Roasted red pepper stuffed chicken breasts is a quick and easy dinner upgrade. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Roasted red pepper stuffed chicken breasts is a quick and easy dinner upgrade. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

These chicken breasts are delightfully stuffed, but they won’t leave you feeling that way

Roasted red peppers, green olives, fresh basil and mozzarella add punchy antipasto flavors.

Stuffing a chicken breast might seem like a fussy thing to do — something reserved for a weekend project. But it is really an easy way to elevate a rush-hour dinner.

This recipe is case in point, as a mixture of roasted red peppers, green olives, fresh basil and mozzarella add punchy antipasto flavors and oozy, melted-cheese appeal to a simple chicken-and-greens meal.

After cutting a 3-inch-long slice into the thick part of the breast to form a pocket, you pack it with the four-ingredient filling, season the chicken and cook it in a skillet for a few minutes per side. Then, while the breast pieces rest on a plate, you take advantage of the browned bits left in the skillet by making a fast pan sauce.

Some garlic is sauteed in olive oil in the same skillet first, then a half cup of chicken broth is added to dissolve that deeply flavorful fond left from the chicken. A finishing splash of red wine vinegar wakes it with a subtle tang.

The chicken breast, golden brown with bits of the bountiful stuffing visible, is served on top of arugula leaves (baby spinach would work as well) and the pan sauce is drizzled over the plate, wilting the leaves slightly and making for a luscious, warm dressing. The result is a quick, easy and healthful dinner that is far from basic.

Roasted red pepper stuffed chicken breasts

A four-ingredient stuffing adds punchy antipasto flavors and oozy, melted-cheese appeal to chicken breast which cooked in a skillet, then served over greens and drizzled with a fast, flavorful, warm pan sauce. It’s a quick, easy and healthful upgrade from basic chicken and greens.

Note: Choose chicken breast halves that are about the same size, for ease of cooking.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1¾ pounds total, not thin-cut; without tenderloins)

½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

¼ cup finely chopped roasted red pepper

2 tablespoons pitted, chopped green olives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil)

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup no-salt-added chicken broth

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

4 cups baby arugula leaves

Cut a 3-inch long pocket into the thick side of each chicken breast (without cutting all the way through to the other side).

Combine the cheese, roasted red pepper, olives and basil in a medium bowl, to form the filling. Stuff some into the pocket of each chicken breast, using all of it. Season the outside of the chicken with ⅛ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the stuffed chicken breasts and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until the cheese has melted, then transfer to a plate. The chicken should be cooked through.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same skillet. Once it’s hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then pour in the broth. Once the liquid begins to bubble at the edges, stir to dissolve any browned bits in the pan. Add the vinegar and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon each salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate.

To serve, divide the arugula among individual plates. Top each portion with a stuffed chicken breast, then drizzle with the pan juices. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 360 calories, 49 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 150 milligrams cholesterol, 400 milligrams sodium, 1 gram sugar, no dietary fiber.

Talk to us

More in Life

R.J. Whitlow, co-owner of 5 Rights Brewery, has recently expanded to the neighboring shop, formerly Carr's Hardware. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
County craft breweries’ past lives: hardware store, jail

Most breweries in Snohomish County operate in spaces that formerly housed something far different — from boat builders to banks.

Caption: Stay-at-home parents work up to 126 hours a week. Their labor is valuable even without a paycheck.
A mother’s time is not ‘free’ — and they put in 126-hour workweeks

If you were to pay a stay-at-home mom or dad for their time, it would cost nearly $200,000 a year.

CloZee performs during the second day of Summer Meltdown on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Darrington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The psychedelic fest Summer Meltdown is back — and in Monroe

The music and camping event is on for July 28-31, with a new venue along the Skykomish River.

How to cultivate inner peace in the era of COVID, insurrection

Now more than ever, it’s important that we develop and practice relaxation and mindfulness skills that calm our minds and bodies.

Budapest’s House of Terror.
Cold War memories of decadent Western pleasures in Budapest

It’s clear that the younger generation of Eastern Europeans has no memory of the communist era.

Gardening at spring. Planting tree in garden. Senior man watering planted fruit tree at his backyard
Bare root trees and roses have arrived for spring planting

They’re only available from January through March, so shop early for the tree or rose you want.

Help! My Expedia tour credit is about to expire

Kent York cancels his tour package in Norway that he booked through Expedia after the pandemic outbreak. But the hotel won’t offer a refund or extend his credit. Is he about to lose $1,875?

Veteran Keith F. Reyes, 64, gets his monthly pedicure at Nail Flare on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 in Stanwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No more gnarly feet: This ‘Wounded Warrior’ gets pedicures

Keith Reyes, 64, visits a Stanwood nail salon for “foot treatments” that help soothe blast injuries.

Photo Caption: A coal scuttle wasn't always used for coal; it could hold logs or collect ashes. This one from about 1900 sold for $125 at DuMouchelles in Detroit.
(c) 2022 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
Coal scuttles of days long gone by now used for fire logs

This circa 1900 coal scuttle is made of oak with brass trim, and sold for $125 at auction.

Most Read