Made in one pan and largely hands-off, this chicken Caprese quinoa bake is a vibrant taste of summer with very little work! 

overhead image of caprese quinoa bake, sprinkled with fresh basil and drizzled with balsamic reduction. Wooden spoon and linen next to white baking dish.

A requirement of summer should be getting at least one serving of Caprese a week, am I right? The combination of fresh, soft mozzarella cheese, juicy tomatoes, and flavorful basil screams summer and I can never get enough of it. 

Thankfully I have you covered with some fun Caprese options and I’m excited to be adding to that list with this recipe. If you’re looking for more, make sure to try this irresistible hot Caprese dip, this mozzarella stuffed turkey burger with tomato and basil, and this herbed Israeli couscous salad with tomato, mozzarella, and basil

One more: This roasted tomato crostini may not be technically categorized as Caprese, but it’s one of my personal favorite appetizers. 

If you want to strip it down to the basics, here’s a classic Caprese salad from Food 52.

Overhead of chicken Caprese in white rectangular baking dish, garnished with fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and drizzled with balsamic glaze.

About this chicken Caprese quinoa bake

This chicken Caprese quinoa bake is a good one to carry over into those busy fall evenings, too. It takes some time to bake but it’s nearly all hands-off, giving you lots of time to do whatever else you need to do. It’s a take on my green chile chicken quinoa casserole; it uses the same technique and cooking method but brings different flavors to the table.

You basically just stir everything together in a baking dish, cover, and bake. That’s really all there is to it. It couldn’t be easier. Once it’s done baking, you’ll add fresh mozzarella cheese and Roma tomatoes and return it to the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. Before serving, top it with fresh basil and balsamic reduction. 

Tip: Level up with homemade balsamic reduction! But I don’t judge – I have a bottle of store-bought balsamic glaze in my fridge as we speak. 

Overhead of chicken quinoa bake.

How to make this quinoa bake your own

Not a whole lot you can do to this recipe, but here are a few ideas:

  • Add pesto! I like to, but my kids are allergic to nuts and it’s hard to find a safe pesto (Yes, I know I could make my own without pine nuts- in fact I have a great pesto recipe on Rachel Cooks.) I’d add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pesto, depending on how basil-y you like it. 
  • Add more veggies: I’m always trying to sneak vegetables in. I think spinach would be great in this. Chop it really finely and everyone will think it’s basil.
  • Make it vegetarian: I haven’t tested this, but if you leave out the chicken and leave everything else the same, this should still turn out great. Bonus: Quinoa has lots of protein! 
  • Make it dairy-free: You could leave off the cheese. If you have to. I don’t think we can still call it Caprese, but it will still be tasty.
  • Make it gluten-free: Did you know quinoa is naturally gluten-free? No changes needed! 

Partial overhead of quinoa bake with wooden handle spoon scooping a portion out.


Chicken Caprese Quinoa Bake

4.34 from 9 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Made in one pan and largely hands-off, this chicken Caprese quinoa bake is a vibrant taste of summer with very little work! 
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  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup diced sweet yellow onion (about ½ onion)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, additional 8 to 10 leaves for garnishing
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds
  • 3 to 4 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • balsamic glaze (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a 9 × 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or avocado oil spray.
  • Combine chicken, chicken broth, quinoa, diced tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in prepared baking dish. Stir to combine.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover, stir, and again cover tightly. Continue to bake for another 45 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and chicken is cooked through.
  • Uncover and top with cheese and tomatoes and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Serve with desired toppings, I recommend fresh basil and balsamic reduction.


  • This is good leftover, so it’s perfect for meal prepping to get ready for the week.
  • Try adding pesto for additional flavor! Add ¼  to ½  cup of pesto, depending on how you like it. 


Calories: 432kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 127mg, Sodium: 544mg, Potassium: 1066mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 750IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 250mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.34 from 9 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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  1. Krista says:

    2 stars
    I wanted to like this due to the ease of it, but it lacked flavor. I felt like the cooking time dried everything out. Way too much onion.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Sorry to hear you didn’t love this! You might enjoy it with some pesto stirred in.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Question, could this be baked for the 2 45-minute sessions (essentially complete steps 1-3) then refrigerate and bake the remaining 5-10 minutes a couple days later? If so, would you have it reach room temp and then bake or lower the temp and extend the last bake time, etc?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      That should work fine! I would put it into the oven cold and let it preheat with the oven. It will probably take around 30 minutes to heat all the way through.

  3. Rosamonde Simone @ KetoBotyToneAvis says:

    Your recipe of ‘caprese-quinoa-bake’ looks very healthy and delicious too. I like it. Thank you.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked it! Thank you!

  4. Jessica says:

    Do you precook the chicken or put it in the baking dish raw?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Raw! The quinoa takes awhile to cook so it’s plenty of time for the chicken to cook as well.

  5. Alma Vorrei says:

    This was so delicious and easy! Adding it to the rotation for sure. Thank you!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad to hear you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!

  6. Alicia Storms says:

    I tried this recipe at home yesterday, and it turned out to be really delicious..
    Thank you so much for such a yummy recipe.
    Gonna save this and will share with others.
    Keep sharing :)

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  7. denise says:

    this sounds great

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks Denise!

  8. Karen says:

    I don’t want to use the oven in the summer heat. Would this work in either instant pot or slow cooker? If so, any thoughts on what the cook times need to be?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hi Karen,
      I haven’t tested this recipe either one of those ways, but I completely understand not wanting to turn the oven on for two hours in the summer heat! I have another recipe with quinoa and chicken in the instant pot and that one is cooked for 10 minutes at high pressure with a quick release. That one uses 3/4 cup of quinoa and only 1 cup of broth, so if I was trying this recipe in the instant pot, I’d probably try it with the same ratio of quinoa to broth.

      When it’s done cooking, I’d stir it and then add the fresh mozzarella and tomato and just set the cover on to let the steam and warmth melt the mozzarella. Fingers crossed it works out for you, I’d love to hear back if you try it!