Pan-roasted and stuffed with cheese, spinach, and European olives, these chicken breasts are juicy, flavorful, and quick enough to whip up for a weekday dinner.
This recipe post is sponsored by European Olives.
Do you ever get in a rut and keep making the same recipes over and over?
I totally do! I get into a habit of making the same dozen or so meals and I just keep cycling through them.
But WHY??? I mean, we have the Internet! We have Pinterest! We never need to eat the same meal twice!
But, we are busy. And making something from memory is a lot easier than risking a dinner disaster by testing out a new recipe.
Thankfully, sometimes I break out of my self-drawn lines and test out new cooking methods and add new recipes to my repertoire — such as pan-roasting stuffed chicken breasts and filling them with delectable ingredients like black, Hojiblanca olives.
I especially LOVE to sear my chicken or meat in a hot cast iron pan before roasting in the oven.
Searing creates a wonderful flavor and allows the meat to stay so juicy and mouthwatering.
And by using an oven-safe skillet, it is so easy to sear the protein and then pop the whole skillet straight into the oven to finish cooking.
For this pan-roasted stuffed chicken recipe, I marinated chicken breasts and then removed the fillets.
Next, I sliced open a pocket in the breasts and slathered some of the marinade inside the chicken “pocket.”
Then I stuffed the pocket with spinach, cheese, basil, and Hojiblanca olives.
I pan-fried the fillets while I seared the stuffed chicken breasts and kept them in the skillet when I moved it into the oven for roasting.
I let the fillets cook with the breasts in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning over after five minutes.
Once the fillets were cooked and measured at 165°F, I removed the skillet from the oven.
I removed the cooked fillets and set them aside.
(The smaller fillets are perfect for kids – scrumptious chicken tenders they can gobble up while you keep the cheese and olive stuffed breasts for yourself. Or reserve the cooked fillets for lunch the next day!)
Then I added the raw vegetables to the skillet.
I drizzled the vegetables and the breasts with the reserved marinade/dressing. (Note – do not use the old marinade that you had used with the chicken. This dressing has not touched raw chicken!)
Then I returned the skillet to the oven to finish cooking, for about 10 – 15 more minutes.
Continue roasting in the oven until the chicken is 165°F and the juices run clear.
(If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, do yourself a huge favor and buy one. Using a thermometer is critical to know when your meat is safely cooked and keeps you from slicing open your chicken or meat to test for doneness. When you cut open chicken or meat before allowing it to rest, the juices run out and your chicken or meat will be tougher and dryer.)
When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and cover it lightly with aluminum foil to allow it to rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Hojiblanca Olives
- oven-proof skillet
- 2 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- 80 grams of cheese about 3 large slices, divided
- 60 grams of Hojiblanca olives about 18 olives, sliced
- handful of spinach leaves
- handful of basil leaves
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 broccoli crown
- 1 red pepper
- 8 Marzano tomatoes or 12 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar of choice
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- salt and pepper
- Prepare marinade - In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients and pour half of marinade in a shallow bowl or container with chicken breasts, and set aside remaining portion of marinade for later.
- Marinate chicken - Allow chicken to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in refrigerator.
- Wash and prepare vegetables - While chicken is marinating, wash and prepare vegetables, spinach, basil, olives, and cheese. Place stuffing ingredients on a bowl or plate to have ready when working with raw chicken and set aside sliced vegetables to add to skillet later.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a clean, working space for cutting and stuffing chicken breasts. You can place wax paper or parchment paper on countertop or a cutting board to protect surface from raw chicken.
- Remove fillets - If the fillets/tenderloins are still attached to chicken breast, cut them off and place them in marinade.
- Slice pockets - Slice lengthwise into chicken breast, but not all the way through, creating a "pocket" in chicken breast. (See photos in post)
- Cover with marinade - Spoon some marinade into pocket, making sure that all of the chicken is covered in marinade.
- Fill the pockets with spinach, basil, cheese, and olives.
- Insert toothpicks along the edges of stuffed breasts to help hold filling inside while cooking.
- Heat oil in skillet - Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil (or high smoke point oil of your choice) at medium-high heat in 10" oven-proof skillet, such as a cast-iron skillet. (If doubling the recipe, use a 12" skillet.)
- Sear chicken in skillet - Add stuffed chicken breasts (and fillets if you have them) and sear on each side for 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Return to oven - Transfer skillet to preheated oven (350°F) and cook for about 10 minutes, turning over after five minutes.
- Remove fillets from oven - Once fillets are cooked and have an internal temperature of 165°F, remove the skillet from oven. (The smaller fillets are perfect for kids or reserve the cooked fillets for lunch the next day.)
- Add vegetables - Set aside fillets and add raw vegetables to skillet.
- Drizzle vegetables and breasts with the reserved marinade/dressing. (Note - do not use the old marinade that you had used with the chicken. Use dressing that has not touched raw chicken.)
- Return to oven - Return skillet to the oven to finish cooking, for about 10 - 15 more minutes.
- Continue roasting in the oven until the chicken is 165°F and the juices run clear.
- Allow chicken to rest - Remove toothpicks and cover lightly with aluminum foil to allow the chicken to rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
More Recipes Featuring European Olives
Don’t miss our other tasty recipes with European Olives…
- Breakfast Bento Box – Packed with Protein and Healthy Fats
- Mediterranean Wrap with Hojiblanca Olives from Spain
- Grilled Pizza with Hojiblanca Olives from Spain
- Zucchini Noodles with Olives from Spain
- European Olive Skewers – Easy Recipe Ideas
Campaign financed with aid from the European Union. Enjoy, it’s from Europe. The content of this promotion campaign represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains.