Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes

4.62 from 21 votes
45 minutes
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Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes is easy, elegant and a delicious way to use some of your summer basil pesto and tomatoes.  This makes an impressive date night dinner that looks like you fussed!

Photo of Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes being served with serving fork from white baking dish.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

An abundance of fresh basil in the summer is a wonderful problem to have so we always try to make the most of it!

Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes is an easy, elegant chicken dish for two that came about from trying to find another use besides pasta for our basil abundance which we often just turned into pesto.

It’s inspired by French gratins which are generally anything baked in a shallow dish–often oval–with a crusty, cheese topping like this dish.

Photo of Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes in white baking dish with serving fork.

First, however, we need to make some pesto!

Tips for making basil pesto:

  • You can definitely use prepared pesto for this dish, but what you make now during the summer with fresh basil is going to be far superior to anything you can buy.
  • Here’s all you need to make a basic basil pesto:
    • Fresh basil
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Pine nuts
    • Garlic
    • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Photo of ingredients for basil pesto.
  • After picking the basil from your garden, you’ll want to immerse the basil (stems and all) in a sink full of cool water.  Dirt will fall to the bottom and insects will detach themselves.
  • Remove the leaves, then repeat the immersion process to remove every last impurity.
  • Place the leaves in a salad spinner to remove as much excess water as possible.
  • Then, spread out on a large kitchen or bath towel to dry some more for an hour or so.
  • Combine everything in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Photo of finished basil pesto in food processor.

Voila!  Amazing fresh basil pesto!

Photo of finished basil pesto in glass jar being stirred with wooden spoon.

How to make Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes:

  • Carefully butterfly two boneless skinless chicken breast halves being careful to not cut all the way through.
Photo of two butterflied chicken breasts on white cutting board.
  • Season the chicken with salt and black pepper, then place a heaping tablespoon of pesto on the chicken then top with approximately 1-ounce of goat cheese.
Photo of butterflied chicken breasts with pesto and goat cheese placed in the center.
  • Close the chicken breasts then secure with toothpicks and place in a baking dish.  Place halved Roma tomatoes around the chicken.  Roma tomatoes are low in moisture and are used to make tomato sauces and paste so they hold up well in this dish.
Photo of stuffed chicken breasts and plum tomatoes in white oval baking dish.
  • Make the crispy, cheesy topping by combining the following:
    • Panko breadcrumbs
    • Seasoned dry breadcrumbs
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Garlic
    • Parsley
    • Olive oil (extra-virgin or any other)
Photo of ingredients for crispy topping in glass bowls.
  • Scatter it over the top of the chicken and tomatoes.
  • Bake…
Photo of dish with breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top before being baked.

That’s it!

Photo of Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes in white baking dish garnished with fresh basil.

Cheesy deliciousness with basil pesto, summer tomatoes, a crispy, crunchy topping

Photo of Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes on white distressed background with white kitchen towel garnished with fresh basil.

Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes for a lovely summery chicken dish you’ll be proud to serve your loved one!  This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a family dinner or casual get-together with friends!  Best of all, you can make it ahead of time!

Close-up photo of Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes cut in half to reveal pesto and goat cheese filling.

This is now a favorite of ours and it’s the perfect late summer supper for two.  A piece of good, crusty bread is nice to mop up the flavorful juices at the bottom of the baking dish.

Enjoy!

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Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes - Finished dish being served with serving fork from white baking dish

Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes

4.62 from 21 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes is easy, elegant and a delicious way to use some of your summer basil pesto and tomatoes.  This makes an impressive date night dinner that looks like you fussed!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 2
Calories 1182 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pesto

  • 2-3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts - toasted if desired
  • 3 cloves garlic - coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Chicken and Tomatoes

  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heaping tablespoons basil pesto
  • 2 ounces goat cheese - about half a 4-ounce log
  • 3 plum tomatoes - halved
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons panko
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Basil sprigs for garnish - for garnish

Instructions
 

Pesto

  • Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.

Chicken and Tomatoes

  • Preheat oven 375 degrees. Spray a large oval baking dish with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
  • Butterfly the chicken breasts. Season inside and out with salt and black pepper.
  • Place equal amounts of the pesto, followed by the goat cheese in each chicken breast. Secure with toothpicks and place in the prepared baking dish.
  • Arrange tomato halves (cut side up) around chicken breasts. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Combine Parmesan cheese, panko, seasoned dry breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic, and parsley in a small bowl. Scatter evenly over chicken breasts and tomato halves.
  • Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until cooked through to 165 degrees in the center of the filling and topping is lightly browned and crusty. Remove toothpicks prior to serving.

Notes

This recipe is easily doubled to four servings.  Allow two tomato halves per person and use the entire log of goat cheese and twice the amount of pesto.
MAKE AHEAD: Stuff the chicken up to 12 hours ahead of time; refrigerate. When ready to bake, mix together the breadcrumb mixture and cut tomatoes. Arrange, top and bake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 1182kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 100g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 58g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1002mg | Potassium: 933mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2855IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 599mg | Iron: 5mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.62 from 21 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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21 Comments

  1. Hi, Johanna, Thank you SOOO very much! Your comment really made my day!! So glad you and you family enjoy so much; this is one of our favorites too, especially in the summertime. Thank you again so much and I really appreciate your reading and following!