Grated Zucchini Stuffed Chicken Breasts
These zucchini stuffed chicken breasts are juicy and a great way to not have dry chicken. Enjoy this easy skillet dinner anytime of the week.
Zucchini Stuffed Chicken Breasts
It took us a while to really appreciate eating chicken breasts. They were never our go-to cut of chicken because they’re so much drier and less flavorful than chicken thighs or drumsticks. Unless the chicken breasts were battered, fried and dipped in some type of bbq sauce, we rarely ever cooked them. It wasn’t until we started developing more chicken recipes for other projects that our understanding grew for how to prepare them to maximize juiciness and flavor. There’s a way to make chicken breasts juicy and delicious. We just needed to figure it out.
Video: Zucchini Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe
Grated Zucchini Makes Juicy Chicken Breasts
When we were working on our slew of zucchini recipes for our magazine idea in 2015, we thought about creating a zucchini stuffed chicken breast. To get the most out of the zucchini, the thought of grating the zucchini would add extra moisture to the chicken breasts. The nutritional value of both the zucchini and chicken was what we were aiming for first. Then the pairing of the two in the oven created an absolutely perfect and juicy breast. That was the added surprise bonus!
Does the Zucchini Get Cooked?
The grated zucchini cooks perfectly when stuffed in the chicken breast and the moisture that the zucchini imparts, makes the breasts juicy and perfect. We had a taste test with some friends specifically avoided chicken breasts. When they tasted these stuffed beauties, they were blown away at how juicy and flavorful each bite was. They couldn’t believe that these were chicken breasts! Always a favorite, these chicken breasts are a meal in themselves. Stuffed with tender, grated zucchini and finished in the oven, all you need is a small salad and call it a healthy and satisfying weeknight dinner. Give them a try, share them with friends and you’ll have a wonderful conversation piece along with this healthy dinner.
Can you use boneless chicken thighs?
Sure you can! and the flavor will be richer too because chicken thighs are more flavorful. But they can be a little tricker to stuff so with a little patience, you can have stuffed chicken thighs for dinner. One of our readers made this recipe with chicken thighs and they love it. Even gave us a 5-star rating for this recipe!
diane and todd
Grated Zucchini Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 2 pounds (907 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3-4 breasts)
- 2 cups (250 g) coarsely grated zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil , divided
- ½ medium onion , minced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced or crushed
- ¼ cup (15 g) chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) paprika
- 1/3 cup (35 g) parmesan cheese
- kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
- fresh grated black pepper , to taste
- 8 ounces (227 g) cherry tomatoes (Optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Heat large oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, then add onions and garlic. Cook until softened, about 1 minute.
- Add zucchini, parsley, paprika and cook until zucchini is tender, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour zucchini mixture into a bowl.
- Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to the sauteed zucchini. Allow this mixture to cool.
- In the meantime, slice the center of each chicken breast lengthwise, creating a deep pocket to stuff all the zucchini. Careful not to slice the whole chicken breast completely in half.
- Divide the zucchini mixture between the chicken breasts and stuff each breast with zucchini.
- Generously season each side of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Wipe the same skillet free of the zucchini juices. Heat the pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to coat the pan.
- Sear each side of the chicken breasts for about 2-3 minutes or until a brown crust forms.
- After each side is seared, add cherry tomatoes to the skillet with the chicken and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Then season with salt and pepper. Transfer the skillet to pre-heated oven.
- Bake chicken for about 12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Thicker chicken breasts will take a little longer to cook.
- Serve warm with your favorite zucchini noodles, pasta, rice or on a salad.
Nutrition Information per Serving
How to Freeze leftovers
If you have leftovers, these can easily be frozen. Just store them in air tight plastic bags or containers. You can freeze them up to 3 months. Try not to freeze for longer than that because it can get freezer burn and dry out. Before eating, you have to thaw them in the fridge to make sure it’s thawed all the way through. You can also cut it in half when it’s partially thawed so it can thaw quicker. Microwave it for a few minutes until it’s heated through. If it’s still slightly frozen in the middle (the zucchini part) you can still microwave it and it should be easy to re-heat.