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Chicken Breasts with Spinach, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

Photo: Kate Sears; Styling: Gerri Williams for James Reps
Prep time 18 mins
Cook time 45 mins
Yield Serves: 4
Chicken Breasts with Spinach, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts is fancy enough for a special occasion but easy enough for a weeknight dinner. Use this savory stuffing mixture the next time you make stuffed pasta shells.


  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed thawed frozen spinach, squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup crumbled aged goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, about 12 oz. each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 396
  • fat 23 g
  • satfat 5 g
  • protein 46 g
  • carbohydrate 3 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 111 mg
  • sodium 727 mg

How to Make It

  1. Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool slightly.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Add spinach, goat cheese and lemon zest to food processor and pulse with pine nuts until mixture is smooth. Scrape sides of bowl as necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper. (Makes about 1 cup filling.)

  3. Slide your fingers under the skin of each chicken breast, loosening skin to form a pocket between the skin and meat. Stuff 2 to 3 Tbsp. filling under skin, gently pushing as much of the filling as you can into the far corners without tearing skin. (You will have about 1/3 cup extra filling; discard.)

  4. Mist with cooking spray a baking dish large enough to hold chicken in one layer with space between pieces. Place chicken filling-side up in dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until skin is lightly browned and chicken is cooked through (an instant-read thermometer placed in thickest part should read 160°F, or cut into thickest part of a breast to check), 40 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately.