Fit Girl By Nature

Pesto and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken

Pesto Mozzarella Stuffed ChickenI get bored with chicken. It’s such a versatile protein and yet I usually just end up baking it with olive oil and spices. Not bad, not great, just ho-hum. And who wants ho-hum chicken every week?

Since chicken breast is one of my go-to proteins because it’s lean, low in calories and easy to prepare, I am determined to find new ways to re-invent this meat. I made my roasted garlic pesto last weekend and already had chicken breasts thawing for dinner. I was going to make chicken parmesan, which is another family favorite, but decided to put a twist on it by incorporating the fresh pesto. 

Pesto Chicken Roll-upsThis stuffed chicken was the result and turned out so delicious! I used a similar “breading” for the chicken as I do for my chicken parm, but instead of using a skillet to cook, I opted for a healthier choice and baked it.

Baked Pesto ChickenI thought about just using the pesto and making baked chicken pinwheels but the fresh mozzarella I had on hand for the chicken parm was just screaming to be used. When baked, the fresh mozzarella melts into the pesto and creates this oozing, creamy yumminess that makes for a perfect combination. If you haven’t ever cooked with fresh mozzarella, I highly recommend it. You can find it in the deli with the fresh cheese display but it can be pricey. My trick is to search for the fresh Mexican cheeses, which are usually somewhere in the dairy case. Here you’ll find cheeses like cotija and quesadilla melting cheeses and also hiding out is fresh mozzarella but at much lower prices. Go figure!

Another find is Cappello’s Gluten-Free Gnocchi, which I paired with the chicken. Up until recently I could only find this gluten and grain-free pasta at Whole Foods but it’s now available at my local grocery store. All of their pastas are fresh and either found in the deli or freezer case. It’s a great and yummy alternative to traditional pasta and way easier than making your own gluten-free/ grain-free pasta! 

We topped the gnocchi with a little pesto and voila…a delicious and exciting new chicken dinner. This one will definitely be making the rotation on a regular basis!

Pesto Chicken with Gnocchi

Pesto and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb chicken breasts (about 3 large)
  2. 6 T roasted garlic pesto
  3. 5 oz fresh mozzarella, cut in thin slices
  4. 1/2 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
  5. 2 eggs, whisked
  6. 5 T almond meal
  7. 5 T grated parmesan cheese
  8. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  9. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  10. 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  11. 1 tsp sea salt
  12. 1/2 tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Split chicken breasts in half and pound thin with meat tenderizer
  3. Spread each fillet with 1 T of pesto and cover with sliced mozzarella (about 2 slices per fillet). Lay 2-3 strips of red bell pepper on one end of fillet. Roll up each fillet and secure with two toothpicks.
  4. Whisk eggs in a shallow dish or bowl. In another shallow dish, combine remaining ingredients and mix well with a fork. First coat each chicken roll-up with egg and then roll in breading mixture, making sure all area is covered. Place breaded fillets in baking dish.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted.
  6. Enjoy
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