Savory stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in Prosciutto are a delicious and surprisingly easy meal to make.

Basil & Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast (Wrapped In Prosciutto)

Rich, creamy, and most importantly cheesy, this basil and cream cheese stuffed chicken breast recipe is easy to make at home, freezes well, and is a fool proof dinner for even the most in-experienced home cook. The whole inspiration for this recipe came to me when I was approached last week by a family friend with a question about food I had never thought of as troublesome or even difficult to do:

How do you stuff chicken breasts with cheese and not loose all the filling?

This was a problem I had never considered someone might have, since having learned how to properly stuff chicken breasts in cooking school, it seemed like a very logical and straightforward process. It is a great example of the fact that unless you are shown how to do something properly or know the little tricks professionals use, very simple cooking tasks can seem very daunting.

A savory stuffed chicken breast wrappen in Prosciutto bacon. Learn how to properly stuff chicken!

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How Do You Stuff Chicken Breasts With Cheese?

So how do you stuff chicken breasts with cheese, and how do you cook a stuffed chicken breast without loosing all the filling? There are a number of reasons a filling might leak or fall out during cooking, regardless of the meat you use.

First and foremost, when cooking meat it is important to understand that the meat itself contracts and shrinks during the cooking process. This is a normal side effect of cooking any meat and  is caused by the loss of moisture. If the piece of meat being cooked is stuffed with a filling, some of it may naturally be squeezed out as the meat cooks and slowly shrinks. There are a few tricks you can use when preparing the meat to help keep the filling in though.

  • For creamy, cheese-based fillings, you can cut a pocket into the chicken breast,

or

  •  butterfly the beast and then roll it up like a roulad.

The problem with the roulad style is that unless the chicken is tied or wrapped somehow, it can un-roll during cooking. Wrapping a chicken breast in bacon is my favorite ‘secret’ as it provides a fool-proof way to keep the chicken ‘closed’ while cooking, and who doesn’t like bacon! This also has the benefit of adding flavor to the stuffed chicken, and is the route I chose with these cream cheese stuffed chicken breasts.

Use a ‘Binding’ Ingredient

When it comes to the filling itself, you need to use some sort of binder to help keep it all together. Otherwise the filling will just crumble apart or melt away during the cooking process.

In this stuffed chicken recipe, the cream cheese acts as the binder to hold the basil pesto and diced sweet pepper together. If you are creating a filling with coarser ingredients such as avocado, chopped vegetable, or mushroom fillings, you may add an egg yolk to the mixture to help glue it together.

Make sure to chill the cream cheese stuffed chicken breast before cooking, as this will firm up the stuffing and reduce the chance of it melting out as you cook the meat. – Chef Markus

Basil & Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

In this recipe I used:

  • 2 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tbsp Basil Garlic scape pesto
  • 125 grams cream cheese
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 small Jalapeno or Sweet Italian Pepper – small diced
  • 4 slices Prosciutto
Related:  Home Grown Basil & Garlic Scape Pesto

Begin by mixing the cream cheese, basil pesto, diced pepper and ground black pepper in a bowl. Set the filling aside.

basil cream cheese stuffing mixture being mixed in a steel bowl

Butterfly the chicken breast, and then layer half the mix on the inside of the chicken.

Roll up the chicken making sure to tuck the leading edge of the breast under. Tightly wrap the breast in prosciutto and refrigerate for 20 minutes to half an hour to firm up the cream cheese. Repeat the process with the second breast.

butterflying, stuffing, and wrapping a chicken breast in proscuitto

How Long Do You Cook Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts?

Why, until done of course! But seriously, you should cook all stuffed chicken breasts to a minimum internal temperature of 165F to prevent food borne illnesses. Depending on the size of the chicken breast, the filling, and whether or not the chicken breast is first seared in an hot pan, this can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. I’ll walk you through it below:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375F. Place a large pan with some oil on your stove and turn the heat to medium.
  2. Once the pan is smoking hot pan, sear the chilled cream cheese stuffed chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides.A Cream Cheese Stuffed chicken breast searing in a pan
  3. Place the seared chicken breasts on a parchment lined tray or pan, and finish by baking in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

This should be timed so that the basil and cream cheese stuffed chicken breasts can be sliced and served immediately after coming out of the oven. The internal temperature for the chicken should read between at least 155F and 165F. If the temperature is not yet in this range, continue cooking the chicken in 5 minute intervals until it does.

Basil & Cream cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast served with fresh salad and basmati rice

Most likely some of the stuffing will leak out of the breast as it bakes in the oven. This is normal, especially since our filling here is very fatty and will melt when heated. The chicken should be almost half cooked after searing it (no melting cheese visible yet),and only finished in the oven to heat everything through. You shouldn’t lose more than one or 2 teaspoons of stuffing though. Anything that melts out can always be used to “sauce” the chicken as well or spooned onto the chicken if you serve it cut open.

Made the recipe? Comment & Rate it below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

Savory stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in Prosciutto are a delicious and surprisingly easy meal to make.
5 from 2 votes
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Basil& Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

Rich, creamy, and most importantly cheesy, these basil and cream cheese stuffed chicken breasts are easy to make at home, freeze well, and are a fool proof dinner for even the most in-experienced home cook.

Course Chicken, Entree
Cuisine French
Keyword how do you stuff chicken breasts, how long do you cook stuffed chicken breasts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 Cooked Chicken Breasts
Calories 1340.3 kcal
Author Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire

Ingredients

  • 2 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tbsp Basil Garlic scape pesto find the recipe here
  • 125 grams cream cheese
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 small Jalapeno or Sweet Italian Pepper - small diced
  • 4 slices Prosciutto

Instructions

  1. Begin by mixing the cream cheese, basil pesto, diced pepper and ground black pepper in a bowl. Set aside the filling.
  2. Butterfly the chicken breast, and then layer half the stuffing mix on the inside of the chicken. Roll up the chicken making sure to tuck the leading edge of the breast under.
  3. Tightly wrap the stuffed breast in prosciutto and refrigerate for 20 minutes to half an hour to firm up the cream cheese. Repeat the process with the second breast.
  4. In a smoking hot pan, sear the stuffed chicken breast until golden brown on both sides. Then finish by baking in a pre-heated 375F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. This should be timed so that the stuffed chicken can be served immediately after coming out of the oven. The internal temperature for the chicken should read between 145F and 165F.

© 2016 – 2018, Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire. All rights reserved. Please contact Earth, Food, and Fire, if you wish to use any media or other content contained on this site.

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Rich, creamy, and most importantly cheesy, these basil and cream cheese stuffed chicken breasts are easy to make at home, freeze well, and are a fool proof dinner for even the most in-experienced home cook. #stuffedchicken #freezermeals #basil #prosciutto #baconwrapped

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3 Comments

  1. Great tips! I’ve never been to any cooking school and this was a question I had as well. I often lose the innards when baking cheeses and such in meats.

  2. So good! Love the idea to chill before baking.

  3. Benjamin-Thorfinn Mueller

    Made this for supper tonight. I used my own homemade garlic scape basil pesto in the cream cheese filling. It was delicious. Thank you Chef Markus for this tasty idea!!

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