bacon wrapped stuffed chicken

5 Hearty, Impressive-Looking Stuffed Meals

Last Updated on February 25, 2024

What is it about a stuffed meal that makes it so uniquely appealing? Take a vegetable like bell peppers or squash, or a cut of meat, fill it with herbs, breadcrumbs, cheese, and/or other flavorful ingredients, and it’s an instant upgrade.

The best part: As good as they look, stuffed meals are often easy to make. We rounded up some of our favorites here — all are simple to prepare, but feel extra special to serve and enjoy.

Tapenade and Feta-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin serves as a juicy, tender canvas for a homemade tapenade with olives, crumbled feta, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes. Finish the pork with a crispy crust made from egg, panko breadcrumbs, and fresh parsley, and you’ve got a meal that’s easy enough for a weeknight but also special enough for guests, ready in 30 minutes.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breast

Why stuff your chicken with one type of cheese when you can have two? Throw some veggies in there for good measure, too. Stuff the cheesy asparagus mixture into pockets you cut into chicken breasts, wrap the chicken in bacon and bake. It’s a celebration of flavors and textures, and it’s on the table in 30 minutes.

Gluten-Free Mushroom and Bacon Braciole

Braciole is the Italian-American form of a roulade, which is a butterflied cut of meat rolled up with a special filling. In this recipe, you stuff an eye round roast with bacon, mushrooms, onions, garlic, thyme, and parsley. Then you sear the roast in ghee. Finally, you bring it all together with a pan sauce made with red wine, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and thyme. The result is an incredibly savory, melt-in-your-mouth meal. This one takes longer to make thanks to a low-and-slow braise, but the hands-on time is still under 30 minutes. Plan this one for a special Sunday dinner.

Bison-Stuffed Squash with Hot Honey Glaze

Here’s a recipe that’s sweet, savory, a touch spicy, and combines different textures — so it’s extra satisfying. Plus, with the combo of ground bison, acorn squash, herbs, kale, apple and pear, green pepper, and wild rice, you don’t even need side dishes. A drizzle of hot honey on top gives this dish something extra. If acorn squash isn’t ready available, you can use delicata.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Stuffed with Chilies, Garlic and Broccolini

The air fryer and skin-on chicken thighs are a natural match, giving you crisp skin and tender meat with very little hands-on work. That winning combination gets a glow-up with a simple but flavorful stuffing that you put under the skin before cooking. The stuffing has just a few ingredients, but each one adds so much flavor: broccolini, pickled chilies, almonds, garlic, lime, cumin. Serve it with roasted potatoes and a salad, and add some yogurt or labneh on the side if you have it on hand.


Courtney Hamilton is a writer and editor with over seven years' experience in journalism, blogging, communications, and other media. She has written for publications like PaleoHacks, PaleoPlan, The Center for American Progress, OC Weekly, and more. 
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