Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Chicken, Grilled Veggie Couscous, and a Fresh Salad from my Garden

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With the long weekend ahead of us and the Fourth of July right around the corner you might consider this as one of your meals, Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Chicken. Placing an herby, cheesy and citrusy mixture of creamy ricotta underneath the skin turns a simple chicken into something quite amazing!

I get all my chicken from Whole Foods, I know where they come from and I love how clean and fresh they look and the friendly butcher behind the counter is always happy to do anything I ask so I don’t even have to get my hands messy! Lately every chicken I buy I’ve been asking him to cut the back out for me, better known as spatchcocked or butterflied. I just love how even and fast it cooks up being cut that way.

For this particular recipe you’re going to be loosening the skin all around which will make it easier for you to place your ricotta mixture underneath. Just wiggle your fingers carefully under the skin along the top and bottom of the breast, thighs and tops of the legs.

For the ricotta filling mix up 1lb of ricotta with fresh herbs of your choice, I used basil and parsley along with grated parmesan or romano cheese, salt, pepper, lemon zest and chopped sundried tomatoes. In a small pan, saute 1 clove of minced garlic and either sliced green onions or the lighter part of a leek, when soft, toss and stir into the ricotta mixture.
Lift up the skin and stuff your bird wiggling the ricotta mixture down to cover all areas. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil on top. Roast in a 450F oven for 30 minutes with tin foil over the breast part, then remove foil and turn oven down to 400F and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 180F. Let it rest before cutting into it. (You could grill this but make sure you don’t lose your ricotta mixture.)

While the chicken is cooking in the oven you can be outside grilling up some vegetables for this delicious side dish of Grilled Vegetable Couscous, better yet get it done earlier in the day so you can be sipping your favorite drink instead!

Cook your couscous according to the package, I like the large Israeli couscous, toast it first in olive oil then add water, it’s usually equal amounts. I had 1 1/3 cups of couscous and the same amount of water. When it cools down to room temperature add your grilled veggies, I used red, yellow, orange and green peppers, Vadalia onions, portobello mushrooms and fresh corn. Add lots of chopped basil, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

I’m excited to share my first romaine salad of the year that my green thumb husband grew for us, he has it growing in pots as well as in the ground.

He won’t let me cut the leaves off for fear I might destroy the plant, he’s very particular. Look how proud he is!

The leaves were so tender and fresh even the core was delicious, simply dressed with my very best olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and light shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano, simply the best!

Have a great weekend and Buon Appetito!

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  1. I just tried this tonight and oh my it was WONDERFUL…what an amazing taste and texture…the whole family loved it both kids, grandparents and us…I am almost thinking of replacing my Christmas dinner for this delightful dish….THANK YOU for your website I absolutely love it!

  2. Looks a lovely recipe – can’t wait to try it!

  3. Just made this chicken and it was to die for!!! Another one of your dishes added to my family favorites!

  4. Hmmm this recipe looks so delicious and nice and i think that fits perfect with my taste and in my opinion is a very easy recipe, so i think i will try it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Anonymous says


  6. Isn’t it a great feeling to pick your first garden salad, Marie? Your romaine growing in the pots is beautiful! So is that pot of couscous with the grilled veggies – I could make a meal out of that!

  7. I have some herbs on my garden and always is a joy to pick up some. Your chicken looks fabulous

  8. I will definitely be trying this and i will add to my collection of baked chicken recipes

  9. I love how you dress all your food – a squeeze of lemon here, a combo of herbs there. And now you definitely will have me dressing a chicken with ricotta – I have never done that. This is all summer goodness and the fresh lettuce has me thinking of the baby lettuces Frances Mayes serves in Tuscany.

  10. Hi Marie – what a fabulous meal. I’ve never made a chicken like that, terrific idea. The couscous sounds like the perfect accompaniment. And that romaine plant is so pretty, I don’t know if I could cut it…
    Hope you all had a marvelous 4th!

  11. bellissimo blog, complimenti, ti verrò a trovare ancora!

  12. Very beautiful and so delicious!

  13. That chicken looks AMAZING! Awesome meal.

  14. I have already added this to my menu for next week. I can’t wait to try it!!!

  15. That chicken looks incredible, Marie! I would never have thought to stuff ricotta under the skin like that. YUM! The couscous looks divine and what gorgeous romaine! Oh, we do love the summer garden!!!

  16. What a great meal. I really like the herb and ricotta blend. It’s so nice to eat your own food. Our lettuce and other spring items are long gone, but we’re getting the good summer items now – first tomato today.

  17. The ricotta stuffing under the skin is marvellous! I loved the uniqueness. Would love to visit here again for more. Happy blogging!!

  18. Wow! I’m drooling. This looks amazing!

  19. Well, that must be the recipe for a happy marriage: an excellent cook and a great gardener. The care and passion you both put into what you do is so clear.

    I’d eat anything from this post and sha’nt wait for a special occasion. Great job!

  20. Looks delicious! I’ll have to try this dinner! Love the colors on the couscous and the lettuce looks fabulous!

  21. Marie, i’m drooling… everything looks absolutely delicious! And I’m so impressed with your home-grown romaine.

  22. This meal sounds and looks so delicious. I will have to try this. Never thought to put ricotta under the skin. Yum. xo

  23. You always manage to make something extraordinary with the ordinary – and that chicken you concocted is extraordinary. I want to be there for that bbq with the couscous salad too.

  24. THe chicken looks fit for a King to eat, Marie! I never would have thought to put a ricotta stuffing under the skin…I will have to try this!

    I also love the BBQ couscous mixture… So healthy.

    happy 4 th of July!

  25. How good it looks, and those grilld vegetables are great. This is a delicious recipe so i will give it a try for sure, thanks for sharing.

  26. Wow. What a cool idea. I often stuff butter under the skin, but never ricotta. I wonder if my husband would give me a hard time if I tried that! I neverthougt to ask them at Whole Paycheck to butterfly the chickens for me, but I also buy abuot half my chickens at the farmer’s market and the farmers aren’t going to bother! 🙁 Oh well, if I do it myself, I can save the backbones for stock!

    Your veggies look beautiful too!

  27. YUM!! It was delicious!

  28. I’m coming to the bbq! Love the menu, especially the ricotta and herb chicken.

  29. I am just salivating over here!!!! I am ready to head to my local Italian grocer for plenty of ricotta!!!!!

  30. They say that the sign of a true cook is how well they can roast a chicken with ricotta filling.

    Okay, so maybe they didn’t say the part about the ricotta, so what!

    You get my point.

  31. Will definitely be trying this – looks yummy – anything with ricotta is on my favorite things list. Great idea.


  1. […] Grilled Vegetable Couscous via Proud Italian Cook. Perfect recipe for summer when you’re already at the grill! I love anything calling for grilled foods in the summer and this mix of grilled vegetables sounds perfect mixed with couscous. […]

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