Caprese Instant Pot chicken thighs are perfect for summer! Chicken thighs are cooked to juicy perfection in a sweet, tangy balsamic sauce, then topped with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil.
At our house, caprese salad is on repeat all summer long, and now we are adding these caprese chicken thighs to the mix!
There is just no better flavor combination in this world than balsamic + summer tomatoes + basil + mozzarella, right?
I am a huge fan of cooking boneless skinless chicken breasts in the Instant Pot (you can find 7 Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes over here!), but turns out, it's a pretty great way to cook chicken thighs as well.
These caprese Instant Pot chicken thighs
- can be assembled ahead and frozen for easy Instant Pot freezer packs
- can be cooked and on your table in under 30 minutes
- are paleo, gluten-free and full of clean ingredients
How to make caprese chicken in the Instant Pot
This recipe is really simple and you are rewarded with incredible flavor for very little effort.
- Cook your boneless skinless chicken thighs in the balsamic sauce (chicken stock + maple syrup + balsamic vinegar) for 10 minutes in the Instant Pot.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the Instant Pot and reduce the sauce using the sautee function of the IP. Stir in cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
- Place a slice of mozzarella on each chicken thigh and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
- Serve the caprese chicken thighs straight from the oven with a big drizzle of sauce.
Can I make this recipe with chicken breasts?
Yes! Adjust cook time to 8 minutes for 7 oz boneless chicken breasts.
Bone in/skin on chicken thighs?
I don't recommend it since they can really let off a lot of fat that is unappetizing in the sauce. If you were to use bone in/skin on, I'd cook them on a trivet using just 1 cup of water, then prepare the reduction on the stove top separately.
Can I make this recipe low carb?
This recipe is on the lower end of the carb spectrum with 15 g carbs per serving but you could can make this recipe keto compliant and shave off 9 g carbs per serving by omitting the maple syrup. You could try swapping it for monk fruit sweetener, though I am unsure of the quantities you'd need as I have not tried this myself.
What goes well with caprese chicken thighs?
- grilled or roasted potatoes
- one of these 7 Easy Rice Recipes
- grilled or roasted veggies
- a simple salad like this Staple Kale Salad or this Spiralized Cucumber Salad
- I used my 6 quart Instant Pot; this recipe has not been tested in an 8 quart or mini
- I recommend removing any large pieces of fat from the thighs to keep it from getting into the sauce
- make sure you use heavy duty freezer bags if you are going to make freezer packs
- looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Try these Instant Pot Creamy Lemon Chicken Breasts, this Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower, or this Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Soy Ginger Sauce
Caprese Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- ¼ cup chicken stock (or water)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (roughly 8 thighs; trim excess fat)
- 8 slices mozzarella
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ cup basil leaves torn
- In the base of a 6 quart Instant Pot, mix together the stock, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup until combined.
- Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, with a quick pressure release (immediately release the pressure when the timer beeps).
- Carefully transfer the chicken thighs to a baking sheet. Place a slice of cheese on each chicken thigh.
- Select 'sautee' (you may need to cancel the keep warm setting first), then simmer the sauce for 4-5 minutes, until it starts to thicken. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer another 1-2 minutes until they are softened slightly. Stir in the basil.
- Place chicken under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Serve the chicken with a big scoop of the tomato/basil/balsamic sauce. Enjoy!
To prepare ahead and freeze
- In a gallon sized freezer bag (or eco-friendly silicone freezer bag), combine the chicken thighs, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.
- Squeeze out extra air and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before cooking as directed above.