Italian Stuffed Chicken

This Italian Stuffed Chicken is a delightful combination of tender chicken breasts, aromatic pesto, gooey cheese, and flavorful Italian-style diced tomatoes. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner that is easy to prepare and packed with delicious Italian flavors.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 oz each), pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 14 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 cup Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • Non-stick spray or olive oil


1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400º F.

2. Prepare the Chicken: Start with chicken breasts that are thinly sliced. If using large chicken breasts, butterfly them by cutting in half lengthwise to separate into 2 pieces. Pound each piece until about 1/4 inch thick.

3. Add the Fillings: Lay the pounded chicken on a cutting board. Spread about 1 tablespoon of pesto over each piece of chicken. Place cheese over the pesto and then spoon about 1 tablespoon of the canned tomatoes in the center.

4. Roll and Secure the Chicken: Roll the chicken tightly and secure with toothpicks. Coat each piece of rolled chicken evenly with bread crumbs.

5. Arrange in Baking Dish: Pour the remaining tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange the chicken over the tomatoes.

6. Spray with Oil: Spray the chicken with non-stick spray or drizzle with a little olive oil.

7. Bake: Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

8. Broil for Color: Use the broiler for the last 2-3 minutes to get the chicken golden brown.

9. Serve: Remove from the pan and serve immediately.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Serving and Storage Tips :

Serving Tips

1. Pair with Pasta: Serve the Italian Stuffed Chicken over a bed of pasta, such as spaghetti or fettuccine, tossed in a light marinara or Alfredo sauce for a complete Italian meal.

2. Fresh Salad: Complement the rich flavors of the stuffed chicken with a fresh green salad. A simple mixed greens salad with a tangy vinaigrette works well to balance the dish.

3. Garlic Bread: Add a side of garlic bread or breadsticks to soak up the delicious tomato juices from the baking dish.

4. Wine Pairing: Pair this dish with a light to medium-bodied Italian red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese, to enhance the flavors of the meal.

5. Garnishing: For an added touch of freshness, garnish the dish with freshly chopped basil or parsley before serving.

Storage Tips

1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Italian Stuffed Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days.

2. Reheating: To reheat, place the chicken in a baking dish and cover with foil to prevent drying out. Heat in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, though this may not retain the crispiness of the bread crumbs.

3. Freezing: You can freeze the Italian Stuffed Chicken for longer storage. Place the cooled chicken pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the reheating instructions above.

4. Avoid Overheating: When reheating, avoid overheating as this can make the chicken dry. Always cover with foil or use a microwave-safe cover to maintain moisture.

With these serving and storage tips, you can ensure your Italian Stuffed Chicken stays delicious whether enjoyed fresh out of the oven or as leftovers. Enjoy this flavorful and versatile dish at any time, knowing that it can be easily reheated or stored for later. Happy cooking!


Enhance your culinary repertoire with these creative variations of the classic Italian Stuffed Chicken recipe. Each variation offers a unique twist, allowing you to customize the dish to suit different tastes and preferences.

1. Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken


  • Use sun-dried tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes.
  • Substitute pesto with a mixture of chopped Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and fresh basil.


  • Follow the original recipe, replacing the filling ingredients with the Mediterranean-inspired mixture.

2. Caprese Stuffed Chicken


  • Use fresh mozzarella cheese slices instead of shredded cheese.
  • Add sliced cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves to the filling.


  • Layer mozzarella cheese slices, cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves inside the chicken breasts before rolling and baking.

3. Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken


  • Mix cooked spinach and ricotta cheese with a pinch of nutmeg for the filling.
  • Substitute Italian-style breadcrumbs with plain breadcrumbs seasoned with garlic powder and Italian herbs.


  • Spread the spinach and ricotta mixture on the chicken breasts before rolling and baking as per the original recipe.

4. Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken


  • Increase the amount of pesto and mix it with chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Use Parmesan cheese instead of Provolone or Mozzarella.


  • Spread the pesto and sun-dried tomato mixture on the chicken breasts, add Parmesan cheese, then roll and bake.

5. Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Chicken


  • Stuff chicken breasts with cooked bacon strips and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Coat the chicken with barbecue sauce instead of pesto and breadcrumbs.


  • Layer cooked bacon strips and cheddar cheese inside the chicken breasts, roll, and bake with a barbecue sauce glaze.

6. Artichoke and Spinach Stuffed Chicken


  • Mix chopped artichoke hearts, cooked spinach, and cream cheese for the filling.
  • Use seasoned breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese for coating.


  • Spread the artichoke and spinach mixture on the chicken breasts, roll, and bake with the breadcrumb-Parmesan coating.

7. Buffalo Stuffed Chicken


  • Fill chicken breasts with a mixture of cream cheese, shredded chicken, and buffalo sauce.
  • Coat with crushed cornflakes mixed with ranch seasoning instead of breadcrumbs.


  • Mix cream cheese, shredded chicken, and buffalo sauce for the filling, roll, and coat with cornflake-ranch seasoning mixture before baking.

8. Greek Stuffed Chicken


  • Use Greek yogurt mixed with feta cheese, chopped spinach, and diced tomatoes for the filling.
  • Coat with a mixture of crushed pita chips and oregano instead of breadcrumbs.


  • Spread the Greek yogurt, feta cheese, spinach, and tomatoes mixture on the chicken breasts, roll, and coat with crushed pita chips and oregano before baking.

FAQs :

1. Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Adjust the cooking time as needed, as thighs may require a slightly longer cooking time.

2. How do I butterfly chicken breasts? To butterfly chicken breasts, place them flat on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice horizontally through the thickest part of each breast, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. Open the breast like a book to create a larger, thinner piece.

3. Can I prepare the chicken ahead of time and bake it later? Yes, you can prepare the stuffed chicken ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Keep it covered tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before baking for more even cooking.

4. How do I know when the chicken is cooked through? The chicken is cooked through when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) as measured with a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken to check.

5. What can I substitute for pesto if I don’t have it? If you don’t have pesto, you can use a mixture of olive oil, garlic, basil, and Parmesan cheese as a substitute. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

6. How do I prevent the cheese from oozing out during baking? To prevent the cheese from oozing out, make sure to secure the rolled chicken tightly with toothpicks. Also, avoid overfilling the chicken with cheese.

7. Can I freeze stuffed chicken before baking? Yes, you can freeze the stuffed chicken before baking. Wrap each stuffed chicken breast tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

8. What side dishes pair well with Italian Stuffed Chicken? Italian Stuffed Chicken pairs well with pasta dishes like spaghetti or a side of risotto. It also complements roasted vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli.

9. Can I bake the chicken without breadcrumbs for a lighter version? Yes, you can omit the breadcrumbs for a lighter version of the dish. The chicken will still be flavorful from the pesto, cheese, and tomatoes.

10. How do I remove toothpicks from the chicken before serving? After baking, allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before carefully removing the toothpicks. Use kitchen tongs or a fork to hold the chicken steady while gently pulling out the toothpicks.

This Italian Stuffed Chicken is a versatile and delicious dish that brings the flavors of Italy to your dinner table. With its simple preparation and rich taste, it’s sure to become a favorite in your recipe rotation. Enjoy your flavorful weeknight dinner!