Caprese chicken salad meal prep bowls are fresh, summery and delicious. With baked chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, quinoa and basil leaves all drizzled in a balsamic vinaigrette.
These caprese chicken salad meal prep bowls are another great example of a salad that is nourishing, filling, and so delicious! It's a reader favorite and easy to make all year round.
Reasons you'll ♡ this recipe
- it has those classic caprese flavors that are so good together: mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and balsamic
- it's simple to prepare and tastes great, even on day 4
- we share tips so that your basil stays as fresh as possible
Watch the video below to see how to make caprese chicken salad meal prep bowls! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
- quinoa- the base of this salad, adding protein, healthy carbohydrates and nutrients; you can swap for an equal amount of farro, rice, or your favorite grain
- tomatoes- I normally don't recommend using tomatoes in meal prep because they get juicy and soft, but that's actually not a bad thing in this salad
- baby bocconcini- small soft mozzarella balls that can be found in the deli section of your grocery store; they are mild, softer and less salty than pizza mozzarella
- basil- fresh basil is the flavor that ties everything together here; I share some tips below to keep it fresh as possible while storing
- chicken- you can use chicken breasts, thighs or swap for a can of chickpeas
Step by step directions
1. Cook quinoa- Since the quinoa takes the longest to cook and cool, start cooking it first. There are several ways you can cook your quinoa:
2. Cook chicken- Heat oven to 425°F. Toss 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Transfer to a baking dish, season with salt and pepper and bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165°F in the thickest part.
Once chicken has rested for at least 10 minutes, slice it against the grain.
TIP- for the juiciest chicken, allow it to cool completely before slicing (this helps all the juices stay in the chicken)
TIP- to keep this salad fresh, do not add the dressing until just before you serve
4. Portion & store- In four meal prep containers (2 cups or larger), divide up the cooled quinoa, chicken, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
TIP- Keep the basil separate from anything wet, and if possible add it fresh.
5. Serve- When you are ready to serve, tear up the fresh basil leaves, shake up the salad dressing, and drizzle over everything. Toss up the salad, and enjoy!
Keeping the basil fresh
Basil is notorious for expiring quickly, but it adds so much flavor to this salad and is worth trying to keep it fresh! Here are some ways you could do it:
- wrap it in paper towel to keep it fresh
- keep it in a jar with a few inches of water, covering the leaves with a bag (away from the sun)
- basil paste may also be an option, though we have not tried it
This salad keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days; expect the tomatoes to be juicy and soft by days 3-4. This salad should not be frozen.
Food safety- Cooked chicken is safe to eat for up to 4 days after cooking, therefore this salad should be consumed within 4 days of preparing. Read more about how to safely prep and store chicken here.
- chicken- swap for meatballs, chicken thighs, tofu, or chickpeas
- quinoa- swap for rice, farro, barley, or your favorite grain
- balsamic vinaigrette- swap for one of these vinaigrettes, or drizzle with balsamic reduction
- wrap- skip the quinoa and wrap it all up in a tortilla or pita bread
- low carb- swap the quinoa for cauliflower rice; swap maple syrup in dressing for monk fruit sweetener
More meal prep lunches
☆ Did you make this recipe? I'd love to hear how it turned out! Leave me a review and star rating in the comments below. Your reviews help so much!
- ¾ cup quinoa uncooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts roughly 2 large chicken breasts; see note 1
- salt & pepper
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 bunch basil leaves whole but removed from stem; see note 2
- 1 cup baby bocconcini see note 3
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon dijon
- salt & pepper
- Cook quinoa- cook quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool.
- Cook chicken- Heat oven to 425°F. Toss 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Transfer to a baking dish, season with salt and pepper and bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165°F in the thickest part.Once chicken has rested for at least 10 minutes, slice it against the grain.
- Shake up vinaigrette- In a salad dressing shaker or mason jar, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon and salt and pepper. Portion out into condiment containers.
- Portion & store- In four meal prep containers (2 cups or larger), divide up the cooled quinoa, chicken, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Serve- When you are ready to serve, tear up the fresh basil leaves, shake up the salad dressing, and drizzle over everything. Toss up the salad, and enjoy!
- wrap in paper towel
- bring the whole basil plant to work; keep it in a jar with water, a bag covering it
- try to keep the basil at the top of the bowl, away from anything wet like the tomatoes
- do not add the vinaigrette until just before serving
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