This is my favorite creation so far in my Stuffed Chicken Breast Series and will definitely be a part of my dinner rotation moving forward. I knew I wanted to do a stuffed chicken breast that involved Italian sausage, but wasn't sure how to pull that off. Since cheese is nearly a requirement when stuffing boneless breast of chicken, I figured blending a few together would at least make for an interesting experiment. And this three-cheese stuffed chicken with sausage and red sauce turned out to be a hit!
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!
Three-Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Sausage and Red Sauce = Total Happiness
As I'm trying new techniques and fillings with this series, I can say that cream cheese is one of the best cheeses for a filling. It contributes to the overall creaminess of the stuffing which creates a sauce-like consistency. So when you cut into the chicken, a burst of awesomeness is waiting for you.
I used the butterfly, stuff, fold and toothpick method again and although this technique can get a little messy - it's totally worth it! With a creamier filling like this one, I wondered if I should slice the top open and use the tin foil method like my Bacon Ricotta Stuffed Chicken. I slightly preferred the idea of cutting the chicken and having that cheesy, creamy, sausagey filling burst out a little so I went with that craving.
Having some fresh basil and parmesan cheese for garnish was a delicious final touch for this one. You could eat this chicken on it's own, of course, but heating a little red sauce was a fantastic addition. You can use your favorite spaghetti sauce or you could try my Big Batch Slow Cooked Spaghetti Sauce. I make this every few months, freeze the sauce in various containers and pull it out for spaghetti nights or for special meals like this one!
Extra Cheesy Sausage Filling? Yes, Please!
That cheesy, sausagey filling is insanely delicious. You will most likely have more than you need to stuff the chickens. Put the remaining filling in a small baking dish and cook it with the chicken when everything goes in the oven.
When you remove it from the oven, the sight of this bubbly, cheesy delight will leave you drooling. I promise. Look, I generously stuffed my chicken breast with this filling. However, I like the idea of adding more if myself or others would like it! One of the greatest benefits to having the extra stuffing, is that you can make other things with it. First, you can freeze it and use it later which is a huge plus. I made French bread pizzas with this which I topped with my Easy, Delicious Roasted Garlic Tomatoes. To. Die. For. You could just as easily slice French bread, toast it and spoon this filling on top for a simple crostini appetizer!
If You're Obsessed with Stuffing Chicken (Like Me), Try These:
- Stove Top Stuffing Chicken Rolls
- Stuffed Chicken Pepperoni Pizza Bake
- Jalapeno Popper Chicken Wrapped in Bacon
- Cheesy Fajita Stuffed Chicken
- Bacon Ricotta Stuffed Chicken
- Asparagus and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- Stuffed Chicken w/Sun Dried Tomatoes & Sharp Provolone
- Bone-In Stuffed Chicken Breast w/Spinach & Gouda
- Cranberry Brie Stuffed Chicken
- Easy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu
Three-Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Sausage and Red Sauce
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
This three-cheese stuffed chicken with sausage and red sauce is absolutely addicting. And you can use the extra filling to make pizza!
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 pound of ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2.5 ounces of garlic & herb Boursin cheese (See note 2)
- ⅓ of an 8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
- 15-20 baby spinach leaves (optional)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of sliced basil (garnish)
- Fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 4 cups of spaghetti sauce (more if you want)
NOTE: You will need TOOTHPICKS for this recipe! Also, less dishes if you use an OVEN-SAFE pan for this.
- Put the Italian sausage in a pan on medium heat and cook all the way through. This should take about 7 minutes. Break up the sausage as best you can with a spatula. Sausage is a little tougher to break down than hamburger meat. After you remove it from the pan, it needs to be broken down further. I used my pastry cutter to chop it into smaller bits. You could also use a knife and cutting board.
- Prep the chicken. You’ll need to butterfly each of the breasts by slicing down the side and opening the breast. My video shows this well. Put plastic wrap over the chicken and gently pound down to ¼” thickness. Do this for all four chicken breasts.
- Add the cream cheese, Boursin cheese and ricotta cheese to a bowl and mix together until well combined. I forgot to soften my cream cheese by letting it sit out for a bit. If you do the same, just throw it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften.
- Pour the cheese mixture into the sausage bowl and mix everything together well.
- Spoon the sausage and cheese filling onto the chicken breasts. Place a few spinach leaves on top of that (if you’re using the spinach), then fold the chicken over. Have your toothpicks ready and start using them to hold the chicken together. Use as many as you want, just don’t forget to take them out before you serve! I usually put on a pair of gloves, remove all the toothpicks and warn people I might have missed one! (My video shows this process well).
- Season one side of the chicken using HALF the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat and place the chicken seasoned-side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes – enough to get a nice little crust on the chicken.
- Before turning, use the other half of the garlic powder and Italian seasoning to season the chicken.
- Turn the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Next, place the chicken into a preheated oven at 375 degrees and cook the chicken for about 15-20 minutes – until it’s cooked through. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees before consuming.
- Any additional sausage and cheese mixture should be put in a baking dish and cooked along with the chicken. You can serve this on the side if people want it (they will, it’s addicting). You can also save it for another time. I use it for French bread pizza topping and it’s awesome!
- While the chicken is cooking, slice your fresh basil if you’re using it. You can also take this time to heat your spaghetti sauce if you’re using that. Use your favorite or cook my big batch spaghetti sauce and have it on hand for a couple of months! The chicken tastes great on its own, but I thought a little red sauce gave it a great complement!
Calphalon Saute Pan with Lid (5QT)Buy Now →
Small Baking Dish (for side dishes)Buy Now →
Kitchen Mallet (Meat Tenderizer)Buy Now →
Plastic Mixing Bowls with LidsBuy Now →
- If you can’t find ground Italian sausage just buy a one pound pack of Italian sausage links, cut the casing and remove the ground sausage.
- For the Boursin cheese I listed the ingredients in ounces because you can usually only buy Boursin cheese in a small 5.2 ounce package. As you can see in the video – I only use half the package. Used the rest for cheese and cracker snacks – yay!
- You can freeze the extra sausage and cheese mixture if you don’t use it. It makes a seriously delicious pizza topping!
Steve and Karen
My wife and I stumbled on to your stuffed chicken breast series and this one looked amazing. We made this a few nights ago and it was incredible. We haven't made your spaghetti sauce yet, we had our own. But this was really, really delicious. We baked the extra filling too - that was such a bonus. We froze what was left. We'll be trying your french bread pizza idea soon! Keep you posted.
Wow! That's a great compliment - thank you so much! I am thrilled you tried it. This is my favorite so far in my stuffed chicken series. I appreciate your support. Let me know if you end up making the French bread pizza with the extra stuffing! Be well - keep cooking.