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Chicken Margherita Recipe

This chicken margherita recipe brings a tantalizing twist to the traditional Italian dish. Bursting with flavors of fresh basil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar, the chicken is grilled to perfection before being smothered in creamy mozzarella and topped with a vibrant mix of avocado and cherry tomatoes. It's a feast for the senses that will transport you straight to the heart of Italy.

Chicken Margherita Recipe
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Photos of Chicken Margherita Recipe

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Most ingredients required for this recipe are commonly found in home kitchens. However, you might want to double-check your pantry for Italian seasoning, a flavorful blend of herbs such as oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Always ensure you have high-quality balsamic vinegar for the marinade, as its tangy sweetness plays a vital role in this dish. Also, pick up some fresh basil and ripe cherry tomatoes for a refreshing topping.

Chicken Margherita Ingredients

Balsamic vinegar: This is used to marinate the chicken, giving it a sweet and tangy flavor.

Honey: This is added to the marinade to bring a touch of sweetness.

Garlic: Adds a robust flavor to the marinade.

Olive oil: Used to cook the chicken and gives it a rich, savory taste.

Italian seasoning: Adds authentic Italian flavor to the chicken.

Chicken breasts: The main protein source in the dish.

Mozzarella cheese: Adds creaminess and richness to the chicken.

Basil pesto: Used to coat the chicken, heightening the flavors.

Avocado: Adds a creamy texture and fresh taste to the topping.

Cherry tomatoes: Used in the topping for a burst of sweetness and freshness.

Fresh basil: Enhances the Italian flavor and adds a pop of color to the dish.

One reader, Dalston Pedraza says:

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This chicken margherita recipe is a game-changer! The balsamic marinade adds a burst of flavor, and the combination of mozzarella, pesto, and fresh basil creates a delightful taste. It's a perfect dish for a special dinner or a casual weeknight meal. I highly recommend trying it out!

Dalston Pedraza

Techniques Required

How to marinate the chicken: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, minced garlic, olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken breasts to the marinade, ensuring they are evenly coated, and let them marinate for 30 minutes.

How to make the avocado and tomato topping: In a small bowl, combine diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the mixture aside to be used as a topping for the chicken.

How to grill the chicken: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the marinated chicken breasts on the grill and cook for about 6 minutes on each side, or until they are fully cooked and no longer pink in the center.

How to cook the chicken on the stovetop: In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, discard the marinade and reserve 1/4 cup. Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the reserved marinade to the skillet and cook until the sauce reduces.

How to assemble the chicken margherita: Once the chicken is cooked, top each breast with a slice of mozzarella cheese, a dollop of basil pesto, and the prepared avocado and tomato topping. Sprinkle with additional chopped basil for garnish.

How To Make Chicken Margherita

In less than 30 minutes, you can make a gourmet meal with this chicken margherita recipe. Chicken breasts are topped with tomato, basil and mozzarella.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Marinate Time: 30 minutes
Total: 55 minutes



  • ¾cupbalsamic vinegar
  • ¼cuphoney
  • 3clovesgarlic,minced
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • 2tspItalian seasoning
  • ½tspsalt
  • ¼tsppepper
  • 4chicken breasts,boneless skinless
  • 4slicesmozzarella cheese
  • ½cupbasil pesto
  • 1avocado,sliced
  • ½cupcherry tomatoes,sliced
  • ¼cupfresh basil,chopped


  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk the balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.

  2. Add the chicken breasts and coat. Marinate for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl add the avocado, tomato, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

  4. Heat the grill to medium high heat. Grill the chicken on each side about 6 minutes or until cooked throughout and no longer pink. Top with mozzarella cheese, pesto, tomatoes and chopped basil.

  5. In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, discard the marinade and reserve ¼ cup and add the chicken to the skillet. Cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is cooked to 165 degrees F.

  6. Add the reserved marinade and cook until the sauce reduces. Top with mozzarella cheese, pesto, tomatoes and chopped basil.


