Yesterday, I was scrolling down through my Facebook feed and I came across this quick little video demonstrating chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and ricotta, seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika, sprinkled with chicken and baked. It looked amazing! I didn't have and ricotta, but I did have feta, which turned me down a Greekish path for dinner last night. If you're looking for a super easy recipe to give regular chicken breasts a little oomph without taking a lot of time, this is the recipe for you!
Before I go any further, I have to tell you, I've created some pretty delicious meals for my family, if I do say so myself. Last night, as my family was eating, I asked them what they thought of the chicken. My daughter Mackenzie told me this chicken was her favorite thing I have ever made, and that's saying a lot!
To make this Easy Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Breasts, you'll need:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. spinach, either freshly wilted or frozen spinach that has been thawed and thoroughly drained
1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp dry oregano
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese (I used applewood smoke cheddar)
You'll want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit before you start prepping these bundles of delciousness because they don't take long to put together.
In a bowl, combine the wilted spinach, feta cheese and red onion. Season with the dry oregano, and salt and pepper.
Next, cover your work surface with a large piece of parchment or waxed paper. Lay chicken breasts out on paper and make slices width-wise 3/4 of the way through the chicken breasts, about 1 inch apart.
Spoon a bit of the filling into each of the slits and place filled chicken breasts onto a large baking sheet.
Top each chicken breast with about 1/8 cup shredded cheddar. (The package of chicken breasts that I bought had four regular size breasts and one itsy bitsy one so I ended up having 5 pieces to stuff. I'll tell you what I did with the leftover piece of chicken later!)
Bake chicken in preheated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25-30 minutes.
While my chicken breasts were cooking, I wondered what I could serve on the side with them. Given the spinach, feta, red onion and oregano, I thought something Mediterranean, something Greek possibly. I took out some orzo and cooked up a cupful of that according to package directions. Then I sauteed 1 small white onion and two cloves of garlic, minced, in a tablespoon of olive oil in a hot nonstick skillet. When the onion and garlic were fragrant, I added in a Tbsp of flour and made a roux to thicken the sauce for the orzo. When the flour was a golden color, I whisked in a cup of 0.5% milk. When that came to a simmering boil, I added in about another cup of uncooked spinach and let it wilt. When the spinach was wilted, after about 3-5 minutes, I removed the skillet from the heat ,added in 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese and seasoned with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. The orzo only took about 6 minutes to cook and when it was ready, I drained it and added it into the skillet with the spinach parmesan sauce and decided to call this side dish "Spinach Parm Orzo'!
By this time, the timer was going off for the Easy Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Breasts.
Tell me this babies don't look spectacular!
This was one of those meals where the aroma coming from my kitchen was all it took to get my family to the table...I didn't have to call out to a single solitary person!
To plate, I placed one Easy Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Breast next to a heaping serving of Spinach Parm Orzo and topped the works of it with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. In my books, you can NEVER have to much cheese!
I think if you added a little freshly chopped parsley to the mix, maybe some roasted cherry tomatoes, and this meal would be fit for the most prestigious of dinner guests! But as a weeknight meal for my family, I knocked this one out of the park!!
As for that lonely little chicken breast that was left over, I refrigerated it and this morning, I sliced it up width wise, placed two tortilla shells out on my cutting board, topped them with fresh spinach, a little diced red onion, sliced leftover Easy Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Breast. a little grated cheddar and a schmear of mayo. I rolled up the tortilla shells and voila! Lunch for my husband and daughter was in the bag!
Easy Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Breasts with a side of Spinach Parm Orzo....easy, healthied-up, inexpensive AND delicious!