Sing it with me: “balsamic and chicken, tomatoes and basil … these are a few of my favorite things.” And what a coincidence! All of them feature prominently in Bruschetta Chicken, an easy, fresh summertime dinner that satisfies the pickiest of eaters and the busiest of chefs. See below for tips to fit Whole30, paleo, and keto lifestyles.
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Welcome to another edition of “That’s Not Really Italian!”
Now, now, now…before you get unnecessarily salty, yes, bruschetta is absolutely Italian (say it with a hard ‘k’), but lo and behold, the name itself refers to the bread and not the topping.
According to author John Ayto (via Wikipedia), bruschetta “comes from the Roman dialect verb bruscare, the equivalent of the Italian word abbrustolire which means ‘to toast’, or ‘to roast over coals’.” And clearly, the only thing being toasted or roasted is the bread so you do the math.
I know! I’m not even going to try to claim the moral high ground here because I thought they were completely interchangeable. Good news? They are – in the good old US of A. God bless America for being so extra sometimes.
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Frankly, it’s given us such tasty Italian-American staples as alfredo, chicken parm, cioppino, and, of course, Sunday Sauce with meatballs, so no disrespect to the motherland but I’m absolutely fine with this “bastardization.”
So while my Rosemary White Bean Bruschetta, Mushroom Bruschetta, and Roasted Garlic Sweet Pea Bruschetta all pass the proverbial sniff test in Italy, my Bruschetta Stuffed Avocados are more… vernacular. However, this bruschetta grilled chicken clearly satisfies both regional definitions.
How to Make Bruschetta Chicken
Bruschetta levels up from appetizer territory in this suppertime spin on a classic. Grilled (or baked, your choice) chicken plays host to diced tomatoes, basil and a tangy balsamic glaze in this quick and easy main dish conversion. Pay homage to summer and go as fresh as possible with your produce for the best flavor in Bruschetta Chicken!
- Make the bruschetta topping and let it rest while cooking the chicken.
- Prep chicken: pound to even thickness, coat with oil, and sprinkle with seasoning
- To Grill: cook on grate or grill pan for 5-6 minutes on both sides over high heat
- To Bake: roast 10-12 minutes in a 400°F oven on a lined baking sheet
- Top the cooked chicken with the bruschetta, then drizzle with balsamic glaze (optional).
- Pound the chicken to even thickness. This will both tenderize the chicken, and ensure even cooking throughout.
- Properly preheat the grill. If you have a thermometer gauge on your grill, wait for it to fully heat. If not, use the hand test.
- Always check the internal temperature using an instant read thermometer – the chicken should reach 165°F before you remove from the grill or oven.
- Rest five minutes to allow the juices to settle.
- Add cheese! Add 4 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls (or diced fresh mozzarella) to the tomato topping.
- Balsamic glaze isn’t a low carb food – skip if you’re carb conscious or on a keto diet (I swear it’s still delicious!).
Creating a Non-Stick Surface
TikTok life hacks are no joke, but even I was shocked when this particular tip worked perfectly! Slice a waxy potato (like a Yukon gold) in half. Heat your grill, then use tongs to rub the cut side of the potato directly onto the grill grates. This will effectively create a “non-stick” surface. If you try this trick, let me know!
What to Serve with Bruschetta Chicken
Low Carb Sides: Bruschetta Chicken is already working with plenty of flavors, so this is a great dish to go super simple on for sides – grilled broccoli or asparagus are natural choices, as is cauliflower prepared any number of ways.
Starchy Sides: potatoes and pasta are bruschetta chicken’s best friend. With no bread to compete with, you’ve got plenty of room for a few more carbs. Try Classic Italian Potato Salad, Garlic Parmesan Air Fryer Potatoes, or Potato Wedges. Or keep it very simple and serve over buttered linguine or fettuccine noodles.
Fresh Salads: you’ve really got two choices here – double down on your tomatoes or don’t. If you’re hankering for more tomato, try this White Bean Salad or this Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad.
If not, try this other White Bean Salad. Want a pasta salad? Try Mediterranean Orzo. Want leafy greens? Then keep it simple – toss your favorites (I recommend a blend of arugula, radicchio, and spinach) with salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic, topped with shaved parmesan.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Absolutely! Between the protein in chicken and nutrients in tomatoes, Bruschetta Chicken is a workhorse. Though not technically keto as-is, it’s a low carb meal. Depending on your macros – or if you simply cut the balsamic – we’re now in keto territory.
If you’re a label conscious connoisseur and use the right balsamic, it shouldn’t fall into that “grey area” on either paleo or Whole30 diets, but if you have concerns, cut the glaze like you would for keto. If you’re “dirty” on any of these, mangia mangia!
Winner, Winner, Grilled Chicken Dinner
- Caprese Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Tacos
- Balsamic Chicken Thighs
- Chili Lime Chicken
- More grilled chicken recipes!
Did you make this bruschetta chicken recipe? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 3-4 medium ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb), cored, seeded, and chopped to a ½” dice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced basil leaves
- ground pepper, to taste
- balsamic glaze, to taste, optional
- Start the bruschetta. Combine the chopped tomatoes with salt and garlic in a mixing bowl; mix until well combined, then let sit while the chicken cooks.
- Prepare the chicken. Place one chicken breast onto a sheet of parchment paper. Fold the paper over the chicken. Using a rolling pin, pound the chicken breast to even thickness of a little less than 1″. Set aside and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Combine the italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- Brush the chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle with the seasoning blend. Flip the chicken oven, then oil and season the other side.
- To Grill: heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Place the chicken breasts directly on the grill grates and cook 5-6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reads 165°F using an instant read thermometer. Remove from the grill and rest 5 minutes.
- To Bake: heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roast the chicken for 10-12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165°F using an instant read thermometer. Remove from the oven and rest five minutes.
- Finish the bruschetta topping. Stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and ground pepper to taste. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, or vinegar to taste.
- Top the grilled chicken with the bruschetta. Serve immediately.