Filed Under: Chicken | Main Dish | Weeknight

Pesto and Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Recipe By Tessa Arias
March 13th, 2013

This recipe produces something delicious and gourmet without too many ingredients or too much work.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 22 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: I love the fresh, slightly pungent, and slightly salty taste of pesto and I love the tang of cream cheese and when they are stuffed inside chicken everything becomes magical.
Texture: The chicken itself is ultra moist and tender while the filling just oozes out in the most luscious and creamy way possible.
Ease: Only a couple of ingredients. Use a thin, sharp knife to cut pockets into the chicken for stuffing.
Appearance: A little messy looking but once you slice the chicken and see the creamy green filling your mouth will probably start watering.
Pros: Totally doable and tasty weeknight meal. Also, guilt-free.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes

Pesto Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

YOU GUYS! If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I got my first advanced copy of my cookbook a couple of days ago! Cookies + Cream will release May 14th but you can preorder it now and even take a sneak peek inside on Amazon. A couple of hours after receiving my copy in the mail I was sitting on the couch and something caught my eye over at the kitchen table. I turned around and saw something reflecting light and thought “What is that?” for a split second before remembering it was my (!) cookbook. Such a dork. But it really reminded me of what a fabulous quality job Running Press did with the book. It’s better than I could have ever imagined. Thank you to everyone who sent me congratulatory messages over these past couple of days. It felt like it was already my birthday!

Okay… enough book excitement. Now let’s move onto chicken excitement (if there was ever such a thing). This recipe produces something delicious and gourmet without too many ingredients or too much work. Each bite melts in your mouth. It would be great for a weeknight meal or for company and is relatively guilt-free which I love (allows for more ice cream sandwiches).

Check out this post on How to Make Homemade Pesto.

How to make
Pesto and Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
This recipe produces something delicious and gourmet without too many ingredients or too much work.


  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cream cheese and pesto.
  3. Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of each chicken breast half, nearly through the opposite side but being careful not to slice through completely. Divide the filling evenly between each breast pocket. Close the breast over the filling and press the edges together to seal.
  4. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork in a medium bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Carefully hold each chicken breast half together and dip in the egg white then dredge in the breadcrumbs to coat completely.
  5. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until well browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Place the chicken, browned-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and registers 170°F with a thermometer, about 20 minutes.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — March 13, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Definitely something I need to try. I love almost anything involving cream cheese

  2. #
    Tieghan — March 13, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Yum! What and awesome way to dress up boring chicken!

  3. #
    Cookin Canuck — March 13, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Congratulations on you cookbook! It must have been an amazing feeling to hold a copy in your hands.

    Stuffed chicken always makes such a great meal, and I love anything with pesto in it.

  4. #
    Diane @ Vintage Zest — March 13, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Oh how fun and exciting! I’m putting it on my wishlist for sure. 🙂

    Honestly, I’ve never made stuffed chicken before, so this will be a first for me. Thanks!

  5. #
    Tracey — March 13, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Congratulations again on your cookbook Tessa, I can’t wait to check it out!

    I actually have a jar of pesto in my fridge that desperately needs to be used up so your timing is perfect – this looks amazing!

  6. #
    Linda | The Urban Mrs — March 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    First of all, CONGRATS ON COOKIES-N-CREAM. I just took a peek at the book, what a lovely recipe book. Placed an order! and this pesto chicken, definitely something to die for! Love the pesto and hubs is a fan for stuffed chicken, too. Yum!

  7. #
    Stacey — March 13, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Congrats on your book! Quite an accomplishment. The chicken looks delish and very do-able.

  8. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — March 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    First of all – congratulations girl! So excited for your cookbook to come out. I’m sure it’s going to be incredible! Second of all – this chicken looks fabulous. Pinned!

  9. #
    Rachel Cooks — March 14, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I’ve been obsessed with stuffing chicken breasts lately. These look amazing! So excited about your book! Let me know if you need people to do reviews 🙂

  10. #
    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — March 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    How exciting about your cookbook – congratulations! Your chicken looks delicious too 🙂

  11. #
    Renee Mason — May 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Im trying this now! looks great:-)

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