Caprese chicken salad meal prep bowls bring a dose of summer to your lunch. With baked chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes, baby bocconcini, quinoa and basil leaves all drizzled in a balsamic vinaigrette.
I am probably jumping the gun on this recipe, given that it is filled with summery ingredients and it's only March 1.
I just can't help myself! Sometimes I need a dose of summer in my lunch, even when it happens to be cold, snowy and wintery.
Today's caprese salad lunch bowls are a delicious remix of everyone's favorite caprese salad...in meal prep bowl form!
Don't forget to pin this recipe to save it for later!
Can you make caprese salad ahead of time?
Generally speaking, no you can't. The issue for the most part is the basil...it is prone to browning and wilting. But the tomatoes can also become soggy if they sit in the dressing for too long.
However with a few tricks, I've converted caprese salad into a meal prep lunch.
- Do not dress this salad ahead of time. These pictures are showing it dressed, but to prep ahead, keep the dressing in a condiment container like these ones.
- Keep the basil separate from anything wet, and if possible add it fresh. You may wish to wrap it in paper towel to keep it fresh, or keep it in a container at work, separate from the rest of the salad. You could also try a basil paste, however I have not tried this and don't know if it would be the same.
In addition to the delicious caprese trifecta of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic dressing, I added some quinoa and chicken to give it a little more oomf. No one needs to be hungry within an hour of eating their lunches!
All combined, you get a great balance of healthy proteins, fresh veggies, and quinoa to round everything out with some healthy carbohydrates (and even more protein!).
- I used my favorite meal prep containers
- I cook my quinoa in a rice cooker
- remember to keep the basil and dressing separate until just prior to serving
- looking for more delicious meal prep lunch recipes? Check out these Cold Sesame Noodle Meal Prep Bowls, this Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken, or this collection with 38+ Easy Lunch Meal Prep Ideas
Caprese Chicken Salad Meal Prep Bowls
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts 14 oz total
- salt & pepper
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 bunch basil leaves whole but removed from stem
- 1 cup baby bocconcini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon dijon
- salt & pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool.
- Heat oven to 425°F. Toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Season with salt & pepper.
- Bake chicken breasts for 22-28 minutes, until cooked through. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before cutting into cubes
- Shake together vinaigrette ingredients.
- Portion out meal prep bowls: ½ chicken breast, ½ cup cooked quinoa, ¼ cup bocconcini, ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves. Drizzle with vinaigrette (see *)