  • Calories: 758.38kcal
  • Fat: 47.99g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.49g
  • Trans Fat: 0.18g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 18.50g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.29g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.33g
  • Fiber: 4.55g
  • Sugar: 25.78g
  • Protein: 45.84g
  • Cholesterol: 139.22mg
  • Sodium: 903.70mg
  • Calcium: 278.19mg
  • Potassium: 784.19mg
  • Iron: 3.73mg
  • Vitamin A: 115.17µg
  • Vitamin C: 9.35mg

Technique Tip for Perfecting Chicken Margherita

When marinating the chicken, ensure that all pieces are fully submerged in the marinade for optimal flavor infusion. If the marinade doesn't fully cover the chicken, you can occasionally turn the pieces to ensure even exposure. Also, using a zip-top bag can be a great way to ensure the chicken is evenly coated, as you can squeeze out the air and manipulate the bag to distribute the marinade. Remember, the longer you marinate, the more flavorful the chicken will be, but don't exceed 24 hours as the acids in the marinade can start to break down the meat and affect its texture.

Time-Saving Tips for Chicken Margherita Recipe

Prep ahead: Marinate the chicken the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Multitask: While the chicken is marinating, prepare the avocado and tomato topping to streamline the cooking process.

Grill smart: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked perfectly without overdoing it, saving time and avoiding dry chicken.

Use store-bought: Consider using store-bought pesto to cut down on prep time without compromising on flavor.

Organize ingredients: Gather all the ingredients and tools needed before starting to cook to avoid last-minute scrambling.

Substitute Ingredients For Chicken Margherita Recipe

  • balsamic vinegar - Substitute with red wine vinegar: Red wine vinegar has a similar tangy flavor that can work as a substitute for balsamic vinegar in this recipe.

  • honey - Substitute with maple syrup: Maple syrup can add a similar sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish as honey.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic, providing a similar flavor without the need for mincing.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • italian seasoning - Substitute with dried oregano, basil, and thyme: A combination of dried oregano, basil, and thyme can replicate the flavors of Italian seasoning.

  • salt - Substitute with kosher salt: Kosher salt can be used as a substitute for regular salt, providing a similar level of saltiness.

  • pepper - Substitute with cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper can add a bit of heat and depth of flavor to the dish, similar to black pepper.

  • chicken breasts - Substitute with turkey breasts: Turkey breasts can be used as a lean alternative to chicken breasts in this recipe.

  • mozzarella cheese - Substitute with provolone cheese: Provolone cheese has a similar mild flavor and melting properties to mozzarella.

  • basil pesto - Substitute with sun-dried tomato pesto: Sun-dried tomato pesto can provide a different flavor profile while still adding a rich and savory element to the dish.

  • avocado - Substitute with zucchini: Zucchini can add a creamy texture and mild flavor similar to avocado.

  • cherry tomatoes - Substitute with grape tomatoes: Grape tomatoes are small and sweet, making them a suitable substitute for cherry tomatoes.

  • fresh basil - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can provide a similar pop of color and a hint of freshness to the dish.

Best Way to Present Chicken Margherita

  1. Elevate the chicken: Carefully slice the chicken breasts and fan them out on the plate to create an elegant and visually appealing presentation.

  2. Drizzle the balsamic reduction: Use a squeeze bottle to create a delicate and artistic drizzle of the balsamic reduction on the plate, adding a touch of sophistication to the dish.

  3. Garnish with fresh basil: Place a few vibrant, whole basil leaves strategically around the plate to add a pop of color and a fresh, aromatic element to the presentation.

  4. Arrange the avocado and tomato salad: Artfully arrange the avocado and tomato salad in a neat pile next to the chicken, creating a beautiful contrast of colors and textures.

  5. Sprinkle with finishing salt: Lightly sprinkle a high-quality finishing salt over the entire dish to enhance the flavors and add a touch of gourmet flair.

  6. Use a minimalistic approach: Embrace simplicity and negative space on the plate to allow the vibrant colors and natural beauty of the dish to shine through.

  7. Consider plate shape and color: Choose a plate that complements the colors of the dish and consider using unique shapes to create visual interest.

  8. Incorporate edible flowers: Introduce edible flowers, such as nasturtiums or pansies, to add a delicate and elegant touch to the presentation.

  9. Create a balanced composition: Pay attention to the placement of each element on the plate, aiming for a balanced and harmonious overall composition.

