HASSLE-FREE HASSELBACK CHICKEN

Fussy Eaters?

My kids, like most, are fickle when it comes to food. What’s eaten today could be cast aside and declared inedible tomorrow. I could probably count on my fingers the amount of food items that all of my kids eat. Cheese is one of them. Phew! Dubliner Cheese is a regular on the shopping list. Whether they want red or white cheddar in lunchboxes on any given day, however, is another matter entirely and depends on which direction the wind blows.

Eating Together

I’m not a fan of cooking separate meals for the kids or indeed a bespoke dinner for any one of my mealtime customers. I neither have the time nor the fridge space. It’s important to us that we eat together and what’s more important is that I don’t have more than one batch of pots to wash. That being said, menu planning can be tricky and I often find that we’re stuck in a midweek rut of ‘safe’ bologneses and curries. Hasselback Chicken was a bit of a revelation! 

With very little effort and fuss you can make a healthy and seriously tasty meal that can be easily tweaked slightly to appeal to different tastes. It’s the perfect midweek winter warmer!

What is Hasselback Chicken?

It’s a simple stuffed chicken dish originally created by the Malibu-based personal chef of David Hasselhoff. Nah, just kidding. It has nothing whatsoever to do with David Hasselhoff. That doesn’t stop me visualising him grinning toothily over a plate of cheesy chicken every time I hear the word though. Joking aside (because it’s a serious business, is chicken) it was inspired by sliced Hasselback potatoes that originated in Sweden. I think.

In a nutshell, you make a series of slashes in a chicken breast, stuff it with your choice of delicious fillings and bung it in the oven. Sounds simple because it is! There’s no butterflying, no pounding and no cocktail-sticking. Very, very easy!

Dubliner Hasselback Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes & Pesto 

Hassleback Chicken

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

3 slices (60g) Dubliner vintage cheese or Dubliner white cheddar 
8-10 sundried or semi-sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
4 skinless chicken breasts
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Pesto, to serve

Hassleback Chicken Ingredients
Anyone else have little cheese-pilfering hands lurking in the wings?

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 160°C fan assisted / gas 4.
  2. If using Dubliner pre-sliced cheese, cut each slice into 6 pieces. If using block of Dubliner cheese, cut 4-6 slices, and then cut each slice into 3 pieces. Set aside.
  3. Cut large pieces of sundried tomato in half, set aside.
  4. Cut 4-5 vertical slashes into each chicken breast, only cutting halfway through the chicken. Stuff each slash with pieces of cheese then pieces of sundried tomato.
  5. Arrange stuffed chicken on a baking tray lined with parchment paper then drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then bake for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Drizzle 1 tbsp pesto over each portion.  Serve immediately. Hassleback Chicken

And with the leftovers… 

In the unlikely event that you have any leftovers, mix some cooked pasta with the remaining pesto and serve up cold for lunch with the chicken pieces. Delish.

5 More Variations You (or Someone in the Family) will Love

Here are some more ways to stuff your chicken breasts quicker than The Hoff could wrestle a sub-aquatic explosive device from a sea urchin.

Pizza Hasselback Chicken the Kids will Devour

Chicken Hassleback Pizza

Fry up an onion and two cloves of garlic. Add 500g of passata, a teaspoon of sugar, some seasoning and your favourite Italian herbs and simmer. Then blitz with the blender. Stuff each section with some pepperoni (or any of your favourite pizza toppings), spoon over the sauce and sprinkle generously with Dubliner white grated cheddar. Guaranteed crowd pleaser.

And with the leftovers…

You’ll have about 80% of the sauce left. Freeze it for pizza day or serve it up with some pasta for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner. Two meals in one. Winning!

Cordon Bleu Style Hasselback Chicken

This one is so simple. Pop a slice of Dubliner white cheddar (refer to cheese measurements in the first recipe above) and some smoked ham in each section. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs seasoned with salt, black pepper and a half teasp of garlic powder. Drizzle with olive oil before baking.

