A Seasonal Summer Dinner Superstar!
Ironically, summer dinners are my favorite to eat but my least favorite to cook. While I love all of the gorgeous fresh produce that’s at our fingertips during the summer months & I have a well-documented obsession for all things grilled, there’s something about the warm season & long days that makes the process of cooking feel a little burdensome. That’s exactly why I typically opt for simple grilled meals with easy, no-cook sides during the summer.
And this Grilled Bruschetta Chicken totally fits that bill. It’s super simple yet suuuper satisfying. In fact, I didn’t think I’d share this recipe here on PWWB (it seems like everyone & their mother has a bruschetta chicken recipe!), but it’s quickly become one of our favorite summer dinners – too good not to share!
What sets this chicken bruschetta recipe apart from others is it’s made on the grill! Balsamic-marinated chicken breasts are grilled until perfectly juicy & topped with creamy, melty fresh mozzarella. Top them off with a big spoonful of my signature bruschetta, which is made with marinated summer tomatoes, capers, & basil. It’s basically the easiest weeknight dinner, but you’d never guess that because it packs a big punch of summer flavor.
Grilled Bruschetta Chicken Recipe Highlights
This grilled bruschetta chicken recipe is…
- SERIOUSLY SIMPLE. This chicken bruschetta is made with a combination of pantry staples & seasonal ingredients you probably always have on hand during the summer months.
- SERIOUSLY QUICK. Aside from a quick (& optional!) marinade, it takes about 35 minutes to throw together & it’s seriously meal prep-friendly (tips below!).
- SERIOUSLY CRAVE-WORTHY. There’s no pairing more perfect than sweet summer tomatoes, tangy-rich balsamic, & juicy grilled chicken. This Grilled Bruschetta Chicken has it all. The perfect summer dinner!
Hellooooooo, summer dinnertime magic! ✨ ♡ Read on to learn more about this Grilled Chicken Bruschetta, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
This easy summer dinner starts with a Simple Balsamic Chicken Marinade.
This bruschetta chicken recipe starts with a very simple yet wonderfully flavorful balsamic marinade. If you’re really pressed for time, you can skip it entirely, but I love the way it infuses the chicken with rich balsamic flavor from the inside out – it complements the tomato bruschetta beautifully. Plus, it’s made with just a handful of pantry staple ingredients & it’s really simple to throw together!
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
You will need…
- Balsamic vinegar – Of course! For maximum flavor, use a nice aged balsamic. It doesn’t have to be anything super fancy or expensive, but using aged vs regular balsamic vinegar in this marinade makes a big difference in the amount of flavor it imparts in the chicken.
- Pantry staples – A little bit of olive oil to bring the marinade together, some pure maple syrup to play up balsamic’s natural sweetness, & dijon mustard for depth. Pretty simple!
- Aromatics – Namely, freshly chopped garlic & Italian seasoning. If your summer herb garden is overflowing, you can absolutely swap out the dried seasoning with fresh herbs of your choice. Basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, & sage would all be fantastic.
Suggested marinating time ⇢ For maximum flavor, plan to marinate the chicken for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days. If you are meal prepping more than 3 days ahead of time, simply store the marinade in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more meal prep tips!
The PWWB House Bruschetta Recipe!
Because you can’t make bruschetta chicken without tomato bruschetta! This is my ‘house’ bruschetta, my go-to bruschetta recipe for the past 10+ years! It’s based on a version we served at a restaurant where I worked in my college days, & everyone who tries it absolutely raves about it.
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
PWWB House Bruschetta ⇢ Add cherry tomatoes, finely chopped shallot, roughly chopped capers, & fresh basil to a mixing bowl. Stream in a good ol’ glug of aged balsamic & extra virgin olive oil, then stir to combine. Honestly, marinated tomato bruschetta is the kind of thing that you can sorta eyeball & adjust based on your tastes. If you like extra tang, be generous with the balsamic. If you like extra bite, be generous with the shallot or swap it out with red onion for stronger flavor.
The addition of capers is one I don’t often see in bruschetta, but I loooove it. Capers add a briney bite that really balances out the sweet & fresh, summery flavor of summer tomatoes & fresh basil, which is really nice. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like briney flavors, just leave ’em out.
Meal Prep Tip! ⇢ I don’t suggest letting this marinated tomato bruschetta sit too, too long (it’s prettiest when it’s served fresh!) but you can easily prep the ingredients in advance to make dinnertime prep even more effortless. Halve or quarter the tomatoes & finely chop the shallot up to 3 days in advance. At dinnertime, all you have to do is toss the bruschetta together – easy! See Recipe Notes, below, for more meal prep guidance.
How to Grill Chicken for Bruschetta Chicken.
Many of the chicken bruschetta recipes I’ve seen are skillet or stovetop recipes. Since I loathe turning on the stove in the middle of summer, I wanted to develop a recipe that leans on the grill. The grill does all of the work – it couldn’t be easier & you don’t even have to heat up your kitchen in the middle of July. Double win!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Prepare the grill – Preheat your grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, about 500-550 degrees F. Very straight-forward!
- Grill the chicken – Place the balsamic marinated chicken on the grill grates, taking care to drain any excess marinade as you go to avoid flare ups. Grill over direct heat until the chicken is nearly cooked through, about 8-10 minutes total, flipping halfway through.
- Finishing with fresh mozzarella! – About 2 minutes before the chicken is fully cooked, top it with thinly sliced fresh mozzarella. The cheese gets perfectly gooey & melty by the time you’re ready to pull the chicken from the grill for a perfectly timed meal! Easy swap ⇢ If you don’t have fresh mozzarella on hand, you can easily swap it out with something like sliced provolone or asiago.
