Stuffed Pesto Chicken
with white bean salad
A filling of melty provolone cheese and savory sundried tomatoes offers tons of flavor to these pesto-brushed chicken breasts. While the chicken bakes, toss together a side salad with white beans and Romaine lettuce for crunch and color.
- Pine nuts (sub walnuts or pecans) - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
- Basil, fresh - 2 oz , leaves torn
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Sundried tomatoes in oil - 1/4 cup , drained and chopped
- Cheese, provolone - 3 oz , chopped
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 2 , butterflied and flattened
- Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
- Celery - 1 rib , diced
- Parsley - 1 Tbsp , chopped
- Lettuce, romaine - 1 heart , chopped
- Beans, cannellini or butter (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , rinsed and drained
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Honey - 1/2 tsp
Make pesto - Double if making Thursday’s meal. Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves. Place nuts, garlic, basil leaves and lemon juice into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil (the portion for pesto) until smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Chicken breasts - Butterfly chicken breasts, by slicing chicken breast 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 parchment paper over breasts and pound with a tenderizer, until breasts are about 1/2” / 1.25cm thick. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper on both sides and tenderize with a fork. Fill chicken with tomatoes and cheese. Fold chicken breasts closed. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Lettuce - Chop lettuce. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Beans - Drain and rinse.
Heat oven to 375F / 191C.
Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then chicken breasts to heated oil. (Don't worry if some of the filling falls out; just use a fork to gently press it back in.) Sear on each side for 2-1/2 minutes.
Transfer chicken to oven and continue cooking for another 8 to 15 minutes, until chicken reaches 165F / 74C.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil (the portion for the salad), mustard, lemon juice and honey. Add beans, lettuce, celery and parsley. Toss to combine. Season with some salt and pepper.
When chicken is cooked, transfer to a cutting board and slice. Brush the top of sliced chicken with pesto (remember to save half the pesto if doubled for Thursday).
Serve chicken with salad on the side. Enjoy!