This chicken breast is an everyday staple, so it can be hard to think of it as something special, but this one-pan healthy stuffed chicken breast recipe will bring you a new sense of wonder around this regular dish.
In terms of method, splitting the chicken breast is a simple technique to help the chicken cook more quickly, while including a filling adds moisture to the meat. The result is tender chicken filled with a cheesy, wholesome filling that will melt in your mouth.
Whether you are looking for an easy stuffed chicken recipe or a restaurant-quality dish to serve your guests, this recipe is for you!
Is Stuffed Chicken Breast Healthy?
Combining fresh spinach, creamy cheese, and crunchy walnuts, this healthy stuffed chicken breast recipe has quickly become one of our all-time favorite recipes.
The mozzarella and cream cheese add tons of flavor and smooth mouthfeel to your chicken while spinach brings a sense of freshness. Not only is this dish amazingly tasty,it also offers you tons of health benefits:
Chicken is full of essential nutrients that your body needs. A 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast contains 25.4 grams of protein and important micronutrients like vitamins, calcium, and zinc.
Protein is a major component in building muscle in your body, including skeletal muscle and heart tissue. Proteins are also responsible for maintaining other structures in the body like cells and bones.
Spinach is an excellent source of iron, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K. Iron plays a key role in the function of red blood cells which help transport oxygen from your lungs to all the organs and tissues throughout your body.
Like other tree nuts, walnuts are considered to be a great source of polyunsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming omega-3 helps to support the development and function of the brain system and maintenance of heart health.
Chicken breasts are a common dinner choice for many people. Stuffing the breast is fun and flavorful (and nutritious!) way to get rid of a boring daily meal. Splitting the breast also helps the chicken cook quickly while the filling adds more moisture and flavor to the bland meat.
Stuffed chicken breast recipes might sound and look fancy, but not to worry, the cooking process is not that complicated. And we are here to help you.
How to Cook our Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe
Split the breast: use a sharp knife to split the breast. Then season each breast (inside and outside) with salt and Italian seasoning.
Stir-fry spinach: stir-fry spinach for 1-2 minutes. Then drain off all the excess juice.
Fill the breast: place spinach onto the chicken breast. Then spread the cream cheese, mozzarella and walnuts in an even thin layer on top of the spinach.
Pin the breast closed: roll up the chicken, and use toothpicks to secure the stuffing.
Roll the chicken: roll the chicken through a shallow plate of flour.
Sear the chicken: sear the chicken with butter or oil until the chicken turns golden brown (this helps seal in the moisture).
Bake the chicken: bake the chicken in the oven until they are cooked through. Remove the chicken from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, discard toothpicks. Serve the chicken sliced, with vegetables.
Serve: slice with a sharp knife. Slicing spinach stuffed chicken breast can show the beauty of the filling and also help diners eat their dish easier.
You can watch the video below to see each step if it sounds a bit tricky. It is more simple than you’d think!
How Long to Bake Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast
How long and at what temperature should you bake chicken so that it can come out perfectly tender, moist, and delicious? That’s the question on the mind of most home cooks before trying a stuffed chicken recipe.
The time your chicken needs to be cooked throughout depends on how big it is. We use a 4-oz chicken breast. You can adjust the timing based on the number of breasts as well as how thick they are.
It usually takes no more than 15 minutes to get your chicken fully cooked at this high temperature.
Chicken breast takes about 20 minutes when baked at 375 degrees to become well cooked. Increase the time to 25 minutes if you fancy tougher chicken meat.
If you bake the chicken at 300 degrees, leave the chicken in the oven for at least 30 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.
Besides the temperature you set your oven at, there is also the internal temperature of the chicken. This temperature should be at least 165°F for safety.
If you’re worried about the chicken not being fully cooked through, simply cut into it with a knife and take a look. There should be no raw pink left in the meat and any juices should be clear.
For a quick and detailed guideline for baking chicken, visit Luna’s ultimate guide of how long to bake chicken.
What Ingredients Can Be Used for Stuffing?
One of the best ways to play with chicken breast is to stuff it with all sorts of your favorite ingredients. There are lots of interesting combinations when it comes to the stuffing for chicken breast.
