Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast
American | Published Feb 12, 2023 | Updated Feb 27, 2023 | By Tawnie
This lemony-garlic, creamy herb sauce dresses up my Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast for an enchanted date night dinner.
Chicken is such an easy choice for dinner but who hasn’t thought that chicken can sometimes be BOR-ing!
Well, not all chicken recipes, because this recipe is oozing with gooey mozzarella cheese. The goodness doesn’t stop there. The homemade creamy herb sauce is rich with the flavors of thyme, garlic, oregano basil, and the lemon zest add brightness. It all gets swirled together with butter, heavy cream and parmesan cheese. The end result? A fantastically delicious creamy herb sauce that magically transforms boring chicken into a dreamy dinner for date night or any weeknight meal.
Table of contents
Some of my other favorite chicken recipes are: Cranberry Apricot Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken and Rice, Sheet Pan Chicken, and this Orange Chicken.
Reasons Why You Will Love My Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Dinner is ready in just 30 minutes!
- Juicy, tender chicken that is protein packed and full of flavor.
- The creamy herby sauce is all homemade, and so easy to make.
- Chicken dinner is no longer boring when you make Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts!
- The easy clean-up with this 2-pan dinner makes it perfect for date night
- Chicken breasts: I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. I have not tested this recipe out with chicken thighs. I feel it would work, but would be a little more difficult to seal the cheese in.
- Low moisture mozzarella cheese: I like to slice the cheese and stuff the cheese into the breast as opposed to dealing with shredded cheese.
- Seasonings: to keep this recipe simple, I’m using dried herbs and pantry staple seasonings to season the chicken. Dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili flakes are optional.
- Shallot: I love the delicate, sweet flavor shallots add to the sauce. Be sure to finely dice them so the sauce doesn’t have big chunks shallot pieces.
- Garlic cloves: use fresh garlic, as opposed to jarred garlic.
- Heavy cream: This adds thickness to the cream sauce to delicately coat the chicken
- Chicken broth: I like using just a bit of chicken broth to deglaze the pan after the chicken cooks and then a little more to add in the cream sauce. You could also use a white wine.
- Lemon zest: The natural oils in the lemon zest infuse a natural sweetness into the creamy sauce.
- Parmesan cheese: Freshly and finely grated. The store bought grated cheese may cause the sauce to become grainy and lumpy.
Step by Step Directions
The full directions are down below in the recipe card. Also be sure to watch the recipe video for a better step by step tutorial.
- Cut deep pockets into each chicken breast.
- Stuff the chicken with mozzarella cheese.
- Season the chicken on both sides.
- Sear chicken in a saute pan for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Transfer chicken to a skillet or casserole dish and finish cooking in the oven.
- While the chicken cooks, make the creamy sauce.
- Spoon the sauce over the cooked chicken, slice and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- Don’t forget the toothpicks. After searing the chicken breasts, make sure you use the toothpicks to keep the pocket and all that yummy cheese inside the chicken.
- Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the chicken so the filling stays inside.
- You can cut a slit through the longer side of the chicken or, like I did, make a slit in the smaller fatter side of the chicken. You’ll definitely have to be sure to use toothpicks and place them in horizontally if you make the longer slit.
- When searing the chicken start with a hot pan over medium to medium high heat and just a small amount of oil. To get the perfect sear, let the chicken cook for several minutes on one side before flipping. This will give you a nice golden-brown sear.
- For a Caprese style option, stuff sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil leaves in with the mozzarella cheese and drizzle chicken with balsamic glaze.
- Another option is to add spinach and cream cheese. You can mix together some cold cream cheese, chopped spinach with some mozzarella, garlic power, salt and pepper and stuff into the chicken. If using frozen spinach make sure you have removed all of the water before mixing in the spinach, and drain the liquid from the sun dried tomatoes.
Simply cut an opening on the small, thicker side of the chicken. (Reference video for guidance) Then cut ¾ of the way through the chicken breast to make a deep pocket without cutting all the way through. Making a pocket helps keep the stuffing from falling out. You can also make a slit along the longer side of the chicken breast, just be sure to seal it closed with toothpicks.
Low moisture mozzarella must have a moisture content in the 45 to 52% range, while regular mozzarella can be as much as 60% water. As far as flavor goes, you really want to cook with the low moisture mozzarella cheese because it has more flavor, is saltier and is a denser and makes for a more melty and delicious cheese.
As a darker cut of chicken, thighs have a richer, more succulent flavor, but because they are smaller than the chicken breast the pocket will be smaller. Because of that, especially for this recipe, I like using the larger chicken breast that is easier to stuff and will hold more cheese.
I included the step to sear the surface of the chicken which helps lock in moisture in the meat, and holds all the yummy flavors inside. Searing gives the chicken breast the perfect crust before popping it into the oven, so the meat will not dry out.
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Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast
For the chicken:
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- 4 oz. low-moisture mozzarella cheese, sliced or cut into cubes
- 1 tsp. of each: dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, salt.
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- pinch chili flakes (optional)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
For the sauce:
- 2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
- 1 Tbsp. shallot, finely minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tsp. cornstarch + 1 Tbsp. water
- 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/3 cup. parmesan cheese, finely and freshly grated
- 2 tsp. fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cut deep pockets into the chicken and stuff with mozzarella cheese. I stuff each breast with about 1 oz. of cheese but you can of course add more! I like to cut the pocket on the small, thicker side of the chicken breast. See video and photos for guidance. OR you can make a slit along the longer side of the chicken. If you use this method, you'll need to add toothpicks in horizontally so the cheese doesn't ooze out when you sear the chicken.
- Combine the seasonings together in a small bowl and then sprinkle the seasonings all over the chicken breasts.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on each side for ~3-4 minutes. Add toothpicks in horizontally to lock the cheese inside if you feel like it's oozing out.
- Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to an oven safe skillet or casserole dish. Transfer the chicken to the dish and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Over medium heat, deglaze the pan the chicken was cooked in with a tiny splash of chicken broth to pick up the browned bits. Add the butter and let it melt.
- Add the shallot and cook for a minute or two. Then add the garlic and stir for another minute.
- Add the heavy cream and broth, turn the heat up and bring to a boil then turn the heat down to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water and whisk into the sauce. This will help thicken the sauce.
- Add in the lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for a few more minutes until sauce is creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Spoon sauce over cooked chicken. Slice and enjoy with your favorite sides (pasta, risotto, veggies, salad, etc.)
- Storage: store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.More about Tawnie