Goat cheese & spinach stuffed chicken breasts – perfect for a special meal or a great make-ahead & freeze recipe for when you just don’t have it in you to whip-up the evening meal. Chicken breasts are pounded thin & stuffed with a creamy, garlicy spinach & goat cheese filling then rolled & baked in a spicy wine, tomato & basil sauce. I know right – how incredibly scrumptious does that sound. It tastes even better.
It’s a cold, glum night here in my little town in Indiana. Just the sort of night for a steaming serving of goat cheese & spinach stuffed chicken breasts, maybe served with some roasted broccolini or buttery green beans.
Now although the method for this recipe may look a little lofty (especially if you’re viewing this on a mobile phone), don’t be perturbed, I’ve given quite detailed instructions for preparing the chicken & rolling it. Press on, the results are worth it.
I’m attempting to grow basil inside during the winter months. So far so good but if you can’t get your hands on fresh basil then Italian parsley would work in a pinch. I can’t believe mine is still thriving out in my herb garden, even after the frosts we’ve had here. If only this cold would kill off the little field mice that have decided to take refuge in our house.
If goat cheese isn’t your thing then use plain cream cheese. That would be equally as delicious. I have to confess, this is an older recipe I photographed a few years ago when we lived in Florida. It became a favorite in our house because it’s such a great recipe so I had to recycle it. Let me know what you think when you make it. Cheers for now, Lovoni
A pic to share on Pinterest
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons extra
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 4 oz (113g) baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
- 4 oz (113g) soft & creamy goat cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or 4 large skinless, boneless thighs)
- toothpicks for securing chicken
- TOMATO BASIL SAUCE
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (chili flakes)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 14 oz (398ml) can diced tomatoes, not drained
- pinch salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a medium ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion & cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic & cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in spinach & stir until it’s just wilted. Remove from heat & transfer to a medium bowl to cool completely.
- Add goat cheese, nutmeg, salt & pepper to cooled spinach mixture & mix until well combined; chill.
- Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally (as if you were going to butterfly them but you’re cutting each breast in 2 ). Place the four pieces of chicken on a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board or counter & cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, or a rolling pin, pound chicken (gently) to ensure evenly thickness but being careful not to tear the flesh. Do this until they’re about 1/3 inch (1cm) thickness.
- Divide goat cheese mixture into 4 equal parts. Arrange chicken with a short end close to you. Spread mixture onto the lower half of each piece of chicken; roll up from the short goat cheese mixture side & secure with toothpicks.
- Heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Brown chicken, turning occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken to a plate.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- To make the tomato basil sauce: Heat the oil & garlic in the same ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened.
- Add wine & cook for about 2 minutes or until reduce by half. Stir in pepper flakes & tomato paste. Cook, stirring for 1 minute to cook the tomato paste.
- Stir in the tomatoes & their juice, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil on high then add chicken. Cover with foil & cook in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil & cook about 15 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked & sauce is thickened.
- Remove chicken to a cutting board & use tongs to remove the toothpicks & slice chicken if desired.
- Add basil to tomato sauce & stir to combine. Spoon sauce over chicken.