Spinach & Ricotta Hasselback Chicken 

Hassleback Chicken Spinach & Ricotta
Spinach & Ricotta Hassleback Chicken topped with Dubliner Cheese

This one is my personal favourite. Cook three large fistfuls of fresh spinach in a little oil until it’s slightly wilted. Stir in half a cup of ricotta and some seasoning. Pack the slashes with the mixture, season and top with a sprinkling of smoked paprika (if you have it – don’t panic if you don’t) and some grated Dubliner white cheddar. Insanely good. Trust me.

And with the leftovers…

Leftovers are delicious in a salad for lunch.

Turn up the Heat with Cajun Hasselback Chicken

Roll the chicken breast in a little cajun spice. Stuff each slash with a combination of thinly sliced red onion and mixed peppers. Season and top with generous helpings of Dubliner red cheddar. Super quick!

Fajita Fiesta Hasselback Chicken

If some like it even hotter, fry up some mushrooms, peppers and onion in fajita spice (or make your own with chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and seasoning). Add two tablespoons of salsa and stuff the chicken with the mixture. Cover the breasts with grated Dubliner red cheddar and bake. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and extra salsa on the side.

And with the leftovers… 

Fill tortilla wraps with leftovers, some extra grated Dubliner cheese and crunchy leaves for a yummy lunch.

Serving up

We usually serve up our Hasselback Chicken with some sweet potato wedges or homemade fries and a bowl of greens. In a fortunate twist of fate, broccoli is another of the items (and one of the few vegetables) all of my children eat.

What’s so Grate about Dubliner Cheese*?

  • It’s made from milk of grass-fed cows. The best kind of cows, I’m told. Just call me Jack Sugden.
  • The calcium, the protein. Yes, please.
  • It’s multi-award winning. Well done, guys!
  • It’s totally natural; no additives. Proper order.
  • It’s suitable for vegetarians, coeliacs and diabetics.
  • It comes in a light version with 33% less fat. Thanks, Dubliner.

Check out #mydeliciousdubliner on Instagram and Twitter for some more winter-warming recipes. You can find regular competitions and meal inspiration on the Dubliner Facebook page and on their website. You can also find them on Instagram and Twitter

*This exercise lent itself to serious cheesy punning. I’ve restrained myself and limited it to just this one. You’re welcome. 

Hasselback Chicken Pin
PIN FOR LATER

I’d love to hear your variations of Hasselback Chicken so I can try them. What’s your favourite filling? If you try any listed here, drop me a comment and let me know what you thought and if you liked this post, I’d love it if you shared it with friends on social media. 

This is a collaborative post with Dubliner Cheese. To find out more about what that means, read my Disclosure page. 


I’ve linked this post with #coolmumclub

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60 Comments

  1. This looks like a winner for us!
    After three solid days of chicken curry, we need a reprieve, however i will hold off on the chicken until next week. It also looks like you could have the chicken sliced and on the tray ready to go in the oven the night before. I am ALL about the night before. Love easy dinners.
    Thanks
    J

    • Sinéad Reply

      Three days of curry is a LOT of curry! Lol. My kids will only eat one specific type of curry and only when the moon is in Gemini. Totally re the prepping the night before!

    • Sinéad Reply

      The universe WANTS you to eat this, Clare! 🤣Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Love the look of the pesto one, Shinners. Must try the Dubliner, do they do a light version?

    • Sinéad Reply

      They do, Laura. Dubliner Lighter has 33% less fat. One Dubliner Light slice is equal to 1 Weightwatcher ProPoint. Good to know, eh?! 🙂

  3. Cheese is a real go to in this house. The boys would happily sit and much their way through a pack of Dubliner cheese! They even open their sandwiches and pick the cheese out to eat it first! Will definitely be giving these hasslefree hasslebacks a whirl.

    • Sinéad Reply

      Sinead, mine do that too! I find lumps of discarded bread all over the place and at the bottom of the school bags! Never seem to find any cheese though! 😉

    • Sinéad Reply

      I hope it works! Let me know if you try them! 🙂

  4. These look grate 😉 Seriously though they do look yummy and I love how with little tweaks you can make a whole new dish! I love cheese so this is right up my street!

