Make This Apple-Stuffed Chicken and Chard for a High-Protein, Low-Calorie Dinner
- 19 grams
- 3 grams
- 36 grams
- 13 grams
Note: These values represent one serving of four.
One of the best things about fall is a sweet apple haul, whether you’ve hand-picked them yourself or just foraged for them at the supermarket. While pies, tarts, crumbles, and other luscious desserts are a tasty way to use up those apples, they might not be great for your fitness goals when you eat them in abundance.
Balance out the decadence with a savory dish that lets you appreciate the delicious flavor and nutritional value of apples without dousing them in added sugar. This recipe doubles up on apples—they’re both stuffed into lean chicken breasts and sauteed with Swiss chard—for lots of juicy fall flavor.
Most apple varieties will work for this dish, but if you have a choice and want peak nutritional impact, consider the Red Delicious. “Like all apples, you’ll find fiber-rich carbohydrates and antioxidants,” says John Christie, registered dietitian and Tonal’s Director of Curriculum. “But the deep red skin of the Red Delicious is one of the better choices for polyphenols like epicatechin, which is a highly bioactive nutrient that has shown beneficial impact for muscle recovery and preservation of lean mass over time.”
The chicken and apples are paired with Swiss chard, an easy-to-cook leafy green, to provide a protein punch that’s low on carbs and calories.
“The deep green Swiss chard is rich in anti-inflammatory chemicals like vitamins A and E, as well as quercetin, which has a wide range of health and performance effects on circulation and immune function,” Christie adds.
Give this a try for a simple, healthy weeknight dinner.
Apple-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Swiss Chard
- Prep Time
- 20 min
- Cook Time
- 25 min
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 large apples such as Red Delicious, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Jazz
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bunches Swiss chard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
Core and cut 1 apple into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick. Core and dice the second apple and set aside in a bowl.
Place only the apple slices (not the diced apple) in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the mustard-maple glaze. (Reserve the remaining glaze for finishing the chicken.)
Make a “pocket” in each chicken breast by carefully running a paring knife down its length while holding the chicken flat with your non-dominant hand. Make sure not to cut the entire way through the breast.
Fill the pockets with sliced apples, fanning them out inside each chicken breast.
Season the stuffed chicken breasts lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.
Trim any brown ends off the chard stems and separate the stems from the leaves. Roughly chop the stems and combine with the apples. Roughly chop the leaves separately.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (12-inch) ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the diced apple, chard stems and kosher salt to taste. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly softened.
Add the chard leaves and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more until wilted. Transfer the chard and apples to a bowl and reserve while you sear the chicken.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Carefully place the stuffed chicken breasts in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until browned.
Turn off the heat and carefully flip the chicken breasts.
Return the cooked chard and apple mixture to the skillet, nestling it around the chicken. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the chicken and chard.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more, until the chicken is fully cooked. (Timing will vary based on the thickness of your chicken breasts.) Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.
Remove from the oven and drizzle the remaining glaze over the chicken.