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These Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Calabrian Chili Sauce are an easy and delicious high-protein, low-carb dinner idea the whole family will love. The chicken is filled to the brim with grated Dubliner cheese, steamed broccoli and roasted red peppers, seasoned to perfection and pan-roasted for maximum flavour. Finish it off with an outrageously delicious Calabrian Chili sauce and serve with a side of crisp greens for an explosion of flavour in every bite.

Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Calabrian Chili Sauce

Ingredients You Need for the Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts

  • Chicken Breasts: Look for even-sized chicken breasts so that they cook at the same speed.
  • Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese: I like to use Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese because it has a delicious and complex flavour profile. It’s also made with high-quality milk from Irish grass-fed cows.
  • Broccoli: For the best texture and flavour, I recommend gently steaming the broccoli before adding it to the cheesy stuffing mixture.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: For an added layer of flavour and colour, I like to add some chopped roasted red peppers to the cheesy broccoli stuffed chicken. I used jarred ones here because it saved me a lot of time and I also like the slightly acidic and pickled flavour they have. It helps cut through the richness of the cheese.
  • Seasonings: Feel free to season the cheesy broccoli stuffed chicken with your favourite poultry seasoning. I used a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

Ingredients You Need for the Calabrian Chili Sauce

  • Garlic: As always, measure this ingredient with your heart and never let anyone tell you there’s such a thing as too much.
  • Chicken Broth: For best results, use a high-quality chicken broth. Homemade is best but if using store-bought, I always go with Kettle & Fire because it’s made with very clean ingredients and no added fillers, colourings or sweeteners.
  • Calabrian Chili Paste: Also known as “Bomba Calabrese”, this spicy concoction is one of my favourite condiments of all time. I add it to soups and stews, pasta, grilled vegetables, pizza, scrambled eggs, and also use it to build pan sauces like this one here. It’s made from Calabrian peppers, a variety native to the Calabria region in southern Italy. Calabrian Chili Paste has a moderately high heat level, slight fruitiness, beautiful red colour and distinctive flavour profile. Oftentimes herbs like basil are added for freshness, and some versions have mushrooms for complexity and flavour.
  • Lemon Juice: The lemon juice adds some tang to the sauce and helps cut through the richness of the cheese.
  • Butter: It’s optional, but I like to finish the pan sauce with a bit of cold butter. It gives the sauce a delicious flavour, glossy finish and some creaminess.
  • Fresh Herbs: I used a combination of finely chopped fresh parsley and basil, but you can substitute fresh oregano, fresh thyme, fresh sage, or fresh tarragon.
Calabrian Chili Pan Sauce with garlic, lemon, herbs and butter

How to Cook the Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken:

  1. Steam the Broccoli: If using raw broccoli, I like to first steam it before combining it with the cheese and roasted peppers. I find that this delivers a better flavour and texture.
  2. Prepare the Filling: In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped broccoli, shredded mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Butterfly the Chicken Breasts:
    • Using a sharp knife, butterfly each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through.
  4. Stuff the Chicken: Season and stuff each chicken breast with the broccoli and cheese mixture. Secure the openings with toothpicks or wooden skewers. Massage both sides with a small amount of olive oil and season with the spices.
  5. Sear the Chicken: Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken breasts on one side before flipping and transferring the pan to a preheated oven or Traeger Grill.
  6. Roast The Chicken: Cook the chicken for 12-14 minutes, or until cooked through and the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

For the Calabrian Chili Pan Sauce:

  1. Prepare the Sauce: Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and tent loosely with foil to keep it warm. Reserve the drippings in the pan and set it over a medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and minced garlic, and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Sauté and Deglaze: Add the garlic and gently sauté until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and use a spatula to lift any brown bits off the bottom.
  3. Build the Sauce: Stir in the lemon juice and Calabrian chili paste. Once the sauce has reduced slightly, add the butter and stir to incorporate. Finish the sauce with finely chopped fresh herbs and taste for seasoning.
Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast stuffed with Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, Broccoli and Roasted Red Peppers
Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Calabrian Chili Sauce

