Five years ago, a good friend of mine, Emmie, and I went back-packing across Italy.
16 days of exploring ruins, ancient civilizations, catacombs, islands, staying in hostels, swimming in the Blue Grotto, riding horseback up a volcano (that’s us atop MT Vesuvius in Naples) climbing a mountain, and eating food so delicious I find myself craving it sometimes.
OH.MY.WORD. all the F O O D!!
I was in heaven. Especially when I learned that Italy’s version of a pizza pie means pizzas bigger then the plates they arrived on!! The fact that the pizzas only cost about $3-6 was a bonus. It was on this trip that I tried my first Margherita Pizza. I couldn’t believe I had never been introduced to the wonders of bread (yay!), pizza sauce (yay!), fresh tomato (YAY)! and mozarella (YAY!) all topped with refreshing basil (YAYAYYYY!).
I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! 🙂
So one recent evening, while Pinteresting (I’m seriously an addict!), I stumbled upon a recipe that looked like Margherita Pizza, minus the bread. I knew I had to try this and oh my oh my OH MY am I glad I did! My first bite transported me back to Italy – all those fresh flavors ignited memories of that fun trip – and I’ve now made this twice in the past month! 🙂 I hope you enjoy this simple, delectable meal as much as I do!
*2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*Mozzarella cheese, sliced
*Grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
*Basil leaves, about 4-6 per chicken breast
*1 TBSP Italian seasoning
*2 tsp Olive oil
*Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Remove any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Then, using a sharp knife, cut slits across the chicken breast, being careful not to slice fully through. You’ll want about 5-8 slits for each chicken breast.
Stuff each slit with a slice of mozzarella cheese, grape tomato half, and a basil leaf.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place the chicken breasts in the dish.
Brush the top of the chicken breasts with the olive oil. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper evenly over the chicken breasts.
Bake in the oven for 45 – 60 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken breast reaches 160 degrees.
Baker Kella Notes:
I served this meal with a couple spoonfuls of this great new-to-me product I found in Walmart – Seeds of Change Organic Quinoa and Brown Rice. I’ve never been a huge fan of brown rice, but I found myself loving the hints of garlic amidst the brown rice and quinoa. (This isn’t affiliated with Walmart or Seeds of Change – I just really liked this product I found when grocery shopping!!) In fact, I loved it so much, I stocked up on the different varieties so now its a staple in my pantry! HA! 🙂
I adapted this recipe from Walking On Sunshine Recipes – check out her Hasselback Chicken Stuffed With Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil recipe here!