Today’s guest post is from Brenda Bennett, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Sugar Detox Coach, who teaches courses on sugar-free, low-carb and keto living, as well as shares family-friendly, low-carb, sugar-free recipes, over at her blog, sugarfreemom.com.
Hello KetoConnect Readers! I’m excited to be sharing with you one of my family’s favorite chicken recipes today! This cheesy stuffed keto hasselback chicken recipe with bacon is sure to please even the picky eaters!
I’ve been sharing low-carb recipes on my website since 2011 and have over 1500 free low-carb recipes for you to explore. One of our most popular recipes is my Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole and for dessert, our Keto Cheesecake Brownies are the bomb!
Is Chicken Breast Keto?
Chicken is a fabulous source of protein on a low-carb and keto diet. It’s versatile, inexpensive, and perfect for feeding a family. When you prioritize protein on either diet, it will help keep you satiated and balance your blood sugar.
Dark meat chicken, like thighs with skin, has a lot more flavor than breasts and the extra fat will keep you full and satisfied. It is often preferred to use dark meat chicken on a keto diet because of the higher fat content.
In this recipe today though for hasselback chicken, we are using skinless breasts, but we are adding in a good amount of healthy fat from the ricotta and mozzarella cheese and egg filling.
So technically though chicken breast is often too lean for a keto diet, when a recipe incorporates healthy fats added to the breast, you’ve got yourself a perfect ketogenic meal!
Can I Swap The Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta cheese has a mild taste and blends really well into so many savory recipes. If you love a good lasagna mixture, then ricotta is the cheese to use for filling this hasselback chicken.
I use whole milk ricotta cheese as it has zero carbs. Be careful when purchasing ricotta cheese as some brands will have higher carbs than others. If you can’t find whole milk ricotta, part-skim will also work but it will have some or more carbs in it than whole ricotta.
If you really aren’t a fan of using ricotta cheese, you could swap it with cream cheese. You will need to soften the cream cheese by melting it slightly in the microwave or leaving it out on the counter for a couple of hours to soften, which will make it easier to mix with the rest of the filling ingredients.
Can I Make This Dairy Free?
Yes you could make this hasselback chicken dairy free by swapping the ricotta cheese with a vegan cream cheese. You should also be able to find a vegan shredded cheese similar to mozzarella.
I have found several vegan, dairy free cheeses at Whole Foods and Trader Joes.
Please note, if you have anyone with tree nut allergies in the family, vegan cheese substitutes often use tree nuts, like almonds and cashews.
How To Make Keto Hasselback Chicken
To make these delicious, cheesy, spinach stuffed chicken breasts, you will need just a few fresh ingredients. Start with thick, fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts, oil of choice, salt & pepper, an egg, fresh or frozen cooked spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and of course, bacon.
Make sure, whether you use frozen or fresh spinach, that it is cooked first, drained and squeezed of all water, as best as possible and then weighed for the 4 ounces needed.
Preparing and Baking Hasselback Chicken
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
To prepare your hasselback chicken, place the chicken breasts on a cutting board, and slice 3 slits into each breast about an inch apart and about ¾ of the way down, being careful not to cut through the breast.
Drizzle oil over breasts and rub into the slits with your fingers. Place onto a sheet pan. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the egg, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Evenly spoon spinach cheese mixture into each slit of the breasts.
Place in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of each breast at its thickest part is 165 degrees F.
Place slices of bacon, try not to overlap, onto another large baking sheet pan and place in the oven to cook until crisp, about 20-25 minutes. Once the bacon is done, allow it to cool slightly so you can handle it and chop into pieces.
To serve the chicken , sprinkle the chopped bacon over each breast and serve immediately.
Leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Low Carb Sides To Serve With Hasselback Chicken
There are so many low-carb sides that would go great with this hasselback chicken recipe. You could enjoy this with a side of mashed cauliflower, or cauliflower rice. Another option is a simple cucumber dill salad or try these cheesy grilled asparagus.
If cauliflower rice or mashed doesn’t work for your family, you might try zucchini noodles tossed in Rao’s marinara for them. My kids actually like Shirataki noodles and rice as well.
Whatever low carb or keto sides you choose, the star of this meal is certainly the cheesy hasselback chicken topped with bacon! Anything with cheese and bacon is always a win with my picky family and I hope it will be with yours as well!
More From Brenda At SugarFreeMom.com
I hope you try this delicious keto recipe and let me know how your family liked it! Since I broke up with sugar in 2006 and never looked back, recipe creation became my passion. But I am also a former classroom teacher, so I love teaching others how to do the samel! If you need some support on kicking sugar to the curb, I’ve got you covered with my many Courses available. If you need a little help swapping low carb sweeteners in keto desserts, I’ve got a comprehensive Sweetener Guide & Conversion Chart to make it easier for you. If you have any questions at all, feel free to send me an email, or connect with me on Facebook and Instagram.
Keto Hasselback Chicken Recipe
What You Need:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, and slice 3 slits into each breast, about ¾ of the way, being careful not to cut through the breast.
- Drizzle oil over breasts and rub into the slits with your fingers. Place onto sheet pan. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Evenly spoon spinach cheese mixture into each slit of the breasts. Place in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of each breast at its thickest part is 165 degrees F.
- Place bacon onto another baking sheet pan and place in the oven to cook until crisp, about 20-25 minutes. Once the bacon is done, allow it to cool so you can handle it and chop into pieces.
- When the chicken is done, sprinkle the chopped bacon over each breast and serve immediately.
- Leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.