Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

This balsamic chicken and veggies is exploding with flavor, cooks all in one skillet and on your table in less than 30 minutes!

This balsamic chicken couldn’t be any easier or delicious with the BEST SAUCE and a cook time of less than 10 minutes! It’s the perfect stress-free weeknight dinner that will instantly become a new favorite-it’s definitely one of mine! This balsamic chicken is made with easy-to-find, fresh, healthy ingredients of juicy chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, asparagus and cherry tomatoes all coated in an intoxicating sweet and savory balsamic sauce that cooks up in minutes!  You can follow the balsamic chicken recipe as written or switch up the vegetables for whatever you have on hand such as green beans, bell peppers, or mushrooms, because at the end of the day, it’s all about the balsamic sauce!  

30-minute chicken dinners are weeknight life saver we all need more of!  You’ll love these easy one pot favorites: Creamy Basil Chicken and Orzo, Thai Basil Chicken, Green Chili Chicken, Chicken Florentine, Chicken Parmesan Pasta, Thai Peanut Butter Chicken and Honey Lime Coconut Chicken.

top view of balsamic chicken in a stainless steel skillet

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Balsamic Chicken

You will literally crave this balsamic chicken recipe.  It’s packed with everything delicious from the juicy chicken to the bursting tomatoes to the sweet potatoes that taste exponentially sweeter and more fabulous bathed in the BEST EVER balsamic sauce.   

The balsamic sauce is based off of my sensational balsamic chicken marinade. It’s made by quickly whisking together balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and Italian herbs and seasonings.  You’ll toss some of the chicken in the sauce before cooking to tenderize and infuse the chicken with flavor then add the rest to the skillet after briefly cooking the veggies. After a quick simmer to thicken the sauce, every nook and cranny of the skillet will be seeping with complex savory, tangy, slightly sweet, herbaceous notes that will have YOU craving this balsamic chicken.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS balsamic CHICKEN recipe

Now that we’ve established that this balsamic chicken recipe tastes AMAZING, here’s more reasons you’ll love it:

  • Easy! This balsamic chicken will be on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes!  The ingredients are pantry friendly and the sauce takes minutes to whisk together.
  • One skillet.  One skillet not only means quick and easy but little cleanup!  Now you can move on with the rest of your family time!
  • The juiciest chicken.  The chicken marinates in the balsamic sauce just while you prep your veggies.  This brief soak makes a world of difference between dry chicken breasts and flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth juicy chicken breasts.   
  • Versatile. This balsamic chicken recipe can be made with any veggies you have on hand!  That being said, I personally LOVE the sweet potatoes because they offer bright pops of sweetness that beautifully complement the rich, tangy balsamic chicken, but if you don’t add them, it will still be delish.  
  • Healthy. This balsamic chicken recipe is packed with lean protein and nutritious veggies swaddled in a low sodium sauce.  But the best part, it is exploding with flavor!

What’s in the Balsamic Chicken Recipe? 

There are two main components to this balsamic chicken, the chicken and veggies and the sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:

THE SKILLET

  • Chicken: Use boneless chicken breasts that have been cut into large bite-sized pieces.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in the dish. 
  • Sweet potato: I peeled mine, but you can eat the peel if desired. You are welcome to add more sweet potatoes if you wish – yum.
  • Asparagus: Trim the woody ends before chopping into 2-inch pieces.  You can do this by bending the asparagus and it will naturally snap at the breaking point.
  • Shallot: Tastes like a cross between an onion and a clove of garlic. One shallot is both the bulbs within the shallot.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Add a fresh, slightly sweet flavor to the skillet and I love how they burst into juicy sweetness in your mouth!  

THE Balsamic Sauce

  • Olive oil: Use quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Balsamic vinegar: Use quality balsamic vinegar for the best flavor. More details on how to choose balsamic vinegar to follow.
  • Honey: Mild clover honey balances out the tangy balsamic and lemon juice.
  • Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed is preferred, but bottled will also work. 
  • Dijon mustard: I promise it won’t make your balsamic chicken taste like mustard! It adds a depth of tanginess.
  • Spices: Dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes inject the marinade with a rainbow of flavor.
balsamic chicken with tomatoes in a skillet  garnished with parsley and basil

How to Pick the Best Balsamic Vinegar 

Not all balsamic vinegar is created equal. Some bottles sell for a few dollars, others demand as much as $200 a bottle. So, what’s the difference? How can you select the best balsamic vinegar without breaking the bank? Should you use the same type of balsamic for everything? 

