On 4-Cheese Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Dear readers, there is really something about cheese that I can’t get away from. Not only that, but I love to enhance a meal by mixing cheeses that you don’t think will fight one another, but blend so seamlessly. Now, the only thing I will say is I’m not 100% sold on the cream cheese…so why post a recipe I’m not 100% good with? Because, 1) Cream cheese might be someone else’s jam, 2) that’s why recipes exist – this pairing and recipe is absolutely good for me right now because we ate every bite of it (ergo, it’s delicious). HOWEVER, cream cheese is not always my jam, and I’ve been craving ricotta as of late and think that might be an easier way to get the ingredients to blend together. I also want to do something more to the chicken next time – maybe a spiced dijon mustard spread on top as it bake? Maybe removing a cheese from the filling and topping the chicken with it? These are the ways in which my brain works when it comes to recipes. The pasta pairing was solid (pre-package pesto because I was feeling tired and lazy), and I might even get a little funkier with the filling – currently it’s just spinach and garlic, but what if I add shallots or some onions to it? Maybe spinach and basil? Stuffed chicken is a GREAT base for all sorts of magical combinations, and while this was definitely a solid one, there’s more I think I can do to play with this. So without any more rambling, I present a variation of Stuffed Chicken.

Hoping all of you reading this are staying safe and well!

— Cooking Maggie

4-Cheese Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt, divided into 1/2 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 oz feta cheese (I used some that was infused with sun dried tomatoes! So good!)
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix together paprika, half the salt, all the garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the four cheese, spinach, garlic, remaining salt and red pepper flakes together. Set aside.
  4. Cut a deep pocket carefully into each of the chicken breasts. Stuff each breast evenly with the spinach mixture. When done, rub some oil on top of each chicken and sprinkle with the seasoning mix.
  5. In a foil lined baking sheet, place the chicken breasts on the sheet, and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve with wild rice or pesto pasta (as shown in the photos).

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