Juicy chicken breasts with a punchy olive, tomato and caper dressing is a great, fast summer meal. Not only is it gluten free and low carb, it’s also absolutely delicious and is great for meal prepping ahead.
Chicken breasts are on our menu at least once a week (more like 2 or 3 times if I’m honest). I mean you just have to look at all my chicken breast recipes to see that we are fans. And after a while it becomes hard to keep them interesting. I have perfected my method to cook perfectly juicy, soft chicken breasts so I know they will always be delicious but sometimes you just want to jazz things up, you know?
That’s where this glorious olive, tomato and caper dressing comes in. *Insert heart eyes*
Delicious Mediterranean flavors
This dressing is part salsa, part salad dressing, part topping that will make your mouth water and will have you eating it by the spoonful. It is jam-packed with bright and zesty Mediterranean flavors and makes such a great condiment to the juicy chicken breasts. The dressing takes minutes to make and can be kept happily at room temperature for an hour or in the fridge for up to a day. It actually gets better the longer it sits. It’s kind of strange that I love this dressing so much because I am not a big fan of olives in food. Salad is fine, on its own is my fav, but in warm dishes I find it completely overwhelms everything else on the plate.
However, in this recipe because the chicken breasts are such a great blank canvas and the capers offer so much of their own, the olives lend their briney flavor just perfectly. The tomatoes release a lot of their juiece while the dressing sits, adding to the lusciousness. Parsley, lemon and olive oil are all that’s needed to finish the dressing off. So delicious! It helps that this recipe is gluten free and low carb AND it’s perfect for fuss-free summer cooking.
How to make juicy chicken breasts
This is by far the question I get asked most frequently. How do I make chicken breasts taste good? How do I cook juicy chicken breasts? I am here to answer all your questions and help you cook the best chicken breasts you’ve ever had.
First of all, it’s important to start with good quality chicken. If you have plump, fresh, free-range/organic chicken breasts, you’re half way there. Next is seasoning/marinating the chicken with all my favorite aromatics. Olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs are your friends. And because chicken is such a plain protein, you can be heavy handed with the seasoning because it can take it. Slicing the chicken in half, horizontally (resulting in two thin chicken cutlets) allows for faster cooking which allows the retention of more of the meaty juices.
Should I marinate chicken breasts?
I always give my chicken breasts a quick marinade in all the above mentioned ingredients before cooking. Sometimes I use only parsley from my garden, other times a good pinch (or three) of dried mixed herbs gets chosen. Oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil and parsley are all fantastic with chicken so you can’t go wrong. Good Italian/French/Mixed dried herbs will also work well. And don’t forget to season well.
I like to use a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and because the chicken is already marinated in oil, I don’t add more to the pan. The chicken goes into the pan (a good sizzle and a little smoke is a good indication that the pan is hot enough). Leave the chicken to cook until the sides become opaque and white then flip with tongs. The chicken breasts should be golden brown and look juicy. No more than two minutes on the first side. I then allow it to cook for another minute on the other side until golden brown then I remove it to a plate and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
The resting allows the chicken to relax and helps it retain all the juices. Spoon over the dressing while the chicken is still hot and tuck in. It’s so good, you’ll want to make it again and again.
What to make with chicken breasts
- 30-minute easy grilled chicken and vegetables
- Easy creamy mushroom chicken
- Creamy bacon and mushroom chicken breasts
- Roasted chicken breasts with creamy mustard sauce
- Cheesy asparagus stuffed chicken
- Lemon risotto with pan-roasted chicken
- Chicken quinoa salad with peas and feta
- Mexican chicken lunch bowls
- One pan lemon butter chicken
- Rosemary cream chicken pasta
Chicken breasts with olive, tomato and caper dressing
- 4 large chicken breasts sliced horizontally in half, resulting in two thin chicken cutlets
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2-4 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs of your choice
- 2-3 tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
for the dressing
- 1 cup Calamata olives pitted and roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp capers rinsed if salt packed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade then pour over the halved chicken breasts and allow to marinade for 5-10 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside (the dressing can be made up to an hour ahead and kept at room temperature).
- Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat then add the chicken breasts. Cook for 2 minutes on one side until the chicken is golden brown then flip and cook for another minute on the other side.
- Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Spoon the dressing over the cooked chicken breasts and serve.