  • Traditional balsamic: the most expensive, not necessary for marinades/sauces
  • Condimento balsamico: second most expensive, also not necessary for marinades/sauces
  • Balsamic Vinegar of Modena I.G.P.: less expensive, perfect for marinades and sauces like in this balsamic chicken recipe
  • Non I.G.P balsamic: can be close to I.G.P. quality but not guaranteed
  • Imitation balsamic:  the least expensive, to be avoided

In short, the highest quality vinegars are not necessary for marinades and should be reserved for finishing dishes. Less expensive but still quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena I.G.P. is what you want to use for everyday cooking in marinades, sauces and salad dressings.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena I.G.P. is regulated and processed in Modena, Italy from select grape varieties but only aged for a minimum of two months; it skips the fermentation stage entirely.  Because of this, it must contain wine vinegar to enhance its acidity.  It can contain vinegar as low as 6% and up to 50%, but balsamic is always the first and main ingredient.  The lower the acidity, the higher the quality. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena I.G.P. can range in price from anywhere from $5 to $50 due to the wide range of aging time and wine vinegar added.

Identification:  I.G.P. should clearly be labeled and marked with the yellow-and-blue I.G.P. stamp (it shows two hillsides in a ring of stars). The vinegar can be designated “aged” if it has fermented for more than three years – a great sign.

Some reputable brands include: Colavita, Due Vittorie Oro Gold, Oliviers & Co and my top recommendation: Giuseppe Giusti Gran Deposito.

If you want to learn more about the other types of balsamic vinegar not used in this balsamic chicken recipe, click here.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs in This Balsamic Chicken Recipe?

Yes, you are welcome to use chicken thighs if you prefer.  Chop the thighs into large bite size pieces and marinate them just like you would the chicken breasts. You’ll want to make sure the chicken is fully cooked before removing it from the skillet.

Can I Use Different Veggies in this Balsamic Chicken?

Absolutely!  Use whatever vegetables you prefer or have on hand (I’ve listed ideas under “recipe variations” below), but I highly suggest sticking with the sweet potatoes.  Their sweetness is a highlight of the entire recipe!  If you use different vegetables, keep in mind that you may need to adjust the cooking time depending on what veggies you use.  For example, broccoli takes longer to cook than asparagus, so you’ll want to cook it for a minute or two before adding asparagus. 

How to Make Balsamic Chicken

This balsamic chicken is quick and easy to make in 5 easy steps thanks to a microwave shortcut!  Here’s how to make it:

  • Step 1: Marinate the chicken. Whisk together the balsamic sauce. Place ¼ cup of the marinade into a zip-top bag or a large bowl. Add the chicken to the marinade and let marinate at room temperature while you prep your veggies and microwave your sweet potatoes or you can place it in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. 
a collage showing how to make balsamic chicken by whisking all of the balsamic sauce together in a bowl then marinating chicken in part of the sauce
  • Step 2: Prep the sweet potato. Chop the sweet potato into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes into a microwave-safe bowl and add a little water to it. Cover with a plate or lid and microwave until fork tender. 
  • Step 3: Cook the chicken. Once the chicken has had time to tenderize and soak up the marinade, add it to a preheated skillet along with the butter, olive oil and shallot. Cook just until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink.
howing how to make balsamic chicken by cooking the chicken and shallot in a stainless steel skillet
  • Step 4:  Cook the veggies.  Once the chicken is seared, add the asparagus, and tomatoes. Cook for a couple minutes, just until the asparagus is crisp-tender.
howing how to make balsamic chicken by adding asparagus and tomatoes to the balsamic chicken
  • Step 5:  Thicken the sauce.  Add the sweet potatoes back to the skillet along with the remaining balsamic sauce (that didn’t touch the raw chicken).  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute.
howing how to make balsamic chicken by adding sweet potatoes and balsamic sauce to the balsamic chicken inn the skillet

Step 6:  Adjust to taste. Taste and add a sprinkling of brown sugar for sweeter or lemon juice or balsamic for tangier.

showing how to make balsamic chicken recipe by combining chicken, tomatoes, asparagus in a skillet

