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Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil

Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil

I needed to get rid of some leftover ricotta cheese and spinach so I created this recipe. It was SO DELICIOUS! The chicken was really moist and tender while the panko was crunchy and the ricotta mixture was flavorful and creamy. This chicken paired nicely with our house salad and some freshly baked bread. I will be making this dish again and again – my husband and I especially loved it. I highly recommend this recipe.

Panko-Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil:


  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • A small handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • A small handful of grape tomatoes, diced (remove the seeds if possible)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Dash of oregano
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Italian seasoned panko crumbs
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil

How to Make Panko-Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the ricotta, spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Rinse the chicken breasts then cut a long horizontal slit along the center of the thin long edge of the chicken breast, nearly through to the other side. Fill the cavity of the chicken breast with the ricotta mixture. Season each side of the chicken with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Carefully dip the chicken breasts in the panko crumbs until both sides are evenly covered. Close the slit together with toothpicks (or if you are like me and realize that you don’t have toothpicks, simply break some kebab sticks in half and use them).

Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil

Heat the olive oil in an OVEN PROOF skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown, flip the chicken over and place the skillet into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy.

Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil


Click here for a printable version of this recipe – For the Love of Cooking.net



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  1. I once tried to order a chicken dish like this in a restaurant and it was just awful! The breading was thick and mushy and the cheese tasted like dish water. I kid you not!!!

    Your dish looks lovely, Pam and it sounds delicious!!! If I had it here with me, I'd go back to that place and show them what it should look like!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  2. made these last night for my husband and i.. and they were a HUGEEEEEE hit… big brownie points for me πŸ™‚ Thank you!!

  3. so what i'm seeing is a batch of chicken that's as awesome on the inside as it is on the outside. nice work, pam!

  4. I just made these for dinner and they are AMAZING! Probably one of the best I’ve made. I cooked the breasts on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes and they were excellent! Thicker breasts require longer time in the oven. MAKE THESE!!!

  5. Oh, and also- I cooked them standing up with skewers running through three at a time! I feel like it helped them from dripping out all over the place. Thanks for the recipe!! It’s sooo yummmyyyyy!!!

  6. Tried this and it turned out absolutely wonderfully. The entire family had happy plates! Next time I will use less garlic, and less salt. I have a heavy hand on the salt, but the bread crumbs and ricotta cheese are salty enough by themselves. Overall this is an excellent dish! Also, cooked the chicken breasts a little longer because they were very thick…

  7. I made this for my fiance and my room mate and they both loved it and of course I did too. I changed the recipe a little and I used Whole Wheat bread crumbs and added my favorite Sicilian seasoning to the bread crumbs and then put it on the chicken. the next time I make these my fiance suggest a marinara sauce to put over the chicken as well. Sounded good to me. thanks again Pam for sharing

  8. I made this tonight & it was so tasty & delicious! Made it for 2 veggie hating people who didn’t even notice the spinach and absolutely loved the dish. However, the directions say to brown them on a skillet after the have been filled & speared? I thought that would be a little difficult, given that the wooden stick is poking out from it and filling is so easy to gush out. Thought it may be an error, so I omitted that step and baked it at about 30 min. So yummy, thanks!

    1. I use the app “My Fitness Pal” to track calories for all my recipes. Just type in the ingredients and quantities of each, tell it how many servings, and violia! It’s helpful since I try to track my daily calories, too. πŸ™‚

    2. I put this into My Fitness Pal and one stuffed breast ended up being around 390 calories.

  9. I tried this tonight but modified it a little and it was delicious!! I added bacon bits to the inside stuffing and wrapped it in prosciutto instead of the Italian crumbs.

  10. I found this on Pinterest and decided to try it. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! It was wonderful! The flavors all came together great and I loved that the chicken stayed crusty on the outside. I am a bit of a cheese lover and ended up grating some more fresh parm on the top a few minutes before I pulled it out. My husband and kids all really enjoyed it. Even my 11 month old daughter kept saying, “MMMmmmm!” and reaching for more!

