A Seasoned Cream Cheese Stuffing Takes Chicken Valentino To The Next Level

Stuffed chicken Valentino is a rather decadent dish with a blend of cheeses, roasted red bell peppers, fresh herbs, and sometimes prosciutto. If you want to take its decadence to an even higher level, stuff the chicken breasts with spoonfuls of seasoned cream cheese for more flavor and contrasting textures. Some traditional recipes use fontina cheese for stuffing, but using cream cheese seasoned with fresh herbs elevates the dish further in terms of creaminess and earthy aromas.

For inspiration, we turn to our version of stuffed chicken Valentino from Tasting Table recipe developer Jessica Case. In this original recipe, Case mixes plain cream cheese with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, which add a slight chewiness to the mixture. The recipe also blends in parmesan cheese, fresh herbs like basil and parsley, and seasonings like crushed red pepper for more herby and mildly spicy flavor profiles. We think it's a delicious rendition of the classic version, but the best part of the dish is that you can customize it with any type of seasoned cream cheese or other fillings you're craving.

Cream cheese variations for stuffed chicken Valentino

To make it easy, use flavored cream cheese from the grocery store or your local bagel shop. Chive and onion, garlic and herb, or vegetable cream cheeses are all delicious options to effortlessly add layers of umami or an herbaceous kick to your chicken Valentino. You can take it a step further with the flavored cream cheese and blend in your own freshly-chopped herbs or sun-dried tomatoes. Or, go with chopped bacon for some crunchiness and meaty flavor.

If you want to mix plain cream cheese with ingredients other than what Case suggests, we have a few more ideas. For those who like spinach and artichoke dip, why not turn that into a version of chicken Valentino? Mix plain cream cheese with spinach, chopped artichoke hearts for buttery taste and soft texture, garlic for umami, and parmesan cheese for a bit of salinity. For Mediterranean flair, mix the cream cheese with Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, and chunks of feta for a tangy taste and texture with a bite. And if you like spicy food, try adding sliced jalapeños and red chili flakes, then top the chicken breasts with sliced cherry peppers or more jalapeños.

You can get creative with the cream cheese mixture for stuffed chicken Valentino. No matter what you choose, serve it over a bed of rice, mashed potatoes, or tortellini to lean into the Italian inspiration of the dish.