3 simple grilled chicken breast dishes

Zucchini and goat cheese stuffed chicken breast, one

Zucchini and goat cheese stuffed chicken breast, one of Three Simple grilled stuffed chicken breast dishes. (Credit: Marge Perry)

Marge Perry

Newsday columnist Marge Perry Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts,

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TIP To secure the stuffed breasts, spiral a single piece of butcher's twine lengthwise, tucking each end under the wrapped twine. Remove it with scissors before serving the chicken.

CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH ZUCCHINI AND GOAT CHEESE

2 ounces Neufchâtel (low-fat cream cheese)

2 ounces goat cheese

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup basil, chopped

4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

6 ounces zucchini, cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler

4 (18-inch) lengths of kitchen twine

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat the grill.

2. Combine the Neufchâtel, goat cheese, lemon zest and basil, and stir until soft.

3. Place the breasts on the work surface. Spread the cheese mixture over the side facing up, leaving a 1/2-inch border all the way around. Top the cheese with a pile of zucchini; roll the chicken closed so the edges overlap by at least 1/2 inch. Secure the roll closed with a piece of twine. Repeat with remaining chicken. Brush the rolls on all surfaces with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Grill 4 minutes, or until undersides are well marked. Turn a quarter turn, cook again until well marked on undersides and again turn. Continue process until chicken is cooked through -- about 16 minutes in all. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 206 calories, 27 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 445 mg sodium

CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH FETA, OLIVE AND RED PEPPER

 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets

1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed

4 (18-inch) lengths of kitchen twine

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat grill.

2. Combine feta, olives, dill and marjoram in a bowl.

3. Pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Divide the cheese mixture evenly among the 4 breasts, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the perimeter. Top with red pepper strips and roll up each breast until it overlaps; secure with the twine. Brush the outsides with olive oil and season with pepper.

4. Grill 4 minutes, or until undersides are well marked. Turn a quarter turn, cook again until well marked on the undersides and again turn. Continue the process until the chicken is cooked through -- about 16 minutes in all. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 225 calories, 26 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 607 mg sodium

CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH SPINACH AND CHEESE

1/2 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

5 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets

4 (18-inch) lengths of kitchen twine

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat grill.

2. Combine the cheeses, spinach, nutmeg and thyme in a bowl.

3. Pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Divide the filling mixture evenly among the 4 breasts, piling it in a log shape down the center of each breast. Roll each breast up until it overlaps; secure with the twine. Brush the outsides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Grill 4 minutes, or until undersides are well marked. Turn a quarter turn, cook again until well marked on the undersides and again turn. Continue the process until the chicken is cooked through -- about 16 minutes in all. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 203 calories, 30 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 578 mg sodium