    • Sinéad Reply

      It’s Edam hard to help oneself with the cheesy puns?

    • Sinéad Reply

      The spinach and ricotta one is so good. I promise! Hope you enjoy!

  5. Sinead this looks delicious I’m a huge fan of pesto and cheese so this has my name written all over it x

    • Sinéad Reply

      Oh yay! Hope it goes down well with your lot! 🙂

  6. Love this- tried the pizza version this evening and it was a hit all round. And I had the tomato sauce already made in the fridge so it was a seriously quick and easy dinner. Defo going into theeal rotation here.
    Thanks Sinead!

    • Sinéad Reply

      Whoop! Brilliant! I think the pizza one is the fave around here too. Shocker! Mine would bloody live on pizza! 🙂

  7. Wow- def going to try these. They sound like crowd pleasers all round. Mine actually love Dubliner cheese so happy days! 🧀

    • Sinéad Reply

      We’ve been eating it by the bar for the past few days! Yeah, I might have to invest in the lighter version!

  8. These look amazing! And so easy!!! How have I not heard of these before?! I have a picky eater and I think these are definitely worth a whirl!!! Will also be picturing David Hassolhoff, whilst making these now…. 😬😬🤣

    • Sinéad Reply

      I know, Rosie. Like they are just so simple and you can kind of throw in anything you have! Re The Hoff, you’re welcome! 😉

  9. These all look super delish, however I’d challenge anyone to come up with a single meal that pleases my entire family! One daughter is a veggie, one is a total carnivore. One hates potatoes, peas, baked beans, salad and most vegetables. One hates Pizza. Aargh! We do ALL love cheese though which is handy! I swear I should just serve some bread and cheese every night and be done with it 😉

    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#CoolMumClub Linky week 78

    • Sinéad Reply

      Aw man! I often wonder will any of ours turn veggie. Personally, I would miss meat FAR too much!

    • Sinéad Reply

      I’m gonna try with potatoes at some state I think!

  10. I love anything Hasselback (although I always manage to cut right through potatoes when I am slicing them like this!! :D)… I have only made Hasselback chicken once though, but you have given me plenty more inspiration. That cheese sounds great too (I nearly put grate then!) 😀
    Emma Raphael recently posted…The Feather Islands – Fjäderholmarna Stockholm

    • Sinéad Reply

      Lol Emma. I’m always afraid of doing that! Hope you enjoy! 🙂

    • Sinéad Reply

      Nicola, you’re so very welcome. Hope Dex enjoys! My kids go nutso for the pizza version!

  11. I am the owner of a VERY fussy toddler, so anything like this is always worth a try! And it sounds like something I’d like too, so it has the potential to be a win-win (and at very least, it’ll be a win for me!)

    • Sinéad Reply

      Oh I’m hoping it’s a winner in your house, Katy!

    • Sinéad Reply

      Hehe… Interesting the quorn! I’m a total carnivore and so have never eaten quorn but I like your thinking!

  12. I love finding new dinner ideas, these look so quick and easy to make! Will have to give them a try!

    • Sinéad Reply

      Quick and easy are my two favourite words when it comes to cooking!

  13. I’ve never heard of Dubliner cheese – which is surprising as I am a cheese fiend! I will definitely be trying this recipe. Piglet isn’t a particularly fussy eater, but my other half is and it can be difficult to find something he’ll like. I think he’d love this though

    • Sinéad Reply

      It’s Ireland’s finest and it’s sold in the UK too – keep an eye out! It’s so tasty!

    • Sinéad Reply

      And I’m off again with the Baywatch theme tune! 🙂

  14. My kids aren’t veggie and they’d love this. May even try with some Quorn fillets too x

    • Sinéad Reply

      Someone else above mentioned trying it with quorn! I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a quorn fillet, but yay!

    • Sinéad Reply

      I’ve never tried the potatoes! I’ll have to now!

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