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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Dip Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I just LOVE spinach artichoke dip; and that got me thinking about trying to use it as a filling.  When it is really good, it has many of the elements we prize in a dish:  color, texture, flavor, creaminess, and complexity.  So why not use that to dress up our poor little "blank slate" chicken breasts?!   Sounds like it might be worth a shot, huh?

I suppose this could get a little complicated, but we are going to take some short-cuts here to making this delicious Spinach Artichoke Chicken quickly... as in "you just got off of work and need to make dinner, shuttle kids to games, and help with homework" quick.  Rather than make my Spinach Artichoke Dip from scratch, I am just going to pick up a prepared container of it at the market.  I know, I know... please don't shake your head in disappointment.  This is an after work recipe!  Stay with me!

Here is the video tutorial:

Print this recipe! 

Ingredients:  
  • skinless boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • prepared spinach artichoke dip
  • To taste:  salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried basil 
  • 1 can of medium artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 - 3 large cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • handful of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese 
  • handful of fresh basil, cut into ribbons




Step-by-Step:
Use a sharp knife to create a pocket into each chicken breast, being careful to not slice all the way through it. 

Stuff each pocket with a large spoon of spinach artichoke dip.  I didn't measure it.  It will depend on the size of each of your chicken breasts. 
Use two toothpicks to close up each breast to contain the dip.  
Arrange them in an oven safe casserole dish that you have sprayed with a little cooking spray.  Season each breast liberally with kosher salt, black pepper, dried basil, and a little garlic powder. 
Kosher salt...

Black pepper...

Dried basil...
Garlic powder...
In a medium sized bowl, combine the drained artichoke hearts with the halved tomatoes, olive oil, flour, minced garlic, dried basil, salt and pepper.
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved.
1 can of medium sized artichoke hearts, drained and quartered.

2 Tbsp all purpose flour.  This will help to soak up and thicken the juices as the dish cooks.
2 - 3 large cloves of garlic, minced.
Season with 3 Tbsp olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, dried basil.

Top the chicken breasts with the artichoke tomato mixture.

Bake the chicken uncovered until an internal thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken reads about 155 degrees F.  The time will depend on how large or thick your chicken breasts are! 
Remove the chicken from the oven...         Note - the chicken is NOT fully cooked yet!
  Top the whole dish with a handful of grated Parmesan cheese and 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Then return it to the oven uncovered until the internal chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees F.  
Top the chicken with fresh basil ribbons. 
Serve hot and gooey!!



Alternate Method: I used the oven to cook the chicken and vegetables because it may be a better "busy mom" option for those of you who may be helping with homework or school projects.  But if you have two hands available to you, another idea would be to cook the stuffed, seasoned chicken breasts in a searing hot black iron skillet in a little olive oil and butter first. Then, I would deglaze with a little white wine or chicken broth to make a lovely sauce. Then reduce the heat and add the tomatoes and artichoke hearts to the sauce! This is what makes cooking fun... being able to do things however you want to! Don't care for artichokes? Try fresh asparagus spears or zucchini.

PS... They were even better as leftovers! :)

Looking for more chicken and/or pasta recipes?  Check out my Recipe Index for tons of ideas, with step-by-step tutorials and many that have video tutorials as well! 

Connect with me.  If you are not a subscriber, Click here to subscribe to MenuMusings so you won't miss a thing.  I'll send you notifications of new posts so you can avoid that proverbial cooking rut!

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May I recommend....
Spinach Artichoke Dip    (the homemade one is always better when you have the time!)
Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto Penne
Creamy Chicken Piccata
 Spicy Garlic Shrimp


Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Use a sharp knife to create a pocket into each chicken breast, being careful to not slice all the way through it.  Stuff each pocket with a large spoon of spinach artichoke dip.  I didn't measure it.  It will depend on the size of each of your chicken breasts.

Use two toothpicks to close up each breast to contain the dip.  Season each breast liberally with kosher salt, black pepper, dried basil, and a little garlic powder.  Arrange them in an oven safe casserole dish that you have sprayed with a little cooking spray.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the drained artichoke hearts with the halved tomatoes, olive oil, flour, minced garlic, dried basil, salt and pepper.  Top the chicken breasts with the artichoke tomato mixture.

Bake the chicken uncovered until an internal thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken reads about 155 degrees F.  The time will depend on how large or thick your chicken breasts are!  Remove the chicken from the oven, top the whole dish with the grated mozzarella cheese, then return it to the oven uncovered until the internal chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Top the chicken with fresh basil ribbons.


47 comments:

  1. I saw this at Recipe By Photo and had to come check it out. This is one good looking recipe! I love everything about it, I'll for sure be trying this one out!

