Ricotta chicken with tomato salsa

Ricotta chicken with tomato salsa


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Pesto gives a wonderfully intense flavour to this dish and reveals its deep colour when the chicken breast is sliced open, while a tomato, basil and red onion salsa adds refreshing tanginess.

Pat Alburey

Serves: 4 

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 185 g each
  • 100g ricotta cheese
  • 5 tablespoons pesto
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • a small handful of basil leaves
  • 1 loaf crusty Italian bread

Preparation:10min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:25min 

  1. Preheat the griller to moderately high. Cut a deep slit lengthways down the side of each chicken breast to make a pocket.
  2. Put the ricotta cheese into a small bowl with 1 tablespoon pesto and mix together. Spoon a quarter of the mixture into each breast pocket, then fold the chicken over to enclose the filling.
  3. Place the breasts in an oiled griller tray or shallow baking tray, brush well with the olive oil and season with black pepper. Grill for 7–8 minutes each side, until cooked through. Put aside and keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, finely chop the tomatoes, then peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, mix together and season generously with black pepper. Put a few basil leaves aside for a garnish; tear the rest and add to the salsa.
  5. Cut four slices of bread and spread with the remaining pesto. Lightly toast under the griller.
  6. Arrange the chicken on the toast on individual plates. Spoon some salsa alongside and garnish with the reserved basil leaves.


Use a food processor to speed up the chopping of the tomatoes, onion and garlic, but take care to process each of them for no more than a few seconds, to leave some texture in the salsa.


If ricotta is not available, use cream cheese instead or, if necessary, some finely grated hard cheese, such as Gruyère or a mild Cheddar.


good source of vitamins A, B group, C and E.

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