keep warm. Continue to simmer the sauce uncovered until the onions are softened to your desired level of doneness and the sauce reduces to a thicker consistency, about 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Spoon sauce over chicken breasts and serve alongside rice, over egg noodles, or with mashed potatoes. Enjoy!!
Recipe Adapted From Dishing With Leslie (no longer available online)
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I have a question .. since I cook just for myself. If I made this .. how do you think it would freeze? I was thinking .. making it and then freezing the 3 left over portions individually for quick grab meals.
Thanks and I love your recipes! I use a number of them quite often but WHY did you put those Andes cookies up there? So frustrating because I’ve made them and I know how good they are and how quite impossible it is not to eat them all up in one day!
These freeze well! I’d definitely go for it.
And LOL so sorry about those Andes cookies. They really are a menace!