Succulent and juicy, this Spinach Stuffed Chicken is a deliciously satisfying keto dinner. Take chicken breasts to the next level with a rich spinach cheese filling and a buttery garlic pan sauce.
I don’t usually cook with or eat chicken breasts. I’ve always found them a bit boring and lacking in flavor. I much prefer chicken thighs any day.
Unless we happen to be talking about these cheesy Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts. Then I take back every bad thing I ever said about how chicken breasts are dry and boring. Because this meal is ANYTHING but boring.
I have a lot of delicious chicken recipes that have become reader favorites, like Keto Chicken Broccoli Casserole and Easy Keto Chicken Fajitas. This this one needs to be added to the list, because it is absolutely mouthwatering!
Why you need to try this recipe
If you’ve struggled with dry, boring chicken breasts then you have to try this recipe. This Spinach Stuffed Chicken is so juicy and flavorful, your tastebuds won’t believe it. Pan-searing the breasts before baking them helps to lock in the flavor.
The stuffing is a mixture of spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan, which prevents the chicken from drying out too much as it cooks. And the buttery garlic pan sauce adds incredible flavor.
It’s incredibly easy to make, too. You can have this wonderful meal on the table in 50 minutes. With only 3.2g net carbs per serving!
“This recipe is incredible and is one of my favorite go-tos. I’ve served to non-keto eaters and they adore it. Perfectly accompanied with some cauliflower rice with Basil and Pine Nuts. So good! Brilliant work Carolyn!” — Jasmine
“This is so good and easy. Love it and everyone in my family does, too!!” — Sarah G
“I made this two nights ago and it lasted for two of our dinners. It was excellent and a saver recipe. Where I live, there are no frozen vegetables, so I steamed fresh spinach in the Instant Pot, pushed the extra water out and used it that way. Delicious recipe.” — Ryan
Ingredients you need
- Chicken breasts: You need boneless, skinless breasts so that you can butterfly them properly. I recommend looking for medium size breasts so that they cook through a little faster and more evenly.
- Spinach: I use frozen spinach for this recipe, and I make sure to thaw it and drain it well. If you want to use fresh spinach, chop it up and cook it down first, and then make sure to press out most of the liquids.
- Ricotta: Use whole milk ricotta for a richer filling.
- Mozzarella: You can use pre-shredded mozzarella, or you can grate it yourself. Both work great!
- Parmesan: Again, you can use pre-grated Parmesan, or you can grate it yourself. I do recommend steering clear of the junky stuff in a can as it contains fillers that may add carbs.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic adds the best flavor to this Spinach Stuffed Chicken.
- Pantry staples: Butter, paprika, salt, pepper.
Step by Step Directions
1. Prepare the stuffing: In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and 2 cloves of the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
2. Butterfly the chicken: Using a sharp knife, slice each chicken breast through the center, but don’t cut all the way through. Open each breast like a book.
3. Stuff the chicken: Stuff each chicken breast with one quarter of the spinach mixture and secure the opening with several toothpicks. Season the top and bottom of the breasts with paprika, salt, and pepper.
4. Pan fry: Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and let melt. Once hot, add the remaining garlic and then add the chicken breasts. Cook until golden brown on the outside, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
5. Bake to finish: Place the entire skillet in the oven and cook until the chicken reaches 165F on an instant read thermometer, about 20 minutes.
Stuffing chicken breasts really isn’t particularly difficult. But there are a few tricks to getting it right so that your filling doesn’t ooze out everywhere and leave you with empty chicken.
Choose smaller chicken breasts: Many store-bought chicken breasts are absurdly large, which makes it harder to cook through properly. They are also usually enhanced over-fed on grains, which makes them less healthy. Aim for medium-sized breasts, about 6 ounces each.
How to split chicken breasts: Lay the chicken down on a cutting board and used a sharp knife to cut a deep slit into the side of each breast. You want to make sure not to cut right through so that they open like a book. Then you can spread one side with the filling and fold the other side overtop.
Secure with toothpicks: Use 2 to 3 toothpicks per breast to close up the opening as best you can. Just don’t forget about them when it comes time to serve. You can simply tug and twist them gently to remove them and the breasts will retain their shape.
Pan-sear and then bake: Pan-searing the Spinach Stuffed Chicken adds phenomenal flavor and allows the outside to brown nicely. Baking in the oven ensures that the breasts cook through properly. I don’t recommend skipping either step.
Serve with the pan juices: The filling does ooze out a bit and between that and the butter and garlic, you have a gorgeous pan sauce to drizzle over the chicken as you serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
The easiest way to stuff chicken breast is to butterfly it first. Lay each breast flat on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice it horizontally through the middle, but don’t cut all the way through. Then you can open the breast like a book and fill it with any mixture of fillings.
How long it takes can depend on how large the breasts are and the type of stuffing. These Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts take 25 to 30 minutes to cook through completely. Make sure you check the internal temperature, as it should reach 165ºF in the thickest part of the breast.
This keto stuffed chicken recipe has 5.1g of carbohydrate and 1.9g of fiber. So it has 3.2g net carbs per serving.
What to serve with Spinach Stuffed Chicken
This delicious keto meal pairs with all your favorite sides. Here are a few you might try:
More recipes you will enjoy
- Cheesy Spinach Squares
- Easy Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Walnut Crusted Chicken Breast
- Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Keto Calzone with Spinach and Artichokes
Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 4 medium chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
- ¼ cup butter divided
- 4 garlic cloves, minced divided
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup whole milk ricotta
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the spinach.
- In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and 2 cloves of the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
- Using a sharp knife, slice each chicken breast horizontally through the center, but don't cut all the way through. Open each breast like a book.
- Stuff each chicken breast with ¼ of this mixture and secure the opening with several toothpicks. Season the top and bottom of the breasts with paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and let melt. Once hot, add the remaining garlic and then add the chicken breasts. Cook until golden brown on the outside, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Place the entire skillet in the oven and cook until the chicken reaches 165ºF on an instant read thermometer, about 20 minutes.
I prepared these yesterday-froze 2 unbaked. My chicken breasts were on the bigger side so after butterflying them, I used my mallet to pound them to be a little thinner and even. I cooked them in my air fryer at 400-it took about 25-30 minutes for mine to reach 165.
They were perfect, juicy and not dried out at all. This is definitely a keeper recipe! I didn’t brown them at all before popping them on the screen in my air fryer. Cooked them directly on the screen not in a pan at all.
Made tonight Excellent recipe that came together quickly. Moist and flavorful protein. Will add to monthly rotation
Glad you enjoyed it!
Evelyn Kerr says
it is very good. thank you for the recipe
Pamela Forrester says
This sounds delicious! But how do you pan fry with the toothpicks sticking up?
Made it first with the chicken. I did not see the recommendation to use 6 oz breast . Although my larger breast came out a little dry. It was still a hit with my family. I had stuffing left over and I was able to stuff 3 tilapia fillets. Covered with butter and garlic and that was huge success
I made this and we ate some two nights in a row! it was easy and great tasting. A hit. thanks for teaching me this recipe! it gave me confidence.
So glad you enjoyed it!
Your recipes are my very favorite!!! Thanks for all of your efforts in creating and sharing them!
I can’t wait to try this one, I just have to say that the information you share and the recipes you create are great. By far the most understandable, easy to follow, creative and delicious. I know I’m not the only one who appreciates all the hard work you put into doing this.
Thank you so much!