Every now and again, I go to this place called Let’s Dish. You assemble meals to freeze and cook at home. I like it because it’s a fun way to try out new ideas – especially if said new ideas require a bottle of some random sauce or seasoning you aren’t sure you even like! Plus, easy meals in the freezer are handy to have. Sometimes I even look through the menus online to see if there is anything that I like the sound of and think I can create at home without their recipe. That is exactly what happened with pizza chicken.
Now I’m not sure if this is how Let’s Dish makes their pepperoni stuffed chicken, but I saw the description and realized that I usually have all of these ingredients on hand. That meant I could give it a try right away at home. Pizza chicken is a chicken breast that’s stuffed with cheese and pepperoni, browned, covered by more cheese and then baked until the chicken is cooked through. The best part – and I mean absolute best part – is the crunchy edges of the cheese where it melts over the edge of the chicken and crisps up in the pan.
This is a pretty simple recipe for stuffed chicken breasts and you can definitely switch up the flavor profiles. I haven’t [yet] followed the Let’s Dish method and prepped this in advance and frozen it because this is already just a 25 to 30 minute meal and I don’t really need to speed that up.
Here’s what you need:
Start by butterflying the chicken breasts. I like to place my palm on the chicken breast to keep it stable and slide the knife through the middle gently. Once you get part way, you can start opening the chicken like a book and continue making little cuts to open it completely – just don’t cut all the way through.
Lay on a slice (or a half, depending on the size of your slices) of provolone cheese and then pepperoni slices.
Fold the top of the chicken over the provolone and pepperoni. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Two breasts fit nicely in an oven safe 10 inch skillet, which is what I’m cooking today – use a larger pan if you have 4 people. If you have a larger group than that, sear the chicken breasts in the pan in batches and then transfer to a sheet pan to finish cooking in the oven.
Heat the skillet over medium-high heat with 1 T of oil. When the oil is shimmering or just beginning to smoke add the chicken. Put the top side down first – even though we’re covering it with cheese, I’m in the habit of doing this because you get the best sear on the presentation side then. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the first side until you get a good sear and the chicken is golden.
Carefully flip over – note that I did not secure the chicken with toothpicks because I didn’t want to be bothered to take them out later. You can use two spatulas or tongs.
Transfer the pan to a 400 degree oven and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
After the first 5 to 6 minutes, top each chicken breast with a slice of provolone cheese. It’s ok if the cheese overhangs the chicken because we want those crispy cheesy edges.
This is what I’m talking about with the cheese.
Serve with pasta tossed in marinara sauce, topped with parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley.
When you cut into the chicken you’ll have this nice layer of pepperoni with some melty provolone. Yum!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 slices provolone cheese
- 8 sandwich slices of pepperoni, or enough regular pepperoni to create a slightly overlapping layer
- 1 T oil, olive oil or canola
- Parsley, chopped –optional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Carefully butterfly each chicken breast and fold open like a book – be careful not to cut all the way through.
- On one half of each chicken breast, layer half a slice of provolone and enough pepperoni to cover (about 4 sandwich size slices). Fold the half of the chicken back over the top.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a 10 inch, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Heat a tablespoon of oil until it shimmers.
- Add chicken breasts to pan, top down and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the top is brown. Carefully flip over, I like to use 2 spatulas but tongs work too.
- Transfer the pan to the hot oven. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from oven and top each chicken breast with a slice of provolone. Return to oven and cook for another 7 to 10 minutes until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove chicken from oven and serve. Garnish with parsley if desired.