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 with success.
- Broccoli - Your broccoli should be chopped into small pieces for easy stuffing. Fresh or frozen broccoli will work in this recipe. However, 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, but avoid packaged pre-shredded cheese as it does not melt well due to the anti-clumping starches that it's usually coated with.
- 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.
Cast iron skillet
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, for example).
Don't have a cast iron or stainless steel pan? After searing on the stovetop, transfer your chicken to any oven-safe dish to finish 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 the cooking time.
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.
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.
Then, butterfly your chicken breasts by slicing in half lengthwise, leaving the opposite side intact, like a book.
How long you cook stuffed chicken depends on the size and thickness of your chicken. Because of this, I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer to test your chicken for doneness. Chicken is cooked through and safe to eat at 165 degrees Fahrenheit and begins to dry out when cooked beyond that point.
What to serve with stuffed chicken
Broccoli cheddar stuffed chicken can be served with a variety of sides, from steamed rice to a side salad, to create a complete meal. Here are a few of our favorite side ideas:
- Creamy stovetop mac and cheese
- Roasted potato arugula salad
- Ranch roasted potatoes
- Roasted zucchini and squash
- Lemon parmesan asparagus
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: 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.
- 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.