After returning from another indulgent holiday I really felt like something light and tasty.  The girth had rather expanded so I thought a protein packed, low-carb option should definitely be on the cards.  This one pan wonder was just the ticket.  Tender chicken breasts, deeply scored and stuffed with a mixture of spinach, ricotta, lemon and basil baked in a lightly spiced tomato sauce was deeply satisfying and resting on a bed of chargrilled greens it was low-carb heaven!


If you’ve had a long day and can’t be bothered with chargrilling the veggies, steamed would be equally nice.  I just like the smokey flavour from the grill. If you didn’t want to go the low-carb option then this would be awesome with some mash to mop up the sauce.


Prep time:  25  Minutes                   Cooking time:  30 Minutes                   $$  Medium Budget


Serves 4


Olive oil for frying

4 x 150-200gm chicken breast fillets

200gm of frozen spinach, thawed and any excess water squeezed out

200gm of ricotta

1/2 cup of parmesan, finely grated

6 basil leaves, rolled and finely sliced

grated rind of 1/2 a lemon

2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 tsp of chilli flakes

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 cup of dry white wine

700gm jar of tomato passata

1 tsp of sugar

Sea salt and cracked pepper

1 bunch of broccolini, each halved lengthways

1 zucchini, sliced diagonally half a centimetre apart

Shredded basil, extra virgin olive oil and grated parmesan to serve


Preheat the oven to 200°C


Place the ricotta, parmesan, shredded basil, spinach and lemon rind in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.


Place the breast fillets on a board so they are nice and flat and score them deeply with a sharp knife at 1.5cm intervals on the diagonal.  Be careful not to slice all the way through.  Pull the scored areas apart and spoon the ricotta mixture into the cavities.  set aside while you make the sauce.


Heat a large oven proof casserole or pan and add a little oil.  Lightly fry the garlic and chilli flakes until aromatic and then add the lemon juice and white wine.  Reduce by about half before adding the passata and sugar, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and then using an egg slide, gently lift the chicken breasts from the board and lay them in the sauce.  Pop a lid on and allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes before transferring the pan to the oven, removing the lid first,  for a further 20 minutes or until the ricotta mixture is golden.


While the chicken is cooking heat a griddle pan to nice and hot.  Lay the vegetables in the pan (you may need to do in batches) until they are nice and charred and cooked through.


Divide the veggies between four serving plates.  Remove the chicken from the oven and spoon some of the sauce over the vegetables before carefully lifting the breast fillets from the pan and placing them on top.  Spoon over any remaining sauce and sprinkle over the parmesan cheese, shredded basil and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  Bellissimo!