Broccoli-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

The filling in this broccoli-stuffed chicken breast gets its flavor from basil, lemon, garlic and shallot, with a subtle heat from the crushed red pepper. But the best part? The broiled cheese on top. Serve with a side of brown rice for a delicious and healthy dinner.

Broccoli-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • ¼ cup chopped shallot

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped broccoli florets

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¾ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

  • 1 grated lemon zest

  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice, plus 1 tablespoon, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 4 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in center position. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in broccoli and garlic; cook, stirring often, until the broccoli is bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add ricotta, basil, lemon zest, 1½ teaspoons lemon juice and crushed red pepper; fold gently to combine. Wipe the skillet clean.

  2. Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff each breast pocket with about ⅓ cup broccoli mixture; secure the pockets with wooden picks. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt and pepper.

  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the cleaned ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the stuffed breasts, top-sides down, in the pan; cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken breasts over and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of chicken registers 160°F, about 15 minutes.

  4. Remove the chicken from the oven. Increase oven temperature to broil with a rack 8 inches from the heat source. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Drizzle the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Remove the wooden picks from the chicken; slice the stuffed breasts in half crosswise and garnish with additional basil, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

257 Calories
12g Fat
3g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 257
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 32g 64%
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Vitamin A 598IU 12%
Sodium 459mg 20%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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