Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Walnuts and Swiss Chard

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Walnuts and Swiss Chard
Photography by Grace Natoli Sheldon | Food styling by Dee Dee Schaefer

Bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken gets a healthy makeover with creamy low-fat ricotta cheese and turkey bacon. Served with a salad, this entrée adds decadence to any weeknight dinner.

SERVING SIZE: ½ stuffed chicken breast (220 grams)
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 20 minutes


  • 2 cups Swiss chard leaves
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (20 ounces)
  • 4 slices (2 ounces) turkey bacon
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add chard.
  3. When water returns to boiling, cook for 3 more minutes.
  4. In a strainer, drain chard and press out excess liquid using a fork.
  5. Let cool and press again with hands until no liquid comes out.
  6. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, stir together chard, ricotta, walnuts, egg, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.
  8. Split chicken breasts by placing one hand atop the chicken to hold it steady, and making a long cut horizontally through the middle of the breast. Do not cut all the way through.
  9. Spoon half the chard mixture across one side of a split chicken breast, then fold the breast over the stuffing to close. Repeat with the other breast.
  10. Wrap each stuffed breast with 2 slices of bacon and secure with toothpicks as needed. Remember how many picks are used and remove them all before serving.
  11. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  12. Add chicken and cook one side until golden brown, then flip to brown the other side.
  13. Cover pan, lower heat and cook about 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C).
  14. Remove toothpicks and serve.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 367 calories, 20g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 147mg cholesterol, 643mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g sugar, 41g protein, 557mg potassium, 408mg phosphorus

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Romina Barritta de Defranchi
Romina Barritta, DTR, is a dietitian based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She runs, a networking site for food and nutrition professionals from around the world. She is Board member of the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAAND). Follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.