Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs. They’re delicious!

These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs.  They're delicious!

Back in my bachelor days, I always kept several boxes of frozen stuffed chicken breasts in my freezer. They were easy and delicious – and I could bake up just one for dinner. Since they were a pretty hands-off type of meal, that meant I had more time to play video games while my dinner was in the toaster oven. What can I say? I’ve always been a gamer.

These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs. They're delicious!

Fast forward, oh, 20 years. While I still enjoy video games, I play them way less than I used to. If I find an hour on Saturday afternoon to play video games, then I call it a success! And our freezer is no longer packed full of frozen stuffed chicken breasts, either. (Although, truth be told, I do often still keep a package in there for those nights when Laura and I are too busy – or exhausted – to cook.)

Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Stuffed chicken breasts really aren’t that difficult to make at home! Take these Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts for instance. The hardest part is pounding out the chicken so that it’s thin enough to roll. (i typically put the chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and then set it on a large cutting board. A couple whacks with a rolling pin – or a meat mallet – usually does the trick!)

These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs. They're delicious!

For this version, I went with diced pancetta, minced garlic, shredded provolone cheese and some Italian herbs. This filling is delicious! I mean the chicken breast is good, too, but this filling…I could’ve eaten that for dinner by itself!

If you aren’t familiar with pancetta, you should be. I used to get a slice of it from the deli section at our local grocery store. Then they switched over to carrying pre-weighed 4oz. packages – and it was way overpriced. But then Trader Joe’s came to the rescue! (It seems like Trader Joe’s often comes to the rescue when it comes to ingredients that are a bit out of the ordinary.) Trader Joe’s sells 4oz. packages of diced pancetta…for a reasonable price! Amazing.

These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs. They're delicious!

Pancetta is closely related to bacon in that both are cured pork belly. The difference is bacon is cold-smoked after it is cured while pancetta skips that step. In truth, cubed pancetta is often cooked in a skillet much like bacon. In fact, if you can’t find pancetta in your area, you can absolutely use bacon instead. Just use thick-cut bacon and chop it up into small pieces before cooking.

One extra tip: kitchen twine. Sometimes I have a bit of trouble getting that homemade stuffed chicken breast to stay together. That’s where kitchen twine comes in. I simply tie up the stuffed chicken breast in 2 places and then put it on the tray seam-side down. It works like a charm. (Just don’t forget to cut that twine off before serving!)

These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs. They're delicious!

I hope this recipe inspires you to make a batch of stuffed chicken breasts at home. It’s a relatively easy process, and it sounds so fancy, right? Enjoy!

Did you make these Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!

These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs. They're delicious!

Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs. They're delicious!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 609kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp olive oil divided
  • 6 oz. pancetta diced into ¼” cubes
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, ~8 oz. each
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • cups panko-style Italian breadcrumbs
  • kitchen twine for tying up stuffed chicken breasts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Lightly grease a standard sheet pan; set aside.
  • Using a large skillet, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy (~3-4 minutes).
  • Add garlic and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
  • Transfer mixture into a small bowl. Add dried oregano and parsley; stir until well combined. Set mixture aside.
  • Working with one piece of a chicken at a time, lay breast in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet (or a rolling pin), gently pound each piece until it’s ~½” thick. Repeat process with remaining pieces of chicken.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken breasts.
  • Divide shredded provolone and pancetta mixture evenly on top of the 4 chicken breasts. Roll each chicken breast up lengthwise and place seam-side down on cutting board.
  • Using a small bowl, combine lemon juice with the remaining 3 tsp of olive oil.
  • Place the breadcrumbs on a large plate.
  • Brush both sides of the stuffed chicken breasts with the olive oil mixture. Carefully dip each chicken breast into breadcrumb mixture. Use the kitchen twine to tie up each stuffed chicken breast in two places; Place seam-side down on prepared sheet pan.
  • Spray tops of chicken breasts with baking spray or olive oil. Bake at 425°F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and fully cooked. (Note: Check chicken breasts after 20 minutes. If the panko topping is turning too dark, lay a piece of foil on top for the remaining cooking time.)
These Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts feature flavorful boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with pancetta, cheese and herbs. They're delicious!