Substitution Ideas

  • Chicken Breasts: If you’re not a fan of chicken breasts, you can substitute boneless pork chops, turkey breasts or veal scallopini for different protein options.
  • Broccoli: Replace the broccoli with spinach, kale, or asparagus for a different veggie flavour and texture.
  • Cheese: You can use grated cheddar, Swiss, provolone, or your favourite melting cheese here. I like the Kerrygold Dubliner because it has more of a flavour profile and is made with milk from grass-fed cows.
  • Garlic: If you can’t have garlic, you can build the pan sauce with finely chopped shallots or onion. You can also finish the sauce with finely chopped chives for more of a garlicky flavour.
  • Calabrian Chili Paste: If you can’t find Calabrian Chili paste, substitute with another spicy element like harissa, sriracha, gochujang, or crushed red pepper flakes. The flavour profile will be different, but still delicious.
  • Chicken Broth: For a lighter flavour, use vegetable broth.
  • Butter: Finishing the pan sauce with butter is optional and it can be omited, but it will add a rich texture and glossiness.
  • Lemon Juice: Other options include using lime juice, white wine vinegar, or even a splash of white wine before the chicken broth for acidity and depth of flavour.
Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast stuffed with Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, Broccoli and Roasted Red Peppers topped with Calabrian Chili Pan Sauce with garlic, lemon, herbs and butter

Tips for Butterflying Chicken Breasts:

  1. Use a Sharp Knife:
    • A sharp, thin-bladed knife is essential for making clean cuts without tearing the meat.
  2. Chill the Chicken:
    • If the chicken breasts are very soft, place them in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. Slightly firmer meat is easier to cut.
  3. Position the Chicken Correctly:
    • Place the chicken breast flat on a cutting board, smooth side down. The thickest part of the breast should be closest to your knife hand.
  4. Steady the Chicken:
    • Hold the chicken breast down flat from the top with the palm of your non-dominant hand. Keep your finger tips pointed upwards so that they are away from the knife.
  5. Make a Horizontal Cut:
    • Starting at the thicker side of the breast, make a horizontal cut. Slice carefully and evenly, stopping about 1/2 inch from the opposite edge. Do not cut all the way through.
  6. Open the Chicken Breast:
    • Open the chicken breast like a book, spreading it out flat. This is the butterfly shape.
  7. Pound the Chicken:
    • For more even cooking and easier stuffing, place the butterflied chicken breast between two pieces of parchment paper and gently pound it with a meat mallet or rolling pin until it’s an even thickness.
  8. Season Before Stuffing:
    • Season both the inside and outside of the butterflied chicken breast before adding the stuffing. This ensures maximum flavour throughout.
Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Calabrian Chili Sauce
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Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Calabrian Chili Sauce

These Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Calabrian Chili Sauce are an easy and delicious low-carb dinner idea your family will love.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 3 servings

Ingredients 

  • ½ head broccoli
  • 7 ounces Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 roasted red peppers, diced
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice ½ lemon, plus extra
  • 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Mixed greens, for serving

Instructions 

  • Fill the bottom of a medium saucepan with water. Insert a steamer basket, add the broccoli, cover with a lid, raise the heat to high and steam the broccoli until it is vibrant green and slightly fork-tender, around 5 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the heat and let it cool before roughly chopping it into small pieces.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chopped broccoli, grated Dubliner cheese and diced roasted bell peppers. Toss to incorporate and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
  • Using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts lengthwise, making sure to stop just before slicing through the opposite side. Open the chicken breast like a book and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. Pound the chicken breasts until they are roughly 1/2” thick using a meat mallet, rolling pin or frying pan.
  • Preheat your Traeger Grill or oven to 400F.
  • Lightly season the insides of each chicken breast with the spices and equally stuff with the cheese mixture. Fold over the top of each chicken breast, pushing any loose filling towards the centre and secure the edges with toothpicks or skewers. Massage each chicken breast with a small amount of olive oil and season both sides with the spices.
  • Preheat a large, oven-safe frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the chicken breasts and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, around 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and transfer the pan to the oven. Cook until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160F, around 12 minutes. Reserve any drippings in the pan, transfer the chicken to a plate and loosely tent it with foil to keep warm.
  • Set the pan with drippings over a medium heat, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, around 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and cook, lifting any brown bits off the bottom of the pan, until the liquid has reduced in volume by ¼, around 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and Calabrian chili paste and cook, stirring to incorporate, for 1 minute. Add the butter and cook, stirring, until emulsified. Add the basil and parsley and stir to incorporate. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust with lemon juice or chili paste as desired.
  • To serve, place the chicken breasts onto individual serving plates and remove the skewers. Top the chicken with the Calabrian chili sauce and serve with a side of mixed greens dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 788kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 69g, Fat: 48g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 20g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 212mg, Sodium: 2189mg, Potassium: 1387mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2094IU, Vitamin C: 107mg, Calcium: 568mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About the Author

Hi, i’m Ronny! In 2013, after a lifetime of struggling with my weight and body issues, I rehabilitated my relationship with food, lost over 40 pounds and completely changed my life.

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