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    1. Kari - I'm so glad you came over to my blog to check it out! Please let me know how it comes out for you. I am always excited to have new viewers... so please feel free to check out the rest of my recipes. :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Kari - she is my heart...from the second they told me it was a girl! She has totally taken over my kitchen and thinks I can't cook without her.

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  3. I saw this recipe on Pinterest, but it linked back to Recipe by Photo. I want to make this later, so I am pinning directly from here. Looks so delicious!

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    1. Thanks...Yes, we had fun making this, and it was even better the next day! I am so glad that you stumbled upon my blog. I hope you will spend some time here and find many recipes that interest you. Julie

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  4. Looks simple and delicious- and I have both chicken breasts and spinach artichoke dip ready to go in the fridge. Thanks for sharing! -Allison

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    1. Allison... sounds like you are ready and set to go! Hope you enjoy! Julie

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  5. Made it tonight! It was delicious! We had a little trouble because the dip we bought was a little runny. We will try a different dip next time. We loved it!!

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    1. Thanks Beth! So glad you liked the recipe. Please come back for more recipes and share my blog with your friends!! :)

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  6. Thanks this delicious looking recipe is in my oven now and I can't wait to taste it yummy :)

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    1. Hope this met your expectations..... :) Julie

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  7. AMAZING recipe!! I didnt have spinach artichoke dip, so I stuffed the chicken w fresh spinach, cream of chicken, and parmesan cheese. I also dont like artichokes, so I just left them out. I added whole wheat pasta to the chicken anf it was awesome! Thank you for your recipe!

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    1. That is exactly what I love about cooking - the freedom the take a "concept" and make it into exactly what you would enjoy. In what area of our lives do we have that much control?! Thank you for the kind words. I do hope you will come back and visit my blog again!
      Julie

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  8. Hi, I would like to try this recipe tonight. However, I do not have a themometer. Could you give me an indication of how long the dish should go in the oven?
    Thanks so much, I am very excited to try it. We have never had artichokes before. :)

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    1. Hi Mary-Lee! I'm so scared to give you an answer in case you choose chicken breasts that are really large or really small. But I believe I put them in for about 25 minutes, then stirred them all around and added the cheese, then another 10 minutes or so. Since you will have made the "pockets" and won't have a solid piece of chicken, this should do the trick. But please do check them by cutting into one and making sure that the juices run clear and the chicken is no longer pink. (although you certainly don't want to overcook and dry them out)

      Please let me know how they come out. I love artichokes. They are mild and almost creamy, with a slight tang to them. They play well with the acid from the tomatoes. And both of those perk up the blank slate that chicken breasts tend to be.

      Julie

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    2. Just coming by to say that the dish turned out great. It was really delicious. We're definitely making artichokes again. :) Thank you for the recipe and your help. :)

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    3. Mary-Lee.... thank you so much for the update. I'm very pleased to hear of the success of the dish... and the artichokes! Feel free to write and ask questions at any time. I'd love to help in any way I can.

      Julie

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  9. Hi this dish looks so amazing! I was wondering how many it made or how many people I could serve this to?

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    1. Thanks! I made four HUGE chicken breasts with this. I'm fairly certain that there is enough of the rest of the "stuff" here to make 6 of the chicken breasts. But as to how many people that will feed, you know your family best. (I have little ones, so 1 breasts would be enough for 2 of them. But for adults, 1 each should be sufficient.)
      Julie

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  10. Did you put any specific sauce or anything on the pasta that you served with it? I'm trying to decide what to make with it. Thank you.

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    1. I did not. In my experience, the tomatoes, etc sort of made its own sauce, albeit a light one. But if your family likes things "saucier," you could perhaps add a can of crushed tomatoes + seasoning (basil, oregano, garlic, etc) to the top of the chicken along with the chunky tomatoes and artichokes and let it all cook together. - or even a jarred marinara would be delicious!

      Good luck and let me know how it comes out with the changes! :)

      Julie

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  11. What artichoke dip recipe do you use in this chicken dish? I can't decide if I should use a low fat dip or a regular dip.

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    1. I'm pretty sure I just picked up whatever the deli at my local grocery store had made up. I don't remember the brand. Sorry.

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  12. I made this recipe about a month ago and it was such a HUGE hit in my house that I moved it to the front of my favorite recipes. It will also be tonight's dinner! =) My kids seem to get more and more difficult to please the older they get and they just couldn't get enough of this one! Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe that will for sure be in my family forever!

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    1. Kristin - Thanks for that awesome testimonial! Always happy to hear that families are enjoying my recipes. Hope you will come back and try others!
      Julie

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  13. Hi! I'm excited to find the recipe and plan on making it this Friday for a dinner party. I prefer to not buy premade items so I plan to make the dip from scratch using your recipe that this is linked to. Would you cook the dip as that recipe instructs or just mix the ingredients since it will eventually cook within the chicken?
    Thanks!!

