Summer Balsamic Chicken

This balsamic chicken is tender and delicious, with a sweet and savory sauce and topped with melted fresh mozzarella cheese. It's an easy skillet dinner where you cook the orzo pasta, zucchini and cherry tomatoes and chicken all together. The pressure cooker version of this recipe really intensifies the balsamic flavor by infusing it into the food under pressure. If you want a more intense balsamic vinegar flavor for the stovetop version, finish this dish by drizzling some balsamic glaze over the top.

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Balsamic Chicken One Pan Meal

You can make balsamic chicken at any time of the year, but this recipe for Summer Balsamic Chicken calls for summer vegetables and orzo to be cooked right along with the chicken, getting everything you need for dinner done in one pan. It’s best made at the end of summer when tomatoes and zucchini are at their best, but because these vegetables are available to us all year long, you really aren’t limited to any one season. 

Balsamic chicken with Summer Vegetables on a white plate on a white wooden table.

White or Regular Balsamic Vinegar

This recipe calls for regular balsamic vinegar, but you are welcome to use white balsamic vinegar instead. The difference between the two is mostly how they are made. Both start out from grapes, but with regular balsamic vinegar the grapes, skins and seeds are crushed and simmered for a very long period of time, turning the vinegar dark in color before it is aged in barrels for several years. When making white balsamic vinegar, the grapes are cooked at a low temperature or sometimes pressure cooked so that it doesn’t turn brown, and then the aging time is shorter. White balsamic vinegar is  little lighter and less syrupy than regular balsamic vinegar and it has a cleaner aftertaste. One of the most obvious differences between the two, however, is the color. Consequently, white balsamic vinegar, although not quite as intense in flavor, won’t turn the dish (primarily the orzo) a dark color, which might be preferable to some.

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Balsamic chicken with Summer Vegetables on a white plate on a white wooden table.

Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella

To finish this dish full of orzo, zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes, we take it one step further at the end and top it with some fresh mozzarella cheese and basil. This is a little nod to summer’s favorite salad – a caprese salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The result is a delicious summer meal that only dirties one pot and delivers on flavor. 

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Balsamic Chicken with Summer Vegetables - Stovetop Version

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 45 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 zucchini sliced into ½-inch thick, half moons
  • 1 yellow squash sliced into ½-inch thick, half moons
  • cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • cups dried orzo
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and lightly dredge each breast in flour. Pre-heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and brown the chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the browned chicken breasts from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the onions and Italian seasoning to the skillet and sauté until the onion starts to brown – about 5 minutes. Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up any bits of brown on the bottom of the skillet. Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard and mix well. Simmer for a few minutes until the liquid starts to reduce. Add the orzo and stir to coat the pasta. Cook for another minute or two and then add the zucchini, yellow squash, and chicken stock. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and simmer the orzo and vegetables uncovered for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and return the chicken breasts to the skillet, turning them over to coat each breast with the sauce. Top the chicken breasts with the fresh mozzarella cheese and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is starting to brown on top.
  5. Serve the chicken breasts on a bed of the orzo and vegetables, with a little fresh basil on top.

Balsamic Chicken with Summer Vegetables - Pressure Cooker Version

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 5 m
  • Total Time: 20 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 zucchini sliced into ½-inch thick, half moons
  • 1 yellow squash sliced into ½-inch thick, half moons
  • cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • cups dried orzo
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat a 6-quart multi-cooker using the BROWN or SAUTÉ setting.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and lightly dredge each breast in flour. Add the olive oil to the cooker and brown the chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the browned chicken breasts from the cooker and set aside.
  3. Add the onions and Italian seasoning to the skillet and sauté until the onion starts to brown – about 5 minutes. Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up any bits of brown on the bottom of the skillet. Simmer for a few minutes until the liquid reduces. (If your cooker doesn’t have a brown setting, use a skillet on the stovetop for the steps above and transfer the contents to the cooker now.) Add 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard and stir well. Add the orzo, zucchini, yellow squash, chicken stock, and cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and black pepper and return chicken in pot, nestling it into the orzo and vegetables. Cover and lock the lid in place.
  4. Pressure cook on HIGH for 5 minutes.
  5. Release the pressure with the QUICK-RELEASE method and carefully remove the lid. Immediately top the chicken breasts with fresh mozzarella cheese and return the lid to the cooker. Let the chicken sit in the warm cooker for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. Serve the chicken breasts on a bed of the orzo and vegetables, with a little fresh basil on top.
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