Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken

$3.66 recipe / $0.91 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.75 from 8 votes
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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 plated on white plate with side of salad greens and fork

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Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken

4.75 from 8 votes
Pepperoni stuffed chicken is an easy way to transform boring chicken breasts into something your family will ask for again and again!
Servings 4
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts ($1.98)
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese ($0.40)
  • 1 1/4 oz approx. 16 slices pepperoni ($0.54)
  • 1 large egg ($0.15)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour ($0.14)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs ($0.18)
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil ($0.22)
  • to taste salt and pepper ($0.05)

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • Stuff each piece of chicken with 1/2 oz. of cheese and about 4 slices of pepperoni. Lightly season each piece with salt and pepper. Set the stuffed chicken aside.
  • 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 1/2 tsp of water helps break it up).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 533.48kcalCarbohydrates: 23.35gProtein: 35.18gFat: 32gSodium: 573.55mgFiber: 0.93g
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Step by Step Photos

half chicken breasts being cut on cutting board
I cut each chicken breast in half to make 4 oz. portions.

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

pepporonni and cheese fillings for chicken
Collect the fillings for your chicken.

raw chicken stuffed with pepperoni and cheese
Stuff the chicken pieces with the mozzarella and pepperoni.

stuffed chicken dipped in egg and bread crumb mixture
Coat the chicken pieces in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.

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

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken plated on white plate with side of mixed greens

NOTE: 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!

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  1. I made this and I changed a few things. I’m italian and LOVE a sharper cheese so I used asiago cheese rather then motz. OMG this was a-mazing! I also didn’t do any breading just used evoo on the skinless breasts and just seasoned the outside. Baked 35min or so and boy, I gotta say, I’ll be making this again! Thanks for the jdea!

  2. This one was just so-so for me. I found it almost impossible to keep the cheese and pepperoni inside the chicken, both while prepping and cooking, and I expected a bit more flavor overall (found the finished product a little bland with the small amount of pepperoni and cheese, but I wouldn’t have been able to fit anymore in either). I skipped the frying step and baked for 30 minutes, which was perfect.

  3. ok, so… Pepperoni & chicken?? I would have never come up with this combo – but I sure am glad you did!!! SO yummy!!!!

  4. Save money by buying Bone in breasts. They are inexpensive. It takes less then a minute to debone.

  5. Made this tonight for my husband and he raved! Except he asked for it double stuffed next time.

  6. Oh. My. Gosh!! The Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken is out of this world DELICIOUS!!! Stuffing the chicken became a bit messy, but I did leave the chicken breasts inside the freezer to set for about twenty minutes. It did the trick! Also, I added extra pepperoni and cheese on top of the stuffed chicken breasts, and serve them with bow tie pasta and marinara sauce. I’ll definitely make this recipe again!! Thank you, Beth!!! ;-)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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

  12. 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!

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

  14. 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