The Recipe Redux is a group of like-minded food bloggers whose mission is to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Each month members post recipes to their blogs following a theme set by the group moderators. This month’s theme is – Beat the Heat with the Slow Cooker/Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker. Click the Recipe Redux link at the bottom of this page to see links to all the posts for this month’s challenge.
If you typically put your slow cooker away during the summer months, you might want to reconsider this. Using your slow cooker to prepare meals, instead of your oven, will not only keep your kitchen cooler in hot weather, but will allow you more time to enjoy all the outdoor activities that the long summer days afford. Most of us associate slow cookers with heavy, winter type dishes like soups and stews. These meals can, of course, be delicious but all too often they are a bland and boring mixture of brown food and who wants to eat that when it’s 90 degrees outside! This recipe for Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts is especially suited for summer. It’s light and colorful with fresh, bright flavor, and making it is a good way to beat the heat during the dog days of summer!
When I set out to develop a summer slow cooker recipe I wanted to keep the prep minimal so I used two of my favorite convenience foods – oil packed julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes and canned quartered artichoke hearts. This means there is no cleaning, chopping, or sautéing of vegetables required. The oil packed sun-dried tomatoes are especially useful because they also serve as a marinade for Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts. The chicken breasts are stuffed with mozzarella sticks (also known as string cheese) after a layer of fresh basil is laid on top. You can substitute fresh mozzarella if you’d like. I used mozzarella sticks because they are easy to cut and roll up inside the chicken breasts.
Once Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts are done, transfer them to a serving dish and garnish liberally with fresh basil. Be sure to scoop out all the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes from the bottom of the slow cooker. And, there will be lots of delicious sauce in there too so don’t forget to pour some on top along with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighter the flavors.
Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts are so delicious! When you cut into them, you’ll see the mozzarella and basil peeking out. This is a beautiful, colorful dish and I’m going to bet that once you try it you’ll be thinking differently about using your slow cooker during the summer.
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 2 lbs. total
- 1 - 8.5-ounce jar of olive oil packed sun-dried tomatoes (halves or julienne cut)
- 4 mozzarella sticks (also known as string cheese)
- 1-ounce fresh basil
- 1 - 14 ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- ½ cup shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese
- Using a fillet knife carefully slice each chicken breast through the middle to make 6 thin cutlets. Place them in a shallow casserole dish and empty the entire jar of sun-dried tomatoes on top. Let the chicken marinate for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.
- Lay the cutlets flat (reserve the marinade) and place 2-3 basil leaves on top of each. Place a mozzarella stick (trim them to fit) in the middle of each cutlet and, starting at the thicker end, roll it up and secure with a toothpick.
- Place the cutlets in a slow cooker and pour all of the sun-dried tomatoes, with the olive oil marinade, on top. Follow with the artichoke hearts.
- Cook on high for 1½ - 2 hours or on low for 3 - 3½ hours.
- Transfer to a serving dish and remove the toothpicks. Garnish with the remaining basil (chop if desired) and lemon wedges. Serve with Parmesan or Asiago cheese.
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