Grilling has never been more satisfying with Chicken Caprese Kebabs! These light and fresh summer kebabs will literally fly right off of the skewers. Lightly seasoned chicken, fresh mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes, grilled to perfection and then topped with homemade lemon pesto and a sweet balsamic reduction.
Summer months are meant for grilling. In Minnesota, we absolutely crave it this time of year. If you can cook it over the hot grill (or coals), we typically do. We just finished up our Chicken Caprese Salad when we came up with this brilliant little recipe. So we took some of the basic elements of the salad and deconstructed it into a kebab. We topped it with an amazing lemon pesto sauce and the results were nothing short of amazing!
This recipe is so simple, you won’t believe the amazing flavor that comes out at the end. Only two ingredients are grilled (the chicken and the tomatoes), and the rest gets drizzled over the top at the end. For these sauces you will need:
- Balsamic Vinegar – when purchasing balsamic vinegar, make sure to look for “Aceto Balsamico” it can be “Tradizionale”, “Modena”, or “Reggio Emilia”. Take a peek at the ingredients too, there should be grape must in the list.
- Honey – Did you know that raw local honey can raw local honey comes from the bees that live in your neighborhood and is known to be a great immune booster and protects against seasonal allergies?
- Basil – When purchasing basil look for firm leaves that are not wilted or discolored.
- Garlic – When you purchase Garlic, look for bulbs with unbroken skins.
- Lemon – Fresh is always best. Look for lemons that are bright in color and avoid those that are soft and spongy.
- Olive Oil – We always purchase the extra virgin olive oil because it has less “extras”. It is also unrefined and free of any chemicals or other defects.
- Salt – Any salt will do, we usually go for a courser grain sea salt or kosher salt.
How to Make Chicken Caprese Kebabs
To make these kebabs I break it down into three categories. The lemon pesto sauce, balsamic reduction, the kebabs.
The Lemon Pesto Sauce – There are a million different types of pesto out there. This version is my favorite. To make the Lemon Pesto Sauce combine the basil, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and salt into a food processor. Blend until smooth. This is great over pasta noodles or served with chicken too!
The Balsamic Reduction – This balsamic reduction is sweet and sticky perfection! In a saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar. Boil it over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half. The vinegar will be thick and should coat the back of a spoon. Remove it from heat and mix in the honey. You can set this aside for now.
Pro Tip: This recipe makes about 1/2 cup of balsamic reduction. You might not need the entire amount. Get yourself an airtight bottle to store the extras in the fridge for up to 3 months!
The Kebabs – I try to make my cuts of chicken as uniform as possible, shooting for about a 1-inch cube. This helps to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly on each skewer. To assemble the kebabs alternate 1 piece of chicken with 1 tomato, repeating until you fill the skewer, and leaving about 1 inch of space on each end. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
How to Serve Caprese Chicken Kebabs
Once the sauces are ready and the skewers are assembled its time to grill! Oil your grill grates lightly to prevent sticking, and then add the skewers to the hot grill. Cook 4 – 6 minutes and then flip the skewers. You are aiming for an internal temperature of 165°F. Once cooked through, remove the skewers from the grill and add a mozzarella ball onto each end. Drizzle with both of the sauces and serve immediately!
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 large bunch of basil, (about 2 cups of packed basil leaves)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 lb grape tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella balls, drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- If using wooden skewers soak in water at least 1 hour
- In a medium saucepan, heat balsamic vinegar over medium-high heat until it reaches a boil. Reduce heat slightly and allow it to simmer until the liquid reduces by half. Remove from heat and stir in the honey. The glaze should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- In a food processor pulse basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Mix until you have a smooth sauce.
- Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to about 425 °F.
- Season chicken with garlic salt and onion salt. Thread chicken and tomatoes onto skewers.
- Brush both sides with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Grill chicken kabobs about 4 – 6 minutes per side until chicken registers 165°F in the center.
- Once kebabs have cooked through remove from grill and thread one mozzarella ball onto each end of the skewer, spoon lemon pesto sauce over kebabs and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
- Serve warm.