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crispy chicken with balsamic tomato salad in a white bowl
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5 from 3 votes

Pan-Seared Chicken with Balsamic Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Salad meets main dish in this summer meal that is hearty enough for dinner but would make a fun outdoor lunch to serve to guests. Balsamic tomato and mozzarella salad and some fresh pesto balance the heat and crunch of the crispy chicken.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy salad, Entree Salad, summer, summer salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 545kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00


  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Shallow Bowl or Dish
  • Skillet
  • Mixing Bowl


Crispy Parmesan Chicken

  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast (look for pre-sliced chicken tenderloins or chicken cutlets to save time)
  • ¾ cup Seasoned Italian Breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 tablespoon Cooking Oil (I use any neutral oil like avocado, grapeseed, or canola)

Balsamic Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  • 2 cups Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz Mozzarella Pearls (these are small and don’t need any prep, but you can also chop a larger ball of fresh mozzarella into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 10 leaves Fresh Basil, chopped

For Serving:

  • 8 oz Arugula (or use any salad greens)
  • 2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Basil Pesto (store-bought or homemade)
  • Black Pepper


  • If using boneless, skinless, chicken breast, slice in half to thin. (Skip this step if using chicken tenders or cutlets.) If, after slicing, the chicken pieces are still quite thick, pound them with a tenderizer to about ½” thickness.
  • Season chicken on all sides with salt and black pepper.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
  • Heat cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
  • Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge it in panko mixture, pressing firmly to help the breadcrumbs stick. Sear chicken pieces on both sides until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes total.
  • When chicken is done cooking, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Stir together all ingredients for tomato and mozzarella salad. Season salad with some salt.
  • Toss arugula with lemon juice and 2 teaspoon olive oil.
  • Divide arugula between salad bowls or plates. Top with chicken and serve tomato salad and pesto on top. Finish each serving with some fresh-cracked black pepper.


Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 963mg | Potassium: 884mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2843IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 489mg | Iron: 3mg