Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Like the best ham and cheese sandwich ever; but stuffed into pan-seared chicken (instead of bread) and topped with sweet honey mustard, fresh sliced tomato and more stretchy cheese. Prepare to be amazed - especially because you need just 6 ingredients!

This is kind of like healthy Cordon Bleu, a classic dish where meat (chicken, veal or pork) is wrapped around ham and cheese, breaded and pan-fried or deep-fried. Sure, it's a fun little meal, but it's also loaded with calories and fat. Not this healthy version; and I can promise you won't miss the gluttony. You can enjoy all those classic flavors (with a burst of tomato sunshine), and feel light as a feather after dinner.
When I created this dish, I wasn't trying to invent a show-stopping meal. But, look at it! It's absolutely gorgeous, and worthy of a dinner party. But it couldn't be easier. The fact that there are just 6 ingredients says it all.
I love how this dish starts on the cooktop and finishes in the oven. The best of both worlds - the flavor of pan-seared chicken (golden brown meat with juicy bits leftover in the pan), and the convenience of oven-roasting (which frees you up to do other things).

Feel free to get creative with your version of this dish. Choose your favorite ham variety (smoked, sweet, Black Forest). For the cheese, Swiss is the classic choice, but cheddar, provolone, American, Monterey jack, and pepper jack would work just as well.

Same with the mustard - the recipe calls for honey mustard, but you can certainly use Dijon or a country-style mustard if that's what you prefer.

If you don't have an oven-proof skillet, after you pan-sear the chicken, transfer it to a shallow baking dish to finish cooking in the oven.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken 

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 4-5 ounces each
8 slices Swiss cheese or cheese of choice, divided
4 slices deli ham of choice
Salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons honey mustard or Dijon mustard
1 cup thinly sliced tomato (I prefer vine-ripened or Roma)
Chopped fresh parsley for serving, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using a sharp knife, create a "pocket" in each chicken breast by slicing horizontally into the breast, almost through to the other side, but not all the way through. Place 1 slice of cheese and 1 slice of ham into each chicken pocket (reserve the remaining 4 slices of cheese for the top). Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and dried basil.
Heat the oil in a large skillet (preferably an oven-proof skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook for 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven (or transfer the chicken to a shallow baking dish if you don't have an oven-proof skillet) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, top the chicken with the mustard, sliced tomatoes and remaining cheese. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 5 to 7 more minutes, until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through.
Top with parsley (if using) and serve.
Serves 4