This easy baked bruschetta chicken recipe is a simple and healthy dinner or lunch that is sure to become a family favorite in your home like it has mine. The zesty homemade chicken marinade and fresh tomato bruschetta may be prepped in advance, then baked when you’re ready, making this a quick-fix 30-minute meal for busy weeknights.

Bruschetta chicken in a cast iron skillet on a table with a salad.
Marinated chicken breasts baked with tomato bruschetta and mozzarella cheese for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

What is Bruschetta Chicken?

I had never heard of bruschetta chicken until recently, when a friend posted on Instagram saying that she made the best chicken dinner, followed by her rough recipe.

The picture was crave-worthy and the concept sounded fresh and easy. I just had to try my hand at this recipe idea.

This recipe has now become a weeknight go-to meal in our home.

Bruschetta chicken is the perfect homemade summer meal: marinated chicken breasts baked in the oven (or you can grill the chicken).

Once baked, the chicken is topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and freshly-made bruschetta.

This healthy meal is everything that a dinner dish should be: fresh, quick to prepare, simple enough for even a weeknight meal, packed with protein and made with real-food ingredients, and family-friendly!

It’s also low-carb, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and can be made dairy-free. If you have dietary restrictions in your family, everyone can enjoy the same meal.

Bruschetta chicken plated on a pink plate with a side salad.
Bruschetta is an Italian appetizer made with tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, and salt. It’s used in this recipe on baked chicken.

What is Bruschetta?

Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer or first course. It’s made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, and salt. And then topped on crusty bread.

In this bruschetta recipe, I’ve added onion (which you could skip if desired) and balsamic vinegar (which could also be skipped if desired) to the traditional tomato mixture (olive oil, garlic, salt, tomatoes, fresh basil). Then topped it on marinated baked chicken breasts.

Bruschetta on crusty bread in Italy at a vineyard with wine.
Tomato Bruschetta: a classic Italian appetizer served on crusty bread at a vineyard in Italy.

Ingredients You’ll Need

One of the things I love about this recipe, other than how quick and simple it is to prepare, is you don’t need fancy, one-time ingredients to make this dish.

Everything is what I would consider to be a real-food capsule pantry ingredient (meaning, ingredients you would stock in a real-food kitchen to make multiple meals).

Just a few ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar, divided
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium red or yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

How Do You Make This Recipe: Instructions

Chicken breasts marinating in a glass bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, and garlic.
Step 1: Marinate 3-4 chicken breasts in extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt.

Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 3 garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, and 3/4-1 teaspoon salt (depending on taste).

Add the chicken breasts, using your hands to toss the breasts in the marinade until fully coated. Place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day in advance. Marinating = juicy chicken!

A hand picking up a piece of marinated chicken breast and placing in a skillet to bake.
Step 2: Place the marinated chicken in a skillet, casserole dish, or sheet pan. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Bake the Chicken

Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease a 12-inch skillet, casserole dish, or sheet pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the chicken. I personally use a cast iron skillet.

Bake the chicken for 20 minutes. I recommend flipping the chicken halfway through baking (about the 10-11 minute mark), and moving the chicken around a bit in the pan to soak up the sauce that’s leaked off, so it gets nice and brown on both sides.

Tossing tomatoes with onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt in a glass bowl.
Step 3: Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt to make bruschetta.

Step 3: Make the Tomato Bruschetta

While the chicken bakes, halve or quarter a pint of cherry tomatoes. If your tomatoes are smaller, cutting in half is fine. If they’re on the large side, quarter the tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes to a medium-size bowl, along with red onion (or yellow onion), 2-3 garlic cloves, fresh basil, 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Fresh mozzarella cheese on top of baked chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet.
Step 4: Slice fresh mozzarella, which you’ll top on the chicken after baking for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Slice the Fresh Mozzarella

There is NOTHING like fresh mozzarella. The shredded stuff in a bag can’t even compare.

Buy an 8-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella in the cheese section at the grocery store, then cut the ball in half and slice it up into 6-7 slices. You’ll use these slices in the next step. Save the extra cheese for a pizza night or salad.

If you want to use shredded mozzarella, I’m sure you could. Fresh mozzarella is a beauty: gooey when melted and a delicate fresh flavor. You’d need about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella (approximately).

Spooning tomato bruschetta over the top of baked marinated chicken breasts and sliced mozzarella cheese.
Step 5: After baking the chicken for 20 minutes, top with mozzarella cheese and tomato bruschetta.

