Grilled Chicken with Tomato Tarragon Sauce


Here’s a quick and easy grilled chicken cutlet recipe that is served with a side of a simple tarragon-infused tomato sauce. We’ve updated the recipe since we first posted it in 2007, the original recipe used fresh tomatoes, and just puréed them without cooking them. I prefer the taste of cooked tomatoes for a sauce like this, and since the sauce cooks up so quickly, it’s easy enough to make while the grill is heating.

If you don’t have a grill, you can easily cook the chicken cutlets in a little olive oil on medium high heat on the stovetop. Tarragon takes the stage with this recipe, but if you don’t have it, or don’t like it, my father suggests substituting it with basil.

Recipe and photo updated June 10, 2014

Grilled Chicken with Tomato Tarragon Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

You can easily swap out the tarragon for fresh basil.


  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast cutlets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 shallot, diced (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1 In a medium bowl, combine 2 Tbsp oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh tarragon (or a teaspoon of dried tarragon).

coat chicken cutlets with oil, garlic, and tarragon

2 If your boneless, skinless chicken breasts are not already in cutlet form, slice them in half horizontally, or place them between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a meat pounder to pound them into an even 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper. Add them to the olive oil, garlic, tarragon mixture. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the sauce and heat the grill.

saute shallots and garlic for less than a minute add pureed tomatoes and tarragon

3 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. While the grill is heating (whether it be charcoal or gas), prepare the sauce. Place the canned tomatoes in a food processor or blender and pulse until puréed. In a medium sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced shallots and garlic and cook until just fragrant, less than a minute. Add the puréed tomatoes and water to the shallots and garlic. Add the balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh tarragon (or a teaspoon of dry tarragon). Add salt and pepper to taste. (If the sauce seems too acidic, you can add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity.) Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to maintain a very low simmer while you grill the chicken.

grill chicken cutlets

4 Grill the chicken cutlets until nicely browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, less or more time depending on how thick the cutlets are.

Serve with tomato tarragon sauce.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Grilled Chicken with Tomato Tarragon Sauce on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Inspired by a recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine.

Never miss a recipe!

Subscribe to Simply Recipes free via email:

Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • ben

    I took your dad’s suggestion and made it with the basil. Wonerful! Had 6 over for dinner and all loved it. I even enjoyed the leftovers.

    Some freaked out when they saw the recipe with taragon, thought it would be too strong, maybe i’ll try it that way sometime just to see, but the basil was so well liked i’m not sure why i would not stick with that …

    I love this blog, i look forward to it every day.


  • Suzie

    I was a little sceptical about the sauce but the balsalmic really pulls it together. Excellent meal, even w/ dried tarragon.

  • CookingChat

    Looks good, I think I’m going to try this tonight.

  • Rebecca

    Mmm, I just love sauces that use fresh tomato, uncooked like this. They just taste like summer to me.

  • Abeeda Peters

    This recipe looks delicious ! Have not tried taragon yet but will give it a try.

View Responses / View More Comments / Leave a Comment