This Broccoli-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken is so damn good. Y’all should know by now that I love my broccoli and cheese! One of the elite culinary combinations in my opinion.
Matter of fact, let me go on and plug my other broccoli cheese recipes: if you haven’t already check out my Cheesy Baked Chicken & Broccoli Rice, Broccoli Chicken and Cheddar Hand Pies, and Cast-Iron Broccoli and Cheese recipes. There are more, too: just type broccoli in the search box and go to town.
Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken recipe:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: Thighs would probably work, but stuffing boneless skinless thighs would be…actually no, I don’t think it would work. I meant it would, but it would take some serious finagling. Let’s just stick with breasts. They’re fatter and easier to cut and stuff.
- Broccoli florets: I like to use only florets, so I buy broccoli crowns and cut them off, then chop the florets into bite-sized pieces. You can use entire heads of broccoli, but you’ll want to cook it longer, in the beginning, to make sure the stalks aren’t super crunchy when you’re eating the chicken.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: Sharp or extra sharp and always yellow because it’s pretty.
- Dehydrated red bell pepper: Fresh red bell pepper would work alright too, but it’ll add more moisture to the mixture so keep that in mind. I always have dehydrated on hand,
- Carrot: Carrot lends a slight sweetness that goes well with the sharp cheddar.
- Salted butter: Unsalted if you’re watching your sodium or whatever. I add it before it goes in the oven and with the juices that the chicken release and the moisture from the broccoli, it makes a nice sauce.
- Kosher salt: We use kosher salt to coax the moisture out of the vegetables while they saute and in the seasoning blend we’ll use on the chicken.
- Olive oil: For searing.
- Garlic powder, onion powder, hot paprika, ground mustard, cracked black pepper: Our seasonings! As much as I love broccoli and cheddar, I’ve played around with a lot of combinations and these are perfect for bringing the best out of those flavors.
- Equipment: You’ll need a large, oven-safe pan with a lid, mixing bowls, a cheese grater, measuring utensils and a spatula. Here’s everything I used:
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken recipe:
- Soften the veggies. Place a large cast-iron pan over high heat and drizzle in just a tad of oil. I used my Staub Everything Pan which is 12″. Add the broccoli and carrot to the pan and sprinkle over a pinch of salt. Toss ’em around to combine, and after one minute reduce the heat to medium and add the bell pepper. Continue to stir as the broccoli softens and the bell pepper rehydrates for another 5-6 minutes.
- Make the stuffing. Turn off the heat, remove the vegetables from the pan and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Clean the pan out as best you can – we’ll use it to sear the chicken later. Add the shredded cheese to the bowl of broccoli and stir together as best you can. The heat from the vegetables should start to melt the cheese. When everything is mixed well cover the bowl and set it aside.
- Prep the Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken. Combine the rest of the salt with the other seasonings. Prepare your chicken breasts by pounding them to an even thickness. It doesn’t need to be thin, just even all the way across. Then, using a sharp pairing knife, make a slit on the side of each chicken breast. Push it into the center of the meat but not all the way through, then move it back and forth to elongate the pocket. Make it as big as you can without destroying the chicken.
- Season and stuff the Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken. After all the chicken has been pounded, season it thoroughly with the seasoning mixture you’ve made. Inside and out – get in that pocket! Next, grab a spoon and use it to shove as much of the broccoli cheddar mixture into the pocket as you can. Pack it tightly – broccoli will reduce in size as it cooks.
- Sear the chicken. Place the pan you cooked the broccoli in back over medium-high heat. Drizzle more olive oil over the surface of the pan. Give the oil time to heat up, a couple of minutes or so, then start adding the Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken to the pan. Let it sear for 2-3 minutes, then add more oil if needed and use tongs to carefully flip the chicken over to sear the other side. If you’d like a very deep sear you might want to do this in batches, then add it all to the pan before you cover it and put it in the oven.
- Bake the Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken. Add the butter to the pan and cover it with a lid. Place the pan in the oven and let it bake for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Sauce and serve the Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken. Spoon some of the pan sauce over the tops of the chicken and serve. Dassit.
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