Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Spinach, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pecan Crusted Chicken Breasts

Main Dishes

I’m often asked how I manage to post original recipes so often while working long hours and hitting the gym the majority of the days of the week. Well, what I usually do is work in bursts. I may perfect three or four recipes in one weekend and then take a break. I feel most comfortable when I have at least six or so recipes ready to go in my “blog” folder on my desktop, which sounds like a lot, but is really only three weeks worth. Then when I’m extra busy at work, on vacation, or spending all my kitchen time developing recipes for a contest, I can go a couple weeks without cooking for my blog. I end up rarely posting recipes right away, because I’d rather take my time editing the photos, writing up the recipe, calculating the nutrition info, etc, but the chicken I made tonight was SO good that I had to make an exception!

I stuffed chicken breasts with a creamy mixture of mascarpone and blue cheese, shallots, spinach, and turkey bacon, and then coated the stuffed breasts with pecans. This recipe does take a bit of time to put together, so I pounded out my chicken, made my stuffing, and assembled my pecan coating yesterday. Then everything came together in about 40 minutes tonight, which is the max amount of time I want to spend cooking on a weeknight. I am already looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

Spinach, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pecan Crusted Chicken Breasts
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup chopped shallots (4-5 large shallots)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 strips turkey bacon, chopped
4 cups baby spinach (4 ounces)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, pulsed in the food processor until finely ground
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup flour
4 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten

Directions:
Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a medium nonstick pan and sauté shallots for 5 to 7 minutes or until softened; add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and place in a medium bowl. Add bacon to the same pan and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Place bacon in the same bowl with the shallots. Add spinach to the pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted. Add spinach to the bowl and allow ingredients to cool completely to room temperature. Add blue cheese, mascarpone cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the bowl and mix until well combined.

Meanwhile, place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to 1/3-inch thickness using a meat mallet. Place filling evenly lengthwise down each chicken breast, roll up the sides, and secure with toothpicks. Mix ground pecans, panko, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow pan. Put the flour in a shallow dish and lightly dredge both sides of the stuffed chicken in the flour. Place the beaten eggs in another shallow dish and dredge both sides of the flour coated chicken in the egg mixture; place chicken in the pecan mixture and coat well on all sides.

Heat oven to 350˚F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick pan and place two chicken breasts in the pan. Use large tongs to rotate the chicken and sear it on all four sides. Place seared chicken breasts seam side up in a large baking pan and repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and two chicken breasts. Bake at 350˚F for 18 to 22 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Allow to rest 5 minutes, then remove toothpicks, and cut on a bias. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition: 415 calories, 24.4g fat, 2.1g fiber, 35.2g protein per serving
Cost: $1.35 per serving

Caramelized Pineapple Pulled Pork Flatbreads

I hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend! Apolinaras and I are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary with a mini vacation in Portland, Maine, and the eats have been phenomenal so far. I’ll have a full recap soon! In the meantime, I thought sharing...

Light Pesto Lasagna with Chicken and Spinach

After college graduation, I backpacked through Europe with my friend Britt. One of the highlights of our trip was hiking through the olive orchards and vineyards of the Cinque Terre, a gorgeous section of cliffs in the Italian Riveria. My favorite meal there was an...

Mexican Polenta Rounds

I just got back from San Diego, where I attended a conference for work. The days were packed with lectures and the hotel was a bit isolated on Coronado Island, so I didn’t actually get to spend any time sightseeing. Good thing I’ve already been to San Diego a couple...

BBQ Chicken and Cheddar Baked Potatoes with Corn and Roasted Red Peppers

I’ve been unable to stop smiling lately. I just feel like we have so much to look forward to - we’re moving next week into a more spacious apartment and will finally have a grown up master suite with a walk-in closet. I’m already itching to organize our new kitchen...

Blackened Chicken Breasts with Gorgonzola Sauce

My recipe for Blackened Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Blue Cheese and Bacon is one of my favorite main dishes on my blog, but pounding out chicken breasts and stuffing them takes more time than I want to put into a meal during the week. So, I recently decided to...

Pecan and Coconut Crusted Tilapia over Tropical Rice

Before we left for Florida over the holidays, I tried to strategically plan our meals to use up every last bit of food of in the fridge. It’s always so sad having to throw out spoiled ingredients when you get back! We also scrubbed the fridge and rest of our apartment...

Red Curry Risotto

One of my favorite meals to whip up when we’re low on groceries is a red or green Thai curry. We always have coconut milk, Thai curry paste, and rice in our pantry, and even if we don’t have any fresh produce, I can usually at least dig up some frozen veggies to round...

Yuzu Miso Mahi Mahi

I recently swooned over a delicious yuzu miso sauce served with one of the tuna rolls at our local sushi joint and decided something similar must be incorporated into my next fish dish - never mind the fact that I didn’t even know what yuzu was or where to find it!...