Chicken breast is an incredibly versatile protein, but it can get a little monotonous.
If you’re tired of the same old chicken dishes and want to amp up the flavor in a healthy way, try stuffed chicken without cream cheese.
This delicious recipe combines lean chicken breast with a medley of fresh ingredients. You get the amazing cheesy flavor without the heaviness of cream cheese.
The secret ingredient here? Baby spinach, which adds nutrition and a subtle earthy taste.
This stuffed chicken dish makes a beautiful presentation, perfect for any special occasion or just a weekend treat at home. It’s packed with protein, low in carbs, and absolutely satisfying.
It’s also incredibly customizable.
Don’t like spinach? Swap it out with another leafy green or any of your other favorite veggies. Want a spicier kick? Add more red pepper flakes.
It’s up to you how you make this your own masterpiece.
If you’re looking for inspiration for a delicious, healthy, and easy weeknight dinner, look no further! This no-cream-cheese stuffed chicken recipe is a home run.
Stuffed Chicken without Cream Cheese
Here, we stuff chicken breasts with a combination of spinach, cheddar cheese, and other flavorful ingredients for a mind-blowing dish full of nutrition and taste explosion.
It’s not just delightful to the palate but visually appealing as well — making the meal even more special.
While it looks gourmet, it’s effortless to put together. You’ll achieve that juicy chicken with cooked-through stuffing using simple baking techniques.
Serve it with your choice of side dish or over a bed of greens for an all-in-one meal.
To make this amazing stuffed chicken, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Chicken breast: Use 1-pound chicken breasts. If using frozen chicken, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Baby spinach: You’ll need around 1 cup of chopped baby spinach.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Use 1 teaspoon of olive oil for sautéing the spinach.
- Low-fat shredded cheddar cheese: Use 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese for that creamy, cheesy goodness.
- Red pepper flakes: Add 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes for a touch of spiciness.
- Salt and pepper: Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper for that perfect flavor balance.
- Garlic: For extra flavor, add 5 cloves of minced garlic.
- Tomato (optional): You can also add thinly sliced tomatoes for a burst of freshness.
Note: Check the complete list of ingredients and their quantities in the recipe card below.
How to Make Stuffed Chicken without Cream Cheese
Here’s a quick overview of the steps involved in making this delicious stuffed chicken.
For the full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Prep the chicken. Butterfly the chicken breasts and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Prepare the filling. In a pan, sauté the spinach with olive oil until wilted. Combine the spinach, cheddar cheese, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
- Stuff and roll the chicken. Place the filling onto the chicken and roll it up tightly. Secure with toothpicks, if needed.
- Bake the chicken. Place the chicken in a baking dish and bake until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve and enjoy! Remove the toothpicks, slice the chicken, and serve. You can add thin slices of tomato, if desired.
For the complete cooking instructions, see the recipe card below.
Tips for the Best Stuffed Chicken
Here are some tips to make sure your stuffed chicken comes out perfect every time:
- Butterfly the chicken properly: Make a deep, horizontal incision through the thickest part of the breast and open it up like a book. This technique helps create an even thickness, allowing the chicken to cook uniformly.
- Secure with toothpicks, if required: If you find your chicken rolls are falling apart, it’s okay to secure the ends with toothpicks. Just make sure to remove them before serving.
- Adjust the spice level: The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes, which is quite spicy. Adjust according to your preference.
- Don’t over-stuff: You want a good balance of chicken and filling. Over-stuffing can make it hard to roll and may result in filling leakage.
- Add sliced tomatoes before serving: For an extra burst of freshness, you can add thin slices of tomato on top of the chicken before baking.
There are endless possibilities to customize your stuffed chicken:
- Change up the cheese: Not a fan of cheddar? Use mozzarella or any other type of cheese you love.
- Swap the spinach: If you’re not a spinach lover, you can use kale, Swiss chard, or even broccoli.
- Add more veggies: Load up your chicken with other vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or onions.
- Make it creamy: If you want that creamy texture without cream cheese, you can mix in some Greek yogurt with the filling.
- Make it meaty: Add some cooked bacon or ham to the filling for a meatier version.
What to Serve with Stuffed Chicken
This dish is already quite hearty, but if you’d like some side dishes, here are some ideas:
- Roasted vegetables: A medley of roasted vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, and Brussels sprouts, complements the chicken perfectly.
- Cauliflower rice: For a lighter option, serve the chicken over a bed of cauliflower rice.
- Mashed sweet potatoes: The natural sweetness of mashed sweet potatoes balances the savory chicken.
- Simple side salad: A fresh garden salad with a light vinaigrette is a refreshing accompaniment to the rich chicken.
- Crusty bread: If you’re not watching your carb intake, a slice of crusty bread on the side is always delightful.
Leftover stuffed chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat, place the chicken on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until heated through.
It’s essential to remove any toothpicks before storing or reheating the chicken.
Note: For the complete list of ingredients and directions, see the recipe card below.
Stuffed Chicken without Cream Cheese
- 1 pound Chicken Breast (thawed if using frozen)
- 1 cup Baby Spinach (chopped)
- 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (low fat, divided)
- 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 5 cloves Garlic (minced)
- Tomato (thinly sliced, optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Butterfly the chicken breasts by making a deep horizontal incision through the thickest part of each breast, opening it up like a book.
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped spinach and sauté until wilted. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the sautéed spinach, half of the shredded cheddar cheese, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
- Spoon the spinach and cheese mixture onto one side of each butterflied chicken breast. Roll up the chicken tightly, securing with toothpicks if needed.
- Place the stuffed chicken breasts in a baking dish. Top each chicken roll with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and thinly sliced tomatoes, if desired.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove the toothpicks carefully before serving.
- Slice the stuffed chicken into thick slices and serve with your favorite side dishes or over a bed of greens.