Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Crispy Chicken and Green Bean Sheet-Pan Dinner

Serves 4.

Note: Boneless chicken breasts are stuffed with an ultra-flavorful homemade pimiento cheese, breaded and baked until crispy along with lemon-scented green beans for an easy and delicious Southern meal. Panko breadcrumbs are larger and lighter than the traditional crumb, which could be substituted. Browning the panko crumbs before breading the chicken ensures an extra crispy, evenly browned breast. From Meredith Deeds.

• 4 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing sheet pan, divided

• 1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs (see Note)

• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb.)

• 1 tsp. salt, divided

• 3/4 tsp. pepper, divided

• 3/4 c. Pimiento Cheese (recipe follows)

• 1/3 c. flour

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 12 oz. green beans, trimmed

• 1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet pan with oil.

In 12-inch skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Transfer to shallow bowl. Let cool.

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cut pocket in each chicken breast by making a horizontal slit along thin long edge, being careful to not cut through to opposite side. Stuff each pocket with 3 tablespoons of pimiento cheese. Press edges of chicken together to seal.

In a shallow bowl, stir together flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In a shallow bowl, mix eggs and 2 tablespoons water with whisk. Coat both sides of chicken with flour mixture. Dip chicken into beaten eggs; turn to coat. Dredge in browned breadcrumbs, coating completely. If there are any breadcrumbs left in bowl, pat them on top of chicken breasts to cover any bare spots.

In a medium bowl, combine the green beans, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the lemon zest.

Place chicken breasts on sheet pan. Bake 10 minutes. Add the green beans to the sheet pan with the chicken and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center (at least 165 degrees) and green beans are tender.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 620 Fat 37 g Sodium 930 mg

Carbohydrates 25 g Saturated fat 11 g Added sugars 1 g

Protein 46 g Cholesterol 190 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 ½ starch, 6 medium-fat protein, 1 fat.

Pimiento Cheese

Makes about 4 cups.

Note: When not using this pimiento mixture to stuff chicken breasts or fill grilled cheese sandwiches, Maggie Lyon often adds a couple of tablespoons of liquid from the pickled jalapeños, along with a splash of lemon juice to her pimiento cheese. It makes the spread slightly looser, with a bit more heat and acidity. Adapted from Maggie Lyon's blog Rampsshellsandcheese.com

• 1 c. mayonnaise

• 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

• 1 jar (4 oz) diced pimientos, drained

2 tbsp. chopped pickled jalapeños or other hot pickled peppers, such as pepperoncini

• 3 green onions, finely chopped

• 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne

• 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

• 1 lb. shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese

• 6 oz. shredded Colby cheese

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, Worcestershire, pimientos, jalapeños, onions, cayenne and paprika. Add the cheeses and beat with a mixer on low for 30 seconds to combine, then increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy. Chill for 3 hours.

Nutrition information per 1 tablespoon:

Calories 70 Fat 7 g Sodium 105 mg

Carbohydrates 1 g Saturated fat 3 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 13 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 ½ fat.