Bacon. Do I have your attention? Bacon, Bacon, Bacon. Raise your hand if you absolutely love bacon! Yes, it's an indulgence. Yes, it's fattening and bad for you. And yes, I still love it and will continue eating it in moderation. So when I thought of my Stuffed Chicken Breast Series, I reached for incredible, irresistible bacon. This bacon ricotta stuffed chicken is simple to make and a much needed flavor injection to boring, old boneless breast of chicken.
The Stuffed Chicken Breast Series: An Easy, Gourmet Treat
But before I get into that, I'd like to welcome you to my Stuffed Chicken Breast Series. Yes, I'm going all in with stuffed chicken breast recipes. Several months ago, I posted an Easy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu which is my mom's recipe and I've always loved it. So awesome. Now, I want to dedicate some time and attention to more stuffed chicken breast recipes and techniques.
For example, there are methods to choose from. The first is butterfly, stuff & fold, like my cordon bleu. Next option, slice down the top of breast to make a pocket, stuff crumpled tin foil into the pocket, sear it, then add the filling into the pocket. This seems like it will work if you have a creamier filling. Lastly, there is the rolling method: butterfly the breast, pound it thin, lay out/spread your filling onto the chicken, then roll the breast. For this type of technique your filling should lay flat and not be bulky. There are so many exciting combinations and methods to try! Also, yes, there are many more variations on how best to stuff your boneless chicken breast. These are simply a jumping off point!
Boneless Chicken Breast is So Boring: You Gotta Add Bacon and Ricotta
Boneless breast of chicken is relatively boring. There's no flavor and it is not forgiving when overcooked. It will be dry and awful. We need to give boneless breast of chicken a new life! A new identity! Which is why stuffing it with bacon, ricotta, parmesan, garlic and shallots is necessary. We need to make it taste like something. And why not make it taste like all your favorite things? Ricotta and bacon is a winning combination in my book and the perfect remedy to bland white meat chicken.
I will continue posting more stuffed chicken recipes in the coming weeks. I am committed to making bland, white meat chicken taste amazing! If you choose to make this delicious chicken, I will be with you every step of the way. You can follow along with my instructional video.
If You're Obsessed with Stuffing Chicken (Like Me), Try These:
- Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Breast with Tomatoes and Asparagus
- Three-Cheese Stuffed Chicken w/Sausage & Red Sauce
- Stove Top Stuffing Chicken Rolls
- Stuffed Chicken Pepperoni Pizza Bake
- Jalapeno Popper Chicken Wrapped in Bacon
- Cheesy Fajita Stuffed Chicken
- Cranberry Brie Stuffed Chicken
- Stuffed Chicken w/Sun Dried Tomatoes & Sharp Provolone
- Bone-In Stuffed Chicken Breast w/Spinach & Gouda
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Bacon Ricotta Stuffed Chicken
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 portions 1x
Want to elevate a boring, old boneless breast of chicken? Try filling it with bacon, ricotta, parmesan, garlic and shallots. You’ve got to try this bacon ricotta stuffed chicken! Amazing!
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon paprika (regular or smoked)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional garnish)
For the filling
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 8 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 heaping tablespoon shallot, finely diced
- 1-2 roasted red peppers (I used jarred)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
NOTE: YOU WILL NEED ALUMINUM FOIL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Cook eight strips of bacon and when cooled, chop it into small pieces.
- Finely dice the garlic and shallot. Cook both in a pan on low-to-medium heat with olive oil until onions are slightly translucent and garlic is fragrant. This should be a couple of minutes.
- Shred the parmesan cheese and put into a bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, the garlic/shallot mixture, the chopped bacon bits, and Italian seasoning. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Prep the chicken. Make a cut on the top of the chicken breast, then cut into each side, within the cut you made, to create a full pocket for the bacon ricotta filling. My video shows this well. Repeat the process for all the chicken breasts. Be careful not to cut through the chicken and make a hole.
- Crumple sheets of tin foil and stuff it into the pockets of your chicken breast. We need to sear the chicken first to create a nice crust and we don’t want the pocket to shrink or close during that process. So we’ll stuff the pocket with foil.
- After all your chicken breasts are stuffed, season with the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and paprika. You can use regular or smoked paprika here.
- Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. i used an oven-safe pan (fewer dishes to clean!) to sear the chicken and used the same pan later to finish cooking them in the oven. Place the chicken breasts in the pan seasoned side down (the tin foil should be face down). Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. I didn’t season the other side of the chicken since there is salt in the bacon and the parmesan cheese and I didn’t think it was necessary.
- When the chicken is finished searing in the pan, remove and put on a cutting board or sheet pan. The chicken will be hot, so be careful when removing the tin foil from the chicken pockets. Once the foil is removed, slice the roasted red peppers into strip and lay them at the bottom of the pocket, then spoon the bacon ricotta mixture into the chicken pockets until all the pockets are generously packed with it.
- Put the stuffed chicken back in the pan you were using (if it's oven-safe) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. If you don't have an oven-safe pan, just use a baking dish. You want to cook it through so there is no pink in the middle. Internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees before consuming.
- While the chicken is cooking you can chop your parsley garnish if you are using. I forgot to film myself chopping the parsley – sorry! But if you’re using it, now is a good time to chop it. J
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and fresh shredded parmesan.
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- Feel free to cook the bacon the day before to save time.
- The chicken breasts at the store have been huge lately. I called this recipe 4-6 portions because if you are serving this with rice, veggies or a salad, then half of one of the chicken breasts may be enough for one person.
- Best reheating method: put chicken in a pan and heat on low for 7-10 minutes, covered. Yes, you can microwave it too, but reheating in a pan is better.
- BONUS: This is freezable!! I tested this and I couldn’t believe the result. I wrapped it in plastic wrap, then put in a covered plastic container. A week later, I put it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost, then reheated in a pan as described above. It seriously tasted exactly the same.
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