Broccoli-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Breasts

from 21 votes

Whenever I have no clue what to make for dinner, this Broccoli-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Breasts recipe is the answer. It’s quick, filling, and the perfect combo of protein and veggies, all in one bite! Best of all, you only need a handful of ingredients (plus, I’ve included lots of swaps for you!) and it’ll be on your dinner table in just 25 minutes.

Broccoli and cheddar stuffed chicken breast on a dinner plate with a crisp green salad.

When it comes to comfort food, few things are as satisfying as chicken and cheese. But why stop there? I’ve taken the classic flavors of broccoli-cheddar soup and transformed them into a filling for juicy chicken breasts. But wait, this isn’t your average recipe for stuffed chicken breasts!

It’s more of a template than anything else and includes tips and tricks for how to swap in whatever you’ve got, including frozen broccoli, optional fresh herbs and literally any spices stashed in your pantry.

So grab whatever cheese, herbs, and spices you’ve got and get your taste buds ready for a hearty, flavor-packed meal. It’s sure to become a go-to in your recipe rotation!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Requires just a handful of ingredients.
  • Takes just 25 minutes from start to finish.
  • Juicy and cheesy.
  • Easily customizable with whatever you’ve got on hand, including frozen broccoli, optional fresh herbs and literally any spices stashed in your pantry.
  • It’s a great way to sneak more veggies into your diet without sacrificing flavor.

Ingredients

The options are really endless when it comes to stuffed chicken breasts, but this recipe keeps it easy and cheesy.

A quick mix of broccoli, cheddar, cream cheese and herbs leads to the most flavorful filling. But don’t let the perfect pairing of broccoli and cheddar stop you from using whatever else you’ve got! See below for ideas on different substitutions you can make to use up those odds and ends in your fridge.

Various sizes of glass bowls containing stuffed chicken ingredients, including olive oil, garlic powder, scallions, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, broccoli and chicken breasts.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: The lean, protein-packed base for our stuffed chicken. Look for chicken breasts that are evenly sized to ensure even cooking.
  • Broccoli florets: Fresh or frozen can be used, just be sure to follow my instructions to avoid any excess moisture that can make the filling too runny.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: For a rich and flavorful filling, I recommend using sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Cream cheese: Adds creaminess and helps bind the filling together. I recommend using full-fat cream cheese for the best texture and flavor. If you’re looking for a lighter option, you can use reduced-fat or neufchâtel cream cheese instead. Additionally, goat cheese or feta cheese can be used for a tangy twist on the filling.
  • Fresh herbs: I love the bright, oniony flavor that fresh chives add, but feel free to swap the out for whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.
  • Spices: This is where you can really make this dish your own! I love adding garlic powder and cumin to the broccoli and cheese filling as they bring out such rich flavors. But don’t hesitate to add your favorite seasonings to suit your palate. Smoked paprika, onion powder or Italian seasoning would all be delicious.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Cheese: Swap out the cheddar cheese for your favorite cheese variety, such as Monterey Jack, Swiss or even pepper jack for a spicy kick. Firmer cheeses like Parmesan and gruyere would also be welcome additions, but I’d steer clear of anything that’s extra-soft (think Brie or mascarpone) because we want the filling to stay intact.
  • Veggies: Cauliflower, spinach, bell peppers or even mushrooms can all add delicious flavor and texture to this chicken breast recipe.
  • Herbs and spices: Don’t have chives on hand? No worries! Feel free to swap them out for other fresh herbs or dried spices. Try parsley, basil, oregano or even a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Don’t be afraid to get creative and tailor the spices to your liking!

Get inspired by exploring my other stuffed chicken recipes, including Stuffed Jalapeno Popper Chicken and Asparagus and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken.

How to Make Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

  1. Steam the broccoli in your microwave. Microwaving the broccoli with a little water helps to steam it quickly and efficiently. Be sure to cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plate to trap the steam and prevent it from escaping.
  2. Drain the steamed broccoli on paper towels before chopping it. This additional (quick!) step will guarantee the perfect consistency for your broccoli-cheddar filling.
  3. Prepare the filling. Mix the chopped broccoli, cheese, cream cheese, chives, salt, and pepper together until well combined. Taste the filling and adjust the seasoning if necessary before stuffing the chicken breasts.
  4. Cut a pocket in the chicken breasts. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side. Hold the chicken breast firmly on a cutting board while making the incision to ensure control and safety.
  5. Stuff the chicken breasts. Season the outside with salt, pepper and any other of your preferred spices.
  1. Sear the chicken breasts. Searing the chicken breasts in a hot skillet before baking helps seal in moisture and create a flavorful crust. Make sure the skillet is hot before adding the chicken to ensure a nice sear but be careful not to overcrowd the pan, which can cause the chicken to steam instead of sear.
  2. Bake until the thickest part of each breast reaches 165°F. This usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meal Prep Tip: You can prep these a day in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to bake.

How do I prevent the filling from falling out while cooking?

