Grilled Chicken Caprese Appetizer: Primal

Last Friday night we had our end of summer Grill Out and Chill Out at the gym, probably the last before the weather turns chilly, and everyone falls into the throws of Autumn activities. The CrossFit crowd is the kind of crowd that won’t touch cupcakes, Oreo Popcorn, or any other sweet treat- well maybe a few would, but it is rare. They want meat, and lots of it since most of them are Paleo or Primal. From what I can tell, many Primal folks will eat some dairy as long as it is organic and pastured, and/or raw. These bites are grown up chicken-gone-fresh-move-over-chicken-parmigiana mini appetizers. They are fresca, fresca, fresca- fresh. Of course topping anything with ribbons of basil makes it vibrant and tasty.  I have found that taking regular dinner foods and cutting the portions smaller make for wonderful appetizers.  So instead of full portions, the chicken thighs cut in half made wonderful 2-3 bite-size appetizers with many folks eating these with their fingers. Now that is perfect food for a cook out!  Who wants to deal with forks and knives when you are balancing a plate and beverage and yapping with your closest pals?

Grilled Chicken Caprese Appetizer: Primal
Recipe type: Primal, Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
A savory little nosh for a healthy crowd. If you are strict paleo, leave off the cheese and still enjoy a very tasty appetizer.
  • 6 organic boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper for seasoning
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 (4 ounce) balls fresh organic mozzarella
  • 12 basil leaves, sliced in ribbons
  1. Heat a cook top cast iron grill or skillet over medium high heat. A regular skillet works fine too.
  2. Cut each chicken thigh in half to make two equal squares.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Brush the hot grill with olive oil and grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  5. Remove to a foil lined jellyroll pan. Let rest 10 minutes.
  6. Top each grilled chicken piece with 1 tablespoon marinara sauce.
  7. Slice each mozzarella ball into 6 slices and top each piece of chicken.
  8. Place pan of chicken under a broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted- do not brown!
  9. Remove chicken to a serving tray and sprinkle with basil ribbons, a drizzle of olive oil, and more pepper. Spear each chicken appetizer with a toothpick if desired. Serve immediately. These are also fine at room temperature, so do not worry about keeping them warm during your party.

Don’t have a favorite Marinara Sauce? Try mine, click here.



  1. Posted September 18, 2012 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    I’m not paleo/primal but I would TOTALLY devour these!

  2. Posted September 19, 2012 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    Very nice looking treats Robin Sue – the basil ribbons make it look especially appealing.

  3. Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

    These look SO good! Wow. The fresh mozzarella is making my mouth water.

  4. Posted September 24, 2012 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    These look incredible! I love the idea of the fresh mozzarella 🙂 I wonder if I could marinade the chicken with some lemon and garlic for even more kick or if that would be too much?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 24, 2012 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

      I think that would be good!

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Grilled Chicken Caprese […]

  2. By I’ve Never Had Tuna Casserole. | My Bizzy Kitchen on February 12, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    […] paleo/primal foods – and this one is good enough for a crowd for any diet – she made Grilled Chicken Caprese Appetizers – they look so good – I may morph this into a lunch for me and my SIL next week.  (thanks for […]

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