Balsamic chicken tastes like it came out of a snazzy bistro, yet this recipe is still totally low carb! You’ll love the balance of flavor and texture in this dish.
This balsamic chicken recipe is our new favorite low carb meal. It has everything your classy taste desires: Cheesy mashed cauliflower, crispy onion strings, leafy greens, and perfectly grilled chicken. It’s a restaurant-worthy dish you can make right at home!
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Origins of This Balsamic Chicken Recipe
Ever been to BJ’s Brewhouse? It’s a restaurant chain that serves nice pub-style meals, skillet cookies, and (terribly) good root beer. When Jacob and I go there, we always order their take on balsamic chicken.
BJ’s made the PERFECT balsamic chicken dish, complete with juicy chicken breast cutlets, white cheddar mashed potatoes, deep fried onion strings, dark leafy greens, and a tart balsamic glaze. But then, when we went to visit one time, it was gone from the menu. POOF. Such a heartbreak.
Of course, this balsamic chicken dish was not keto-friendly, given the abundance of potatoes, breading, mystery inflammatory oils, and sugary glaze… so the heartbreak was short-lived. We knew we could transform this beloved dish into a recipe that would fit with a low carb lifestyle. So, this keto balsamic chicken recipe was born!
What makes a good balsamic chicken dish?
The best part about BJ’s balsamic chicken was the contrasting flavor elements. We found it pretty easy to trade in some low carb alternatives while keeping the flavors intact:
Juicy chicken breast: No swap needed! Though you can read more about our secret to juicy chicken below. ;)
White cheddar mashed potatoes: Swap with addictive white cheddar mashed cauliflower!
Crispy onion strings: Make them crispy… just not breaded.
Greens: No change needed!
Balsamic glaze: Modify for a smaller portion with less sugar.
This balsamic chicken recipe is one of those cases where it really is easy to convert it to a keto-friendly meal AND still enjoy all the flavors you love. I’m almost certain we finished our plates in minutes.
Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto?
Cool your jets, keto police! Yes, balsamic vinegar is a higher-carb condiment, clocking in at 3-5 net carbs per tablespoon. In this dish, you’re using a very small amount of this vinegar -- about 1/16 cup per person -- so the net carbs stay low.
Plus, the glaze you’ll make for this recipe is out of this world. Most balsamic glaze recipes use added sugar or starches, but you don’t need any of it -- just plain balsamic is perfect when you bubble it down to a thick, tart glaze. So classy, yet so easy!
Don’t bother with the pre-made balsamic glazes you can find in the grocery store -- those are loaded with added sugar and starch. You only need one ingredient to make this balsamic glaze: Balsamic vinegar!
Which vinegar brand should you use to make balsamic chicken? Any one will do, but this is one case where you might taste the difference if you use a higher-quality brand. This balsamic has the lowest net carbs we’ve seen, so we’d recommend it.
Also: This balsamic chicken recipe calls for 1/4 cup vinegar, but it’s possible you’ll have a hard time reducing such a small amount in a pan. You can always double the amount and store leftovers for another time -- simply cover and keep in the fridge.
The Secret to Juicy Meat in This Balsamic Chicken Recipe
If there’s one thing you need to make restaurant-quality meats at home, it’s a sous vide setup. We LOVE our Joule sous vide for its even cooking, visual doneness guides, and versatile app with hundreds of recipes and cooking times. This is the foolproof secret to juicy chicken in this balsamic-based dish!
Cooking in a water bath with the sous vide method keeps chicken breast from overcooking and locks in flavor and moisture. Finish on a white-hot grill pan to get some classy grill marks, and you’ve made a gourmet dish at a fraction of the price.
But hey, any method you like for cooking chicken breast works here: Grill, Instant Pot, and straight oven are fine options… but rest assured, the sous vide is the only one that will make it taste straight out of a restaurant.
Save time: Balsamic chicken meal prep
We love this balsamic chicken dish, but it’s a lot of work to make at once (and a lot of dirty pans!). The good news: You can make almost all of these balsamic chicken recipe components ahead of time, and gently reheat when you’re ready to serve.
The only thing I’d recommend making fresh is the fried onions, since they lose their crispness over time. And if you skip the onions altogether, this would make a fabulous meal prep option!
Tools for Making Perfect Balsamic Chicken
Approximate nutrition facts per serving (1/4 of this full recipe):
Saturated fat: 19.6g
Total carbs: 16.5g
Net carbs: 10.5g