Cream Cheese-&-Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

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Cream Cheese-&-Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Cream Cheese-&-Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

The hard part of making this elegant dish is choosing the filling. Making a pocket in the chicken breast to hold the stuffing is easy, particularly if you use a good, sharp, thin-bladed knife. Browning the chicken in a skillet before baking gives it a beautiful golden color. Finishing it in the oven ensures that it cooks evenly throughout.

Serves 4

Prep Time 25 min

Total Time 50 min.

Ingredients

  • Filling of your choice, (see below)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (1-1 1/4 pounds total)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchatel)
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto, (store-bought or homemade)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon creamy goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped black olives
  • 1/4 cup grated Swiss, Monterey Jack or part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoon chopped ham
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Cooking Directions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Step 2

Combine cream cheese, pesto and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.

Step 3

Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of a chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Open up each breast and place one-fourth of the filling in the center. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and filling.

Step 4

Lightly beat egg white with a fork in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow glass dish. Hold each chicken breast half together and dip in the egg white, then dredge in the breadcrumbs. (Discard leftovers.)

Step 5

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Place the chicken, browned-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F, about 20 minutes.


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