- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup prepared basil pesto
- 12 large basil leaves, divided
- 1 cup shredded low moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 10 1/2 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 sprigs oregano, divided
- 3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Place a chicken breast in a resealable bag. Pound breast with a rolling pin to about ½-inch thick; repeat with second breast.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Lay chicken onto a cutting board; season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce onto one half of each breast; top with three basil leaves, and ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Fold uncovered side of breast over the filling. Pierce the edges together with 5 or 6 toothpicks.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Sear breasts in hot oil until golden-brown, about 2 minutes per side; remove to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Heat remaining olive oil in the skillet. Cook and stir tomatoes with 2 oregano sprigs until tomatoes begin to break down and release their juices, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
- Remove pan from heat. Nestle stuffed breasts into the tomatoes.
- Bake in preheated oven until the juices run clear, about 10 minutes.
- While the chicken bakes, chop remaining basil and oregano; transfer to a large bowl. Stir breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon oil with the herbs; season with salt and pepper.
- Remove skillet from oven. Carefully remove toothpicks from chicken and discard. Spread the panko mixture over the top of the chicken.
- Bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown and chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). Let chicken cool slightly before plating. Serve with cooked tomatoes.
Pound chicken breasts to a uniform thickness to ensure even cooking. This technique is for two reasons: the chicken won't get over-cooked and dry, and pounding tenderizes the meat, resulting in juicy chicken. For a gluten-free dish, be sure to pick up gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs instead of regular.
What others are saying
Bernardo de la Vega says:
This dish was amazingly good. I love cooked tomatoes with pasta or meat. The pesto sauce inside the chicken made a really good combination with the tomatoes on the outside. This is definitely one of my favorite recipes on our Mealthy site. Will be making this again.
Tarragon Boi says:
Loved this recipe! So creative and even my kids ate it, and they never eat anything.
Tal Levitas says:
My only complaint with this dish is that it's more of a Pesto Stuffed Chicken, not a pizza stuffed chicken. That said, the dish was packed with flavor, though go easy on Salt and pepper because the basil pesto is pretty salty. All in all this is a major yum.
Steve Failows says:
Packed with flavor! this dish caught me off guard with how delicious it was. The toothpicks were a little finicky but the end result is well worth all the steps. I'll DEFINITELY be making this again.
Katie Hason says:
This was a big hit at our house! The best of both worlds, chicken and pizza! The panko breadcrumbs was a nice addition. Healthier than wings and pizza, but same great flavor and fun!
Sam Dalton says:
Anytime I can make stuffed chicken, it's win win. I added pepperoni to this dish and used fresh mozzarella cubes instead of shredded. Fantastic recipe, great flavor! Will definitely be making this again.
Jessica Scott says:
The combination of tomato, basil, and pesto is incredible! This is one of the best recipes I've tried in a long time. So easy and delicious. The panko breadcrumbs is reminiscent of pizza crust. All around delicious meal!
Greg Jones says:
This dish tastes great! The mozzarella and basil are true to a traditional Margherita pizza. No fuss, no frills, just simply good food. Want to impress your date? This is the dish right here! I will definitely be making this again.
Mary Clare Holm says:
Loved this! Will definitely be making again.