Cream Cheese-&-Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Cream Cheese-&-Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

18 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine Winter 2004

Cream cheese and pesto make a delectable filling for lean chicken breasts. Use this technique to experiment with other fillings as well, such as ham and cheese or goat cheese and chopped olives.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • Cream Cheese-&-Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
  • Filling of your choice, (see below)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (1-1 1/4 pounds total)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cream Cheese-Pesto Filling
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchatel)
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto, (store-bought or homemade)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Goat Cheese-Olive Filling
  • 2 tablespoons creamy goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped black olives
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Ham & Cheese Filling
  • 1/4 cup grated Swiss, Monterey Jack or part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ham
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine cream cheese, pesto and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.
  3. Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of a chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Open up each breast and place one-fourth of the filling in the center. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and filling.
  4. Lightly beat egg white with a fork in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow glass dish. Hold each chicken breast half together and dip in the egg white, then dredge in the breadcrumbs. (Discard leftovers.)
  5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Place the chicken, browned-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 °F, about 20 minutes.
  • Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 stuffed chicken breast
  • Per serving: 249 calories; 9 g fat(2 g sat); 1 g fiber; 11 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 34 mcg folate; 88 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 106 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 70 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 220 mg sodium; 449 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 18

July 22, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious, tender, flavorful. My husband really enjoyed this. The chicken was tender and juicy and the filling very flavorful (pesto and cream cheese). I pounded the chicken a little and cooked in the oven for 15 mins. Pros: easy
August 19, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious and Easy to Make This is such an easy yet delicious recipe! I'm a HORRIBLE cook who has never really used an oven before, besides to cook a ready made pizza. But, this hardly took any time and was absolutely amazing! I chose to use pesto with goat cheese simply because that was all that I had at home. By the time this baby was out of the oven, everyone was wondering what it was that smelled so heavenly!
September 17, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Makes a great impression! I've made with basil pesto and cream cheese three times; have added it to my standard chicken rotation. I use panko for more crunch and also add garlic, a dash of black pepper, and a dash of cayenne to the breading mix. Sooo, yummy! This is a requested favorite already. Also made up one with leftover hot italian sausage and cream cheese with a mix of parmesan and panko on top. My hubby loved that! Pros: Tastes great, looks beautiful when served
March 15, 2012
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By: Blovely
Great recipe! I have made this a few times including the stuffed ham and cheese version. I absolutely love both! I will admit the ham and cheese won me over more, but my boyfriend and I have been trying to put some new twists on our chicken dishes and he adores this recipe!!! 5 stars!!!!
February 06, 2012
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By: fruitbowlk
Mouth watering reactions to the picture. Moist, favorful, filling. Pros: moist, easy to prepare,easy to cook, short cook time. no many ingrediants Cons: depending on the meat you will have to cook it over 20 mins.
November 04, 2011
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By: shawneegirl
OMG, this ROCKS! I made this using the goat cheese & olive filling, and I added about 4 sun dried tomatoes (not in oil, diced), a little fresh garlic (1 clove finely minced), and 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning...WOW!!! I thought the cream cheese & pesto was great, but the goat cheese/olive/sun dried tomato filling was to die for!! This ROCKS!! I can't wait to try the ham & cheese, too!!! Pros: Easy, healthy, delicious, versatile!
September 12, 2011
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By: shawneegirl
Fast, easy and DELISH!!! This recipe is in my regular rotation. It's quick to prepare with minimal effort and yields fabulous results! Fits perfectly into our healthy husband doesn't feel like he's eating healthier with dishes like this! All of the fillings are great. I do use panko instead of bread crumbs (hubby prefers it). Otherwise, I make it right to the letter. You won't be sorry you tried this one! Pros: Easy to prepare, great tasting, low cal, cholesterol, fat & carb. Cons: None!!
March 07, 2011
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By: Blovely
Great Idea! I LOVED this recipe! I can't figure out why I didn't think of stuffing my chicken before! The pesto flavor was so delightful and I can't wait to try other stuffing. My BF said this tasted just like a meal they prepare at his hotel . I will be making this again for sure! SN: I did substitute REAL bread crumbs though which added an amazing extra flavor and crunch. I used a fresh loaf of rosemary & olive oil from the grocery store bakery. I chopped up a chunk then added it to the blender. It crisped up very nicely in the oven :)
May 22, 2010
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By: ksiebenaler
I really enjoyed the goat cheese filling, and the previous reviewers are right-- the chicken turns out moist and tender. I used bread crumbs made from my favorite ancient grains bread, but next time I'll use white bread crumbs to get a better result.