Elevate your family’s dinner experience by preparing stuffed meats that are bursting with gooey, creamy, and zesty ingredients. With a little help from a sharp knife, some twine, and various cheeses, leafy greens, veggies, and fruit, you can easily transform plain cuts of meat and boring tenderloins into dishes such as Stuffed Chicken Breasts Cordon Bleu, Balsamic Marinated Stuffed Flank Steak, and Chorizo-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. After preparing these seven recipes, you and your family will be singing stuffed meats’ praises!
1. Stuffed Beef Tenderloin
Paula Deen’s recipe for Stuffed Beef Tenderloin via the Food Network is simple, straightforward, and perfect for someone who is making stuffed meat for the first time. You’ll butterfly your beef tenderloin, rub the inside with soy sauce, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and then add your creamy mushroom mixture. Once you tie your tenderloin up and place it in the oven, you can sit back and relax while this delicious dinner cooks. The recipe yields 2 to 3 servings.
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup chopped shallots or yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1 (1½ pound) beef tenderloin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Soy sauce, to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium skillet, melt the butter and cook the shallots or onion over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook over low heat about 5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Let cool. Butterfly the beef tenderloin by cutting the beef lengthwise down the center to within ½-inch of the other side. Set the beef aside. To stuff the tenderloin, open the beef and sprinkle in the inside with salt and pepper and rub with soy sauce.
Spoon the mushroom mixture down the center of the tenderloin. Bring the 2 sides of the tenderloin up and around the filling to meet. Using butcher string, tie the tenderloin together at 2-inch intervals. Place the tenderloin in a roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes for medium rare. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice about 1½ inches thick.
2. Balsamic Marinated Stuffed Flank Steak
Filled with prosciutto and cheese, The Kitchn’s Balsamic Marinated Stuffed Flank Steak shows off just how flavorful and versatile flank steak can be. The longer you let your meat marinate, the better the flavor, so give your steak plenty of time to soak in the tangy sauce. The recipe yields 2 to 4 servings.
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (2- to 3-pound) flank steak
- 3 ounces prosciutto
- 6 slices provolone cheese
- 1 cup spinach, basil, or arugula
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Neutral cooking oil, such as canola
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the marinade, combine balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth. With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a plastic zip-top bag and add the flank steak. Remove excess air and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove the flank steak from the marinade and pat dry, discarding the marinade. Arrange the steak on a clean work surface so the long edge runs perpendicular to you. Using a sharp knife and cutting parallel to your work surface, butterfly the steak in half lengthwise.
Make sure not to cut all the way through. Fold open the meat like you would a book and gently flatten the seam to form a rectangle. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the steak to a ¼-inch thickness. Arrange the meat on a work surface with the grain running north and south. Lightly season the top with salt and pepper. Lay the prosciutto slices in an even layer parallel to the grain, leaving a one-inch space at the top edge. Next add the provolone, followed by the spinach. Start rolling the flank steak away from you, making sure to keep it as compact as possible as you roll.
Once rolled, tie the stuffed roll in regular intervals with kitchen twine and season the outside with salt and pepper. To cook the steak, add a few tablespoons oil to a large cast iron or oven-proof skillet and heat on medium-high to high until smoking. Add the rolled flank steak to the pan and sear until deep golden brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer reads 125 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of the roll, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Snip the strings and cut steak into ½ to ¾-inch slices.
3. Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Spring Onions, and Thyme
Stuffing meat doesn’t mean you need to spend all night in the kitchen. Cooking Light’s recipe, for example, can be stuffed and refrigerated up to one day in advance, making it a great dish to enjoy during the week. This is also a great option for anyone who’s on the lookout for low-calorie dinners — one chicken breast half and 2 teaspoons of sauce contain 274 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, and 6.6 grams of carbs.
- 1½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1⅓ cups thinly sliced spring onions (about 1 pound)
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon fat-free milk
- 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- Cooking spray
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
Directions: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to pan; cook 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Combine onion mixture, ¼ teaspoon salt, cheese, parsley, milk, and thyme in a small bowl, stirring with a fork. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket; stuff 1½ tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket.
Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes; turn chicken over. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add broth, and cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 9 minutes. Serve with chicken.
4. Meat Loaf Stuffed with Prosciutto and Spinach
Transform a classic comfort food into an elegant entree by stuffing your meatloaf with spinach, carrots, prosciutto, and cheese. You can also make Food & Wine’s recipe ahead of time; the unbaked loaf can be refrigerated overnight. It yields 8 servings.