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    1. Hi there! Kuddos on going all home made on this. The made-from-scratch dip always has tons more flavor in my opinion (when you have the time) than the pre-made versions. I would just mix the dip, stuff the chicken, then bake altogether. It will all cook in the chicken, and there's nothing in the dip that couldn't be eaten raw anyway. The point of baking the dip is to get it all hot and bubbly and melt all the cheeses together. Baking the chicken will accomplish that just fine on its own.

      I do hope that you and your guests will enjoy this recipe! Drop me a line while I wait eagerly (nervously) about the reaction!
      Julie

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  14. My 8 year old daughter and I will make it tonight..she loves to cook as much as I do..I can't wait to try it..I find that when she helps she is more eager to eat something new..Thanks for the idea ..and your daughter is a baby doll!

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    1. Thanks, Leah!

      I find the same thing with my kids. They are at least more curious and open when they have their hands in it... plus its great quality time! :)

      Hope y'all enjoy it!
      Julie

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  15. I make an awesome spinach and atrichoke di and when I considered stuffing chicken breast with it your recipe came up in my google search.... I added sundried tomatoes to the topping and it was awesome.... thanx!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that! It's really nice to be stumbled upon by people accidentally. I love meeting new people whose culinary ideas are in line with my own. I hope that you will come back again and browse around... perhaps try other recipes. Please consider subscribing to the blog (on the home page above the logo on the right) and becoming part of the MenuMusings community. The blog just broke over the 1.5 M views mark a couple of weeks ago, thanks in part by people just "finding" me some way or the other... and then sharing the blog with their friends.

      Anyway, glad you liked the recipe. I LOVE sundried tomatoes!!
      Julie

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  16. Wow, love this recipe. As I am on low carb right now I definitely have to try this one. Looks amazing!

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  17. My sister in-law made this for dinner one night. It was awesome. I am making it tonight for dinner and can not wait.

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  18. Thanks for this amazing recipe. I made this for my parents & I - it was a hit! I omitted the cheese and it still turned out delicious. I cooked it for 35 minutes at 400 for those that are looking for a cook time.

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  19. Thanks for the recipe... It is what is for dinner tonight, and I can't wait.. Thanks for the time Allie.. I was also wondering that. Looks delicious!!!!

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  20. I made this in the crockpot with chunks of chicken, added zucchini, mozzarella cheese and sour cream. Took it to work potluck and everyone wanted to recipe!

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  21. Hey there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


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  22. Do you have any idea how well this freezes? My husband is on a boring bulk up diet... Chicken breast broccoli and brown rice twice a day! It really kills my motivation to cook since I'm basically cooking for one. I want to make some freezer friendly meals I can portion out, and wondered what you think about freezing these after cooking?

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    1. Andrea -

      Gosh... I feel just awful for him! What a boring diet - you're right!
      I don't see any reason why this shouldn't freeze really well. You often find the dip frozen anyway. You could seal-a-meal them, or put in freezer bags. I would probably take out a portion the night before and allow them to thaw in the fridge the next day. Then for dinner, you could just pop it into the oven. I wouldn't put them into the oven frozen, though. I just think it would take forever!

      Good luck, and please let me know how it comes out. Perhaps someone else has the same question! :)

      Julie

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  23. When do you take out the toothpicks? -Dana

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    1. I removed the toothpicks as I plated them.

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  24. Wonderful recipe. I made this tonight for dinner and my husband said it was "tremendous!" We really enjoyed the dish. I opted to use Marzetti's Otria Greek yogurt dip to try to save some calories. Unfortunately, the store was out of spinach artichoke, but it was still really yummy with caramelized onion. I also popped it under the broiler at the very end for some amazing ooey-gooey cheesiness. Looking forward to the leftovers!

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  25. DELICIOUS. We have this once every couple of weeks and I've started pre-making my spinach dip then freezing it in ice cube trays. They're perfect portion sizes and the frozen cubes are way less messy! Thanks for the AWESOME recipe! Can't wait to try a campfire/grill version this summer!

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  26. This is my new FAVORITE recipe. My husband and I loved it! It was the first "restaurant quality" dish I've ever made. So easy! Who knew artichokes were so delicious. :) I even made it WITHOUT the spinach artichoke dip because I couldn't find any in my grocery store... but I was so set on having this for dinner that I made it anyway. It was still absolutely awesome. I'm sure the version with the dip would be even yummier. :) Thanks for the great recipe. We're making it for the 2nd time tonight!

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    1. Way to go, Heather!! Just an aside... I think I saw that one of the chip companies (Lay's?) may be making a spinach artichoke dip nowadays in a jar. But I can usually find some in the produce or deli section.
      Julie

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