Step 5: Top Baked Chicken with Mozzarella and Bruschetta

After about 20 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through. You’re welcome to test it out. You’ll want an internal temperature of 165F when using a meat thermometer.

Remove the chicken from the oven and top each chicken breast with mozzarella cheese, about 2 slices per breast.

Next, add the tomato bruschetta over the top of the chicken and mozzarella. Gorgeous, right?!

Baked chicken with tomatoes and fresh basil and cheese over top in a cast iron skillet.
Step 6: Bake the chicken, bruschetta, and mozzarella for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Bake the Chicken, Bruschetta, and Mozzarella for 5 Minutes

Return your pan to the oven and bake the mixture for 5 more minutes, allowing the cheese to melt into the chicken and the tomatoes to soften just a bit.

And that’s it! A healthy family lunch or dinner is done in under 30 minutes.

Dinner is served with the chicken and tomato topping in a cast iron skillet and a green salad on the side.
Serve this meal with pasta, zoodles, roasted veggies, or a side salad.

What to Serve with This Dinner

This is the kind of easy family recipe that you could serve as-is and feel completely full and satisfied. Or, pair the chicken with one of these easy sides.

  • With Pasta: Top the chicken and tomato bruschetta on spaghetti noodles or penne pasta. If you want to elevate the pasta, toss the pasta with homemade pesto before serving.
  • With Zoodles/Zucchini Noodles: If you want a grain or gluten-free (or low carb) option, make zucchini noodles instead of pasta.
  • With Roasted or Steamed Broccoli: Roast or steam broccoli florets for a quick side. Or roast up your favorite veggies.
  • With Salad: Make a simple green salad with lettuce and veggies of choice with a homemade vinaigrette.
White kitchen and butcherblock countertops with chicken, olive, oil, and balsamic vinegar laid out, ready for cooking.
This recipe is easily adapted to meet a variety of dietary preferences and needs.

Recipe Variations and Modifications

This recipe is easily adapted to meet a variety of ingredient, flavor, and dietary preferences.

No Cheese Dairy Free Option

If you’re dairy-free, omit the cheese in this recipe. Simply top the chicken with tomato bruschetta and bake to soften up the tomatoes for the 5 minutes.

Without Balsamic Vinegar

Not everyone loves balsamic vinegar, and traditional bruschetta doesn’t use balsamic vinegar. You’re welcome to skip this flavorful pantry staple, if desired, when making the bruschetta and chicken. Instead, just use olive oil and salt to season the tomato bruschetta.

For the chicken, the 1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar adds a wonderful flavor. And it also helps to brown and glaze the chicken. But it may be skipped if needed. Just increase the olive oil by 1/2 tablespoon.

Grilled Chicken Instead of Baked

This dish is the perfect summer meal. But using the oven during the warm months isn’t always ideal. Instead, grill the chicken.

Marinate the chicken, then toss on the grill for 20 minutes at about 450F, flipping halfway through. Once grilled, add to a skillet or sheet pan, add the tomato and cheese, and broil in the oven just until melted (3-4ish minutes).

Just make sure the chicken isn’t too close to the broiler burners, so the mixture doesn’t burn.

Use Chicken Cutlets Instead of Chicken Breasts

Chicken cutlets are a thin cut of chicken breasts. If you prefer cutlets, follow the instructions and bake the chicken for about 15 minutes, then top with cheese and bruschetta and bake for another 5 minutes.

Use Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breasts

Chicken thighs are cheaper than breasts and have an intense chicken flavor. They’re also more forgiving to cook with since they contain more fat than breasts. They don’t dry out as easily from over cooking.

Since we’re marinating the chicken breasts, you don’t need to worry about dry chicken.

But if you want to save money or prefer the taste of chicken thighs, use 1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts in this recipe.

Bake for 25 minutes at 425F or grill.

Use Oregano Instead of Italian Seasoning

If you’re out of Italian seasoning or don’t want to buy this spice blend for the pantry, use oregano instead. I’ve done this a few times in a pinch and the oregano adds a great flavor to the dish.

