Easy and flavorful cream cheese stuffed chicken breast. Tender chicken filled with delicious cream cheese, roasted red peppers, spinach, and more. An easy and delicious dinner the whole family will love.
How many of you have watched Chopped? My whole family loves watching the show. When the mystery basket ingredients get displayed we can’t help but start thinking about what we would make. Sometimes I am surprised by what the contestants go with. Other times I am like, “Yes, that is exactly what I would have done.”
I find I tend to go with what I think is the most obvious use. The cooking time is short, so no need to waste it trying to get too creative. I love the idea of using the ingredients in the way that makes sense, but with some fun flavor additions to take the expected and give it a little unexpected twist. My husband and kids tend to lean to the more creative side.
When we heard about the Chopped at Home Challenge, we knew we wanted to participate, and get the whole family in on the fun.
The 4 mystery basket ingredients were:
- Arla cream cheese (any flavor)
- Chicken breast
- Baby spinach
- Roasted red bell pepper
These mystery basket ingredients have me super excited. And my mind went immediately to a stuffed chicken breast.
Let’s chat about the ingredients:
Arla Cream Cheese
I love Arla Original cream cheese, and keep it on hand at all times for everything from bagels to cream cheese frostings. It is a better-for-you cream cheese spread that, unlike many of the cream cheese options on the market, has only 4 ingredients, all of which you can recognize: cream, skim milk, cheese culture and salt, which makes it easy to feel good about feeding it to my family. It is free from artificial flavors, preservatives, thickeners and stabilizers, and I love that the milk used comes directly from farms owned by Arla’s proud farmers.
Additionally, it comes in six delicious flavors:
- Original: This is what I went with for this recipe of stuffed chicken breasts.
- Herbs and Spices: Also would be amazing in these stuffed chicken breasts
- Blueberry: This one is my kid’s favorite.
- Mediterranean Garden: I could eat this on crackers all day long.
- Strawberry: Amazing paired with fresh fruit as a dip!
- Skyr: This flavor incorporates the Icelandic-style yogurt!
All cream cheese flavors come in a 7oz. tub, but Strawberry and Original also come in squeeze tubes, which are perfect for kids!
Chicken breasts are a staple around here. They are versatile, easy to work with, and when cooked right impart a ton of flavor. The key to a good chicken breast is cooking it to the right temperature. So to make sure this recipe turned out as awesome as I knew it would, I used a meat thermometer to insure it was cooked through, but not overcooked.
Tender leaves, lots of flavor, and perfect for mixing with the other ingredients for a pop of color and nutrition.
Roasted Red Bell Peppers
I am a huge fan of roasted red bell peppers. I first tried them as an adult, while visiting Italy. In Sicily, many families eat them as an antipasto before a meal. I love the depth of flavor they bring, and knew they would compliment the chicken perfectly.
When I went to my local grocery store to buy my roasted red bell peppers they only had ones with added flavors, which I knew I did not want for this challenge, so I decided to just make my own. It was surprisingly simple. All you need is a sheet pan and red bell peppers, and a little time.
If roasting your own peppers:
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Wash the peppers and then cut it in half lengthwise.
- Cut off the stem and scoop out all the seeds.
- Place the peppers cut side down on a lined baking sheet.
- Roast the peppers in the pre-heated 450 degree oven for 25 minutes; or until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred
- Let the peppers cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet
- Remove from sheet and cover with foil, letting the peppers cool for about 30 minutes..
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and toss it.
- Dice your roasted red bell peppers and use as desired.
- If not using immediately, put in olive oil until ready to use.
Now that we are familiar with the mystery basket ingredients, let’s talk about my Chopped at Home Challenge inspired recipe: Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts.
This recipe is elegant, and flavorful, but deceptively easy to make. After mixing together the filling, you start by slicing your chicken in half to create one large, thin piece of chicken. You do not want to cut all the way through.
Then you will layer on the filling. Spread it out so it covers nearly all of the chicken breast, leaving a little room on the edges.
Once you have the filling in place, roll the chicken breast up, and use some kitchen twine to tie it into a log.
Season the exterior generously with salt and pepper.
Then sear all the sides until it is nice and browned. At this point you are going to pop it into the oven to finish off the cooking.
Use a thermometer to insure you reach the proper temperature of 165 degrees F, and not overcook your chicken breast.
Once finished, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This will give the juices a chance to reabsorb and redistribute so you get a nice, juicy, flavorful finished product.
When you are ready to serve, slice it into pinwheels, and enjoy!
Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 7 oz Arla Original cream cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded spinach
- 1/4 cup diced roasted red bell peppers
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts approx 2 lbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Canola oil for searing
- Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken breasts across the center, like you would a hamburger bun, but don’t cut all the way through, instead, open it up so you have one large, thin piece of chicken.
- Preheat oven to 450 F degrees.
- Combine Arla cream cheese, spinach, roasted red peppers, lemon juice, and paprika.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture onto the open chicken breast.
- Roll the chicken breast and criss cross tie it to keep it together while cooking.
- Season the exterior of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
- In an ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
- Sear, and brown the rolled chicken on all sides
- Transfer the whole pan to your preheated oven and bake for approximately 9 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F..
- Let rest for two to five minutes, then remove the tie and slice.
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