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Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast with Pesto

Love Mediterranean cuisine? This Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast is flavorful, juicy, cheesy, tomatoey, and herby. On top of it, it’s low carb, high protein with 70g per serving, and gluten-free.

These mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts are to impress guests or if you just fancy feeling a little spoilt mid-week.

Mozzarella stuffed chicken breast

The reason why this chicken dinner would be so good is the fact it has a full-on flavor, and it can be made ahead. We love meal prep!

Mozzarella stuffed chicken breast

Not only can this easy dinner recipe be prepped ahead, but the chicken stuffed with tomatoes and slices of white mozzarella also looks amazingly delicious!

What Can You Stuff Inside a Chicken?

There are several different kinds of cheese you could add here instead of the mozzarella but go for one that melts well so you get a gooey and soft center, though you could top it with parmesan cheese. 

You could be super indulgent and add some mascarpone, the king of all creamy cheeses, or even try mixing it with a stronger cheese – who says this needs only one type?

Tomatoes have been added here, but if you wish to avoid them, you could always use slices of bell pepper or thick slices of mushroom.

Zucchini could also work and could be sliced and tucked into this easy weeknight dinner.

How about embracing the Italian flavors more and keeping the recipe as it is but adding some slices of olives too?

Spinach leaves or fresh basil leaves could be sliced and added to the chicken, too, as they would add a lovely splash of green color to this new chicken breast recipe.

Mozzarella stuffed chicken breast

Ingredients You’ll Need

Chicken breasts – Choose some thick, plump, corn-fed breasts for the best results here. Free-range or organic boneless skinless chicken breasts are also good choices.

Pesto – You could use whatever pesto you wish here. Some people prefer basil pesto or ones that are made with cilantro or parsley, so you don’t always have to go for the traditional ones or even homemade pesto.

Mozzarella cheese – Choose a buffalo one if you can as it is will give you the best texture and flavor. It’s super thick and creamy.

You could use another cheese if you wish. Slices of cheddar or brie would work well.

Tomatoes – The best-flavored tomatoes are the ones on the vine, and they will give you a much stronger and sweeter result. If you can’t access fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce would work as well.

Dried oregano – You could use fresh oregano here if you wish. Dried thyme could also be used.

Salt – Sea salt does have the best result, but a regular table salt would also work well.

Black pepper – Freshly ground black pepper is going to give you the most taste, so grind where you can! 

Olive oil – You don’t need an expensive extra-virgin variety for this recipe, just a basic good quality olive oil.

Balsamic vinegar – You can spend a lot of money on balsamic vinegar. You don’t need an expensive brand though, just a supermarket brand would be fine here unless you want to splash out.

Brown sugar – This is the light brown variety that gives a little more depth of caramel taste compared to white sugar. You could use dark brown sugar if it is all you have to hand.

Garlic –  Choose some large, juicy cloves or add an extra one. Garlic powder can be used in substitution if needed.

garlic, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar

How to Make Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast

Preheat the oven to 375F and place the chicken breast on a cutting board.

Cut chicken breasts lengthwise around 3/4 of the way, starting on the thickest side to create a wide pocket on the sides of the chicken breast.

chicken breasts

Spread pesto on the inner side of each chicken breast so it’s evenly spread.

spread pesto on chicken breast

Next, place 2 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese into the bottom of the chicken breast pocket.

slices of fresh mozzarella cheese in chicken breast

Follow this by adding two slices of tomato on top of the slice mozzarella cheese.

chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella, pesto and tomatoes

Pierce the chicken with four toothpicks through the open side of the full chicken breast to keep the filling from falling out and poke through to secure the top of chicken to the bottom.

chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella, pesto and tomatoes

Sprinkle each chicken breast with dried oregano, salt, and black pepper to season chicken the best.

seasoned chicken breast with oregano and black pepper

Get your large skillet out, heat it up over medium heat and add the olive oil or other vegetable oil. 

When hot, add the chicken parcels.

chicken breasts in skillet

Cook for 2 minutes on each side to color and then flip carefully.

Meanwhile, mix the balsamic vinegar with the sugar and minced garlic in a small bowl.

Here’s a great garlic mincer option if you need one that makes the job easier for more healthy recipes and easy dinners.

balsamic vinegar with sugar and minced garlic in a bowl

Next, place the chicken breasts in a glass baking dish.

Afterward, pour the balsamic mixture all over the chicken and place the glass dish in the oven.

chicken breasts in baking dish

Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes until you fully cook it. You can monitor the internal temperature with a meat thermometer if you prefer.

baked chicken breasts

Remember to remove the toothpicks before serving.

How Do You Keep Cheese From Oozing Out of Stuffed Chicken?

You will probably lose a little of the melty cheese as it cooks. But you should still be able to scoop it out and serve it on the plate with your cooked chicken.

Using toothpicks and tightly pinning the pocket together will prevent most of this from escaping, though. 

You could wrap these stuffed breasts in foil, but this may stop some of the crust from appearing, which is quite delicious.

Using string is another option if you don’t have toothpicks to hand.

baked chicken breasts

How Do You Prepare Chicken Breast for Stuffing?

Place the chicken on a chopping board and carefully cut through the flesh with a sharp knife. 

You are trying to create a pocket that you can stuff with the cheese and tomato slices. However, make sure you don’t detach the breast pieces.

Try to cut the chicken to keep the top and bottom the same thickness if you can, as it will help the cooking process.

baked chicken breasts

What Can I Serve the Chicken With?

This dish is quite elegant and would be a lovely entertaining recipe. Especially if you are looking for new recipes. 

You could go one step further and wrap the chicken breasts with smoked slices of bacon. Instead of using toothpicks to add a salty taste that is sure to become a family favorite.

Alternatively, you could poke the toothpicks through the flesh, securing some bright green basil leaves on the outside, which will add a lovely splash of green.

Adding steamed buttery new potatoes and steamed green vegetables would complete the dish. Also, you could just add a simple green salad with a light vinaigrette.

Fresh crusty bread could also be added to this dish. Which would be an alternative to potatoes and would be a tasty addition to the green salad.

Other Delicious Chicken Dinner Recipes You’ll Enjoy:

mozzarella stuffed chicken breast

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast with Pesto

Need a quick and easy dinner idea? This Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast makes a simple and inexpensive dinner for two. 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 chicken breasts
Calories 619 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless
  • 4 tbsp pesto
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic minced

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Cut chicken breasts lengthwise around 3/4 of the way, starting on the thickest side.
  • Spread pesto on the inner side of the chicken breasts.
  • Place 2 slices of mozzarella cheese and 2 slices of tomato into each chicken breast.
  • Pierce the chicken with 4 toothpicks through the open side of the chicken to keep the filling from falling out.
  • Sprinkle each chicken breast with dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.
  • Get your skillet out, heat it over medium-high heat and add olive oil.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and let it cook for 2 minutes on each side, flipping carefully.
  • Afterwards, place the chicken in a baking dish.
  • Mix balsamic vinegar with sugar and minced garlic in a small bowl.
  • Pour the mixture all over the chicken. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Remove toothpicks before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1breastCalories: 619kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 70gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15.5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 226mgSodium: 1101mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 9.7g
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