This Hasselback chicken recipe transforms simple ingredients into a beautiful and satisfying dish.
What Is Hasselback Chicken?
You might think the name has something to do with the chicken’s back, but it doesn’t. The name is derived from a similarly prepped dish named ‘Hasselback potatoes’, a staple of a Swedish restaurant in Stockholm called ‘Hasselbacken’.
To make their staple, chefs thinly slice potatoes, but not all the way, to keep the base intact. They are then seasoned and baked. The end result is golden brown perfection on the outside and cooked through evenly on the inside. They also seem to ‘bloom’ in the process, making them pleasing to the eye with their delicate look.
Chicken Hasselback is similarly prepped, but the slices are thicker, and in between each is a ricotta-spinach filling and large bacon slices. Sometimes cherry tomatoes are used as well to lend a nice juicy addition, just as we have in this recipe.
Is Hasselback Chicken Healthy?
This dish is quite healthy, giving you plenty of protein necessary for body growth. It also includes some spinach, a good source of fiber, iron, and other micronutrients.
Still, healthy eating requires a moderate intake of not just calories, but also sodium and saturated fats. As the breasts are packed with lots of ricotta, bacon, and salt, those amounts can exceed the daily recommendations.
We tried our best to use the optimum amount of these ingredients so the dish still tastes as it should but is more health-friendly. Eventually, we hit on the right combination to have something both delicious and with a good-looking nutritional profile:
- 489 calories
- 7.7 g saturated fats
- 567 mg sodium
If you want to learn more about these numbers, our dietary guidelines have all you need.
Main Ingredients for Hasselback Chicken
1. Chicken Cut
Chicken breasts are the usual choice for this dish, and the only appropriate one as well. Some people choose a skin-on cut so it turns crispy once cooked, but we just prefer the skinless version.
Also, you will want to pick a large chicken breast, something that weighs around 6 ounces, as it presents better on the plate. If you can’t find any this size, two small ones (3 ounces each) would be fine.
2. Filling Ideas
First, let’s talk cheese: you want something that’s creamy, soft after baking, but not too runny that it gets everywhere. The following tick these boxes: cheddar, mozzarella, cream cheese, ricotta, provolone, and probably more, but we picked ricotta and with good reason.
Ricotta has the perfect texture and aroma to go with spinach. The soft texture of cooked spinach takes the cheese filling to the next level.
In between the slits are also bacon slices, which yield amazing smoky pork flavors. We use raw bacon, as it gets cooked later in the oven, and cut the rashers into large rectangles that fit the chicken.
Finally, we half some cherry tomatoes and have them stuffed, too. There’s the creaminess from spinach-ricotta and the chewiness from bacon, so a juicy element just rounds it off nicely.
3. Seasoning for Hasselback Chicken
We gave our chicken a basic flavor blend: onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and some Italian seasoning. It’s not an Italian staple, but we just love the fragrance of these herbs so much.
Complementing Roasted Vegetables
Rich, fulfilling dishes like this one should be lightened with some cooked veg (or salad). We thought potatoes and broccoli would do, so we tossed them with oil and oregano, microwave them first, then put them in the oven to bake away.
For dense root vegetables that might take more than 15 minutes to cook, we often microwave it before baking to save time. You can also achieve this by boiling or steaming the veg but convenience wise, the microwave always wins out.
How to Cut Hasselback Chicken
Unlike potatoes, chicken is soft and doesn’t stand straight when thinly sliced, so we make the incisions further apart:
Plus, this allows more moisture to be retained, preventing it from drying out in the oven.
How to Make Hasselback Chicken
Microwave the veg.
Make incisions in the chicken.
Season the chicken.
Blanch the spinach and squeeze it dry.
Mix it with cheese.
Stuff the mixture into each slit.
Add bacon slices and tomatoes.
Bake with veggies.
Garnish and enjoy.
There are three main elements that can be dealt with separately: the veg, the stuffing, and the chicken. We recommend you prep them simultaneously, such as boiling spinach blanching water while slicing the chicken, to save time.
How to Store, Freeze and Reheat Hasselback Chicken
You can store Hasselback chicken in the fridge for 5 days, but as with dishes made of chicken breasts, we don’t recommend having leftovers. Reheated chicken breast has a dry, tough texture that can be disappointing.
Instead, you can prepare the ingredients beforehand: make the ricotta mixture, slice the tomatoes and cook the bacon. Keep all of these in the fridge and the chicken in the freezer. Once you’ve partially thawed the chicken, the assembly will take just a few minutes, and during the 25 minutes of baking time you have a chance to do other things.
What to Serve With Hasselback Chicken
We round off the beautiful flavors of this dish with a fresh, simple Greek salad and a glass of tangy, aromatic pineapple cucumber juice. They can be put together and ready in about 25 minutes; exactly what your chicken needs in the oven.
Similarly Tasty Chicken Breast Recipes
There are tons of ways to cook chicken breast into a delicious meal. In case you’re short on ideas, we have a few:
- Chicken Scallopini Recipe
- Chicken and Cauliflower Recipe
- Longhorn Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe
- Pan Seared Chicken Breast Recipe
- Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
Hasselback Chicken Recipe
This Hasselback chicken recipe creates exactly what you're looking for in 45 minutes, 25 of which are hands-free. It can fit perfectly into your schedule and put a smile on your face.
- cook TIME 40 mins
- prep TIME 5 mins
- total TIME 45 mins
- COURSE Main Course
- CUISINE Swedish
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 489 kcal
- 12 ozpotatoes (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 8 ozbroccoli (cut into florets)
- 1.5 tbspolive oil
- 0.5 tspdried oregano
- 24 ozskinless boneless chicken breasts (about 4 whole)
- 0.5 tspgarlic powder
- 0.5 tsponion powder
- 0.5 tspsalt
- 0.5 tspground black pepper
- 0.5 tsppaprika
- 0.5 tspItalian seasoning
- 2 ozspinach
- 1 ice bath (1 cup ice, 2 cups water)
- 6 ozricotta cheese
- 2.5 ozraw bacon (cut into rectangles 1” x 2”)
- 4 ozcherry tomatoes (halved)
- 2 tbspparsley (chopped)
In a bowl, toss 12 oz potatoes and 8 oz broccoli with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp dried oregano. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and microwave for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
While they’re cooking. Cut slits in each chicken breast (4 whole in total) with a knife, each 1.5” apart, like so:
Rub the chicken with the remaining olive oil (1/2 tbsp) and seasonings: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning.
Boil some water and blanch 2 oz spinach for about 1 minute, then scoop it out and place into an ice bath. Squeeze to remove excess liquid and give it a rough chop, like so:
Mix the spinach with 6 oz ricotta.
Stuff this mixture in between the slits on the chicken.
Place into each slit 1-2 pieces of raw bacon and 1 half of a cherry tomato. Save the leftover tomatoes in the fridge.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Arrange the stuffed breasts and microwaved vegetables like so, and bake for 20 minutes (at 450°F).
Garnish with 2 tbsp parsley and enjoy.