pepperoni stuffed chicken

$3.66 recipe / $0.91 serving

It’s true, I usually am not a fan of chicken. I find the flavor and texture to be rather boring. BUT doctor it up just right and it can be the perfect protein-packed vehicle for lots of flavor! I stuffed these chicken breasts full of pepperoni and mozzarella, which can be a little heavy, so I went for a smaller serving size. I plan to pair it with a heaping side of pasta salad to round out the meal. In reality, the serving size isn’t that small (4 oz. of chicken plus the pepperoni and cheese) but most people are used to a full chicken breast as one serving. My chicken breasts were about a half pound each and I cut them in half to make four 1/4 pound pieces. It looks small because we’re used to over-sized portions but when you add your vegetable and grain side dishes, 4 oz. is plenty. If you still want a whole chicken breast to yourself, this recipe will still only be $1.83 per serving!

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken

5.0 from 4 reviews
pepperoni stuffed chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $3.66
Cost Per Serving: $0.91
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts $1.98
  • 2 oz. mozzarella cheese $0.40
  • 1¼ oz. (approx. 16 slices) pepperoni $0.54
  • 1 large egg $0.15
  • ½ cup all purpose flour $0.14
  • ½ cup bread crumbs $0.18
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.22
  • to taste salt and pepper $0.05
Instructions
  1. Trim the chicken breasts of any large clumps of fat that may be still attached. Slice each breast in half diagonally to create two diamond-like shaped pieces. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a pocket into the side of each breast piece. This can be slightly tricky on thinner pieces so be careful. Be sure not to cut all the way through the meat but rather just into one side so that the fillings will stay in. See photos below.
  2. Stuff each piece of chicken with ½ oz. of cheese and about 4 slices of pepperoni. Lightly season each piece with salt and pepper. Set the stuffed chicken aside.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Begin to heat a large skillet with 6 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium/high heat. Collect three shallow dishes and put the flour in one, the egg in another and the bread crumbs in the third. Beat the egg until it is an even consistency (adding a ½ tsp of water helps break it up).
  4. One by one, coat each piece of chicken in the flour, then the egg then the bread crumbs. Use your hands so that you can keep the open side of the pocket pinched closed and keep the fillings in. The flour helps the egg adhere and the egg keeps the bread crumbs in place. This is a basic bread coating.
  5. Test the oil in the skillet to see if it is hot enough by dropping a small pinch of bread crumbs in. The bread crumbs should sizzle and dance A LOT. It is very important that the oil is hot enough or else the breading will soak up a lot of oil and you’ll end up with some really greasy chicken!. Place all four pieces of chicken in the skillet and cook until it is golden brown and crispy on each side. This should take no more than 2-3 minutes.
  6. When you remove the chicken pieces from the skillet, transfer them to the baking sheet and place it in the oven. Finish baking the chicken (to cook the inside) for about 25 minutes (longer if you have larger pieces). Remove from the oven (check to make sure the chicken is cooked through) and serve immediately!

 

Step by Step Photos

half breastsI cut each chicken breast in half to make 4 oz. portions.

chicken pocketsSlice into the chicken breasts horizontally to create a pocket. Do not cut all the way through to the other side.

fillings for chickenCollect the fillings for your chicken.

stuffed chickenStuff the chicken pieces with the mozzarella and pepperoni.

bread the chickenCoat the chicken pieces in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.

frying chickenBriefly fry the stuffed chicken pieces on each side until they are golden brown. Finish baking in the oven at 350 degrees.

Pepperoni Stuffed ChickenNOTE: Buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be expensive ($3 or $4 per pound) so I always buy in bulk. Today I bought a five pound pack for just $1.98 per pound. The pack contained 10 breast pieces and as soon as I got home I packed them into to freezer bags in two-breast portions. That way, whenever I want to cook something with chicken, I can choose how much I want to thaw and keep the rest frozen. Saving $1-$2 per pound is WELL worth buying the larger pack.

