This herb cream cheese stuffed chicken is a fun and flavourful recipe, and perfect for a family dinner! Easy to make, the fresh cream cheese and herb stuffing comes together in minutes and is so tasty for a simple gluten free chicken recipe.
OK so let's talk about the elephant in the room . . . This isn't the prettiest dish I know, but it tastes so good! The centre is flavoured with creamy cheese, herbs and garlic and my dad gave his approval (for someone who usually says something is 'fine' and thinks that is a compliment, saying he liked it is a big deal!!).
But why the not-so pretty zucchini I hear you ask? Well aside from getting some veggies into the mix and being a healthy swap for bacon wrapped chicken, it really helps prevent the chicken from drying out. It keeps it all juicy and tender, and extra tasty. You can make without the zucchini, but I recommend with.
Why this recipe is so good
Perfect herby-garlicky taste! Is garlicky even a word? Who knows, but the combination of fresh herbs and garlic with cream cheese is such a good one and a delicious stuffing for chicken breasts.
Easy family dinner idea. With minimal ingredients, this is a simple but tasty dinner that goes down well both with kids and adults alike. And if you grow your own herbs the kids can help pick them for their meal!
Gluten free and low histamine chicken dinner. Satisfies both dietary requirements, just have a check of the ingredients of the cream cheese to make sure it is suitable for you.
All the ingredients are in the recipe card below, but some notes on a few of them:
- Skinless chicken breasts - try and buy fresh and good quality, with chicken breasts to the size of preference (and roughly equal sizes not the very uneven sizes in the photo!).
- Fresh herbs - use those you like best! I do a mix of rosemary, parsley, sage, mint and cilantro, but you can easily swap in out. Rosemary and sage have stronger flavours if that's your preference.
- Cream cheese - use a brand with as few additives as possible. I often find that store-own brands, or cheaper brands, have less additives!
Variations to the recipe
I do suggest making your own stuffing with cream cheese and fresh herbs as it has less additives and is much more fresh and delicious. However, if time is tight you can swap out and use a store-bought brand such as Boursin or the Philadelphia herb and garlic cream cheese for your stuffed chicken. My low histamine readers may be better off making their own as per the recipe.
Swap out the fresh herbs to those you prefer. There are so many choices, from rosemary to chives and many others in between!
Step by step instructions
While it may seem like quite a few steps to make this herbs and garlic cream cheese stuffed chicken breast, all are easy to do!
Make the cream cheese mixture by combining the cream cheese, fresh herbs and garlic. Season with salt and back pepper (if using) to taste. Stir well to combine (image 1).
Peel long strips of zucchini using a peeler (image 2). Depending upon the size of your chicken you will likely need 4-5 strips of zucchini per chicken breast.
If your chicken breasts are particularly thick you may wish to place between cling film / plastic wrap and give them a bash to flatten a little with a meat mallet. If not, simply use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the chicken breast. Try not to pierce all the way through.
Then use a small spoon to press the cream cheese into the pocket of the chicken breast (image 3).
Wrap the chicken breasts with your strips of zucchini. I suggest having the ends of the zucchini all underneath the breast on the same side. Try and overlap the zucchini as it will shrink down when baked in the oven (image 4).
Drizzle a little olive oil into a skillet and carefully place the chicken breast so the ends of the zucchini are underneath. Fry for 5-10 minutes on a low heat, turning over occasionally. Keep the heat fairly low and watch for any signs the zucchini is burning (image 5). Yes, I got 'had' on that one as you can see in image 6, oops!
Place the chicken breasts in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes on a lined baking tray (image 6). Check for an internal temperature of 165F at the thickest point of the chicken and for all white meat throughout.
Recipe tips and notes
- If the chicken breast is on the thicker side, you can either cut into smaller thinner pieces and/or place under plastic wrap and flatten using a meat mallet (or a rolling pin works too!).
- Peel the zucchini into thick strips if possible as it will shrink when baked in the oven.
- Overlap the zucchini strips around the chicken so it covers it as much as possible.
- If you are unable to make your own herb cream cheese mixture, and it is suitable for you, then you can swap for Boursin or Philadelphia. I think fresh herbs and garlic taste better though!
- Check the chicken is cooked through by looking for an internal temperature of 165F at its thickest point. Use a meat thermometer to do so.
Recommended sides for chicken
I like to serve this chicken on a bed of sweet potato mash, but some other equally tasty options and sides are:
Skillet - to fry the chicken.
Peeler - to peel the zucchini into strips.
Sharp knife - to cut the pocket into the chicken breasts.
Meat thermometer - to check the internal temperature.
More chicken recipes
Herb cream cheese stuffed chicken
- Sharp knife
- Vegetable peeler
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoon cream cheese
- 3 tablespoon mixed fresh herbs diced
- 1 garlic clove minced or finely diced
- 1 zucchini sliced lengthways
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch salt and black pepper optional
- Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Combine the cream cheese, diced herbs, garlic, salt and black pepper (if using) and stir well.
- Peel the zucchini lengthways so you have long strips.
- Make a pocket in the chicken by slicing into the breast. Spoon in the cream filling. If the chicken is particularly thick, you may wish to bash it a little under some plastic wrap to flatten first.
- Wrap the chicken breasts in the zucchini, trying to overlap the zucchini if you can. Wrap so the ends of the zucchini are all underneath the chicken breast.
- In a little olive oil, fry the chicken breasts in a skillet. Place so the ends of the zucchini are on the bottom, touching the skillet first. Fry for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Keep the heat low so the zucchini doesn't burn.
- Transfer the chicken breasts to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, depending upon their size. Check for an internal temperature of 165F at the deepest part of the chicken.
- If required, flatten the chicken breast by covering with plastic wrap and using a meat mallet (or other equipment) to bash it into a thinner piece.
- Overlap the zucchini strips as they will shrink down when baked in the oven.
- Adjust the amount of herbs and garlic to taste preference.
- Check for an internal temperature of 165F at the deepest part of the chicken to ensure it is is thoroughly cooked through.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- cream cheese scores 0, but do check for additives as they will vary from brand to brand.
- most herbs score 0, but check the ratings for those you choose to use.
- black pepper, which scores 2.