While this is not necessarily a quick meal from start to finish, it was easy to prep (about 15 minutes). Once I put it in the oven, I was free to prep and cook some other meals I was working on for the week, including a yummy breakfast casserole that I will share soon.
This meal is high in protein, gluten-free, and includes some greens as well. Feel free to add more greens or whole grains as a side to round out your meal. It is also great for leftovers (if it lasts that long!)
1.5 pounds ground chicken
1 cup marinara sauce, divided (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Marinara)
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, steamed and water squeezed out
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, sliced (you could also use shredded)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with foil – shiny side down.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1/4 cup marinara sauce, oats, herbs, garlic, onion, eggs and Parmesan cheese and mix well.
Press half of chicken mixture into loaf pan. Make an indentation in the middle (lengthwise) for the stuffing. Line the indentation with thin slices of cheese, making sure to leave some plain edges so the meatloaf will seal the stuffing inside. Add the steamed spinach on top of the cheese in the indentation. Cover with the rest of the chicken mixture and seal the edges so that the stuffing doesn’t leak out!
Top with remaining 3/4 cup marinara sauce bake for 70-80 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. (Mine took closer to 80 minutes because I used about 1.4 lbs of chicken. If you only use 1 lb of ground chicken, it could be done in about an hour.)
Let cool and serve!
Yield: 6 servings
**Edited to add: Jen from Bakin’ and Eggs also just re-posted her version of this recipe on her healthy living blog – Peanut Butter Runner….so you can find some yummy inspiration there, too. It’s like she read my mind that I just made it!