Grilled California Chicken – Fit Foodie Finds


There’s nothing like Grilled California Chicken at a summer barbecue! We used the BEST chicken marinade for the chicken, giving it a ton of flavor. 

Top them with juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, creamy avocado, onions, and greens for an irresistibly fresh taste everyone will rave about.

This time of year, all I want is to be outside, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying good food with friends and family. Grilling is always on the menu… and one of my absolute favorite things to grill is California Chicken! It’s simple, delish, and tastes like summer on a plate.

All it takes to make this grilled California chicken is an easy marinade followed by a quick trip to the grill. While the chicken is cooking, prep your toppings and then assemble everything together for one amazing dish.

What’s In Grilled California Chicken

  • Balsamic vinegar: The base of our balsamic marinade, this adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the chicken.
  • Dijon mustard: This ingredient helps to emulsify the marinade, making it stick to the chicken and infuse it with flavor.
  • Honey:  Adds a touch of sweetness to the marinade, balancing out the tanginess of the vinegar.
  • Italian seasoning: A classic seasoning blend for a pop of flavor in the marinade.
  • Fresh lemon juice: Adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the marinade.
  • Chicken breast: Make sure you get chicken breasts that are relatively the same size.
  • Fresh mozzarella: We put a thick slice of mozzarella cheese on our chicken to give it a creamy, cheesy flavor. 
  • Roma tomatoes: Use ripe Roma tomatoes for the best flavor and texture.
  • Avocado: Creamy and delicious, avocado is a must on grilled California chicken!
  • Fresh basil leaves: To add a burst of freshness to the dish, we top it off with some fresh basil leaves.
  • Red onion: Sliced thinly, red onion adds a slight crunch and a pop of color to the dish.
  • Microgreens: These tiny, flavorful greens are optional but add a nice touch to the overall presentation and taste of the dish. They’re also highly nutritious!
Grilled chicken breasts in a skillet on a white background.

Don’t have mozzarella?

Switch up the type of cheese and use another melty cheese like provolone or cheddar. You can also add some cooked bacon for a smoky twist.

Don’t have balsamic?

Use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead.

Tips for the BEST Grilled California Chicken

Chicken breasts can vary by size and weight. To ensure even cooking, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness before marinating.

To prevent sticking, make sure your grill is well-oiled before adding the chicken. You can also use a non-stick cooking spray on the chicken itself.

You have a lot of control over how many fresh toppings go on your chicken breasts. If you’re trying to keep it on the healthier side, use a light hand with the toppings. But if you’re all about that loaded chicken life (same), go crazy and pile them high!

Three grilled chicken breasts with sauce on a grill.Three grilled chicken breasts with sauce on a grill.

Don’t have a grill? Here are the oven directions:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place a grill pan or cast iron skillet into the oven, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Let the pan heat for 5 minutes

Add the chicken to the skillet and cook the chicken for 8 minutes on the first side. Flip the chicken and place 2-3 slices of tomato on top, followed by mozzarella slices

Cook the chicken for an additional 6-8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165ºF. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes. Top the chicken with fresh avocado, basil, and micro greens. Serve immediately.

A plate with grilled chicken and avocado on it.A plate with grilled chicken and avocado on it.

How to Store

For optimal freshness, store the chicken and its toppings separately. You can keep the grilled chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Store the toppings separately in small containers or bags and add them when ready to eat.

If you’re planning on meal-prepping this dish, wait until you’re ready to serve before adding the avocado and micro greens. These ingredients are best when added fresh.

What to Serve with Grilled California Chicken

Take your summer BBQ to the top by serving this Grilled California Chicken with a variety of sides. Here are some options:

Avocado grilled cheese sandwich with arugula and tomatoes on a white plate.

Grilled California Chicken Recipe

This grilled California chicken is a flavorful summer meal featuring perfectly marinated chicken breasts topped with juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and healthy greens.

Prep:45 minutes

Cook:16 minutes

Ingredients

Other Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. chicken breast 3-4 breasts
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella sliced
  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes sliced
  • 1 large avocado sliced
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves julienned
  • ¼ medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons micro greens
  • ½ teaspoon flakey sea salt

Instructions 

  • Add all of the ingredients for the marinade to a bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.

  • Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover them with plastic wrap. Pound the chicken with a meat tenderizer until they are the same thickness, about 1.5-2 inches thick.

  • Transfer the chicken to a pan or a gallon-sized bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Massage the marinade into the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer for more flavorful chicken.

  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat the grill to 425ºF.

  • Transfer to the grill and cook the chicken for 8 minutes on the first side. Flip the chicken and place 2-3 slices of tomato on top, followed by mozzarella slices. Grill the chicken for an additional 6-8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165ºF.

  • Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes.

  • Top the chicken with fresh avocado, basil, onion, micro greens, and flakey salt. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Chicken breasts can vary by size and weight.
  • You have a lot of control over how much of the fresh toppings go on top of each chicken breast.
  • Oven Directions: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place a grill pan or cast iron skillet into the oven, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Let the pan heat for 5 minutes. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook the chicken for 8 minutes on the first side. Flip the chicken and place 2-3 slices of tomato on top, followed by mozzarella slices. Cook the chicken for an additional 6-8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165ºF. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes. Top the chicken with fresh avocado, basil, and micro greens. Serve immediately.

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