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Cheesy Grilled Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Canadian Bacon & Walnuts

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spinach stuffed grilled chicken

 

Summer has just begun, and my grill is already getting quite a workout! 😀 I had some leftover ingredients to play around with, along with some chicken breasts in the freezer, and a few boxes and jars of pastas and sauces begging to be used from the pantry!

 

spinach filling

 

I had extra ricotta cheese and spinach from my recently made Stovetop Manicotti that had to be used right away, so I whipped up an easy, cheesy filling that would go nicely with the chicken.

 

prepped chicken breasts

 

I thawed what I thought was a package of three chicken breasts, but they were huge and there were only two in there. But that was fine. There’s just the two of us anyways. 😉 So you can do two, three, or possibly even four small ones using the same amount of filling.

Since I pretty much suck at pounding chicken, I just slit them open and butterflied them. So you can pound away or cheat like me. 😉

 

chicken w canadian bacon

 

We aslo had an open package of Canadian bacon from a quick homemade pizza, so that was a nice surprise addition!

If making more than 2 of these, you’ll need a few slices more , of course.

 

spinach chicken assembly

 

This looks like too much filling, but trust me, it wasn’t. 😉

 

spinach chicken tied

 

Then just tie them up by wrapping a little cotton string around them. Keep it simple, though, so that it can be easily removed later.

 

spinach chicken tied 2

 

One always does funny, but don’t worry, they don’t have to be perfect. They grill up beautifully!!! And funny thing is, the ugly one actually turned out to be the pretty one later! 😀 So you can’t go wrong! 😉 😀

 

spinach chicken on grill

 

I heated the other side of the grill, and placed these over INdirect heat rather than right over the flames, because I wanted to “bake” these slower.

 

spinach chicken mozz

 

The one thing that I forgot to do – – was remove that string before I topped them with the fresh mozzarella cheese!!!! oops.

But it actually came off easily when we ate it, so it wasn’t a biggie. But do remember to remove it first before topping, especially if you’re planning on serving this to guests.

 

spinach chicken mozz melted

 

I just continued to bake the chicken on the cool side until the cheese melted, about another 5 minutes.

 

spinach chicken done

 

These turned out so gorgeous! I was so very happy with them! 😀

 

spinach chicken done 2

 

And they ended up perfectly done. A little browning and not dry one bit! 😀

 

spinach stuffed grilled chicken

 

Since I had a “collection” of pastas and sauces, I served these beauties with some of Barilla’s Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce and twirled angel hair pasta. But this would also be lovely served with a nice wild or brown rice pilaf, or just a simple garden salad!

My hubby isn’t a big “ricotta fan”, but raved and raved over this! So if there’s someone in your family that you’re worried about not liking this, they may surprise you! If they absolutely refuse to give this a try, you could always try making this with cottage cheese if that’s an option.

So if you’re looking for something impressive to make, without a lot of fuss, I think that you’ll really enjoy this! I’m not sure what to tell you about how many servings this is, though, because my hubby ate all of his, and mine lasted me three meals! So just use your best judgment and keep in mind appetite sizes!

Hope you enjoy and keep on grillin’! 😀

 

Yield: 2-3 servings

Cheesy Grilled Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Canadian Bacon & Walnuts

Cheesy Grilled Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Canadian Bacon & Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 2 extra-large boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 3 medium-sized
  • 4 thin slices lean canadian bacon
  • 4 thick slices fresh mozzarella
  • 1/2 of a 1 lb. box angel hair pasta
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar Barilla's Roasted Garlic pasta sauce (*reserve 1/2 cup)

For Spinach Filling:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated or ground parmesan cheese, fresh or canned
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 Tbl. jarred basil pesto
  • 1/2 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese, I like Sargento's Traditional Cut
  • 2 Tbl. toasted walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  • Trim chicken breasts of any fat. Pound to 1/2" - 3/4" thick, or simply slice open through thickest part, butterflying.
  • Top each with 2 slices Canadian bacon.
  • In medium bowl, stir together filling ingredients well. Top each with filling.
  • Press closed, and tie with cooking string, wrapping around simply, for ease of removing later.
  • Heat one side of grill to medium-high heat. Oil grates on cool side, and place filled breasts, filling side-up, onto grill. Close lid and grill until done, about 30-35 minutes.
  • Remove string. Top each with thick slices of fresh mozzarella, close lid and melt cheese, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove to an oven-safe baking dish, and place into a low oven to keep warm while preparing any side dishes.
  • Serve topped with the 1/2 cup reserved sauce (warmed), a garden-fresh tossed salad, and angel hair pasta with sauce. (*Also goes nicely with a wild rice pilaf.)
  • *Garnish with fresh basil if desired.
  • Notes

    *If making 3 smaller ones, you'll need more Canadian bacon, and thick-sliced fresh mozzarella. The filling should be plenty, however.
    **Grilling times will be less for smaller, thinner chicken breasts.


     

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