Broccoli cheddar stuffed chicken is a family-friendly meal made with butterflied chicken breasts stuffed with broccoli and cheese. They're pan-fried for a nice sear then finished in the oven. Perfect for busy weeknights!
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 about 30 minutes.
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
- Chicken - Stuffed chicken is prepared with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You'll need four single serving chicken breasts, or two large chicken breasts. If using two large chicken breasts, they'll take longer to cook and can be easily sliced in half to feed two.
- Mayonnaise - Readers have substituted the mayonnaise with cream cheese successfully.
- Broccoli - Your broccoli should be chopped into small pieces for easy stuffing. Fresh or frozen broccoli will work in this recipe. If using frozen broccoli, it needs to be thawed first. Frozen broccoli releases water as it thaws and can make the cheese filling watery.
- Cheese - Any freshly grated cheese can be used inside your chicken - gruyere or monterey jack are great choices. Avoid packaged pre-shredded cheese as it's often coated in an anti-clumping powder that adds a grainy texture when melted.
- Seasoning - Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika add a light, savory flavor to your chicken.
- Olive oil - Can be substituted with any cooking oil you have on hand.
Tips and tricks
Best pan to use - I recommend using a cast iron skillet or a stainless steel, oven-safe skillet for this recipe. Make sure your skillet doesn't have a plastic coated handle that makes it unsafe for oven use.
Don't have an oven-safe pan? - After searing on the stovetop, transfer your chicken to any oven-safe dish to finish in the oven.
To prepare large chicken breasts - Chicken breasts have become larger and larger in recent years. If you're using very large chicken breasts for this recipe, they may need to be pounded thin before filling to ensure they cook within the listed times in the recipe card. To prepare large chicken breasts, pound to about 1 inch thickness, then butterfly and fill as directed below. If your chicken breasts are large, one can easily be split in half to feed two people after baking.
How to pound chicken thin - Place chicken breasts onto a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, then top with another piece of plastic wrap or wax paper. Gently pound using a mallet or wooden rolling pin to about 1 inch thickness.
Cooking time may vary - The cooking time for this recipe depends entirely on the size and shape of your chicken breasts as well as the calibration of your oven. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken is cooked through at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Frequently asked questions
Chicken turns out dry from overcooking. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer instead of relying on time alone. Chicken is cooked through and safe to eat at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Chicken cooked to a higher temperature will turn out dry.
The cooking time needed for this recipe depends entirely on the thickness of your chicken breasts and the calibration of your oven. If your chicken breasts are thicker than mine, the recipe will take a few minutes longer. If you skip the step of searing your chicken on the stovetop first, the chicken will take longer to cook in the oven. This is because they're missing that initial 4-6 minutes of stovetop cooking.
Broccoli 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 Fahrenheit.
- Butterfly your chicken breasts by holding your hand on top of the chicken breast and slicing into the side of the chicken breast. Cut from one side to the other, leaving the opposite side intact. The 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.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add stuffed chicken breasts and sear for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until they're browned and release easily from the pan.
- Transfer skillet to oven to finish cooking for anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. Baking time depends entirely on how thick your chicken breasts are, so I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.
- Sharp cheddar can be substituted with your favorite cheese - gruyere or monterey jack are great choices.
- Fresh broccoli can be substituted with frozen broccoli, but it needs to be thawed first. Frozen broccoli releases water as it thaws and can make the cheese filling watery.
- If your skillet is not oven-safe, transfer chicken to an oven-safe baking dish before baking.
- Readers have substituted mayonnaise with cream cheese successfully.