While securing the chicken breasts closed with a toothpick is an option, it’s really not necessary for this recipe. A few helpful tips to keep your filling inside your stuffed chicken breasts include:

  • Cut a pocked very deep into each chicken breast (without cutting all the way through)
  • Firmly pack the filling into the pockets
  • If any filling does spill out during the searing or baking process, simply scoop it back in!

Tips

  • Chop the broccoli into small, pea-sized pieces.
  • Chicken breasts often come with the chicken tender still attached to the bottom. Remove the tenders and save them for another use before continuing with the recipe.
  • Frozen broccoli can be substituted for fresh, however it should be fully thawed/steamed (as directed in the recipe) and then drained well.
  • Once the chicken breasts are done baking, allow them to rest a few minutes before slicing and serving. This lets the juices spread evenly for a juicier, tastier dish.

What to Serve with Stuffed Chicken

Serve these broccoli-cheddar stuffed chicken breasts with rice pilaf and a refreshing spinach strawberry salad or wedge salad for a complete meal your family will love! Here are a few more sides to serve alongside this easy chicken dinner:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different veggies or cheese?

Absolutely! This recipe will work great with cauliflower, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms and/or any type of cheese that has a decent melt factor, such as pepper jack, Swiss and Parmesan. Steer clear of anything that’s extra-soft (think Brie or mascarpone)

Can I use frozen broccoli?

Yes, but with a few adjustments. Frozen broccoli contains additional moisture, and our goal is a very compact filling that isn’t too runny. So if you are using frozen broccoli, it’s important to thaw it completely before continuing with the recipe as directed.

Can I make this on the stove instead of the oven?

Absolutely! Just start them at a lower heat so they’ll cook all the way through.

Broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken breast on a plate with a romaine lettuce salad, and a fork and knife.

More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love

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Main Course

Broccoli-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Breasts

You're only a few simple ingredients and 25 minutes away from a family favorite recipe for Broccoli-Cheddar stuffed Chicken Breasts.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.91 from 21 votes
Broccoli and cheddar stuffed chicken breast on a dinner plate with a crisp green salad.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives or other fresh herbs
  • Garlic powder, cumin or other spices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Place the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl then add 2 tablespoons water. Cover the bowl (a large plate works best) then microwave the broccoli for 2 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the microwave and drain it very well on paper towels.
  • Chop the broccoli into small, pea-sized pieces then add it back to the bowl.
  • To the bowl, add the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, chives, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir until well-combined.
  • Arrange the chicken breasts on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, cut a deep pocket lengthwise into each chicken breast without cutting all the way through to the other side.
  • Divide the broccoli mixture among the chicken breasts, pressing it firmly into each pocket.
  • Season the outsides of the chicken breasts on both sides with garlic powder, salt, pepper and any other preferred spices.
  • Divide the olive oil among two ovenproof skillets set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add two chicken breasts to each pan. Sear the chicken for 3 minutes on one side then flip it once and sear an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the skillets to the oven and continue cooking the chicken breasts until the thickest part of each breast reaches 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and serve.

Kelly’s Notes

  • Chicken breasts often come with the chicken tender still attached to the bottom. Remove the tenders and save them for another use before continuing with the recipe.
  • Frozen broccoli can be substituted for the fresh, however it should be fully thawed/steamed (as directed in the recipe) and then drained well.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 491kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 132mg, Sodium: 463mg, Potassium: 695mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1107IU, Vitamin C: 63mg, Calcium: 357mg, Iron: 1mg

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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4.91 from 21 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    First attempt. Not what I wanted but close…my fault not the recipe. Question, do you pound you chicken breast before cutting pockets?

    1. Hi John! I do not, but if yours are particularly thick, you can definitely pound them until they’re thinner.

  2. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I was looking for new recipes during the shutdown and found this broccoli-cheddar stuffed chicken breast recipe. I’m glad I tried it!

      1. Hi Tracie! I haven’t tried that but my initial thought is that the mixture will be too thin.

  3. Made it! Didn’t use the measurements but used all the ingredients plus some extra seasoning on the chicken and it was perfect! You can’t mess this up.

    1. 5 stars
      DELICIOUS!!!!
      These Stuffed Chicken Breast were delicious!!! I only had smaller chicken breast so I ended up putting the stuffing on top of the chicken breasts and covered them with foil. baked for 10 min. Then uncovered for about 10 min. Perfect!!!

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I didn’t change a thing except of halved the recipe because there was only two of us. My chicken breasts were huge and ideal for stuffing. It was easy and came together well. Seasoning was perfect.

      1. Could this recipe be any easier (not to mention, more delish)!? The prep and cooking flew by (really only took 30 minutes!)
        I stuck with the seasonings mentioned in the recipe too (salt, pepper, garlic powder, scallions – to replace chives) because that’s all I had handy. And to be honest, I don’t think I will make it any other way!
        We loved it so much (my three-year-old included), it’s safe to say it will be a recipe in our routine rotation for dinner!

      2. Love, love, LOVE reading this, Cayla! I’m so thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe!

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