Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
and roasted green beans
When we featured this meal in 2017 and 2019, it got great reviews for being manageable on a weeknight but still guest-worthy.
Smarts: Don't worry about being super precise with filling and wrapping the chicken. Even if it's not picture-perfect, this meal always feels like something special.
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil - 1/2 cup, drained and rinsed
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Pecan halves - 1/4 cup
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 2 Tbsp
- Arugula - 1/2 oz
- Oil, olive - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Water - 1 Tbsp
- Green beans - 1 lb, trimmed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Almonds, slivered - 1/4 cup (sub pecans)
- Cheese, fontina - 3 oz, shredded (sub provolone or mozzarella)
- Sun-dried Tomato Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~3/4 cup
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, butterflied and flattened
- Parchment paper - for prepping chicken
- Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
- Prosciutto, thinly sliced - 6 slices
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 2 tsp
- Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
- Wine, white - 1/4 cup (sub stock)
- Make pesto - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Drain and rinse tomatoes. Peel garlic. Place all pesto ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until thickened. If it doesn’t blend easily, add more water a bit at a time. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Green beans - Trim green beans. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cheese - Grate cheese. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Make stuffing for chicken - Combine cheese and pesto (portion for tonight’s meal; reserve half if doubled). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Chicken breasts - Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing in half, making sure you don’t slice all the way through so that the two halves are still connected. Open up chicken breasts, like opening a book. Place chicken between two pieces of parchment and pound with a tenderizer until breasts are about 1/2” / 1.25 cm thick. Sprinkle on Italian seasoning with some salt and pepper. Fill chicken with cheese / pesto stuffing. Fold chicken breasts closed and wrap each stuffed chicken breast with prosciutto. Watch this video to see how it's done. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Heat oven to 375F / 191C.
- Toss green beans with cooking oil (portion for beans) and season with some salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast, shaking halfway through cooking, until beans are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- While green beans roast, heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (portion for chicken) and then prosciutto-wrapped chicken to heated oil. Sear on each side for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer skillet to the oven, cooking for another 8 to 15 minutes, until chicken reaches 165F / 74C.
- Whisk together cornstarch and stock.
- When chicken is done, remove from pan to rest. Place skillet over medium heat and pour in white wine, scraping up any browned bits in the pan. Next add stock and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until sauce is thick and creamy.
- Toss green beans with lemon juice and almonds.
- Slice chicken breasts and serve with sauce on top. Enjoy with green beans on the side.
Instead of butterflying and pounding the chicken, I cut cut a slit and stuffed the cheese and pesto in side. It was quicker and worked perfectly. Wrapped the breasts in black forest ham because I already had it and skipped the pan searing and just baked them. Subbed zucchini from CSA as a side. Would make again!2 Helpful
Delicious! Easily one of the best meals I've ever made. Definitely one of the best Cook Smart meals. Next time I would probably skip salting the breast, since the prosciutto was salty enough. I didn't have arugula for the pesto, so I used spinach. I love arugula, so will make it again using the correct ingredients. It took me about total 10 minutes in the oven, after searing.0 Helpful
Amazing. Making that pesto again, it was delicious.0 Helpful
I used half a jar of roasted red pepper instead of sundried tomato and skipped the prosciutto in making this with what I had on hand from leftovers before my next grocery trip. It was amazing!! Tip: If skipping the wrapping, a lot of the pesto filling will fall out. Use toothpicks to help hold the chicken together, and top the chicken with the spilled and leftover pesto before transferring to the oven.0 Helpful
Really good. The pesto was amazing, I will definitely use it in other recipes. Have to practice my butterflying and rolling skills though. Will do again.0 Helpful
Such a great meal!0 Helpful
One of my husband;s favorites. I made with chicken thighs, but would prefer the chicken breasts because less likely to fall apart. But thighs did work! I used remade pesto.0 Helpful