Quick Tips & Tricks:
- Grilling juicy chicken ⇢ Because chicken breasts dry out so easily on the grill, it’s important to ensure they are nice and thin. If your chicken breasts are on the thick side, either pound them out flat using a meat mallet or rolling pin OR butterfly them into 2 thinner pieces by slicing them in half lengthwise. Alternately, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this grilled bruschetta chicken. Dark meat tends to stay juicy on the grill.
- Alternate cooking option ⇢ If you do not have access to a grill, you can absolutely make this recipe using a grill pan or skillet on the stovetop. You can also bake in the oven & finish under the broiler for a more hands-off meal. Easy!
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What to serve with Grilled Bruschetta Chicken?
With the balsamic chicken grilled & the marinated tomato bruschetta prepped, all that’s left to do is serve!
Grilled chicken with bruschetta serving suggestion ⇢ Since it’s such a colorful meal, I like to place the chicken on a platter, spooning the marinated tomatoes alongside it. Finish with a generous drizzle of your favorite balsamic glaze or homemade reduced balsamic, & serve family-style with any summer sides you love.
Easy side dishes to serve with bruschetta chicken:
- Pasta, of course! Toss your favorite pasta with a little drizzle of olive oil + balsamic vinegar & serve the grilled bruschetta chicken over top. I love orzo – it’s especially meal prep-friendly!
- A simple green salad with garden cucumber, tomato, & whatever dressing you love – the PWWB All-Purpose Vinaigrette is always a safe bet & this Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette really brings out the flavor of the balsamic marinated chicken.
- Your favorite seasonal salad! We LOVE this Grilled Panzanella, which is perfect since the grill is already on for the chicken! This lemony grated zucchini salad & this Falafel-ish Quinoa Salad are two other PWWB all-time faves!
- Grilled vegetables are always a welcome addition! Grilled bell peppers & grilled zucchini are perfect summery additions to your grilled chicken bruschetta dinner.
I am so excited for you to try this Grilled Bruschetta Chicken recipe! It’s so incredibly simple yet delivers major flavor – a warm-weather staple! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!Print
Balsamic-marinated chicken breasts are grilled until perfectly juicy, topped with creamy, melty fresh mozzarella, & served alongside a simple bruschetta made with marinated summer tomatoes, capers, & basil. This grilled bruschetta chicken is great served over pasta or alongside a simple salad. An easy & healthy summer dinner perfect for busy weeknights & summer entertaining alike!
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin or butterflied (sliced in half lengthwise)
- 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs of choice (e.g. basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage)
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- for serving, as desired: tomato bruschetta (below), crusty Italian bread, balsamic glaze or reduced balsamic, thinly sliced basil, etc.
for the tomato bruschetta:
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons chopped)
- 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
- small handful fresh basil (roughly 10-12 leaves), roughly chopped
- 1 overflowing tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 overflowing tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Marinate the chicken: Place the chicken breasts in a large Ziplock bag or baking dish. Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, Italian seasoning or chopped fresh herbs. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes as desired. Toss to combine, coating the chicken evenly in the balsamic marinade. Seal/cover & marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days.
- Preheat the grill: At dinnertime, preheat the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, 450-500 degrees F.
- Prep the bruschetta: As the grill preheats, prep the bruschetta. Add the tomatoes, shallot, capers, basil, balsamic vinegar, & olive oil to a bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes as desired. Gently stir to combine. Taste & adjust seasoning as desired.
- Grill the chicken: Place the chicken on the preheated grill, discarding any excess marinade. Grill 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. With about 2 minutes of cooking time left, layer sliced mozzarella over each piece of chicken. The cheese will melt beautifully as the chicken finishes cooking. Transfer the grilled chicken to a plate or small baking sheet.
- Serve your grilled bruschetta chicken: Slice the chicken, then top with the prepared bruschetta. Top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or reduced balsamic & a sprinkling of fresh herbs, as desired. This grilled bruschetta chicken is great on its own, served over pasta, or alongside a simple green salad with grilled bread. Enjoy!
- Storage & Reheating: Store leftover grilled bruschetta chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Enjoy leftovers cold or reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
- 15-Minute Meal Prep: Nearly all of the active prep work for this grilled bruschetta chicken comes from prepping the marinade & the bruschetta veggies. Take care of these in advance – it takes 15 minutes, tops:
- Prep balsamic chicken marinade: Prep the balsamic marinade according to Step 1 of Recipe Directions, above. If prepping within 3 days of making your grilled bruschetta chicken, marinate as described. If prepping outside of the suggested marinating time, store the balsamic marinade in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When you’re ready to start marinating, simply give the marinade a shake & pour it over the chicken breasts – easy! (10 minutes active prep)
- Veggie prep: Halve or quarter 12 ounces cherry/grape tomatoes & finely chop 1 small shallot. Store in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (5 minutes active prep)
Keywords: grilled bruschetta chicken, chicken bruschetta recipe, balsamic chicken marinade, summer, weeknight dinner, healthy, gluten-free, meal prep friendly, easy
Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.
Ready to Hit the Grill?
If this all still feels new to you, I encourage you to head over to Grilling 101, a compilation of tips & tricks for all of the grilling basics – everything from how to light your grill to how to clean your grill.
All this talk about grilling have you feelin’ ready to hit the grill? Me too! Be sure to check out this post for my 15 go-to marinades you need this grilling season. At our house, a good marinade is at the heart of grilling season. I’m positive these marinades will be on repeat at your house this summer! For even more grilled goodness, be sure to check out all of our Grilling & Smoking recipes.
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