Are you looking a fun and easy meal? This tasty chicken broccoli stuffed baked potato with cheese sauce is a balanced meal of protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates all in one crispy roasted potato!
It’s all about easy comfort foods right now and sometimes a hearty baked potato is just what your taste buds need. There is something utterly irresistible about a piping hot roasted baked potato, especially on those cooler evenings.
You can eat it as is or take it to the next level by turning the potato into a complete meal. Today I wanted to share with you this simple and satisfying recipe for a delicious chicken broccoli stuffed baked potato with cheese sauce. All of the ingredients combined create a balanced meal in one edible potato boat. Let’s get stuffing!
When cooked just right, you can get a baked potato with a crisp and flavorful skin with fluffy filling. Here are some essential tips to get those spuds roasting to perfection:
How to Bake A Potato In The Oven
- Temperature: I bake the potato at 425°F (which is pretty darn hot) to achieve beautiful golden brown crispy skin.
- Seasoning: Coat the potato with a little olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. You can add other seasonings like garlic or onion powder if you like. The skin has a lot of fiber so season the outside for extra flavor and nutrition.
- Prick: Make sure to use the tines of a fork to prick the potato all over about five times. This ensures that the steam can escape while cooking and no potato explosion in your oven.
- Time: It takes about 45 to 60 minutes to cook all the way through depending on the size. A 9 to 11-ounce potato is a good size per person for a filling meal. Use a knife to pierce the center of the to check the doneness. If you feel no resistance, it’s ready!
- Wrap: If you want a softer potato, wrap in foil and follow the same preparation and cooking instructions. The foil also helps keep the potatoes warm if not serving right away.
Open up the potato right before serving and use a fork to scrape and fluff before filling with the other tasty ingredients.
As I was thinking about this stuffed baked potato recipe, I wanted to teach you something fun and sciency. Instead of just adding grated cheddar cheese, I thought we would take it to the next level and make a cheddar cheese sauce. It’s easy! Once you learn this technique, you can make dishes like homemade macaroni and cheese or fettuccine alfredo because it creates a classic bechamel sauce.
It all starts with a roux, an equal mixture of butter and flour. This is the mixture that is going to thicken the milk into a creamy sauce. When you pre-cook the flour, the starch granules swell and can absorb better moisture which equals thickening power.
For this cheese sauce recipe, we make a blond roux. You want a pale ivory colored roux before adding the milk. Once you add the milk you want to bring it to a boil, then reduce to a medium simmer and continuously whisk. After about 5 minutes you’ll notice the sauce thicken and become smooth. That’s when you can add some additional seasoning like salt and pepper. I added chipotle chile pepper powder for a little heat. The cheese goes in last, and with a quick stir you’ve got a gorgeous cheese sauce!
Look at that creamy and luscious that cheddar cheese sauce! I had some extra pieces of steamed broccoli and dipped it into the sauce, drool.
I sauteed some chicken breasts simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika. Dice them up, and you are ready to stuff those potatoes!
There is no correct method for layering your potatoes, but I like to add some cheese sauce first, so it gets mixed in and oozes out a bit.
Add in a generous amount of spiced chicken, steamed broccoli, and more sauce to your liking. I also like to slice up some green onions to garnish, sprinkle extra paprika and red pepper flakes for an extra kick.
Who’s ready to dig in? What ingredients would you add to your baked potato? If you are a fan of barbecue chicken, you’ll have to check out this stuffed sweet potato recipe. Let me know what stuffing you use in the comments section below. I love to hear about your creations in the kitchen!
What are the different types of Roux?
Depending on the kind of sauce you want to make will determine the roux to prepare. There are at least three types of roux; white, blond and brown. The cooking time affects the colors of the roux.
- White Roux is cooked the shortest times until frothy. When you want a pale sauce like bechamel or clam chowder, use a white roux. It also has the highest thickening power.
- Blond Roux is more ivory in color with more flavor, like for this cheese sauce.
- Brown Roux is cooked until a darker amber color is reached and nutty aromas are developed. This is great for soups like gumbo. The longer you cook the roux the more the starch granules break down and lose its ability to thicken. Therefore you need more brown roux in a recipe.
Chicken Broccoli Stuffed Baked Potato with Cheese Sauce
- 4 large russet potatoes, (9 to 11 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, (plus more for potatoes)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, (plus more for seasoning)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, (plus more for seasoning)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- paprika, (as needed for seasoning chicken)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder, (optional)
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 cups broccoli florets, (cut into smaller 1-inch pieces)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly coat the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Prick potatoes with the tines of a fork about four times. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake potatoes for 50 to 60 minutes, flipping over after 40 minutes of baking until skin is crispy and a knife inserted into the center has no resistance. In the meanwhile make the topping ingredients.
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil and allow to heat up. Carefully add the chicken breast and allow to cook for 6 minutes. Flip to the other side, reduce heat to medium and cook another 6 to 7 minutes, or until no longer pink and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Transfer to a clean plate to allow to rest and cool slightly. Once slightly cooled, chop the chicken into ½ inch cubes.
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add flour and whisk to combine until beige paste forms, stir and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add milk and whisk to combine. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil, whisking continuously. Reduce heat to a medium simmer, cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Add in ¼ teaspoon chipotle pepper (optional if you want it a little spicy), ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper, whisk to combine. Turn off the heat and slowly add in the cheese, whisk to combine until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste and add more seasoning as needed. Set aside.
- In a medium sized saucepan fitted with a lid a 1-inch of water to the bottom of the pot and place steamer inside. Bring water to a boil, place broccoli in the steamer and cover. Cook until broccoli florets are bright green and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer broccoli to a bowl and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Assembly: Cut hot baked potatoes through the center, creating an opening for the toppings. Use a fork to fluff the inside of the baked potatoes so it’s light and fluffy. Fill with cheese sauce, diced chicken and broccoli. Enjoy!