I usually use turkey pepperoni but decided to go with the regular for this recipe. Honestly, I wish I had used the turkey pepperoni. It is much less greasy and you still get all of the spicy flavor. To lighten this recipe up, use part skim mozzarella and turkey pepperoni. You can also skip the frying step and just bake the breaded chicken.

Another serving idea for this dish would be to pour a little marinara over top of each piece and serve the whole shabang over some pasta. YUM!

40 Comments

  1. shaun says:

    Whenever I bread chicken this way, I find holding it shut while breading can get messy sometimes. Instead I like to after I stuff them, I put them on a dish and put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. It stiffens them up just enough so things don’t fall out.

  2. Hi All. I love making stuffed chicken fillets, however, I always have a problem with the cheese filling melting away before the chicken breast has fully cooked. By the time the chicken comes out of the oven, the cheese has melted, run out of the chicken, left a mess on the tray and no cheese in the chicken breast. Any tips for me? Should I use big chunks of cheese rather than grating it or slicing it? Is there any cheese that is better to use than others? Thanks. Kim

    • Yes, definitely use larger chunks of cheese rather than shredded. Also, pound your chicken with a mallet or rolling pin (cover it with plastic wrap first to prevent splatters) to make it thin, which will help it cook quickly.

  3. Leah Szczepanski says:

    My boyfriend and I made these last night and they were delicious! Both of us are new to cooking and we had never breaded anything before, so this took us a pretty long time to make, but both of us agreed that it was worth the effort.
    Also, this was a great way to use up leftover ingredients from the Pizzadillas we made the day before.

  4. I tried making this recipe tonight and it worked great! I had large chicken breasts but that made it quite easy to stuff. This is the first time a breading has ever worked for me haha!
    My boyfriend and I loved it, I will be making it again for sure!
    Thanks!

  5. Terry Lynn says:

    This was so damn good! I tweaked it a bit. I put the breasts into a zip-lock and used a mallet to beat them flat, used shredded mozzarella/cheddar, added a couple spoonfuls of 3 cheese pasta sauce I had left over. I rolled them up, tied them and rolled them in ranch and herb shake and bake. Oh my! Just…. oh my! <3 <3

  6. Malorie says:

    Since I’ve loved every recent recipe I’ve tried on this site, I started digging through the archives!

    Made this tonight, and it was fantastic. I used string cheese strips to stuff, since that was on hand. The pepperoni taste added to the dish, but didn’t overpower. Definitely on the “make again” list!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Very easy! Hubby and 4 yo liked it and they are both very picky! Will definiately make again! Thanks!

  8. Anonymous says:

    you do know she got it in a pack of 10 when it was on sale or something….so thats what she payed for buying more at a time

  9. Anonymous says:

    wow! That chicken is cheap! It is almost 3 bucks a lb here :( Looks good tho…will try! Thanks

  10. Shredded mozzarella should work fine :)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can we use shredded mozzerella instead of whole?

  12. Made this tonight, fantastic!!!

    Photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dwinning/7743971226/in/photostream

  13. Gina says:

    This recipe is great, so cheap and easy. My boyfriend and I are big lovers of making pizza at home so this recipe is a great use of leftover pizza ingredients. All I need is the chicken. It is perfect!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Made these tonight, and very tasty! I made it with turkey pepperoni and reduced fat jalepeno cheddar, so it was tasty and healthy. Thanks!

  15. I made this tonight for dinner. My boys (13, 13, and 10) went back for THIRDS! They never do that unless there’s pasta involved. It is definitely going into our meal roster. I used turkey pepperoni and sliced provolone (half a slice in each breast half) and panko bread crumbs.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. Anonymous says:

    If you want to use regulare pepperoni but don’t want the greasiness, put it on a papertowel and put it in the microwave for about a minute. The papertowel absorbs the grease and the pepperoni gets crispy. Can’t wait to try it in this recipe!

