This Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken is a quick and easy chicken dinner. Chicken breasts are stuffed with a spinach filling, seared with a little bit of butter, and baked in a luscious white wine lemon butter sauce. Even the kiddos will enjoy this!
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken
When it comes to chicken dinners, I want something quick, easy, DELICIOUS, and anything but boring. Simple broiled chicken breasts are a no-go, obviously. I mean, why eat flavorless chicken, when you can have French Onion Chicken, Chicken with Chiles, or today’s Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken?
This easy chicken dinner is not only my new favorite way to eat chicken, but it’s my kids as well. And let me tell you, getting a four year old and two year old to eat chicken AND spinach in one sitting is no easy feat. It usually involves some form of bribery, but this time, no bribery was needed. That”s when you know you have a winner.
Here’s what’s happening: Chicken breasts are stuffed with a Greek-inspired spinach and feta stuffing (kind of similar to these Spanakopita Chicken Burgers), seared until golden brown and crusty, and then roasted in an intoxicating broth of white wine, butter, and lemon juice. (Don’t worry the wine cooks off, your children will not get drunk.)
Ingredients in Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken
Chicken. I like to use organic chicken breasts for two reasons. First, for the obvious reasons of no added hormones, antibiotics, etc.
Second, organic chicken breasts tend to be much smaller, manageable portions.
Spinach. A whole six-ounce bag of spinach is what you’ll need. It looks like it lot, but once you cook it, it will shrink down to basically nothing.
Feta. I love the salty bite of feta with spinach, the combination reminds me of my favorite Greek appetizer spanakopita.
Egg. One egg yolk actually. This helps to bind the filling together and adds a little bit of heft and richness to the spinach and feta filling.
Flavor. Again, I wanted to mimic the flavors of spanakopita so I included lots of ground nutmeg, a little bit of onion and garlic, and of course, plenty of salt and pepper.
Butter and olive oil. I like to cook chicken in a combination of butter and olive oil. The butter is for flavor and to get that dark brown crust on the chicken.
Olive oil has a higher smoke point than butter which tends to burn a little bit easier, so the combination of the two is both flavorful and allows you to cook the chicken at a high temperature.
White wine. Use a good dry white wine. I like a pinot gris or sauvignon blanc. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something you’d enjoy drinking. And don’t worry, the liquor cooks out. You are not going to get your kids tipsy.
Lemon juice. To stick with the loose “Greek” theme we have going on, I threw in a splash of lemon juice to the white wine. It’s acidic which pairs perfectly with the spinach. I also like to squeeze a little bit on the chicken right before serving.
How to stuff chicken breasts
There are a lot of ways to stuff chicken, but here’s what I like do.
- Take a pairing knife and gently pierce the thickest part of the top of the chicken breast. Push it through the chicken as far as it will go.
- Gently use the knife to make a pocket in the chicken, but don’t cut all the way through.
- Put your stuffing in a plastic baggie. Cut the end off. Gently fill the pocket with your filling.
How to make Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken
Cook the spinach. Add the spinach to a large cast-iron skillet. Turn the heat on medium. Use tongs to toss the spinach until it’s completely wilted. Set aside.
Make the filling. Add the cooked spinach, feta, nutmeg, egg yolk, onion, garlic, and salt to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
Stuff the chicken. See above. 🙂 Season the chicken on both sides with plenty of salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken. Heat a large cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil. Once the oil and butter is hot, add the chicken breasts. Sear on both sides until golden brown and crust, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Make the sauce. Remove the chicken from the skillet and add the white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer the wine until reduced by half. Add lemon juice and butter. Add the chicken back to the pan.
Bake the chicken. Put the chicken in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. If you’re unsure, chicken is cooked through at 165 degrees.
Can you make spinach and feta stuffed chicken in advance?
Here’s what I would do to make spinach and feta stuffed chicken in advance. Make the filling and stuff the chicken. When you’re ready to eat, sear the chicken, make the sauce, and bake it. You can also make it from start to finish, but slightly undercook the chicken. When your’e ready to eat, pop the whole thing in the oven and reheat until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Do I have to use chicken?
I think this spinach and feta stuffed chicken would also be really delicious with salmon, or even a thick-cut pork chop.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- If feta cheese isn’t your thing, you can also use goat cheese or even brie. Keep in mind, they melt a little bit more than feta, so it may seep out of the chicken a little bit more.
- If you don’t drink or cook with wine, you can swap out chicken stock.
- Be sure to season the chicken with plenty of salt and pepper.
- Season the filling to taste with salt and pepper as well.
- When searing chicken, DO NOT MOVE it until it releases easily from the pan. When chicken is done cooking, it will automatically release from the pan.
- Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the chicken is done cooking.
What to serve with spinach and feta stuffed chicken.
- This Creamy Orzo with Spinach mimics a lot of the flavors of the spinach and feta stuffed chicken, so it compliments it perfectly. Plus, it’s all made in one pot! So easy and surprisingly healthy.
- These Creamy Dreamy Mashed Potatoes would be the perfect vessel to serve the spinach and feta stuffed chicken on top of.
- 4 small chicken breasts
- 6 oz spinach
- 2 tbsp minced onion
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 1/2 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted), divided
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Mixing bowl
- Cast iron skillet
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Take a pairing knife and gently pierce the thickest part of the top of the chicken breast. Push it through the chicken as far as it will go (it will go the length of the breast). Gently use the knife to make a pocket in the chicken, but don't cut all the way through.Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound out the chicken slightly so it's about 3/4-inch thick. Set aside.
- Add the spinach to a large cast-iron skillet. Turn the heat on medium. Use tongs to toss the spinach until it’s completely wilted. Set spinach aside and wipe the pan clean.
- Add the cooked spinach, feta, nutmeg, egg yolk, onion, garlic, and salt to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
- Put the spinach and feta filling in a plastic baggie. Cut the end off. Gently fill the pocket with your filling, if needed use fingers to nestle the filling into the pocket. Season the chicken on both sides with plenty of salt and pepper. (I use about one teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken breast.)
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Once the oil and butter are hot, add the chicken breasts. Sear on both sides until they are golden brown and have formed a crust, about 4-5 minutes per side. When they area ready to flip, they will easily release from the pan.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and add the white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer the wine until reduced by half. Add lemon juice and remaining butter. Add the chicken back to the pan. Put the chicken in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. If you’re unsure, chicken is cooked through at 165 degrees.