The recipes and photography for this post were provided by local blogger, Sally Roeckell of 365 Barrington.
If you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner that’s delicious, light and can be made in one pan, try this Hasselback Margherita Chicken.
The broad strokes of this recipe are incredibly simple, and it begins with slicing into the chicken 2/3 of the way deep (not all the way through) and across the breast about 1” apart. All that’s left to do after that is stuffing it with a few simple ingredients, putting it in the oven for 20 minutes and eating it with whoever is lucky enough to get a taste.
The term Hasselback has been around for a while. It’s usually a reference to a potato recipe where consecutive thin slits are made in the potato to allow seasoning and oil to get inside so that it cooks quickly. It’s a traditional Swedish side dish that originated from the Hasselbacken Restaurant in Stockholm. It’s a delicious way to prepare potatoes, but an even better way to prepare chicken.
Hasselback Margherita Chicken
- 4 large chicken breasts, (6 ounces each)
- 4 oz log sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 medium roma tomatoes, sliced
- 20 leaves fresh basil, divided (half of it cut into ribbons)
- 2 Tbs. za’atar or Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar glaze
- Sea salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Make 5-6 deep slits in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Season both sides with sea salt and black pepper. Place onto the lined baking sheet.
- Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella very thinly, about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick, and cut the pieces to a width slightly wider than the thickness of your chicken breast.
- Stuff a piece of mozzarella, a tomato slice, and a whole basil leaf into each slit in the chicken.
- Drizzle olive oil and season with za atar or Italian Seasoning all over the chicken.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through (heated to 160 degrees F with a meat thermometer).
- When the chicken is ready, sprinkle remaining fresh basil ribbons on top right before serving. If desired, drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze.
Use this same method but change it up! Try Spinach Artichoke Hasselback Chicken. Simply stuff the slits with spinach and top with spinach artichoke dip. Like it spicy? Add a bit of cayenne pepper. How about seasoning the chicken with fajita seasoning and stuffing it with fajita vegetables, peppers and onions and serving with sour cream and salsa? The varieties are endless!