  17. I didn’t realize I defrosted chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, but waste not want not. I flattened them out a bit and rolled up the ingredients, securing the opening with toothpicks for the frying stage. Removed before baking and everything held. Great recipe and great idea :)

  18. Agenti99 – I would keep the same oven temp (350) and add about 15 extra minutes. That should do the trick!

  19. Do you have a suggestion for baking time/temp if you didn’t want to fry them? The recipe looks great but I would like to try to reduce the fat content a bit. (While keeping the pepperoni and cheese haha)

  20. I made these today for lunch. Very good and easier than I thought they would be! :D

  21. Excellent meal I added marinara sauce over top of it after wars as well as some sliced black olives and banana peppers and a little extra mozzarella cheese. It was delicious and I have enough of it to last me a week. I will definitely be making this again int he future and checking out some of your other recipes.
    Thanks!

  22. Out of everything we’ve tried these are my favorite so far.

  23. Melanie ;-) says:

    Mmm mmm good!

    This was last nights dinner of day#11. Made exactly as shown, with pasta on the side and some salad.

    I used chicken that still had the bone and skin, just de-boned quick and stripped off the skin to freeze and make stock for future recipes of yours. The breasts that come that way seem bigger so we shared one <3

    To anyone thinking of making this recipe…DO! Its very versatile. You can spice it up or throw on some marinara or cheese sauce, or just eat it as pictures for a no mess kinda meal. I do highly recommend using a pan that can go from stove-top to oven. Its just easier and a bit less clean-up.
    I used a cast iron skillet, worked like a charm.

    Thank you again!

  24. I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! I think I need to stuff a little better next time because a lot of my cheese melted out the side of the chicken, but overall: YUM.

  25. Does it matter what kind of pan you use to bake in the oven?

  26. This is now one of our favorite dishes at home! I added some italian seasoning to the bread crumbs and it came out so yummy. I add some Gorgonzola bread and a cesear salad on the side! YUM. Thank you so much!!

  27. I wouldn’t add it to the inside because it would just squish all out and make it an impossible mess to cook in the skillet. Instead, you can pour warm marinara or pizza sauce over top of the chicken after cooking. It would make for a fantastic presentation (I almost did that for the pics)!

  28. Anonymous says:

    would adding some pizza sauce in with the cheese and pepperoni work??

  29. These turned out really good. The only change I made was to add some italian seasoning to the bread crumbs. Will be remaking these.

  30. wow! these were amazing! my fiance and i love this recipe…definitely a keeper!

  31. We loved it! Made it tonight. My chickens seemed to be really skinny so I had trouble stuffing them but made it work. (I also made your pulled pork & meatballs AND the key lime pies – I was a busy bee today) Thanks!

  32. Anonymous says:

    I just made these for dinner last night with a side of your lemony pasta, and some green beans. I splurged on the peperoni and got the good stuff. It was fantastic! It was for our anniversary dinner, and these were a big hit! Thanks for sharing all your nummy recipes with us lurkers.
    KAte

  33. Caitlin says:

    I made these tonight and they were delightful! Husband agrees wholeheartedly. Thanks!

  34. The best way is to thaw it in the refrigerator but this takes planning. Put it in the refrigerator (in a leak proof dish) the night before and it should be ready to go the next day. If you’ve forgotten to do that, you can thaw the chicken under running water. Make sure the chicken is in a water tight resealable bag, place it in a dish and let cool (not hot) water run over it. This way, it should take less than an hour (depending on how much chicken you are thawing) and as long as you don’t use warm or hot water, it is completely safe!

  35. Anonymous says:

    HOw do you thaw out your frozen chicken?

  36. Pizza in a chicken breast… brilliant idea… and looks great too~!

  37. This looks amazing! I am out of peperoni but I will be heading to the store today and making these tomorrow! Thanks!

  38. This looks delicious and very doable! I like the tip of frying than finishing in the oven:)
    Happy New Year!

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