Balsamic Baked Chicken Breast: A Classic Recipe with a Tangy Twist

Balsamic baked chicken breast is not just a dish; it’s a celebration of flavor, simplicity, and health. Marinated in a rich balsamic vinegar glaze and baked to perfection, this chicken dish is a testament to the beauty of Italian cooking and the versatility of chicken. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a healthy meal prep option, balsamic baked chicken breast has got you covered.

Ingredients That Make the Dish

The key to the dish’s irresistible flavor lies in its ingredients:

  • Balsamic Vinegar: Aged to perfection, it lends a tangy, slightly sweet flavor that is unmistakable. For enthusiasts interested in exploring more about this versatile ingredient, consider reading about the different types of vinegar available for cooking.
  • Chicken Breast: Lean yet tender, it provides the perfect canvas for the balsamic glaze. Learn How to Grill Chicken Wings on a Gas Grill.

The Preparation: Marinating and Baking

The art of preparing a mouthwatering chicken dish lies not just in the cooking itself but starts much earlier, with the marination process. By marinating the chicken in a blend of rich balsamic vinegar, fragrant olive oil, and a carefully selected mix of herbs, you’re not only infusing the meat with depth and layers of flavor but also ensuring that every bite remains succulently juicy and tender. Our specialized guide on marinating chicken dives deeper into this culinary technique, offering you insights on the optimal techniques and timing to achieve the perfect marinate. This preparation step is crucial and sets the foundation for a dish that’s brimming with flavor and aroma.

Cooking to Perfection

Transitioning to the cooking phase, baking is where the magic happens. This method allows the glaze from the marinade to beautifully caramelize on the surface of the chicken, offering a delightful textural contrast to the tender, moist meat beneath. For those who might be venturing into the realm of baking chicken for the first time, fear not. Our comprehensive guide is packed with tips and tricks aimed at demystifying the process, ensuring you can achieve that perfect golden crust and evenly cooked interior every time. Baking is not just about cooking; it’s about transforming the marinated chicken into a culinary masterpiece that’s both visually appealing and delicious.

Serving Suggestions

The final touch to this culinary experience comes with pairing the chicken with the right side dishes. A side of roasted vegetables, with their caramelized edges and savory sweetness, or a light, refreshing salad can balance the rich flavors of the chicken, creating a well-rounded meal. For those in search of inspiration, our collection of the best side dishes to accompany chicken is a treasure trove of ideas, ensuring you can curate a meal that’s not only satisfying but also harmoniously balanced.

Ingredients Required:

  • Chicken Breasts: The centerpiece of the dish, you will need 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, making it a lean and protein-rich meal.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar is essential for adding a tangy depth with a hint of sweetness that enhances the chicken.
  • Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons of olive oil not only add flavor but also help in keeping the chicken moist throughout the baking process.
  • Garlic: 3 cloves of minced garlic introduce an aromatic base that’s fundamental to the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • Italian Seasoning: 1 teaspoon adds a blend of classic herbs, elevating the chicken and balsamic combination with its rich flavors.
  • Salt & Black Pepper: Season to taste, though a starting recommendation is 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper to enhance the natural flavors of the chicken.
  • Honey: 1 tablespoon of honey provides a subtle sweetness, balancing the acidity of the balsamic vinegar.
  • Dijon Mustard: 1 teaspoon not only adds a layer of tanginess but also helps in emulsifying the marinade for a consistent coating.
  • Tomatoes: 2 medium tomatoes, diced or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions for Preparation and Cooking:

  1. Preparation: Start by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). This high temperature is key for achieving perfectly cooked chicken with a beautifully caramelized exterior.
  2. Mix the Magic: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, honey, and Dijon mustard. This mixture will act as both a marinade and a sauce, infusing the chicken with flavor as it cooks.
  3. Assemble with Care: Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in a baking dish. Scatter your diced or halved tomatoes around and on top of the chicken. Then, lovingly pour the balsamic mixture over everything, ensuring each piece is well-coated.
  4. Bake to Perfection: Slide the dish into your preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), and the tomatoes should be tender and slightly caramelized.
  5. Rest and Serve: Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes after baking. This step ensures the juices redistribute, making every bite succulent. Serve hot, drizzled with the pan juices and a side of your choice.

Nutritional Information:

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes
Kcal: 220 kcal | Servings: 4 servings

Advanced Cooking Techniques

  • Enhance the Marinade: Adding ingredients like honey or soy sauce not only introduces new flavors but also balances the acidity of the balsamic vinegar, creating a more rounded taste profile.
  • Grilling for Smokiness: Starting the chicken on the grill imparts a smoky flavor that complements the balsamic glaze. Just sear it briefly on each side before finishing it in the oven to ensure it’s fully cooked.
  • Complementary Sides: Select sides that will enhance the main dish. A light pasta salad or roasted vegetables seasoned with herbs can perfectly complement the rich flavors of the chicken. For more inspiration on using herbs and spices in your dishes, Food & Wine is a fantastic resource.


What type of balsamic vinegar is best?
  • High-quality aged balsamic vinegar is preferred for its depth of flavor. While it might be more expensive, a little goes a long way in providing a richer, more complex taste to your dish.
How long should the chicken marinate?
  • Marinating the chicken for an extended period, ideally overnight, allows it to absorb the flavors fully, resulting in a more flavorful dish.
Can leftovers be reheated?
  • Yes, leftovers can be reheated gently, either in a low-temperature oven or microwave, to avoid drying out the chicken. Make sure to cover it to trap moisture.
Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?
  • Absolutely! Chicken thighs can be used as a juicier alternative to breasts. Adjust cooking times accordingly, as thighs may require longer cooking due to their higher fat content.
Is it possible to make this dish gluten-free?
  • Yes, by ensuring your balsamic vinegar and soy sauce are gluten-free, this dish can easily be adapted for gluten-sensitive diets. Always check labels as some balsamic vinegars and soy sauces may contain gluten.
How can I ensure the chicken doesn’t dry out?
  • Avoid overcooking by using a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken is safe to eat once it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Letting the chicken rest for a few minutes after baking also helps redistribute juices, keeping it moist.
What are some quick sides that pair well with this dish?
  • Initially, simple sides like steamed green beans, a quinoa salad, or garlic mashed potatoes can complement the dish without overpowering its flavors. Furthermore, choose sides that can absorb the balsamic glaze for added taste.

    Moreover, incorporating these techniques and tips will help elevate your balsamic baked chicken breast from a simple meal to an extraordinary dining experience. Consequently, as you experiment with flavors and sides, you will likely discover your perfect pairing. Additionally, this exploration not only enhances your culinary skills but also enriches your dining experience.

    To summarize, the journey from preparing a basic meal to creating a delightful culinary masterpiece involves experimenting with various sides and flavors. Therefore, don’t hesitate to try new combinations and let your taste buds be your guide.


Balsamic baked chicken breast is a dish that promises simplicity without compromising on flavor. It’s a testament to the power of quality ingredients and careful preparation. For more delicious recipes and cooking tips, be sure to explore our recipe collection.

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