Tips for Making a Balsamic Chicken

This balsamic chicken recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are a few tips to ensure success every time:

  • Use a large heavy bottom skillet.  Either a heavy bottom stainless steel skillet or cast-iron skillet will conduct heat the very best which translates into beautifully seared proteins and an evenly cooked dinner.  No matter which skillet you use, make sure it is large enough to accommodate both the balsamic chicken and the veggies. 
  • Chop the chicken large. Error on the side of chopping the chicken into larger pieces so it remains juicy and doesn’t overcook.
  • Don’t over-marinate chicken. The balsamic vinegar and lemon juice are highly acidic so you don’t want to marinate the balsamic chicken for too long or the acid can break down the chicken and make it mushy.  Marinate only for four hours at most.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator.  You can marinate the balsamic chicken for 30 minutes at room temperature but if you aren’t cooking it within 30 minutes, cover and transfer the chicken to the refrigerator to avoid food-born illness. When ready to cook, remove the chicken to the counter 20 minutes beforehand to help bring it to room temperature so it will cook evenly. 
  • Sear chicken, don’t cook through. Remember we are just searing the chicken initially with the shallots, it will finish cooking with the tomatoes, asparagus and sauce.  You don’t want it cooked all the way through before you add the veggies or it will be dry!  
  • Buy thinner asparagus. If possible, purchase asparagus stalks that are on the thinner side. Thick asparagus is often woody and not as flavorful. 
  • Don’t over-cook sweet potatoes.  Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave just until tender.  If you microwave them for too long, they’ll become too soft and mash up in the skillet.
  • Adjust to taste. Every bottle of balsamic vinegar is different so it is important to adjust to taste. If the balsamic chicken tastes too strong, it likely needs to be balanced by some sugar. Instead of honey, which is harder to incorporate into the cooked skillet, I suggest sprinkling the skillet with brown sugar. If the balsamic chicken is too sweet, then add some acid with lemon juice or fruity tang with balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic Chicken Recipe Variations to Try 

  • Swap veggies: Add mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, or spinach.  Be mindful of different vegetable cooking times and add them to the skillet accordingly.
  • Add melted mozzarella. Try adding mozzarella snacking balls at the end of cooking so they remain cheesy balls of YUM.  You can also blanket the entire skillet in shredded mozzarella then pop the skillet in the oven for a couple minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Add Parmesan. Sprinkle the entire skillet with freshly grated Parmesan.
  • Amp up the lemon. If you like more lemon flavor, add additional lemon juice.  You may need to add additional honey to balance the citrus.
  • Swap citrus. Swap the lemon juice for orange juice.  You may need slightly less honey because orange juice is sweeter.
  • Swap seasonings. Mix up the flavor profile and swap the Italian seasonings for Cajun seasonings.
  • Make it spicy. Add additional red pepper flakes or swap the red pepper flakes for some cayenne or chipotle chili powder.
  • Add-ins. Add artichokes, olives, capers, roasted bell peppers, chickpeas etc.
  • Add nuts. Pine nuts and sliced almonds are delish mixed right into the veggies.
  • Swap protein: Swap the balsamic chicken for ground chicken, chicken sausage, lean ground beef or Italian sausage. You can even use sliced sausage, shredded rotisserie chicken, roasted or sautéed shrimp!  This dish would also be great to use up leftover chicken, pork, or steak.   Just add leftovers to the marinade then to the skillet at the end with the sauce.

Can I Prepare This Balsamic Chicken Ahead of Time? 

Yes, you can either make the entire balsamic chicken recipe ahead of time to enjoy as leftovers later or you can prepare individual components in advance: 

  • Balsamic sauce: Whisk the balsamic sauce ingredients together in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days ahead of time WITHOUT the chicken.  
  • Chicken: Cube the chicken and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
  • Marinate chicken:  Add cubed chicken to 2 tablespoons of the balsamic sauce and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.
  • Veggies: Chop the veggies and store in separate containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
balsamic chicken on a plate with tomatoes and vegetables

How to Store and Reheat Balsamic Chicken 

  • Storage: Store cooked balsamic chicken and veggies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Microwave: Heat for 1 minute then at 30 second intervals as needed. 
  • Stove: Reheat individual servings over medium heat, until warmed through. 

Can I Freeze Balsamic Chicken Skillet? 

