Have you ever run out of recipe ideas for cooking chicken breast? The truth is everybody faces recipe blackouts, or they get tired of eating the same food repeatedly. Luckily I came up with the idea to jazz up chicken breasts by making air fryer stuffed chicken breasts.
Air fryer chicken is extremely delicious and addicting. It’s stuffed with a creamy, cheesy spinach filling and air fried until golden. However, before we get to the air fryer stuffed chicken breast recipe, let’s examine the health benefits of chicken breast and spinach.
Health Benefits Of Chicken Breast
Everyone knows chicken is a prime source of protein. In fact, chicken breast has more than 90% crude proteins.
Crude proteins are filled with essential amino acids. Amino acids are the basic units of protein, and they can also serve as backbones for neurotransmitters, hormones, and other compounds.
Chicken breast has the richest antioxidant capacity of all meats. This is due to its rich histidine dipeptide content.
The most abundant histidine dipeptides in chicken breast are carnosine and anserine. These compounds can have antioxidants and anti-aging effects.
Furthermore, dipeptides play a role in treating Alzheimer’s disease, ulcers, diabetes, and autism. They may also have an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells in vivo.
Carnosine can also scavenge free radicals, modulate the immune system, help heal wounds, and function like a neurotransmitter. Studies also show that bioactive peptides found in chicken breast could prevent and improve liver injuries caused by alcohol.
Health Benefits Of Spinach
Spinach contains a diverse nutrient profile, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and bioactive compounds. These compounds allow spinach to possess anti-cancer, hypoglycemic, anti-obesity, and hypolipidemic properties.
Phytochemicals and bioactive compounds in spinach can scavenge reactive oxygen species. Spinach can also alter gene expression linked to acute and chronic inflammation, tumors, and metabolic function.
Spinach can also inhibit macromolecular oxidative damage and stimulate satiety hormones. Therefore, spinach can curb hunger.
Tips For Making Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breast
The size of the chicken breast you use matters. My chicken breasts were on the larger side, so they took about 22 minutes to cook. However, it’s best to cook the chicken breast for 18 minutes and check the chicken’s temperature before cooking them for another 4 minutes.
Preheat your air fryer before you add the chicken breast. Preheating the air fryer will circulate hot air.
The hot air cooks the chicken breasts as soon as they hit the air fryer. In addition to this, the hot air also pulls moisture from the chicken breast surface, which helps it crisp up.
Coat your chicken breast with olive oil. The oil helps the seasoning adhere to the chicken breast and give it a golden brown color.
Use room temperature cream cheese. It will be easier to mix.
If you do not like spinach, you can use other leafy greens such as arugula, chard, or beet greens. You can even use a mixture of leafy greens to add more veggies to your dish.
Leave space between the chicken breasts. If you stuff the basket with too many chicken breasts, air will not circulate freely, and the chicken breast will steam instead of air fry.
Once your chicken has a temperature of 165°F, remove it from the air fryer so it does not overcook.
Let the chicken breasts rest before you cut them. As the chicken breasts cook, moisture within the meat is drawn to the surface of the chicken. Resting the chicken breast allows the juices to be reabsorbed back into the meat and prevents the juices from spilling onto your plate.
Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken BreastCourse: DinnerDifficulty: Easy
Chicken breasts are stuffed with a creamy spinach filling made from spinach, garlic, onions, bell peppers, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese. They are then cooked in the air fryer until golden brown to make the perfect keto, gluten-free main dish that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.
- For the creamy spinach filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell peppers
3 cloves garlic minced
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese softened
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- For the chicken breast:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (each chicken breast should be 5-6 oz.), trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 black pepper
- Place the olive oil into a skillet and set it over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and red bell peppers and sauté them for 3-4 minutes until they soften.
- Add the garlic to the onion and red bell pepper mixture and cook it for 1 minute.
- Add the spinach and cook it for 3-4 minutes until it wilts.
- Turn off the stove, then stir in the cream cheese until it is combined.
- Add the mozzarella cheese to the spinach filling and stir until combined, then stir in the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Set the spinach filling aside to cool.
- Put 1 chicken breast on a cutting board. Place one hand on top of the chicken breast and cut a horizontal slit into the chicken breast using the tip of a sharp knife. Do not cut all the way through the chicken breast.
- Repeat with the remaining 2 chicken breasts.
- Place the chicken breast into a bowl. Add the olive oil to the chicken breasts and toss to coat the chicken breast in the olive oil.
- Add the seasoning and toss to coat the chicken breast in the seasoning.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Divide the spinach filling between the chicken breast and secure the chicken breast with a toothpick.
- Program the air fryer to 360°F and let it preheat for 5 minutes.
- Place the chicken breast into the air fryer and cook it for 18-22 minutes until it has a temperature of 165°F.
- Serve and enjoy!
- NUTRITION INFO: Net Carbs: 3.1 Calories: 373 | Carbohydrates: 8.4g | Fiber: 1.5 | Protein: 45.1g | Fat: 18.3g | Saturated Fat: 5.7g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 1203mg | Potassium: 307mg | Sugar: 1.7g | Vitamin D: 0mg | Calcium: 212mg | Iron: 2mg
- NUTRITIONAL INFO DISCLAIMER: The nutritional values presented above are only estimates. I don’t have a medical background, nor am I a registered dietitian or certified nutritionist. Therefore, nutritional information shown on foodandmoodcreations.com should only be used as a general guideline.