Holiday Recipes/ Low-Carb/ Main Course/ Quick & Easy Weeknight Dinners

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast

This dish tastes like juicy chicken stuffed with spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) and is ready in under an hour. I love recipes like this one that are quick and easy, can be made ahead, and are good for a busy weeknight yet, elegant enough for a dinner party. What could be better?

This recipe is a great one for your Thanksgiving table. Maybe for a dinner for 2 or if you’re just not a fan of turkey. When I was recipe testing, I couldn’t decide between the tomato sauce or the lemon caper sauce so, I made both. They were both flavorful yet different. The tomato sauce added a hint of sweetness and the lemon caper sauce brightened everything up and added another layer of flavor. Both of the sauces are listed. Enjoy!

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Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken

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By Dimitra Khan Serves: Makes 5 breasts

This dish tastes like juicy chicken stuffed with spanakopita (Greek-spinach pie) and is ready in under an hour. I love recipes like this one that are quick and easy, can be made ahead, and are good for a busy weeknight yet, elegant enough for a dinner party. What could be better? This recipe is a great one for your Thanksgiving table. Maybe for a dinner for 2 or if you’re just not a fan of turkey. When I was recipe testing, I couldn’t decide between the tomato sauce or the lemon caper sauce so, I made both. They were both flavorful yet different. The tomato sauce added a hint of sweetness and the lemon caper sauce brightened everything up and added another layer of flavor. Both of the sauces are listed. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 5 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Dried oregano
  • For the filling:
  • • 1-pound baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • • ¼ cup olive oil
  • • 4-5 scallions, finely chopped
  • • 2-3 garlic cloves, grated
  • • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • • 4 ounces ricotta cheese
  • • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • For Homemade Marinara Sauce:
  • • 1 small onion
  • • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • • 28 ounces canned tomatoes, pureed
  • • ½ teaspoon sugar or honey
  • • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the Lemon-Caper Sauce:
  • • Pan drippings
  • • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • • 2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • • 2-3 cups chicken broth

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 475 °F, 250 °C.

2

Cut a pocket into each chicken breast. Season the chicken all around and inside the pocket with salt, pepper, a dusting of cumin, and oregano. Set aside in a baking tray.

3

Place the scallions with the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and cook until they soften. About 3 minutes.

4

Add the garlic and warm through about 30 seconds.

5

Add the spinach and cook until wilted and the liquid is mostly evaporated. About 8 minutes.

6

Place the feta in a large mixing bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the ricotta cheese and mix together. Season with some black pepper and add the mint along with the spinach mixture and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

7

Stuff each breast with about a half cup of the filling.

8

To make your own homemade marinara sauce heat the olive oil with the onions over medium heat and cook until soft and golden. Add the garlic and warm through. Add all of the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

9

Place the chicken in an ovenproof pan such as a cast-iron skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and remove from the heat.

10

If you are making this dish with the tomato sauce, pour as much of the marinara sauce as desired into the pan. It should cover the chicken 1/3-1/2 of the way up from the bottom of the pan.

11

Bake in the preheated oven until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 °F. Time depends on the thickness of the chicken cutlets. Thicker chicken takes about 18 minutes to bake.

12

Remove from the oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

13

If you are serving these with the lemon-caper sauce, just bake them in the oven without any sauce and as soon as they are ready, take them out of the oven, transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil.

14

Make the lemon caper sauce: Place the skillet that the chicken baked in over medium heat and add the butter. Once it melts add the garlic and immediately add the lemon juice. Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the capers and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce reduces a bit. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

15

To make this ahead:

16

Assemble and fill the chicken and place the tray in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap. This can be done a day ahead.

17

Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before cooking. About 1-2 hours.

18

If you’re making a big batch (8-12, or more) you may skip the step of pan-frying one side of the chicken and just bake it in a large pan (or 2) until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 °F.

19

Serve this with some toasted bread, pasta, or roasted vegetables. Enjoy!

 

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