This Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast is my solution when I want dinner on the table fast. Marinaded in a delicious balsamic dressing and stuffed with a sun-dried tomato mayonnaise, fresh mozzarella and plenty of basil, this super fast meal will leave everyone at the table asking for seconds!
There is a great deal to say about this chicken breast…however my number one comment is that it is ridiculously delicious and most importantly fast and easy.
Unlike my first pregnancy where I craved everything carb loaded…with this one I am craving everything with dairy…cheese and heavy whipping cream in particular. Whatever is happening apparently my baby does not disagree with this because I have gained less than 15 pounds so and I’m more than halfway through (woo-hoo)
Which makes me believe that my cheese indulgence is being rewarded. (Do not burst my bubble.)
So when hubby wanted something healthy but cheesy for dinner a few weeks ago…I knew this chicken was the way to go.
Chicken breast tends to get pretty boring and repetitive unless you learn how to liven it up with some new flavors and techniques!! This Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast is bursting with flavors and has a super simple stuffing technique that I like to call “The Lazy Stuff”. There are also a few other tips and tricks that I follow that allows for maximum flavor without ever maximizing the amount of time that goes into preparing it!
Making this a total weeknight win!
- The Marinade: I use a super simple marinade on this chicken that truly does make a flavor difference! The best part is it will benefit from being in the marinade for even 15 minutes…but it will also do just fine it it sits in it overnight. I like to poke a few holes in the chicken breast before marinading it so that it gets a bit of the marinade permeating through it when I am not letting it sit over night. This balsamic marinade is a simple marinade that I created for weeknight grilling in the summer when I was too crazed or or exhausted to be creative. A sweet and savory combination of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, shallots and dijon mustard make for a perfect pairing with the flavors in this Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast.
- The Lazy Stuff: The “Lazy Stuff” is a method I created when I wanted to put as much flavor into my chicken breast as possible without having to pound it out thinly and stuff it the traditional way. It’s ridiculously easy because all it involves is to carefully cut the chicken breast open (butterfly it) BEFORE marinading it. This way there is an easy “access” for the stuffing to be placed and as a bonus the inside of the chicken breast gets permeated with those delicious marinade flavors.
- The Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli: While my chicken sits happily in its marinade I create a ridiculously simple but FLAVORFUL mayo for the “shmearing” onto the chicken. A simple combination of mayonnaise, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and I make it in my handy dandy little food processor so it just takes a few seconds and I have a glorious sun-dried tomato aioli to use on my Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast and to use on sandwiches and all other sorts of goodness the rest of the week. Trust me make extra because this baby is perfect to use even in pasta!!!
- The Stuffing: The stuffing is a classic flavor combination of spinach, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella and the sun-dried tomato aioli. Instead of using classic tomatoes the sun-dried tomato aioli really amps up the flavor and makes it taste all fancy without very much effort. The best part of course is the fresh mozzarella. I like using fresh mozzarella because the meltability factor is hard to beat plus it has a mellow flavor in comparison to other cheeses and that really lets our sun-dried tomato aioli shine through. And while the spinach does not add an abundance of flavor it does add some more greens into the picture which is always a plus 🙂 I used a few toothpicks to close the seal so when I flip it over in the pan all the stuffing does not fall out.
- The Cooking Process: I like to use a combination of the stove and the oven. Because the chicken breast is so lean it will not be in the oven for a long enough time to actually get color on the outside. And because there is so much cheesy goodness inside, it will not do well with just the pan because the cheese will ooze out before the chicken has a chance to cook through. Therefore I used a cast iron pan to put a nice sear on the chicken and then I placed it into a hot oven for a few minutes to finish off the chicken.
How incredible is that cheese oozing out? It’s a beautiful thing isn’t it? I know it almost make me cry too 🙂
So what happened after I served all this delicious, cheesy goodness to my hubby….let’s just say even with 4 chicken breasts and only the 2 of us eating…there were no leftovers for the next day.
Happy cheesy eating everyone!!!
Easy Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast
Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
- 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 5 each sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 each garlic cloves
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 shallot
Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast
- 4 each boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 1/2 cup baby spinach about 16 leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh basil about 16 leaves
- Combine all the ingredients of the marinade together. Feel free to use a blender or a food processor to combine all the ingredients and make things easier.
Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
- Combine all the ingredients of the aioli together. Feel free to use a blender or a food processor to combine all the ingredients and make things easier.
Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Cut the chicken breasts half way ensuring not to cut it all the way through.
- Place the chicken breasts into the balsamic marinade. You can use a bowl or a ziplock bag to make less of a mess. Allow to marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- After the chicken has marinated, preheat the oven to 450-degrees F.
- On a cutting board or plate, arrange the spinach, basil leaves and cheese so that the chicken breasts are easy to assemble.
- Smear about 1 tbsp of the sun-dried tomato aioli on the inside of the chicken breasts. Place a layer of about 4 basil leaves on top of the aioli. Then layer on about 3-4 slices of cheese and finish with the baby spinach leaves.
- Use 2-3 toothpicks to seal the open seal in the chicken breast so that it is easier to flip over in the pan.
- Place the chicken breast into a pre-heated pan (cast iron is great). Sear one side for 3 minutes and carefully turn it over and continue searing it for 3 more minutes.
- Place the pan into a preheated oven and allow to cook for 10 minutes or until the juices run clear.
- Serve immediately.
- The nutritional information should only be used as a guide.