Chicken Stuffed Caprese Recipe – Stuff This and Hold the Merlot!

6 Oct

Chicken Stuffed Caprese Recipe with Penne Pasta
Recipe by

One of the earliest recipes I have emulated and catered as my own is Chicken stuffed Caprese, which is really another form or variation of Chicken/Veal Saltimbocca. When I was in high-school my friend Pete and I used to cook in an Italian-American restaurant called, Tony’s Italian Villa (now, it’s not in business anymore but I can assure you it had nothing to do with a couple of teenage high-school kids making your entrée and pizza). There I learned a lot about the Italian-American methods of cooking home-comfort meals such as chicken and veal parm, chicken piccatta, veal marsala, etc… All traditional foods that were slightly or very different from their Italian origins and with one in particular, I had a slight love affair; the Saltimbocca (and my waist-line proved it!). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve changed and modified this classic to become my own in a diced tomato sauce with garlic and penne pasta. By taking the holy trinity of Italian cooking (fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato) I’ve put the colors of the Italian flag into a chicken fillet and embraced a meal that is the perfect remedy for a cold fall or winter evening.

The ingredients and preparation for Chicken Stuffed Caprese are easy to find and put together, and all of the seasoning takes place inside the chicken. I like to slice the chicken across into 2 thin pieces but you can also cut a pocket into the chicken or use 2 very thin chicken breast fillets as well. Whatever you choose, stack the fresh mozzarella with plum tomato slices and basil, and add a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Then place the other chicken slice on top (or if you have a pocket cut, fold the chicken over) and use toothpicks to keep the Caprese filling inside – and that’s really it! From there make your sauce and boil your pasta and when it’s all said and done, you throw it together and crack open a bottle of red! I like to enjoy a standard Italian table wine like a Montepulciano, Chianti or Sangiovese for these types of dishes but feel free to open your own favorite, just don’t make it Merlot! (not that I have anything against Merlot….except for everything! And I’ve been neglecting the French for far too long on this blog when it comes to wine and I plan on a French dish or two coming up – so hang in there my Bleu-Blanc-Rouge mes amis). There you have it, Chicken Stuffed Caprese from Paggi Pazzo, enjoy!

Chicken Stuffed Caprese with Penne Recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Chicken Stuffed Caprese Recipe

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 40 min

Total time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 (8 oz.) chicken breast fillets
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces diced tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 4 ounces crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta (Barilla)
  • 1/4 cup Reggiano Parmigiano
  • 8 toothpicks

Cooking Directions

  1. Chop finely garlic, onion, and 4 basil leaves (save the remaining basil for the caprese stuffing)
  2. Clean chicken and slice in half or fold in half
  3. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, then add slices of fresh mozzarella on top of the sliced chicken (or within if cut in half) and top with slices of tomato, fresh basil, and olive oil.
  4. Close chicken if cut in half or place other half of fillet on top of covered chicken and place 2 toothpicks on both ends of fillets to keep whole
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to large pan with garlic, onion, and basil. Cook at medium-to-high heat for 2-3 minutes
  6. Add diced and crushed tomatoes and carrot (washed and peeled), and lower heat
  7. In a different pan, add olive oil and chicken stuffed caprese and sear at high heat for 4-5 minutes per side to form a crispy outside
  8. Once seared on both sides, add chicken to large pan of sauce and cook for 25-30 minutes
  9. Prepare pot for pasta by adding water and salt and when boiling, add penne pasta and cook and stir for 11 minutes or until pasta is al dente
  10. Drain pasta through strainer and add pasta to sauce and chicken for 2-3 minutes, then reomve from stove
  11. Transfer to plate and add grated Reggiano Parmigiano, ready to serve

Chicken Stuffed Caprese Recipe
with Penne Pasta
5 out of 5
stars based on 10 ratings.

3 Responses to “Chicken Stuffed Caprese Recipe – Stuff This and Hold the Merlot!”

  1. Jestine Reas October 31, 2011 at 3:58 am #

    great work, carry on the great website!

    • Paggi Pazzo November 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

      Thank you Jestine! Drop by anytime.

  2. Linda October 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    this meal is so tasty! it’s like Italian comfort food. or a fancier, maybe slightly more healthy version, of one of my favorites…chicken parm. delicious!

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