Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Pesto stuffed chicken breast

Pesto-stuffed chicken breast must be one of the most adaptable dishes of all time, a delicious, quick, and healthy weeknight meal with the kids, or a decadent, blowout feast to share with your nearest and dearest. For this recipe, though, we’re focusing on the technique and leaving the fillings up to you.

Pro tip
Trimming the flattened chicken into a perfect rectangle is the best way to make stuffing and rolling easier.

Recommended equipment
Meat tenderiser

Ingredients for two

Chicken breasts x2
Pesto 50g
Serrano ham 12 slices
Fillings see below

Slice each breast in half, leaving a “hinge” as if you were cutting open a croissant that you want to put back together for baking.

Season with salt and pepper, sandwich between two sheets of clingfilm, and beat lightly with a meat tenderiser or rolling pin until the meat is a uniform thickness, about a centimetre.

Layer the ham on a long sheet of clingfilm, making sure it’s at least 1 inch taller and wider than your flattened chicken.

Place the chicken on top and stuff with your pesto and fillings. Don’t go over the top with quantities, or they will spill out the sides when you roll.

Using the clingfilm, roll away from you, encapsulating the stuffed chicken in the ham. Once you’ve used up all the clingfilm, pinch both ends and twist them to tighten the sausage. It should end up looking a bit like a Christmas cracker.

Tie the ends off and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight. This will help the breast "set" in its new shape.

Bake at 200°C for 20‒25 minutes until the ham has turned crispy and the breast is perfectly juicy.

Stuffing suggestions
Mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil
Red onion, sage, and Roquefort
Black pudding, mushrooms, chestnuts, and chives
Asparagus and roasted red pepper
Artichokes, olives, and capers

Serving suggestions
Parmesan and lemon zest-roasted cauliflower
Cucumber and potato salad with creamy Ranch dressing
Creamed spinach, Brussel sprouts, and broad beans
Cheesy Hasselback potatoes
Grated carrot and sugar snap salad with cumin and mint