No, I don’t recommend freezing the balsamic chicken and vegetables because the vegetables will become mushy once frozen. You can, however, freeze just the chicken in the marinade: 

  • Freeze chicken in marinade: Add the chicken to the marinade ingredients in a freezer-safe bag, squeeze out excess air and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use, the chicken will marinate as you thaw the chicken in the refrigerator.

What to Serve with Balsamic Chicken  

Enjoy this balsamic chicken recipe as is, or serve it over rice, quinoa or your grain of choice, with one of the following sides: 

Looking for More Easy Chicken Dinners? 

side view of balsamic chicken recipe on a plate garnished with basil

Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

This balsamic chicken couldn’t be any easier or delicious! It’s the perfect stress-free weeknight dinner that will instantly become a new favorite-it’s definitely one of mine! This balsamic chicken is made with easy-to-find, fresh, healthy ingredients of juicy chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, asparagus and cherry tomatoes all coated in an intoxicating sweet and savory balsamic sauce that cooks up in minutes!  You can follow the balsamic chicken recipe as written or switch up the vegetables for whatever you have on hand such as green beans, bell peppers, or mushrooms, because at the end of the day, it’s all about the balsamic sauce!
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Prep Time: 13 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

Balsamic Sauce

Chicken and Veggies

  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken breast chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped (may sub 1 tsp onion powder)*
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus ends trimmed, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (may sub 1 tsp garlic powder)*

Instructions

  • Whisk the balsamic sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons and add to a bowl or freezer bag with the chopped chicken; set aside to marinate while you chop the veggies and steam the sweet potatoes (up to 30 minutes at room temp or 4 hours in the fridge). Reserve remaining sauce for later.
  • Add chopped sweet potatoes to a microwave safe bowl with a lid. Add water it reaches ¼-inch up the sides. Cover and microwave for 5-7 minutes or until fork tender; drain and set aside.
  • Melt butter in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken for 1 minute then add shallot and cook just until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink. Add the asparagus, and tomatoes and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until asparagus are crisp-tender. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
  • Add the sweet potatoes back to the skillet along with the remaining balsamic sauce (that didn’t touch the raw chicken). Cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Taste and add brown sugar for sweeter, balsamic or lemon juice for tangier. Dig in!

Notes

*If making garlic and/or onion powder substitutions, whisk them in with the rest of the balsamic sauce ingredients.

Tips SUCCESS

This balsamic chicken recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are a few tips to ensure success every time:
  • Don’t over-marinate chicken. The balsamic vinegar and lemon juice are highly acidic so you don’t want to marinate the balsamic chicken for too long or the acid can break down the chicken and make it mushy.  Marinate only for four hours at most.
  • Sear chicken, don’t cook through. Remember we are just searing the chicken initially with the shallots, it will finish cooking with the tomatoes, asparagus and sauce.  You don’t want it cooked all the way through before you add the veggies or it will be dry!  
  • Buy thinner asparagus. If possible, purchase asparagus stalks that are on the thinner side. Thick asparagus is often woody and not as flavorful. 
  • Don’t over-cook sweet potatoes.  Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave just until tender.  If you microwave them for too long, they’ll become too soft and mash up in the skillet.
  • Adjust to taste. Every bottle of balsamic vinegar is different so it is important to adjust to taste. If the balsamic chicken tastes too strong, it likely needs to be balanced by some sugar. Instead of honey, which is harder to incorporate into the cooked skillet, I suggest sprinkling the skillet with brown sugar. If the balsamic chicken is too sweet, then add some acid with lemon juice or fruity tang with balsamic vinegar.

How to Store and Reheat 

  • Storage: Store cooked balsamic chicken and veggies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Microwave: Heat for 1 minute then at 30 second intervals as needed. 
  • Stove: Reheat individual servings over medium heat, until warmed through. 

Did You Make This Recipe?

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4 Comments

  1. Ramya says

    will be making this soon with few subs this perfect with mushrooms eggplant zucchini and cauliflower as my fav veggies will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    • Jen says

      Those veggies sound delish, enjoy!

  2. Donna says

    The sauce makes this recipe! I used sweet potatoes, asparagus, a little yellow bell pepper, broccoli and mushrooms. The sauce coated the veggies and chicken very well. We r looking forward to the leftovers! I highly recommend!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for the glowing review Donna, I’m so pleased you loved it!

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