Basil and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken with Pasta Salad Recipe

Special enough for a weekend dinner party but easy enough for a midweek meal, these healthy pesto and mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts pack a flavour punch. Serve with a simple Italian-inspired pasta salad for a breezy summer supper that the whole family will love.

Serves 4 - 15 mins to prepare and 30-35 mins to cook - 530 calories / serving - Freezable

1 x 30g pack basil, roughly chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
4 x 150g skinless chicken breast fillets
150g (5 1/4oz) half-fat mozzarella, sliced
200g (7oz) fusilli
150g (5 1/4oz) baby plum tomatoes, halved
50g (1 3/4oz) pitted olives, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salad leaves, to serve

Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Blitz the basil in a food processor with the garlic, pine nuts, 1 tbsp oil and seasoning into a smooth pesto. Add 1-2 tsp water to loosen if necessary.

Cut a slit into the thickest side of each chicken breast. Spoon a dollop of the pesto and 2 mozzarella slices into each slit. Secure each opening shut with a cocktail stick. Put on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through and the juices run clear.
Meanwhile, in a pan of salted, boiling water, cook the fusilli for 10-12 minutes, until al dente. Drain, refresh under cold water and shake dry. Transfer to a bowl.
Stir the tomatoes, olives and parsley through the pasta with the vinegar and remaining oil.
Preheat a barbecue or griddle pan. Brush the chicken with a little oil and cook on each side, until the chicken is charred to your liking. Rest for 5 minutes and serve with the pasta salad and salad leaves.

Tip: You will have about 2 tbsp pesto left over. It will keep, chilled, in a jar for up to three days.
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