Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts are fancy enough for a special occasion, but easy enough for a weeknight dinner! The combination of juicy chicken, creamy spinach, and smoky bacon can’t be beat!
Easy Baked Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Spinach and Bacon
This dinner, you guys. I just can’t get over it! Both easy and gorgeous, it is a showstopper that you can make anytime. And, the flavors are everything. We start with boneless, skinless chicken breast, which will bake up nice and juicy with a simple seasoning of olive oil, salt and pepper.
But, they’re also stuffed in alternating rows with bacon strips and homemade creamed spinach, with plenty of Italian seasoning, garlic, and a light topping of mozzarella. Can you say AH-mazing!?
Creamy, cheesy, smokey, herbed goodness right here. And all with only about ten minutes of prep, and forty minutes of cooking. Yeah!
What You’ll Need
Making this baked chicken main course is quite simple. The ingredients are all ordinary items, like chicken, oil, shredded cheese, and bacon. You probably already have most of them on hand!
- Chicken Breasts: This recipe uses four boneless skinless chicken breasts.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste.
- Olive Oil: To saute the veggies.
- Garlic: Mince or press three cloves of fresh garlic.
- Spinach: I use fresh baby spinach in this recipe, about 5 cups.
- Italian Seasoning: You’ll need about one teaspoon of your favorite Italian seasoning blend.
- Cream Cheese: I like the softness of whipped cream cheese, when making this creamy filling. You can definitely use regular cream cheese, too, just bring it to room temperature.
- Bacon: I used four slices of bacon, each one cut crosswise into 3 pieces.
- Mozzarella: Half a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese makes the perfect melty topping.
- Chopped Parsley: For garnish.
How to Make Stuffed Chicken Breasts in the Oven
I like to bake this dish on a baking sheet lined with foil, but it also bakes up just fine in a greased casserole dish or even an ovenproof skillet (be sure the handle is ovenproof, too!).
- Prep the Oven, Baking Sheet, and Chicken Breasts. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cut 5 or 6 slits into the top of each chicken breast. Don’t cut all the way through! Cut about ¾ of the way down, but leave the base of each chicken breast intact so the filling doesn’t fall through the bottom. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet, and set aside.
- Make the Filling Mixture. Heat half a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic to the hot oil, and cook for 20 seconds. Stir in the spinach, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, until it’s soft and wilted. Season with Italian Seasoning, and add in the cream cheese. Cook the mixture for one more minute, stirring frequently, until it’s smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat and set aside for a couple of minutes to cool slightly.
- Stuff the Chicken Breasts. Working with one chicken breast at a time, fill every other slit with the cream cheese mixture. Fill each of the remaining slits with a piece of bacon.
- Pull out at about the 22 minute mark; sprinkle mozzarella on top of the chicken breasts.
- Bake. Continue to bake for 8 to 10 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the bacon is crispy.
- Enjoy! Garnish with parsley, and serve with your favorite sides.
Tips for Success
Feeling hungry yet? I definitely am! But before you start cooking, let me share a few of my best tips for making the perfect stuffed chicken breasts.
- Thicker Chicken: Sometimes I buy small chicken breasts that are thin and easy to sear in a skillet, but in this recipe, I recommend going with thicker chicken breasts. There’s a bit more “room” to cut the slits and add filling.
- Brine the Chicken: If you have time, soak the chicken for 30 minutes beforehand in salted water (add herbs and spices too, if you like). This is called brining and it helps the final dish turn out even more flavorful and REAL juicy.
- Don’t Overbake: Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness, and take the chicken out as soon as the filing is piping hot and the chicken registers 165°F.
To serve these cheesy stuffed chicken breasts, I like to make a couple of healthy sides. Here are some ideas for inspiration:
- Roasted Potatoes: My easy Hedgehog Roasted Potatoes are a fun and beautiful side dish, and their golden-brown crispy texture goes perfectly with stuffed chicken!
- Bruschetta: This is a wonderful, crunchy-juicy appetizer that everyone loves! And guess what? It’s even better when you make it with a garlic bread base. Easy Garlic Bread Bruschetta is sure to be your new fave.
- Green Beans: Classic Garlic Butter Green Beans are a super-easy sauteed side dish. They add an extra serving of veggies, with a garlicky twist!
How to Store and Reheat Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Leftovers should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator. The chicken will keep fresh for up to three days.
- To reheat, place in a covered skillet with a very small amount of oil or water. Reheat on low until the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F, and the filling is piping hot.
Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cups fresh baby spinach
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 4 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 4 slices bacon, each slice cut into 3 pieces, crosswise
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil.
- Cut 5 to 6 slits/pockets on top of each chicken breast and season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. DO NOT cut through – cut about 3/4 of the way down and keep the base of the chicken breasts intact.
- Place chicken breasts on previously prepared baking sheet. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Stir in spinach; cook for 2 minutes, or until wilted. Stir frequently.
- Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
- Season spinach with Italian Seasoning and add in the cream cheese; cook for 1 minute, stirring until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes.
- Fill every other slit with spinach mixture and fill remaining slits with a piece of bacon.
- Bake for 22 minutes; pull chicken out of the oven and sprinkle mozzarella on top.Continue to bake for 8 to 10 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and bacon is crispy. For accuracy, use an instant read meat thermometer to check for doneness; chicken is cooked through when internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Remove from oven and let stand couple minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.