Stuffed chicken breasts Southwest style are like a little party for the tastebuds and a feast for the eyes! Filled with pepper jack cheese, black beans, corn, and slices of roasted red peppers, this is a deliciously bold and zesty chicken dish to prepare for a taste of something a little “festive” and fun!
These Stuffed Chicken Breasts Have Flavor Galore!
While there are certainly a myriad of scrumptious ways to prepare a simple chicken breast, the one that I find most flavorful, creative and enticing is a stuffed chicken breast.
I personally happen to really enjoy Southwest flavors—those zippy, bright notes from fresh lime juice and zesty spices.
So one my favorite cheese stuffed chicken breast recipes to whip up is one brimming with lots of colorful ingredients fit for a "fiesta". 😉
Grilled off then finished in the oven, these stuffed chicken breasts are filled with lots of creamy and mildly spicy pepper jack cheese, a sprinkle of black beans and corn, plus a few slices of sweet, smoky roasted red peppers for Southwest kick!
Super colorful, juicy and succulent, it's a cozy chicken recipe that's a little flavor party for your tastebuds! 😉
How to Make Stuffed Chicken Breasts with a Southwest Flair
Whenever I prepare stuffed chicken breasts, I like to marinate them first before grilling them off for a few minutes, then stuffing and baking them.
Since we're talking Southwest flavors here, a hint of freshly squeezed lime juice and zest, plus ground cumin, paprika, coriander and oregano are what I allow the chicken to rest in for about twenty minutes, absorbing all those tasty flavors.
Then the chicken gets a smidge more flavor from a quick trip into a grill pan before getting stuffed, just to create some char and golden-brown color. This doesn't cook the chicken through all the way, which is perfectly fine—the oven will finish it off!
When it comes to stuffing the chicken breasts, I simply create a pocket in the thickest part of the breast using a small knife, then add in my filling ingredients and close the seam with toothpicks before finishing off these baked stuffed chicken breasts in the oven.
Here's a glance at my stuffed chicken breasts recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- I like to impart a bit of extra zippy flavor to the chicken breasts, so I allow for a 20 minute marination in olive oil, lime juice and zest, plus a variety of other tasty seasonings and spices.
- To create those pretty grill marks and some additional smoky flavor, I grill my chicken breasts for several minutes, just until golden-brown, but not yet cooked through.
- Next comes the stuffing: I create a pocket in the thickest part of the breast, taking care not to cut all the way through; then, I carefully stuff the pocket with my cheese and the remainder of my filling ingredients before closing the seam with a couple of toothpicks to keep the filling secured.
- To finish, I place the stuffed chicken breasts onto a prepared baking sheet and bake for roughly 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and looking mouthwatering with its bubbly, melted cheese!
Stuffed Chicken Breasts Southwest Style
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 528 calories (per stuffed chicken breast)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (tenderloins removed and saved for another use)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill pan
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch black pepper
- 1 ¼ cup shredded pepper-jack cheese
- ½ cup black beans
- ½ cup corn kernels
- ¼ cup sliced roasted red peppers (from jar)
- Pico de Gallo (prepared), for garnish
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Lime slices/wedges, for garnish
- Place the chicken breasts into a medium-size bowl, and add in all of the ingredients beginning with the olive oil, up to and including the black pepper, and toss to season the meat well; marinate the chicken for at least 20 minutes, or even overnight, if preparing ahead.
- Once chicken in marinated, preheat your oven to 350°, and line a baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack.
- Preheat your grill pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 1-2 tablespoons of oil; once hot, add in the chicken breasts (work in a couple of batches, if necessary) and grill them for about 3 minutes per side, or just until golden on the outside (the chicken will not be cooked through at this point, which is fine.)
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, make a pocket in the thickest part of the breast, taking care not to cut all the way through, but just creating a large enough of pocket to stuff with filling; add about ¼ cup of the cheese, then a couple of tablespoons each of the black beans and corn, and then a few slices of the roasted red peppers.
- Use a couple of toothpicks to secure the opening, and place the stuffed breasts onto the wire rack, and place into the oven to bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted and gooey.
- Top each stuffed chicken breast with some of the Pico de Gallo, plus a few cilantro leaves, if desired, and a slice/wedge of lime, for garnish.
Tips & Tidbits for my Stuffed Chicken Breasts Southwest Style:
- Remove the tenderloins from the chicken breasts: You'll notice that often times there is a little tenderloin attached to a chicken breast, and for this recipe, I like to remove that and save it for another use. The tenderloin tends to get in the way of stuffing the breasts, so it's best to remove it.
- Ooey-gooey cheese: Pepper jack cheese has some great kick and added flavor, plus it melts really well. But if you prefer to use a milder cheese, simply use plain jack cheese, or even mozzarella, or sharp cheddar.
- Roasted red peppers, or diced green chilis: Because I love the added color and smoky-sweetness that roasted red peppers out of a jar add to this stuffed chicken recipe, I use those. But you could also sub finely diced green chilis, or even thinly-sliced fresh red, yellow or green bell peppers—even grilled onions!
- Some fresh toppers: A little added tangy freshness is great as a finisher with these succulent cheese stuffed chicken breasts, so I love a couple of spoonfuls of pico de gallo and some cilantro leaves on top before serving. Add some additional lime wedges as well!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2015, and has been updated with even more love!