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January 28, 2024

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Chicken breasts stuffed with a cheesy spinach filling are browned first on the stove top, and then finished in the oven. We love this as an easy alternative to the everyday skillet-cooked chicken.

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4 chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella &  sun-dried tomatoes topped with pesto in a skillet
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More delicious dinner recipes

An Easy Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe

It’s easy to lose sight of creative ways to prepare chicken breasts. This cream cheese stuffed chicken packs all of the flavor into a pocket in the chicken breasts and helps banish bland chicken breasts from your dinner routine. We’ve got plenty of great vegetable side dishes to serve with stuffed chicken breasts–Roasted Cauliflower, Perfectly Roasted Broccoli, or Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan are all great. If you want to keep exploring our favorite chicken recipes, check out our 60 Best Chicken Breast Recipes.

4 raw chicken breasts, cream cheese, pesto, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper and olive oil in prep bowls

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Ingredients For Baked Stuffed Chicken Breast

  • Chicken breasts

  • Pantry–Kosher salt, black pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, sun dried tomatoes

  • Fresh–spinach, garlic cloves, pesto, store-bought or homemade, fresh parsley

  • Dairy–Cream cheese, mozzarella cheese

chicken breast sliced in half to create a pocket sitting on a cutting board
spinach and garlic being cooked in olive oil in a skillet
cooked spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto in a mixing bowl
cooked spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto stirred together in a mixing bowl

How To Make Stuffed Chicken Breast With Spinach

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

  2. Make a pocket to hold the stuffing. Place the chicken on a cutting board. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Using a small knife, carefully cut a 3-inch slit into the side of each chicken breast, wiggling the knife back and forth to create as much of a pocket as possible without cutting all the way through the chicken. Season the chicken inside and out with the salt.

  3. Make the spinach stuffing. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a cast iron or oven proof skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the spinach and garlic and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the spinach mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the cream cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons of the pesto. Carefully stuff the filling into the pockets of the chicken breasts, dividing evenly.

  4. Brown the chicken. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and sear until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven (or transfer the chicken to a baking dish) and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  5. Serve. Sprinkle with parsley if using.

chicken breast being stuffed with spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto
chicken breast stuffed with spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto being cooked in a skillet
chicken breast stuffed with spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto being cooked in a skillet
chicken breast stuffed with spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto being cooked in a skillet

How to Store Leftovers + Tips

  • Leftovers are good in the fridge for 3-4 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer. We like to reheat in the oven on a low temperature.

  • What's the best way to stuff chicken breast? A small knife is best for the job of slicing a pocket into the kitchen. We recommend holding the chicken breast in place with the palm of your hand, paying extra attention to the direction of the blade while slicing.

  • A note on cheese: We’re making a cream cheese and mozzarella stuffed chicken breast, for creaminess and moisture. Parmesan and cream cheese would also be a great combo if you don’t have shredded mozz around.

4 chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella &  sun-dried tomatoes topped with pesto in a skillet
chicken breast stuffed with spinach, garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella &  sun-dried tomatoes topped with pesto

Some Classic Chicken Dinners From The Modern Proper

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Stuffed Chicken Breast

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 527

Ingredients

  • 4 large chicken breasts about 2 pounds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups packed spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup pesto, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, for serving

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Place the chicken on a cutting board. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Using a small knife, carefully cut a 3-inch slit into the side of each chicken breast, wiggling the knife back and forth to create as much of a pocket as possible without cutting all the way through the chicken. Season the chicken inside and out with the salt.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a cast iron or oven proof skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the spinach and garlic and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the spinach mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the cream cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons of the pesto. Carefully stuff the filling into the pockets of the chicken breasts, dividing evenly.

  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and sear until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven (or transfer the chicken to a baking dish) and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  5. Divide the chicken among 4 plates, top with remaining pesto and sprinkle with parsley if using.


Note: If you have toothpicks on hand, use them to secure the filling inside the chicken pocket.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories527
  • Protein80 g
  • Carbohydrates6 g
  • Total Fat28 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol179 mg
  • sodium724 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Ellie Romer

    Can I substitute spinach for asparagus?

    Should work fine, hope you enjoy!

  • Deborah

    What sauce do you serve it with

    We don't serve this dish with a sauce. But a marinara or Alfredo would be nice.

  • Kara

    What goes good with this receipe?

    A salad? Good bread? Roasted veggies or roasted potatoes. : )

  • Jennifer Shaw

    Would you have any potatoes or a salad bowl etc with this dish regards Jennifer

    Sure! A green salad would be lovely.

  • Sun

    can i finish the cooking on the stove top?

    We'd really recommend finishing it in the oven!

  • Donna Walsifer

    This was a delicious recipe with lots of flavor. To save time, I combined the spinach (chopped) and sun-dried tomatoes (finely chopped) into the cheese filling, then filled the chicken breasts. Were those sun-dried tomatoes packed oil as they look they could be. I served on a bed of spinach sauteed with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.

    Thanks Donna, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Christina

    This recipe has replaced a favorite that I have repeated for years. It is simple, elegant and delicious. The chicken breasts were 8 oz. each. I prepared two expecting leftovers. That did not happen. This is an excellent preparation!

    Thank you Christina, we are so happy you love this!

  • Oliver

    I have made this dish twice, I love it, my husband loved it tasted just like the Stuff Chicken Marsala from Olive Garden. First time I made it I plated it with egg noodles and Alfredo sauce. The second time I made this dish I only added 2 table spoons of pesto instead of the 1/4 cup and I plated it with mash potatoes. Delicious! Thank you

    Thanks Oliver so glad you love it! Both ways you served it sound delicious, nice job!

  • Ben Nguyen

    Wow. This was a winner. Pairs well with a crunchy side like green beans and shaved almonds. Very quick to prepare and cook.

    Than you Ben, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Tina

    Great recipe, cooked in our smoker. Served with sautéed green beans. It was delish!

    Thanks Tina! We are so happy you liked it!