Stuffed Chicken Caprese

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Filled with creamy mozzarella cheese, Roma tomatoes and freshly chopped basil, this Stuffed Chicken Caprese recipe is a new favorite in our house!

The evenings are still chilly here in upstate New York, but there are signs of Spring.  The days are getting longer.  The forsythia shrubs have begun to turn bright yellow.  The mounds of snow are getting smaller.  Spring is coming!  Soon enough, that means the grill will be back out in full force.  I can’t wait!

As we emerge from the winter slumber, I’d like to offer up a gentle but important reminder: make sure to have a fire extinguisher or two in your house.  And make sure to know where they are.  Seriously.

Rewind to last Autumn when we were cleaning up leaves and getting ready to hunker down for the winter.  We have a large yard, and I was using a lawn vacuum that attaches to our riding mower to suck up all of the leaves.  As I rolled through a rather large pile of leaves in the front yard, I noticed that the leaves were getting jammed up behind the front tire of the mower.  (In hindsight, the pile of leaves was just too big.)

About 30 seconds later, those dry leaves ignited.  They must have been tightly packed up against the engine, and dry leaves + hot engines don’t mix too well.  Within about 10 seconds, I had huge flames shooting out of the edge of the mower.  Fearful that the flames would hit the gas tank, I flew off of that mower faster than greased lightning.  Somehow I remembered that we keep a fire extinguisher in the garage, and fortunately we had left the garage door open.  I was able to get the fire extinguisher, pull the pin and extinguish those flames…but, man, that could’ve been a bad scenario.

Lesson learned.  Always know where your fire extinguishers are.

Stuffed Chicken Caprese

Shifting away from fire extinguishers (hopefully you never need them), let’s talk about food.  More specifically, let’s talk about this Stuffed Chicken Caprese.  This dish is a twist on the classic caprese salad ingredients of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and olive oil.  Instead of layering these ingredients together like you might see in a caprese salad, I simply sliced up a chicken breast and made a stuffed chicken caprese.  This is not a difficult recipe to make, and it looks pretty cool, right?

I got this idea for Stuffed Chicken Caprese from our local grocery store.  They had done a similar take on this recipe using spinach and tomatoes inserted into boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  If you take a gander through the recipe archive, it’s clear that I love Italian food.  Not surprisingly, I wanted to put an Italian spin on this idea by using caprese salad ingredients.

Truthfully, I was a little skeptical about the cheese.  I half-expected to open the oven and find that the mozzarella had melted and oozed out everywhere.  Fortunately, that wasn’t the case at all!  This little experiment worked, and now this Stuffed Chicken Caprese is a new favorite in our house.  Enjoy, friends!  (And make sure you know where your fire extinguishers are.)

Stuffed Chicken Caprese

Filled with creamy mozzarella cheese, Roma tomatoes and freshly chopped basil, this Stuffed Chicken Caprese recipe is a new favorite in our house!

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:30 minutes

Total Time:45 minutes

Servings:  servings 

Calories: 379kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
  • 5 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
  • penne pasta for serving
  • marinara sauce for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Slice log of mozzarella cheese in half lengthwise and then cut each half into ¼” slices; set cheese aside.
  3. Repeat the same process with the Roma tomatoes (slice in half lengthwise and then cut into ¼” slices.)
  4. Using a small dish, combine Italian seasonings, salt and pepper.
  5. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil evenly onto both sides of chicken breasts and then sprinkle evenly with Italian seasonings mixture.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut deep slices every 1” in top of each chicken breast. (Note: Do not cut all the way through.)  
  7. Insert one slice of cheese and one slice of tomato into each of the slits. Place chicken breasts on a foil-lined sheet pan.
  8. Bake uncovered for 28-30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked (internal temperature of 165°F). (Note: Baking times will vary depending on size of chicken breasts. Continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink.)
  9. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions.
  10. Garnish with chopped basil and serve over cooked pasta with marinara sauce.


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