Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Stuffed Chicken is an amazingly flavorful chicken breast dinner! This pan-grilled chicken breasts feature aromatic pesto inside and out as well as a mouthwatering stuffing of sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and feta cheese.
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I don’t know if anything goes together better than sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. They just compliment each other so well, especially when stuffed in a juicy chicken breast that’s rubbed with fresh, vibrant pesto. If you love classic Italian flavors, you’ll love this quick and easy weeknight dinner.
It is just too good – bite after bite, you can’t get enough! It’s so filling and flavorful, this stuffed chicken breast can fully satisfy all on its own. Plus, there are plenty of sun-dried tomatoes in the center of it, which technically count as vegetables… right? (Don’t worry, I’ve included some of my favorite sides in this post so you can really round out your plate)!
I mentioned earlier that this dinner recipe is quick and easy, and those descriptors couldn’t be truer. It will take about an hour to prep, stuff, and cook the chicken breasts. On those crazy busy weeknights when you’re craving real flavor from a homemade meal without a ton of hassle, recipes like this one are great to have!
The ingredients needed for this stuffed chicken recipe are simple and inexpensive. You can easily grab it all at your local grocery store.
Boneless Chicken Breasts – Try to make sure that all of them are about the same size so they cook evenly.
Fresh Italian Parsley – try to use fresh parsley, it lends the best aroma.
Pesto – For the absolute best flavor, I recommend using Homemade Pesto! Also, keep in mind that this pesto will be used both to rub the chicken and as part of the stuffing.
Seasonings – A simple sprinkle of salt and freshly cracked black pepper is all you need.
Olive Oil – try to use mild, neutral tasting avocado oil that has a higher burn point. It is used for cooking (and if you’re making the pesto). You can use avocado oil instead, if preferred.
See recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Make the stuffing and stuff the chicken: Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, pesto, and parsley in a bowl (1).
Prepare the chicken: Lay the chicken flat on a cutting board. Slide a sharp knife at the top part of the breast, in the center, and cut a pocket in the middle without slicing all the way through. Remember, the goal here is to create a pocket, not to halve the chicken breast.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper inside the pocket you made. Then, stuff each chicken breast with the feta mixture (2). Use a few toothpicks to secure the opening of the pocket (3).
PRO TIP: Don’t skip the toothpick step, the cheesy stuffing will ooze out of the chicken and the entire thing will become a mess.
Coat in pesto and cook: Rub the outside of each chicken breast with pesto. Preheat a skillet over medium heat and add oil. Place the breasts in the pan (5) and let them sear on each side. Getting that golden brown sear is so important, because so much flavor comes from that!
Cover the pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Let the chicken breasts cook until done, flipping halfway through (6).
Remove the lid during the last few minutes of cooking. The total cook time may take around 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick the meat is.
Alternate Baking Instructions
I’ve been asked if you can cook this chicken in the oven instead a lot and the answer it YES. You can definitely bake it.
The reason I like to pan-cook is the beautiful outside sear that the chicken gets. It just ads so much flavor to the chicken, it’s totally worth it. But, if you want to pop it in the oven, you can do it and there are two ways.
Sear first: to help with some of the sear on the outside, you can use an oven-safe pan to start the dish on the stove. Preheat the pan first over medium to medium high heat and add the chicken. Sear the chicken for about a minute on one side, until you get a nice golden-brown outside.
Flip the chicken and sear for a few seconds. After that, transfer the pan into the preheated oven. Bake at 375° for about 25-30 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165°. (Note, that the time will be different for different size chicken breasts so check the internal temperature.)
Straight to the oven: You can also simple stuff the chicken, rub it with pesto and then place them into a greased baking dish or a skillet. Bake it at 375° for 30-35 minutes. Again, exact time will depend on the size of the chicken, so make sure it reaches 165° internal temperature.
While this chicken is mighty tasty all by itself, it pairs wonderfully with all of these side dishes and so much more. Check out our side dish recipe collection to choose your own:
Creamy Parmesan Rice
Brussels Sprouts Roasted with Garlic Butter
Italian Roasted Asparagus
Oven Roasted Potatoes
The best way to keep stuffed chicken breasts closed is to fasten it with a toothpick. I often use two different methods of stuffing the chicken: creating a pocket or partially butterflying it. Creating a pocket does keep the stuffing in better but you would use a little less stuffing. Both ways will require a toothpick to keep the opening closed and the stuffing inside.
I do use two simple methods: either butterfly it or create a pocket.
1– butterfly the chicken, pound in a little thinner, and spread the stuffing in the middle. You can either roll up the chicken or simple close it. To keep it closed, make sure to use toothpicks to fasten the edges together.
2 – creating a pocket will keep your stuffing inside easier but you would use less of it an can’t pound the chicken thinner. I usually use this method for smaller chicken breasts. It does create a flavorful and tender chicken.
Storing and Reheating Recommendation
You should store the stuffed chicken in an airtight food storage container, in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it should be good for about 3-4 days.
If you choose to reheat it in the microwave, I recommend cutting in in half so it heats through better. For better results, reheat it on your stove top over medium-low heat, covered with a lid until warmed all the way through.
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Sun Dried Tomato Feta Stuffed Chicken Recipe
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts as even in size to each other as possible
- 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 4 oz sun dried tomatoes in oil oil strained, diced
- 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley minced
- 3 Tbsp pesto
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1/3 cup pesto to coat chicken
- 2 Tbsp olive oil for cooking
Prepare the Chicken:
- Lay chicken breast flat on the cutting board. Carefully, slide the knife (hold it sideways with blade facing away from you) at the top (wider part) of the chicken breast, in the center, and cut a pocket in the middle. DO NOT slice all the way through the bottom or the sides of the chicken breast. Your ultimate goal is to create a pocket inside the breast with opening at the top. Repeat with all the chicken breasts.
- In a small bowl, mix minced sun dried tomatoes, Feta cheese, pesto, and parsley. Mix well until evenly combined.
Stuff the Chicken:
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper inside each chicken breast pocket.
- Stuff each chicken breast with equal amount of tomato/feta mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed through the pocket. Lightly press each chicken breast. Use a couple of toothpicks to secure the opening of the pocket.
- Rub outside of each chicken with some pesto.
Cooking the chicken:
- Preheat a large cooking pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Place stuffed chicken breasts in the pan. Let it sear and flip.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook over medium-low heat until done, flipping the chicken half way though, making sure that both sides get nice and golden (lots of flavor comes from the chicken cooked to golden brown). Take the lid off during the last few minutes of cooking. This could take 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness of the chicken.
- Sear first: to help with some of the sear on the outside, you can use an oven-safe pan to start the dish on the stove. Preheat the pan first over medium to medium high heat and add the chicken. Sear the chicken for about a minute on one side, until you get a nice golden-brown outside. Flip the chicken and sear for a few seconds. After that, transfer the pan into the preheated oven. Bake at 375° for about 25-30 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165°. (Note, that the time will be different for different size chicken breasts so check the internal temperature.)
- Straight to the oven: You can also simple stuff the chicken, rub it with pesto and then place them into a greased baking dish or a skillet. Bake it at 375° for 30-35 minutes. Again, exact time will depend on the size of the chicken, so make sure it reaches 165° internal temperature.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on January 15, 2015.