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22 Comments

  1. cant wait to make this soon can i use mushrooms / rice and vegan cheese and will let you know how it goes with mushrooms and rice once i make this i never had pancetta stuffed chicken breasts before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    1. Sure – you can always use vegan substitutes, Ramya – that’s what makes cooking fun! I can’t speak to the specifics, but let me know how it turns out for ya!

  2. 5 stars
    Yum, love how you’ve got all those various textures and flavours stuffed into these chicken breasts. A great way to change up my usual chicken cordon bleu!

    1. I do love chicken cordon bleu, but I have to say the pancetta and cheese definitely gave cordon bleu a run for its money! 🙂 Thanks, Michelle!

  3. 5 stars
    Ohhh man, that stuffing sounds fabulous. Your culianry bachelor days sounds more exciting than my ones, for me I just keep tons of instant noodles in the cupboard

    1. Haha – I don’t think of my culinary bachelor days as too exciting. There was a lot of eating out of the freezer back in those days!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks and sounds phenomenal, such a great combination of flavours and textures. I haven’t really made stuffed chicken breasts for…like forever, but you’ve inspired me to make some soon. I would also add some sun-dried tomatoes to the stuffing.

    1. Ah, I really like that idea of sun-dried tomatoes in this stuffing, Ben. The flavor would be spot on! So glad that I inspired you to make some stuffed chicken breasts. They really are tasty, and they sound so fancy, right??

    1. Oh man, I’m sad to hear that Panko style Italian breadcrumbs aren’t a thing down there. It’s basically panko breadcrumbs mixed with Italian seasonings – certainly something you could make at home pretty easily. The crunch it provides to these stuffed chicken breasts is amazing! Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. 5 stars
    Ok, first of all – yes, frozen chicken breasts were always handy to have in the freezer. I remember being stocked up on those for sure. Secondly, games? Funny how you mentioned that. Hubby and I have been playing some on the weekends for the past little while. Talk about a laugh!! Stuffed chicken breasts are always delicious, and I bet the pancetta adds TONS of flavour. This would be lovely for any day of the week with a nice side salad. Have an awesome weekend!

    1. The answer when talking about pancetta is yes…always yes! 🙂 This was a fun recipe to make. Stuffed chicken breasts sounds like a fancy recipe, but it truly isn’t that difficult at all. Plus, you can play around with the filling when it’s time to mix it up a bit! Thanks, Dawn!

  6. Boy this looks good! And as you know, I’m even much of a fan of chicken breast. Too bland for my taste but then again, that very blandness means you can treat it like you would pasta and use it as a foil for all sorts of flavors. And don’t I love the flavors you’ve chosen here. No surprise there, of course…

    One small thing I’d probably do differently though. As a card-carrying Italian, I’d fry these babies rather than bake them. I just love fried foods. The Italians have a saying “even a shoe taste good when it’s fried”. And ain’t it the truth?

    1. You and Laura totally agree about chicken breasts. She groans whenever I get them out of the freezer…but there are some tricks to making chicken breasts taste amazing. Namely add bacon. 🙂 (Or in this case, pancetta…but that’s in the same family.) Oooo…I like the idea of pan frying these! I’m gonna have to try that next time. Thanks for the idea, Frank!!

  7. 5 stars
    I’m not a gamer myself David, but I understand your delight if you get an hour to yourself on a Saturday to play some. It can’t be easy finding an hour in your busy household! And I do love these pancetta stuffed chicken breasts. What a great idea for a quick and tasty easy dinner! Yum!

    1. Oh man – a quiet hour in this house? It never happens! And that is especially accurate these days as we are planning a move back to the Southern states – North Carolina to be more specific. Life is crazy!! But that doesn’t keep us out of the kitchen, and these stuffed chicken breasts were an awesome dinner! Hope you had a great weekend, my friend!

  8. 5 stars
    My mouth is literally watering looking at these stuffed chicken breasts, David. And what a great idea to have some in the freezer just waiting for a busy weeknight or to wow some unexpected guests!

    1. Exactly! Stuffed chicken breasts really aren’t that difficult to make at all – and they’re way tastier than the store-bought version!! Thanks, Marissa. 🙂

  9. yum. Love that filling. You really did a great job on these. Rolling up chicken breasts can definitely be a bit fiddly. I’ve always relied on a couple glasses of wine to help me….

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