Baked Chicken Breasts are stuffed with savory Italian sausage and gooey Mozzarella cheese. It’s an easy weeknight meal that’s classy enough for company.
When someone says to me, “This doesn’t seem like one of your easy recipes” while eating said easy recipe, I call that a win. This Italian Sausage Stuffed Baked Chicken is just that – a super easy meal that tasted super complicated.
While it’s really easy to make, there are a few steps. The chicken breasts are first lightly pounded (this is essential to quick and evenly cooking chicken) and then butterfly cut. It’s easiest to do this with a sharp knife, making a slit through the center of the chicken lengthwise to form a sort of “pocket.” This is where you’re going to stuff all that cheesy, sausagey goodness.
Once it’s stuffed you can secure the chicken with toothpicks or baker’s twine. Just be sure to remove ALL of them before serving, or you might here the dreaded “OW!” as your son takes a bite. Not that I’d know anything about that.
I used our favorite jarred spaghetti sauce, but you could also make a basic Marinara like this one. Half of the sausage is stuffed in the chicken, while the other half is stirred into the sauce.
The final step is to place the chicken into the skillet, cover it with the sauce and some more cheese, and bake for about half an hour.
I served this baked chicken with a side of spaghetti and some sauteed broccoli. It’s a great way to change up Spaghetti Night! I made this all in one skillet, but if you don’t have an oven safe skillet you could cook the sausage and sauce, then layer everything in a baking dish. After plating the chicken, stir the sauce to incorporate all that cheese that’s left behind and serve over your favorite pasta.
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In a 12 inch, oven-safe skillet, crumble and cook sausage over medium high heat until no longer pink. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Add onion to the skillet and saute until soft; about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Turn heat to medium low. Pour about ½ cup spaghetti sauce into a measuring cup, and pour the remainder into the skillet. Stir together and cook for a few minutes until sauce starts to bubble. Add half of the sausage to the skillet. Turn off heat.
Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing into the long side of the breast, stopping just about ¼ of an inch from the opposite side. Stir together remaining sausage with about 1 ⅓ cups of shredded Mozzarella. Stuff each breast with a third of the sausage mixture and secure the sides together with baking twine or toothpicks. Place seam side down in the skillet with the sauce. Pour remaining sauce over chicken and brush evenly. Sprinkle with basil, parsley and oregano, then top with remaining shredded Mozzarella.
Stick a tooth pick into each breast (should stick out about an inch and a half so that the foil won't touch the cheese). Cover with foil (you might need two sheets to cover the whole pan).
Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.