Skip to main content

Chicken dinner ideas: Hasselback chicken takes 30 minutes, and it’s incredibly tasty

The trifecta: Easy, delicious, and nutritious

Baked roasted hasselback chicken stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach
Ezume Images / Adobe Stock

After a long day at work, we all need go-to, easy recipes that are both quick and satisfying. Basic grilled chicken can quickly become boring, but we’ve got you covered. Perfect for a simple weeknight dinner, Hasselback chicken is the true trifecta of chicken dinner ideas, as it’s easy, delicious, and nutritious. What more could you ask for in a recipe?

Not only can you make this delicious recipe in only 30 minutes, but it’s one of the most versatile dinner ideas with chicken. Check out how to make this delish recipe below, along with some tasty variations to keep things interesting.

What you’ll need

Part of the appeal of this incredibly yummy chicken dinner idea is the limited ingredients required. Many chicken breast recipes for dinner require the preparation of elaborate sauces, which means more ingredients to purchase. Instead, Hasselback chicken requires only a few simple ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 chicken breasts (thicker chicken breasts are ideal)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps to prepare

What makes this chicken dinner recipe unique is its method of preparation, which requires cutting small slits into a chicken breast. This creates a pocket within the chicken, perfect for stuffing the spinach and cheese mixture. To make Hasselback chicken, follow these steps:

  1. Cook the spinach on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a splash of any cooking oil of your choice, cooking for 3-5 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  2. Mix the ricotta cheese in the pan, stirring for about 1 minute. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool.
  3. Cut slits on the top of each chicken breast, spaced about 1 cm apart. The number of slits you’ll have depends on the size of your chicken breast. The most important part of this step is not to cut all the way through — only cut about 3/4 of the way into the chicken.
  4. Stuff each slit with the spinach/ricotta mixture
  5. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add other seasonings, if desired, such as garlic or onion powder. 
  6. Next, add the shredded cheddar on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle and garnish with paprika.
A person making dinner in the kitchen.
Jason Briscoe / Unsplash

Cooking methods

Once your Hasselback chicken has been prepared, it’s time to cook. This versatile recipe is traditionally made by oven baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and the cheese on top has melted.

Can’t get enough of your air fryer? This chicken recipe also comes out great in the air fryer. For air fryer cooking, cook at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. The time required depends on the thickness of your chicken breast and the model of your air fryer.

Changing up the filling

Once you fall in love with this delicious and easy dinner recipe, try experimenting with new fillings. You can replace the shredded cheddar in this recipe with other cheeses to create a different flavor, such as mozzarella, gruyere, or even parmesan. Spices and seasonings can also be adjusted to taste.

While the traditional recipe uses spinach, Hasselback chicken can also be made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, or bacon. This savory recipe won’t get boring, offering plenty of ways to customize based on your own taste preferences. 

Editors' Recommendations

Emily Caldwell
Emily is a freelance lifestyle, food, fitness, and nutrition/health writer with a B.S. in Health & Human Services from…
5 easy fall dinner ideas that have nothing to do with pumpkin spice
Fall is more than just pumpkin spice season, you know
Carrot soup

Look, we all love pumpkin spice. Whether we care to admit it or not, it's delicious, and there's just no getting around it. But, as with everything in life, there can be too much of a good thing. This time of year, greedy pumpkin spice is hard to avoid. It even came for Spam, for God's sake.
The thing is, though, fall flavors aren't just about pumpkin spice - no matter what almost every product on the shelf is trying to tell us right now. Fall dinner recipes should include all of the warm and comforting, cozy and homey spicy sweet flavors that make us want to cuddle up by the fire or gleefully purchase yet another flannel shirt.
And while those flavors can be eclipsed by the big round gourd that has the world under its spell this time of year, it's important to remember the equally delicious fall ingredients, like maple and hazelnut, chai, and ginger.
So if you, like us, have been looking for fall dinner ideas, but trying to dodge the annoyingly popular pumpkin spice - even just temporarily - until the crazy dies down, these are some great recipes to try that still feel like fall.

Maple glazed chicken thighs recipe

Read more
5 easy, delicious sheet pan dinners you’ll want to make this fall
Sheet pan meals: Dinner doesn't have to be complicated to be delicious
Pork chops sheet pan

Sheet pan dinners are amazing in autumn for lots of reasons. For one, healthy sheet pan dinners for family gatherings or just for two contain a plethora of delicious fall ingredients, filling your home with enticing scents and warm, fuzzy feelings is enough to make anyone want to grab a chef's hat and run to the kitchen.

But sometimes all of those wonderful fall flavors come with complex cooking techniques and hours of labor. And let's be real — sometimes (usually) we just don't have time for all of that. But what if we told you that sheet pan meal prep was simple to make healthy, wholesome, and tasty dinners, would you believe us? Sounds pretty remarkable, doesn't it?
Sheet pan dinners are something of a miracle. And while you can make them year-round, there's something about fall that makes these dinners taste even better. So grab your favorite sheet pan and let's dive into our top sheet pan meal ideas for autumn dinners.

Read more
This pad thai recipe isn’t authentic, but it’s so good and insanely simple to put together you won’t even care
Pad thai usually takes time, but this one? It's quick and really good
Pad thai

We love a good pad thai for all of its savory, nutty umami, fish sauce funk, fresh assortment of vegetables, and peanuty crunch. The delicious dish is a takeout superstar, ready to satisfy and provide crave-worthy leftovers for days. But if you've ever made pad thai in your own kitchen, you know that it can be somewhat of a lengthy, ingredient-heavy process. And while the traditional pad thai recipe dish is a worthwhile effort, we don't always have the time or the ingredients handy. That's why we love this take.

Our shortcut version of pad thai is every bit as delicious as your local takeout spot, and you can have it on the table in about 20 minutes. Furthermore, this four-ingredient pad thai sauce recipe is one you'll love to have on hand for many dishes to come.

Read more