Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken is an easy weeknight meal. Lightly seared on the outside, stuffed with broccoli and cheddar cheese, and finished in the oven.
Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken will quickly become a regular in your dinner rotation. This stuffed chicken can't be easier because it's made in a single pan and ready in 30 minutes or less.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are lightly seasoned and seared on the outside. They're stuffed with gooey cheddar cheese and broccoli, then finished in the oven.
Ingredients and substitutions
For this recipe, you'll need boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cheese, broccoli, mayonnaise, olive oil, and a handful of spices.
Mayonnaise - Readers have substituted the mayonnaise with cream cheese with success.
Broccoli - Your broccoli should be shopped into small pieces for easy stuffing. If you have fresh or frozen broccoli on hand, either will work. However, if using frozen broccoli, it needs to be thawed first.
Frozen broccoli will not have time to thaw and cook through when stuffed inside your chicken. Plus, frozen broccoli will add extra moisture and will make your filling watery.
Cheese - Any shredded cheese can be used inside your chicken - 5 Italian blend cheese, mozzarella, or American cheese are all great choices.
Cast iron skillet
I make my stuffed chicken in a cast iron skillet. If you don't have one, I'd suggest investing in one. They're basically indestructible, they last forever, and they're easy to clean.
My favorite part about using cast iron is that you can seamlessly move from the stove top to the oven without moving your food to another pan. However, if you don't yet have a cast iron pan, don't despair.
Simply transfer your chicken into an oven-safe baking dish before placing in the oven.
Chicken breast size and thickness
If you are using very large, thick chicken breasts, you may need to pound them thinner to cook within the times in the recipe card.
For this recipe, you'll want to pound your chicken breasts to about 1 inch thickness, then butterfly and stuff with your filling. If you don't want to pound your chicken beasts thinner, expect to add a few minutes to your cooking time.
Also, if your chicken breasts are extremely large, you may be able to split one chicken breast between two servings. Stuff the same quantity of filling between two large chicken breasts instead of four smaller breasts.
Broccoli and Cheddar Stuffed Chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup broccoli florets chopped into small pieces
- ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butterfly your chicken breasts - hold your hand on top of the chicken breast and slice into the side of the chicken breast, cutting from one side to the other, leaving the opposite side intact. Your goal is to create a pocket for your filling. If needed, pound chicken breasts to create even thickness. Entire breast (closed) should be about 1 inch in thickness.
- Season chicken breasts inside and out with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
- In a bowl, combine chopped broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise. Stuff broccoli mixture into chicken, using a toothpick to hold closed if needed.
- Add olive oil to skillet and heat over medium heat. Sear chicken breasts on each side for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned.
- Move skillet to oven to finish cooking for 12-15 minutes, or until juices run clear. (Extra thick chicken that hasn't been pounded to 1 inch thickness will take longer to cook.)
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.
- Sharp cheddar can be substituted with any other shredded cheese on hand.
- Fresh broccoli can be substituted with frozen broccoli, but it needs to be thawed first.
- If your skillet is not oven-safe, transfer chicken to an oven-safe baking dish before baking.