This easy balsamic chicken is a 20-minute weeknight dinner with just 4 simple ingredients but great flavor! Serve with rice, quinoa or couscous to soak up the yummy juices!
Today’s easy balsamic chicken recipe is a great go-to dinner on a busy weeknight for two main reasons:
- It requires only very basic pantry ingredients. (Really just 4 ingredients, plus olive oil and salt and pepper.)
- It’s ready in 20 minutes, start to finish.
Hello, busy weeknight, you got nothing on me! 🙌
Or shoot, it also works for a weekend night when you just want to be lazy and not be in the kitchen all night long. That happens here a lot too. 😉
The flavor here though is not lacking and that’s because of one of my favorite ingredients. Balsamic vinegar.
I adore balsamic vinegar. It makes all.the.food so delicious.
It’s so rich and has a really deep flavor. Particularly when you let it reduce down a bit and thicken and become even more syrupy and sweet.
Balsamic vinegar, you are my sun, my moon… OK, I’ll stop before I get indecent. 😬
Now, it does help to have a really good balsamic vinegar for this recipe, since it’s the big flavor.
That does NOT mean, however, that you need to get the most expensive bottle you can find.
In fact, I actually buy my balsamic vinegar at Costco. They have big bottles that are really good quality and also super affordable. Total win.
But if you don’t have one near you or you are looking in a regular grocery store, here’s a few tips.
Balsamic vinegar tips:
* We are cooking with the balsamic vinegar in this recipe, so a basic grocery store aged balsamic vinegar of Modena is what you want to use. These are different than the truly traditional and authentic balsamic vinegars from Italy, which you would not want to cook with. (Those are also really hard to find and crazy expensive.)
* The thicker and darker the vinegar is, the more sweet it will be. But again, we are cooking this down, which will both thicken and sweeten the sauce, so it’s OK if yours doesn’t start out that way.
* You want to choose a vinegar that has grape must as the first ingredient. If another vinegar is the first ingredient, keep looking.
Here’s a really thorough complete guide if you want to read more about the different kinds of balsamic vinegars.
Heads up, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up for this recipe. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making easy balsamic chicken:
- Cutting the chicken breasts into strips helps speed up the cook time and also ensures a more even cooking. It’s one of my favorite tricks for making dinnertime easier and less stressful!
- Once you sauté the onions, just scootch them over in the pan and add your chicken. Once it’s well browned on both sides, add your vinegar and broth.
- Then you just need to let everything simmer and get cozy together. Once the chicken is done, you can turn off the heat and let the sauce finish thickening as you get your plates ready.
Now, this is intentionally a really simple recipe. Cause plenty of nights, that’s all that I have the time and energy for.
If you want to bump up the flavors or add to this dish, you absolutely can!
Flavor add-ins for balsamic chicken:
– Garlic lover? Add a couple of cloves of garlic, minced, to the pan when the onion is softened, just before you add the chicken.
– Like it spicy? Use 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to season the chicken when you add it to the pan.
– Fresh herbs – such as thyme, rosemary or parsley – can be great flavor boosters. Add chopped fresh thyme or rosemary along with the chicken to cook down a bit. Or use fresh parsley to finish the dish at the end.
Or you can add some vegetables to this dish as well. Keep reading for details on that.
Oh, and around the holidays, I also have a slightly different version I make with this cranberry balsamic chicken. The sauce is scrumptious!
As is, you’ve got the protein portion of your meal covered with this recipe. You just need to add your favorite starch and veggies for a complete meal.
Need some ideas? I got you covered!
Serving ideas for balsamic chicken:
– This chicken dish goes great with steamed brown or white rice, quinoa or couscous. They all help soak up the extra juices.
– Pasta is another good option for a side to go with this. I’d suggest either a long, thin noodle (like spaghetti or angel hair) or orzo.
– Try cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles for a low-carb option with this chicken.
– You can serve this with any steamed or roasted vegetable you love – such as asparagus, broccoli or green beans. Or just make a simple side salad to go with it.
– You could also add some mushrooms, peppers or zucchini to the pan with the onions to cook along with this dish. (It’s a great way to use up extra veggie scraps from the fridge!)
Next time you are short on time and ideas, pull this out. It’s sure to be a family favorite!
This balsamic chicken is great served with steamed rice, quinoa or couscous to help soak up the juices. Even pasta pairs well with it. This is an intentionally simple recipe, but you could certainly add to it if you want to change up the flavor. Here's a few ideas:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 540mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 54g
This balsamic chicken is great served with steamed rice, quinoa or couscous to help soak up the juices. Even pasta pairs well with it.
This is an intentionally simple recipe, but you could certainly add to it if you want to change up the flavor. Here's a few ideas: