If you are a fan of spinach and artichoke dip, then you will fall in love with these stuffed chicken breasts. Not only is this dish rich with flavor, but it’s also impressive enough to make your family wonder if you might be the next star of CHOPPED! 😉
This dish is FAR easier to make than one would think. Seriously, the hardest part of creating this masterpiece is not cutting all the way through your chicken breast when creating a pocket. Not only is this easy recipe to make, but it is relatively quick to accomplish. Additionally, the stuffing can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, thereby cutting down on your preparation if you’re like me and always pressed for time come dinner.
If you want to spice this dish up a bit, you can add jalapeños to the dip. Or, if you like a more Italian/Mediterranean take on things, toss in a few sun dried tomatoes. Just make sure to drain the oil/water well from both before doing so, as the stuffing thins a lot during the cooking process.
As shown above, I paired this dish with smashed, cheesy potatoes but it goes well with any vegetable or starch. We last had it with garlic roasted green beans and mashed potatoes (using the sauce as gravy) and it was divine.
Keep in mind that serving your chicken breasts with cream sauce is optional, but absolutely delicious. If you are not a fan of cream sauces, you can simply save the remainder of the spinach and artichoke stuffing and use it as a dip. Adding watercress here is a fun way to give your dip a little crunch. The dip will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days and can be served with crackers, pita chips, tortilla chips, or any other serving items of your choice. If you prefer your dip served hot, add milk or heavy cream to the mixture before heating. The amount you add is dependent upon you.
This recipe was originally posted by cafedelites.com – all alternative suggestions are my own.
Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken breasts (About 4 breasts. I like smaller, rather than larger breasts, as larger breasts tend to be too thick and take longer to cook.)
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika (optional) (can also use a cajun seasoning such as Tony Chachere for a bolder/spicier flavor)
- salt and pepper to taste
Spinach & Artichoke Stuffing
- 4 oz frozen spinach, thawed
- 8 oz block cream cheese, room temp (light or reduced fat works fine as well)
- 6 oz can/jar artichoke hearts in brine, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (can substitute gruyere cheese for a more earthy taste)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (fresh or jarred)
- salt to taste
- 1/2 - 1 cup heavy cream or half & half (add slowly with remaining dip until sauce is consistency you prefer)
- spinach/artichoke dip (use as much or as little as you desire based on how creamy you wish your sauce to be)
- Season both sides of each chicken breast with salt, pepper, paprika and Italian seasoning. Then cut a pocket in the center of each chicken breast about 3/4 of the way through, making sure not to cut through the breast all the way. (You need a pocket for the stuffing.)
Spinach & Artichoke Stuffing
- Squeeze all access liquid/moisture from the thawed spinach and discard same.
- Combine spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and garlic in a bowl and mix until thoroughly blended. Dip should be thick, as it will thin when cooking.
- Stuff each chicken breast with approximately 2 tablespoons of the mixture, making sure it is stuffed/spread evenly throughout the chicken breast. Save the remainder of the dip for later use.
- Using wooden toothpicks, seal each chicken breast in 2-3 places near the opening of the pocket. This ensures the dip stays put during cooking.
- Place approximately 1 tablespoon of oil (EVOO or avocado) in a pan and heat to medium-high heat. If using a non-stick pan you may choose to skip the oil (your preference). Sear each side of the chicken breast until golden, then cover the pan and continue cooking chicken until done (approximately 6 minutes per side depending on the thickness of each breast). Don't forget to flip your chicken!
- Once chicken is completely cooked (no pink showing), remove breasts from heat and place on a plate or serving dish.
- Using the same pan in which the chicken was cooked, combine heavy cream or half and half with the remaining dip. (There should be about 1/2 of the original dip mixture remaining.) Using your judgment, add as much cream & dip mixture as you prefer until your sauce is the desired consistency. Cook until the sauce has thickened, stirring often. Once sauce has thickened, place the chicken breasts back into the pan. (You can spoon the sauce over the chicken or wait until plated to do so). Serve immediately.