  10. Highlight the mozzarella and pesto: Place the mozzarella and pesto in a visually striking manner, drawing attention to these key components of the dish.

Essential Tools for Making This Recipe

  • Grill: A cooking appliance used to cook food over direct heat, typically using gas, charcoal, or electricity.

  • Medium-sized bowl: A bowl of moderate size used for mixing, marinating, or holding ingredients.

  • Whisk: A kitchen utensil used for blending ingredients together and incorporating air into the mixture.

  • Small bowl: A smaller-sized bowl used for holding and mixing small quantities of ingredients.

  • Skillet: A flat-bottomed pan with sloping sides, used for frying, searing, and sautéing food.

How To Store and Freeze Leftovers

  • Let the chicken margherita cool completely before storing it in an airtight container or wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap. This will prevent any excess moisture from accumulating and keep the flavors fresh.

  • Refrigerate the leftover chicken for up to 3-4 days. When ready to reheat, place the chicken in a baking dish and warm it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

  • To freeze the chicken margherita, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Label the container with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

  • When ready to enjoy the frozen chicken, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, remove the plastic wrap and reheat the chicken in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

  • If you have leftover tomato basil topping, store it separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. When ready to serve, spoon the topping over the reheated chicken for a fresh and flavorful finish.

How To Reheat Leftovers

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover chicken margherita in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. This method helps to retain the moisture in the chicken and prevents it from drying out.

  • If you prefer a crispier texture, you can reheat the chicken margherita in a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a small amount of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until it's heated through and the cheese is melted. This method will give you a slightly crispier exterior while still keeping the chicken moist.

  • For a quick and easy reheating option, use your microwave. Place the leftover chicken margherita on a microwave-safe plate and heat it in 30-second intervals, checking the temperature after each interval. Be careful not to overheat the chicken, as it can quickly dry out in the microwave. Once the chicken is heated through and the cheese is melted, it's ready to serve.

  • If you have a toaster oven, you can use it to reheat your chicken margherita. Preheat the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the chicken on a baking tray. Heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is warmed through and the cheese is melted. This method is perfect for smaller portions and provides a nice balance between the oven and microwave methods.

  • For a unique twist, try slicing the leftover chicken margherita and using it as a topping for a pizza or flatbread. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C), place the sliced chicken on top of your favorite pizza crust or flatbread, and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the chicken is heated through. This is a great way to repurpose your leftovers and create a new, delicious meal.

Random Fact about Chicken Margherita

The Chicken Margherita Recipe is a delicious and healthy dish that combines the flavors of balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, mozzarella cheese, basil pesto, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. It's a perfect choice for a flavorful and satisfying meal. This recipe is a great way to enjoy a tasty and nutritious meal with a burst of flavors. The combination of ingredients creates a delightful and mouthwatering dish that is sure to please your taste buds. Whether you're cooking for yourself or for a group, this Chicken Margherita Recipe is a fantastic option that will leave everyone satisfied and impressed. Try it out for a delightful dining experience!

Is This Recipe Economical for Home Cooking?

This chicken margherita recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The use of chicken breasts and avocado may increase the cost, but the dish offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $25-$30. The dish's versatility and the use of fresh ingredients make it a solid choice for a special family meal, earning it a rating of 8 out of 10.

Is This Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

The chicken margherita recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. Let's break it down:

Healthy ingredients:

  • Chicken breast is a lean protein source
  • Avocado provides healthy fats
  • Cherry tomatoes and fresh basil offer vitamins and minerals
  • Garlic has potential health benefits

Unhealthy aspects:

  • The recipe includes a significant amount of balsamic vinegar and honey, which can add sugar and calories
  • Mozzarella cheese is high in saturated fat
  • Pesto often contains a considerable amount of oil and cheese, increasing the calorie and fat content

While this dish has some nutritious components, the high sugar and fat content may make it less healthy overall.

