Stuffing chicken thighs turns an already appealing cut of chicken into something that feels downright special. And the Greek-inspired combo of spinach and feta is classic and just isn’t going anywhere.
Using Frozen Spinach
Sometimes I forget about frozen spinach. I always have frozen corn and frozen peas on hand, but frozen spinach falls off my radar from time to time. The good news is that then I get to rediscover it.
When I was a kid, my mom and my sister and I used to make tray after tray of spanakopita, the Greek spinach and feta stuffed phyllo triangles. My sister and I loved it, the delicate paper thin dough, the compact packets, the brushing with melted butter. My mom would freeze them in small packages, and then cook up these rich, crispy little pastries for hors d’ouvres when we had company. To this day she still talks about how she got so much free phyllo-folding labor out of her children.
In later years we would make tray after tray of them for an annual event I catered, and the muscle memory was definitely there.
The timeless combination of spinach and feta is perfect stuffed beneath the skin of a roasted chicken thigh. Easy but immensely flavorful and fun.Tweet This
Spinach and Feta Filling
Here I took the basic filling we made for all of those spanakopita and used it to stuff chicken thighs. Stuffing a savory mixture under the skin of pieces of chicken is a smart way to make them feel a little dressy, and layer more flavor on to your chicken dinner. And while it takes a few extra minutes, I will tell you that this is nothing compared to folding dozens of phyllo packets.
What to Serve with Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Thighs:
- Orange and Herb Orzo
- Butternut Squash and White Bean Ragout
- Green Beans with Tarragon Vinaigrette
- Millet and Greens Salad
- Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Lemon Dressing
- Roasted Broccolini with Lemon
- Millet and Greens Salad
More Chicken Thigh Recipes:
- Yogurt Marinated Chicken
- Chicken Thighs Stuffed With Mushrooms
- Killer Roasted Marinated Chicken and Potatoes
- Chicken Thighs with Onions and Green Olives
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Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Thighs
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- 8 chicken bone-in, skin-on thighs (about 2 ½ pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet, or line with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat until melted. Sauté the onion for 2 minutes until slightly tender, then add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the spinach is cooked and most of the moisture is evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, if desired, and the cream and cook for another 2 minutes until the cream has blended into the spinach. Stir in the feta until well combined, and cool so that it’s just slightly warm or room temperature. Check for seasoning.
- Loosen the skin from each thigh, and place a couple of tablespoons of the spinach mixture under the skin, spreading it out beneath the skin. Brush the skin with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (an internal temperature of 165F.). Serve hot or warm.
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