- 2 large carrots, each cut lengthwise into 6 slices
- 4 cups spinach (3 ounces), thick stems discarded
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 2½ cups fresh bread crumbs
- 2 cups freshly grated pecorino cheese (6 ounces)
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 12 thin slices of prosciutto (4 ounces)
- ½ pound caciocavallo or provolone cheese, cut into twelve ⅛-inch-thick slices
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup water
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the carrots until tender, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook just until wilted; drain well and add to the carrots. In a large bowl, combine the beef with the pork, 2 cups of the bread crumbs, the pecorino, eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper; mix well with your hands. Line a work surface with a 15-inch-long sheet of plastic wrap. In a bowl, mix the flour with the remaining ½ cup of bread crumbs. Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture all over the plastic wrap. Transfer half of the meat loaf mixture to the plastic and press it into a 12-by-10-inch rectangle, about ½-inch thick.
Lay half of the spinach leaves over the meat, leaving a 1-inch border on the short sides. Arrange half of the carrots over the spinach, and top with half the prosciutto and sliced cheese. Starting from the long end of the plastic wrap closest to you, tightly roll up the meat loaf, tucking in the filling and using the plastic wrap to guide you; discard the plastic. Repeat with another 15-inch sheet of plastic and the remaining bread crumbs, meat mixture, spinach, carrots, prosciutto and cheese. Drizzle each meat loaf with 2 tablespoons of oil. Put the rosemary sprigs in the bottom of a broiler pan and pour in the red wine. Cover with the broiler pan grate. Set the meat loaves about 2 inches apart on the grate.
Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes. Turn the broiler pan around and pour the water through the grate. Continue baking for about 35 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of each meat loaf registers 165 degrees. Transfer the meat loaves to a carving board and cover loosely with foil. Discard any cheese from the bottom of the pan and strain the pan juices into a small saucepan. Boil the pan juices over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour into a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Using a serrated knife, slice the meat loaves 1 inch thick and serve, passing the pan juices at the table.
5. Chorizo-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Consisting of chorizo, cheese, and spinach, this stuffed pork tenderloin is a mouth-watering dinner that will appease any appetite. For a delectable and well-rounded meal, Eating Well suggests serving your meat with roasted potatoes, sautéed red peppers, capers, parsley, and sherry vinegar. The recipe yields 4 servings.
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- ½ cup shredded smoked or extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 ounces Spanish chorizo or hard salami, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 (1 to 1¼ pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine spinach, cheese, chorizo, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Combine garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in another bowl; set aside. To butterfly the tenderloin, lay it on a large cutting board. Holding the knife blade flat and parallel to the board, make a lengthwise cut through the center of the meat, stopping short of the opposite edge so that the tenderloin remains in one piece. Cover with plastic wrap.
With a meat mallet, rolling pin or heavy pan, pound the pork to an even ¼-inch thickness. Spread the spinach mixture in the center of the pork, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Starting at a long side, roll up the pork to enclose the filling. To keep the stuffing from falling out during roasting, fold in about 1 inch of the two short ends as you roll. Tie kitchen string firmly lengthwise around the roast to secure the two ends, then tie it crosswise at 2-inch intervals.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and lightly brown the pork on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Brush the top with the reserved garlic mixture; season with pepper. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest on a clean cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing.
6. Stuffed Chicken Breasts Cordon Bleu
Your family will love sitting down to a dinner that stars Pillsbury’s Stuffed Chicken Breasts Cordon Bleu. Filled with creamy, cheesy ham and bacon, these boneless chicken breasts are unbelievably easy to prepare — the recipe requires 15 minutes of prep time and 6 ingredients.
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (1¼ to 1½ pounds)
- ¼ cup finely shredded Swiss cheese (1 ounce)
- ¼ cup finely chopped ham (1 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons real bacon pieces (from 2.8-ounce package)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ⅓ cup plain dry bread crumbs
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To form pocket in each chicken breast, cut 3-inch-long slit in thick side of each breast, cutting into breast about 2 inches and to within ½ inch of opposite side. In small bowl, mix cheese, ham and bacon. Spoon evenly into pockets in chicken; secure openings with toothpicks. Place melted butter in shallow dish.
Place bread crumbs on sheet of waxed paper. Dip each stuffed chicken breast in butter; roll in bread crumbs to coat. Place in ungreased 8-inch square glass baking dish. Sprinkle any remaining bread crumbs over chicken. Bake 30 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut. Remove toothpicks before serving.
7. Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cherries and Apricots
For those of you looking for a fruitier dinner dish, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards’ Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cherries and Apricots is a must-make for supper. If you’re looking for a side, we suggest making Real Simple’s Apricot and Almond Rice.
- 1 pork tenderloin
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup dried apricots
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil for sautéing
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, chop the dried fruit until it forms a ball. Remove the dried fruit and roll out on a cutting board to make a “rope” the size of a pencil and the length of the pork tenderloin. Place the tenderloin on a cutting board and make an incision down the center about halfway though the tenderloin to make a pocket. Place the dried fruit roll down the center.
Enclose the tenderloin around the filling and tie the tenderloin with kitchen twine to keep closed. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sear the meat a few minutes on each side to give it a nice golden color. Bake for 15 minutes, turning the meat over at the halfway time. Remove from the oven and let rest before removing the strings and slicing.