Picking basil from a potted basil plant on the kitchen counter.
This recipe easily comes together for busy weeknights!
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Bruschetta chicken in a cast iron skillet on a table with a salad.
5 from 5 votes

Easy Baked Bruschetta Chicken Recipe

Easy baked bruschetta chicken is a simple and healthy dinner or lunch. A 30-minute meal for busy weeknights that's fresh & flavorful! Low-carb, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and can be made dairy-free. If you have dietary restrictions in your family, everyone can enjoy the same meal.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Marinate Chicken30 mins
Course dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 286 kcal
Cost: $20

Equipment

  • 1 12-inch oven-safe skillet sheet pan or casserole dish
  • 1 medium bowl wash and reuse the same bowl for marinating chicken & making bruschetta

Ingredients

Marinated Chicken:

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt This should be to taste. I recommend 3/4 teaspoon or up to 1 teaspoon for 1 1/2 lbs of chicken. If you're sensitive to the taste of salt, season according to your taste.

Tomato Bruschetta & Fresh Mozzarella Topping

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium red onion or yellow onion (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves depending on your garlic intensity preference
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespooon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella

Instructions

  • In a bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 3 garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning, and salt.
  • Add the chicken breasts, using your hands to toss the breasts in the marinade until fully coated.
  • Place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day in advance.
    Chicken breasts marinating in a glass bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, and garlic.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease a 12-inch oven-safe skillet (I love a cast iron skillet), casserole dish, OR sheet pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan and discard extra marinade left in the bowl.
  • Bake the chicken for 20-22 minutes.
  • I recommend flipping the chicken halfway through baking (about the 10-11 minute mark), and moving the chicken around in the pan to soak up the marinade that's leaked off. This keeps the marinade from burning/charring too much on the bottom of the pan, as some charring can occur with any balsamic that drips off–this is normal.
  • While the chicken bakes, make the tomato bruschetta.
  • Halve or quarter a pint of cherry tomatoes. If your tomatoes are smaller, cutting in half is fine. If they're on the large side, quarter the tomatoes.
  • Add the tomatoes to a medium-size bowl, along with red onion (or yellow onion), garlic, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt. Set aside.
  • Cut the fresh mozzarella into 6-8 slices.
  • After 20-22 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through. You're welcome to test it out. You'll want an internal temperature of 165F when using a meat thermometer.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and top each chicken breast with mozzarella cheese, about 2 slices per breast.
  • Add the tomato bruschetta over the top of the chicken and mozzarella.
    Spooning tomato bruschetta over the top of baked marinated chicken breasts and sliced mozzarella cheese.
  • Return the chicken to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes, allowing the cheese to melt over the chicken and the tomatoes to soften a bit.
  • Rest for 5 minutes before cutting and enjoying. Serve with roasted veggies, a side salad, or over pasta.

Notes

Mozzarella: I suggest buying an 8-ounce ball and using half, then use the other half to make homemade pizza or add to a salad another night. I haven’t found a 4-ounce container of fresh mozzarella before so that’s why I suggest the 8-ounce option.
If you want to use shredded mozzarella, I’m sure you could. Fresh mozzarella is a beauty: gooey when melted and a delicate fresh flavor. You’d need about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
Bake Time: Baking chicken at 425F, cooks the chicken breasts quickly and locks in the juices. Baking chicken at a lower temperature (350F), for longer, dries out chicken breasts. There will be some charring on the bottom of the pan, as some of the balsamic marinade drips off and reduces down in the heat. This is normal and to be expected. If this bothers you, could leave out the balsamic in the chicken marinade recipe.
See substitution suggestions above the recipe for dairy-free recommendations, using chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, grilling chicken instead of baking, or skipping the balsamic vinegar all together.
Prep-Ahead Tip: You can prep this tomato bruschetta up to 1 day in advance and store in the fridge until ready to use. And marinate the chicken for up to 1 day in advance.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 26gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 1019mgPotassium: 650mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 919IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 190mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

FAQs

Serve bruschetta chicken for dinner or lunch, alone or with a side. I suggest a side salad with vinaigrette dressing, roasted vegetables (like broccoli), spaghetti or penne pasta. You can also mix the bruschetta mixture and cut up the cooked chicken and toss it with pasta. Adding some parmigiano-reggiano cheese would also be amazing!

While this recipe is for bruschetta chicken, you could make just the tomato bruschetta recipe to serve as an appetizer, with crusty bread, or toss with pasta (and add some pesto–amazing!). Bruschetta is also delicious spooned over chicken (like this recipe) or salad or white fish. It’s a zesty topping with so many possibilities.

Bruschetta is from Italy, made with tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and basil. Americans tend to add onion and balsamic vinegar, which to my understanding isn’t fully authentic but it’s a delicious variation as presented in this recipe. The true star of bruschetta is fresh summer tomatoes!

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