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this, just made it for dinner tonight. I absolutely loved it. I had kale on hand instead of spinach and I decided to throw in some kalamata olives to punch up the Mediterranean feel, it turned out spectacularly! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks Pam!

  12. This looks incredibly amazingg! I’m so cooking this for dinner next week! Just wondering what are them things called that you put in the pic to decorate it I see them on many gourmet dishes but haven’t been able to find them where do you get them? Thanks for the fabulous recipe keep up the great work! (:

    1. That appears to be a sprig of parsley. I have a pot of it growing in my kitchen and just snip off a piece when serving dinner. Add to the side of the plate for prettiness…

  13. I have no chicken breasts.. They wern’t good at the store I got chicken tenderloins instead could I still use these ingredients how could I improvise? Thanks! (:

    1. I would flatten the tenderloins… Put the filling on one side of one piece and then top with another tenderloin. Skewer or toothpick the sides to hold together while baking…

  14. This is the 1st thing that I made for my newlywed that he asked me to make again!! πŸ™‚ It’s about time!!

  15. Sooo good!!! I didn’t put in tomatoes because I forgot to buy them, but even missing those it was fantastic! My kids 3 and 8 years old liked them too.

  16. Awesome! My entire family (5 and 3 yr olds included) devoured this chicken. My veggie phobic daught scrapped ever bite of the spinach and tomato up. This is going into our recipe box for sure.

  17. I made this chicken recipe with my boyfriend last night and it was absolutely fantastic! So easy to make (aside from keeping the stuffing in!) and absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚

    1. I served mine with steamed broccali and home made mac and cheese, but made with assorted white cheeses.

    2. Tonight, I’m serving mine with some fresh tomato slices that I just picked from the garden, along with a simple green salad and steamed broccoli. πŸ™‚

  18. I have served it with roasted asparagus and my house salad. It also would go great with a light pasta side dish and grilled veggies.

  19. I laughed when u said u
    “if ur like me and realized you don’t have toothpicks” I did the same thing!!!

  20. Going to try this tonight for our 1 yr anniversary dinner. However…I am a little confused as it says to preheat oven, but also says to cook in a pan of olive oil. Which one is correct? HELP……I only have 2 hours before I start cooking.

    Thank you

    1. I was wondering the same thing Rhonda. Hoping for a response. It says to use an OVEN PROOF skillet, but never says to put into the oven.

    2. You cook both… if you read through the recipe it tells you when to place into the oven… here it is:

      Once the pan is hot, place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown, flip the chicken over and place the skillet into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy.

      I hope this helps!


  21. This was delicious! I tweeked it just a little. I used sun dried tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes and instead of panko crumbs to cover the outside I used Pesto.

  22. This was yummy!! I used Italian bread crumbs instead of Panko…pan fried it for a bit and then stuck it in the oven for about 20 minutes…I also threw in a handful of cherry tomatoes from our garden…Definitely will make again!!

  23. Made this recipe tonight. It was very good. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Tied them with kitchen twine instead of securing with toothpicks. Skipped the browning step in the pan and put straight into the oven for about 30 minutes. So moist and tasty

  24. Found this on Pinterest. Made for my hubby & me a few weeks ago. Making it again tonight with the left over filling that I froze. I had thin chicken breasts, so instead of slicing them, I rolled them out & then spread the filling on top & rolled them back up. I also added fresh chopped mushrooms to the filling. Super yummy! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Hello,
      This recipe sounds wonderful and I would like to serve it for eight people for dinner this Friday. Could I prepare it all the night before and put it in the oven just at the dinner ? Thanks,
      Marie Michele
      Hull, Quebec

    2. I’ve never tried making it the night before but it may work just fine. Please let me know how it goes.


  25. This was great! My was definitely not as pretty but tasted good nonetheless. Even the very picky 4 year old ate it. Thanks for so many delicious ideas.