We recommend cooking with fresh vegetables, and asparagus works well in this recipe. Simply season your chicken and stuff it with a little cheese and asparagus, and then bake. A healthy dinner will be ready for you in 45 minutes!
Tender stuffed chicken filled with melty cheese and crunchy asparagus. A nice thing about cooking with fresh ingredients is that all the nutrients are well preserved and you can choose the method of cooking.
Broccoli (or cauliflower) works so well as chicken filling. You should remember that your broccoli has to be chopped into small pieces for easy stuffing and proper cooking.
If you only have frozen broccoli on hand, it’s not a big problem. Thaw first before stuffing.
If you’re worried about dry chicken, wrapping bacon around the outside of the meat is a simple solution. The creamy cheese filling offers plenty of moisture on the inside while the bacon helps to prevent the chicken from drying out too fast in the oven.
Bursting with cheese and bacon, a bacon stuffed chicken breast recipe can easily become your new favorite healthy stuffed chicken breast recipe.
You can use any type of mushroom for stuffed chicken. We choose cremini for a rich and earthy flavor.
A key tip here is that you should simmer all the excess water from the mushrooms before you add them. If not, your dish may end up with a watery stuffing.
The nutty flavor from walnuts lifts your regular stuffed chicken breast recipe into something special. You can also substitute walnuts for pecans or other tree nuts.
Additionally, this will add more nutritional value to your stuffed chicken breast. Enjoy!
Which Cheese Should Be Used for Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe?
Chicken breasts are usually too dry if they are cooked or baked too long in the oven. Moisture is essential to preserve the natural flavor of this tasty meat.
For this healthy stuffed chicken breast recipe particularly, we suggest these kinds of cheese:
Shredded mozzarella cheese has low-moisture content. When melting, it doesn’t completely liquify but keeps well in a stuffed mixture.
Good-quality parmesan cheese is categorized as good smooth melting cheese. The combination of parmesan with higher moisture cheese like ricotta is quite common in lasagna or stuffed shells as it adds more intense cheese flavor when mixed with more mild cheese.
Ricotta is a type of cheese that can be heated without melting. It is a nice choice for stuffed ravioli and cheesecake. We are more than happy to use ricotta in this recipe; it brings in a nice creamy texture for the filling.
4. Cream cheese
Slightly salty and pleasantly tangy, who can resist this soft creamy “cloud”?
What to Serve With This Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe
Nutrients aside, these breasts are quite a tasty treat (how can they not be with chicken and cheese?!). Smoking hot sliced chicken slices give off an aroma that promises a high-end gourmet experience.
Wondering what to serve with this beautiful stuffed chicken breast recipe? You can try some grains like rice or quinoa. They also pair well with salad and pasta.
We suggest serving it with home fries on the side. Here are the nutrition facts for the whole meal:
|Stuffed Chicken Breast||Main Course||491||10.8 g||464 mg|
|Home Fries||Side Dish||253||2.3 g||283 mg|
|Total||744||13.1 g||747 mg|
For more healthy chicken recipes perfect for weeknight dinners, visit our healthy baked chicken recipe collection and start pinning your favorites. Happy cooking!
Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast RecipePrint RATE facebook share twitter share pinterest share
- 12 oz skinless boneless chicken breast
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 2.5 oz walnuts
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 14 oz crimini mushrooms
- 1.5 oz mozzarella cheese
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 5 cloves garlic
- 12 oz asparagus
- 1 tbsp parsley
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- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the side of the chicken breast to split it. Season both sides of the chicken with ¼ teaspoon of salt, ⅛ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Set aside.
- Place spinach in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil and garlic. Stir-fry until wilted. Press spinach in a sieve to extract all of the excess juice from it.
- Place spinach onto the chicken breast. Then spread the cream cheese, mozzarella and 1 oz walnuts in an even thin layer on top of the spinach. Roll up chicken from a short side. Use toothpicks to secure the stuffing inside.
- Roll the chicken through a shallow plate of flour.
- Heat a cast-iron pan on medium heat. Add 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Sear the chicken with garlic cloves for about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Set aside.
- Stir fry mushrooms and asparagus with 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Season with the remaining salt, walnut, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Then combine chicken and vegetables in the same pan, bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes, discard toothpicks. Serve chicken sliced, with vegetables.