Pesto-Crusted Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast


Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

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Pesto. Panko. Goat cheese. Spinach. Garlic. These are a few of my favourite things and make me salivate just by reading them out loud. We’ve been cooking with a lot of chicken breast lately mainly by breading them to make a katsu or katsu parma, or adding them to salads like my favourite apple goat cheese salad. I was doing some research for meal prep and stumbled across a stuffed chicken breast recipe. This immediately made my mind go into a million different possibilities of what I could put in a chicken breast. After a whole day of thinking about it (seriously), I settled on a pesto-crusted chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and garlic spinach. I was SO excited to make this dish and hoped it would be everything I had imagined it to be. Sadly I didn’t actually get to make this dish until 2 painful weeks later because during pandemic times, we only do grocery shopping once a week and I kept missing all the ingredients I needed. The first week we didn’t have enough basil for pesto, then the next week we didn’t have enough spinach. Bah! I FINALLY got to make it today and I’m happy to report that everything turned out fantastic and this dish was definitely worth the wait! It got rave reviews at the dinner table. Everything came together so quickly and it was so easy, I was looking for more things to do in the kitchen (I ended up making two side dishes to go with it: brown butter thyme mushrooms and bacon mashed peas). The panko with the pesto made a crunchy little crust on top of the breast with gooey melted goat cheese and spinach in the middle of the chicken. The goat cheese mixture actually kept the chicken really moist while baking so it came out perfectly cooked!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups (200g) fresh spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup (150g) soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied (click to see tutorial)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup pesto (you can make it yourself with my recipe here or use store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions:

Warm a skillet on MEDIUM heat and add in a drizzle of oil (~1/2 tablespoon). Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant then add in the spinach leaves and sauté until the leaves are just wilted (~3-5 mins). Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl to cool. Discard any excess liquids.

While the spinach is cooling, rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts and butterfly them (click here for tutorial). Sprinkle black pepper and salt over the breasts. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C (~400˚F).

Once the spinach has cooled, mix it with the goat cheese, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, and a pinch of salt.

Spoon and divide evenly the goat cheese spinach mixture amongst the 4 chicken breasts. Only put the mixture on half of the breast, then fold the other half over to enclose it. Use a few toothpicks to secure the breast closed.

As the chicken cooks the meat will shrink and open up the breast which is why the toothpicks are necessary to keep them closed and maintain their shape.

Mix the pesto and panko together then evenly divide the mixture amongst the 4 breasts and cover the top of each breast.

Bake in the preheated oven at 200˚C for 20-25 minutes. The pesto crust should be golden brown and the chicken juices run clear. Carefully remove the toothpicks then serve immediately. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Pesto-Crusted Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups (200g) fresh spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup (150g) soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied (click to see tutorial)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup pesto (you can make it yourself with my recipe here or use store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions:

  1. Warm a skillet on MEDIUM heat and add in a drizzle of oil (~1/2 tablespoon). Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant then add in the spinach leaves and sauté until the leaves are just wilted (~3-5 mins). Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl to cool. Discard any excess liquids.
  2. While the spinach is cooling, rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts and butterfly them (click here for tutorial). Sprinkle black pepper and salt over the breasts. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (~400˚F).
  4. Once the spinach has cooled, mix it with the goat cheese, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Spoon and divide evenly the goat cheese spinach mixture amongst the 4 chicken breasts. Only put the mixture on half of the breast, then fold the other half over to enclose it. Use a few toothpicks to secure the breast closed.
  6. Mix the pesto and panko together then evenly divide the mixture amongst the 4 breasts and cover the top of each breast.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven at 200˚C for 20-25 minutes. The pesto crust should be golden brown and the chicken juices run clear. Carefully remove the toothpicks then serve immediately. Done!

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