To improve the recipe's healthiness, consider these modifications:

  • Reduce the amount of balsamic vinegar and honey in the marinade to lower the sugar content
  • Use a low-fat mozzarella cheese or a smaller amount of regular mozzarella
  • Opt for a lighter pesto made with less oil and more herbs, or make your own with a healthier oil like avocado oil
  • Increase the portion of vegetables by adding more tomatoes, basil, and other colorful veggies like bell peppers or zucchini
  • Serve the chicken with a side of leafy greens or a whole grain like quinoa to boost the nutrient content and fiber

By making these adjustments, you can enhance the overall nutritional value of the dish while still maintaining its delicious flavors. Experiment with different herbs and spices to add depth without relying on excessive sugar or fat.

Editor's Opinion on This Dish

The chicken margherita recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The balsamic-honey marinade infuses the chicken with a sweet and tangy taste, while the addition of mozzarella, pesto, and fresh basil adds a burst of Italian flair. The avocado and cherry tomato topping brings a refreshing and creamy element to the dish. However, grilling the chicken and then finishing it in a skillet might result in overcooking. Consider grilling the chicken entirely or finishing it in the oven to ensure optimal juiciness. Overall, this recipe offers a delicious and visually appealing dish that is sure to impress.

Enhance Your Chicken Margherita Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for pairing with the flavorful chicken margherita.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus grilled to perfection and topped with a zesty lemon zest, adding a refreshing and light side to the dish.
Caprese Salad: Fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fragrant basil drizzled with balsamic glaze, creating a classic and vibrant side salad to complement the chicken margherita.

Similar Recipes to Chicken Margherita

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and herbs before grilling for a delicious and healthy side dish.
Beef Stir-Fry with Broccoli: Sear the beef in a hot pan before adding in the broccoli and a savory stir-fry sauce for a quick and flavorful meal.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: Combine chia seeds, coconut milk, and fresh mango for a creamy and tropical dessert or breakfast option.
Butternut Squash Soup: Roast the butternut squash with onions and garlic before blending with broth for a comforting and hearty soup.
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars: Layer a zesty lemon cheesecake mixture with a sweet blueberry compote for a delightful dessert that's perfect for any occasion.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Chicken Margherita

Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your taste buds with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a rich and creamy blend of cheeses, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Each bite is bursting with flavor and will leave you craving for more.
Bruschetta: Indulge in the classic Italian appetizer, bruschetta, featuring crispy toasted bread topped with a vibrant mixture of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and tangy balsamic glaze. It's the perfect combination of textures and flavors to kick off your meal.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate lava cake that oozes with warm, gooey chocolate when you cut into it. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Enjoy a creamy and luscious strawberry cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust. Top it with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of strawberry sauce for a burst of fruity flavor in every bite.

Why trust this Chicken Margherita Recipe:

This chicken margherita recipe is a delightful and flavorful dish that will surely impress your taste buds. The combination of succulent grilled chicken, gooey mozzarella cheese, and vibrant basil pesto creates a harmonious blend of flavors. The use of fresh avocado and cherry tomatoes adds a refreshing and wholesome touch. With a carefully crafted marinade and grilling technique, this recipe ensures tender and juicy chicken every time. The balsamic vinegar and honey marinade infuses the chicken with a sweet and tangy flavor, elevating the dish to a whole new level. Trust in this recipe to deliver a restaurant-quality meal right in your own kitchen.

Share your thoughts and experiences with the Chicken Margherita Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
What is the best way to cook the chicken for this recipe?
The best way to cook the chicken for this recipe is to grill it on medium-high heat. This will give the chicken a nice char and smoky flavor, while ensuring it cooks evenly.
Can I substitute the balsamic vinegar with another type of vinegar?
While balsamic vinegar adds a unique sweet and tangy flavor to the dish, you can substitute it with red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if needed. However, keep in mind that it will alter the taste slightly.
Can I prepare the marinade in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the marinade in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This can help save time when you're ready to cook the chicken.
What can I serve as a side dish with this chicken margherita?
This chicken margherita pairs well with a variety of sides such as a fresh green salad, roasted vegetables, or a side of pasta with marinara sauce. The light and fresh flavors of the dish complement a wide range of sides.
Can I use dried basil instead of fresh basil?
While fresh basil provides a more vibrant flavor, you can use dried basil if fresh is not available. However, use it sparingly as dried herbs are more potent than fresh ones.

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