  26. I had this tonight and it was delicious! One thing I am confused about is that oregano is listed as a used ingredient, but I couldn’t find it in the directions. I ended up not using it. Also I wasn’t sure where to find Italian seasoned panko so I used regular and added a packet of dry Italian dressing mix

  27. great recipe! I absolutely LOVE this blog! These are things that helped me though as I do not have an oven proof skillet and I just found made things easier for me. Firstly, I sliced the “pocket” in the chicken, seasoned it, made an egg wash and dipped the chicken in that first the the panko second. Then I lightly toasted the chicken in the skillet (just enough to make sure the bread crumbs adhered). I then removed the chicken from the skillet, let it cool a bit and stuffed it with the ricotta mix. I then placed the chicken in a cooking oil sprayed baking dish for 20 mins. I found the panko adhered better and adding the stuffing after the skillet searing kept it from seeping out of the chicken

  28. I made this, same reason! Was trying to get rid of zither ricotta in the fridge I had left over from some meatballs about 2 weeks ago. Magnifico! The husbAnd loved it so much he dropped his fork!

    We paired this one with some Italian baguette toasted with butter and it was sufficient! I left mine in the oven a tad longer as we prefer chicken well done and I went easy on the basil. Perfect for our taste buds And next time I host a gathering I shall keep this in mind considering how easy it was.

    Great job Chef lady!!!


  29. Have made this twice now and it’s awesome. Weird question … but when I flip the chicken, I end up knocking so much of the breading off the chicken. Any helpful hints about how to flip the chicken and not lose the panko? Thanks!

    1. Kirsten,

      Try getting the chicken all stuffed and coated in panko then place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This helps the panko adhere to the meat and will be less likely to fall off when you flip it. Let me know if it works better for you.


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  31. I made this for my kitchen today and is amazing, next time I’ll add some Feta with the ricotta as a substitute for salt. πŸ™‚

  32. I’m planning to make this tonight. Would it ruin the recipe if I just baked it in the oven? Without the skillet part? Please respond. Thank you!!

    1. Jessica,

      I think it would be fine to bake it in the oven but it may not get as golden brown. Maybe try putting it under the broiler for a minute or two after baking to get a more golden brown color. Make sure to watch carefully so they don’t burn.

      I hope this helps!


    2. Did you end up just baking it? I am planning on making this meal tonight and I would like to only bake it. What suggestions would you give?

  33. I made this for dinner last night and it was amazing. I followed the recipe and didn’t change anything. It’s a keeper and thanks for sharing it.

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  35. Can this just be baked? I don’t have anything big enough to make the 6 I prepped on the stove and oven safe.

  36. I just made this for my family and it was a hit! we honestly didn’t think itd taste as good as it did but we cant wait to make it again. I doubled all the ingredients (minus the ricotta) for the inside and the extra garlic especially gave it a kick. a very healthy meal and very easy to make

  37. Tasted delicious! I also coated the chicken with egg first so that the crumbs would adhere better.i also used sun-dried tomatoes instead of grape ones. I feel like it made it more flavorful. Thanks again for the recipe!

  38. I loved this recipe but I made a ton of changes… I did not have ricotta and my husband hates spinach so I used Creme Fraiche, whole tomato cut up with seeds taken out, toasted bread crumbs to thicken and fresh grated parmesan – salt and pepper. I had pounded the breasts thinking that I would roll the breasts instead of “stuffing”…Baked them first on the stove top to get a sear and then oven baked for 30 minutes. NUMMY! Husband said it’s the best chicken ever!

  39. This worked out great. I’m gluten free and used Udis Panko bread crumbs and added Italien seasoning. I bad left over stuffing and rolled it with Prosciutto into beef and made pin wheel burgers that made an even bigger hit. This ricotta mix is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing!

  40. I made this last night and it was the best meal I have a ever cooked. The flavours were gorgeous! I served mine with macaroni cheese and garlic mushrooms. Definitely be serving this again. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Terry,

      It should be fine. Make sure to squeeze as much excess water out of the spinach as possible. You don’t want the filling to become watery. Let me know how it turns out.