lightly roasted chicken breasts with a tomato, olive and caper salsa

These lightly roasted chicken breasts make a perfect week night supper. The salsa of fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, olives and capers cook quickly to intensify their flavour and release enough liquid to make a delicious sauce.

Summer seems intent on arriving late this year, and with this recent bitterly cold spell which saw much snow dumped on the mountains around Cape Town, I wanted to cook something that reminded me of warmer times. Part of me wanted to flatten the breasts completely and flash cook them until golden brown and serve with the same ingredients as a cold salsa, but I needed a hot meal for my supper.

I have also been in an olive space lately, playing around with the delicious Marbrin olives I have.I actually think I prefer olives cooked. They become plump and juicy and add such a fantastic flavour to a sauce. I adore them in pasta and on pizza too. I also like to cook them whole, which I know could annoying to some, but the small inconvenience of having to politely remove the pips from your mouth is offset by the retaining of the olives integrity.

I used the Marbrin Kalamata olives and their delicate extra virgin olive oil. It is one of the best South African olive oils I’ve tasted recently, and it just so happened to win 3 gold medals in the recent SA Olive oil awards.


Lightly roasted chicken breasts with a tomato, olive and caper salsa

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salsa
  • 3/4 cup of kalamata olives
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 T capers
  • 1 t caper juice
  • 4 T good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C / 350 F.
  2. Press down on the fat part of the chicken breast (or bash with a flat bottomed object) in order to even out the thickness of the whole breast which facilitates more even cooking.
  3. Heat he olive oil in a frying pan, and when hot, pan fry the chicken breasts on each side until just turning golden but not cooked through. Remove and set aside in a medium size roasting tray.
  4. Mix all the salsa ingredients together and spread over the chicken breasts and in the tray.
  5. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until cooked through.


This would be lovely served with crusty bread, rice or cous cous to mop up all the juices


  • Serving Size: 2 - 4

I added the Marbrin tapenade to a vinaigrette which I used on a caprese salad in phyllo baskets.

lightly roasted chicken breasts with a tomato, olive and caper salsa

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  1. Delish and super quick and easy for a mid week dinner!

  2. looks good and simple but do you have foods for diabetic like me and or carb, fat contained in the food? count .

  3. Sam

    Hi Rose, I have about 400 recipes on this site. if you browse around the recipe index you will find a number of reduced fat, low carb options.The carb count in this dish will be very low and you could leave out the oil in the sauce.

  4. Can I come for lunch!

    Sam would it mean anything to you if I sent you the Art of Cooking recipes – we do have it on CD and I sent several to Jeanri Verster of cookingupastorm when a friend visited recently but my husband said the other day he can also e-mail it. There is such a selection of never dating sweet treats in it… we use to say the book was for Carnivores (with more than 30 lamb recipes alone!) and Cake lovers!

    Carolie xxx

  5. This is absolutely gorgeous! And I am loving loving loving the tomato, olive and caper salsa.

  6. Wow, that is a beautiful dish! It looks amazing and would be great for any night of the week. The colors of the tomatoes and the olives make it so inviting. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Sam

    Carolie, nothing would make me happier than having you over for lunch. IN the meantime you have mail.

  8. What a beautiful and delicious dish – luv the use of the kalamata olives. All the ingredients are just lovely!

  9. This is definitely a quick and simple dish for any time of the year. Great pictures!

  10. Sam

    Thanks Cristina – some of my favourite flavours

  11. Delightful presentation and certainly very tasty this chicken breast.
    Beautiful pictures. and Perfect meal.

  12. I loved this, but I didn’t get any “juices” that needed to be sopped up. Did I perhaps cook it too long? My one complaint about this was that I wanted it more… wet. Also, I added some mushrooms just because I saw them in the store and needed them!

  13. Sam

    Hi Neatta, its definitely more of a salsa than a sauce, and thus not a wet dish as such. But if you are looking for more, perhaps just up the quantities of tomatoes.

  14. This recipe is delicious. I made several times already. My family love it.

  15. Sam

    Hi Agatha, thank you so much for the feedback and I’m so glad you enjoy it.

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