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Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Couscous

Thanks to fresh mint and lemon zest, this stuffing has plenty of vibrancy. For a quick flavor switch, try cilantro or basil instead of mint, and walnuts instead of pine nuts. Use a spoon to pack in the couscous; most of it will stay put as you saute the chicken, but any that falls out won't burn.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Yield: Serves 4
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Couscous

Photography: John Kernick

Source: Everyday Food, September 2007


  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (6 to 8 ounces each)


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. Add couscous; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and remove from heat; let steam 5 minutes. Add mint, pine nuts, scallions, lemon zest and juice, and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper, and fluff with a fork.

  2. Lay chicken flat on a work surface. With a paring knife, cut a 2-inch-long slit in the thick side of each breast. Insert knife, and pivot inside chicken without enlarging opening, carefully forming a deep pocket (make sure not to pierce the opposite side). Stuff each breast with an equal amount of couscous mixture, packing it tightly.

  3. In a large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place in skillet, and cook until browned on one side, 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully turn chicken over, and add 1/2 cup water to skillet (a little couscous may fall out). Cover, and cook until chicken is opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes more.

Reviews (10)

  • v-wojcik 14 Oct, 2010


  • jdorourk 25 Jul, 2010

    very good. I made it easier and just cooked the chicken by itself and served it with the couscous on the side. I ended up using parsley instead of mint and added some dried cranberries. kind of tasted like tabbouleh. As a side dish I made the recipe Roasted Carrots with Feta and Parsley from this website.

  • LGW 20 Aug, 2008

    It was real good! My husband loved it, was something new.

  • Timbo 11 Aug, 2008

    I added 5 diced dried apricots to the cous mixture. Also at the time of turning the breasts I used a nice chicjken stock instead of water. Kep adding small amount to keep the pan from drying up. This made a really nice caremelized broth. I added some left over cous to this broth and let it soak up all that love...... Very Delicious I'll make this again. Enjoy!

  • krunyen 20 May, 2008

    This was fantastic! I used cilantro in the couscous. So moist and delicious! And good for you! Will make this many times over!

  • anniepoonanny 18 Mar, 2008

    This was an awesome twist on just plain old chicken breasts. I think I used too much basil though.

    I served it with a salad.

  • Colleenk3293 14 Feb, 2008

    This is really good!
    It has a lot of flavor!

  • lnikoleb 28 Jan, 2008

    I really love this dish. However, I usually substitute fresh basil for the mint since my boyfriend dislikes anything remotely sweet unless it's dessert! :) I also add garlic to the couscous and omit the pine nuts (he doesn't like nuts either). But at least those are his only food idiosyncrasies. Happy cooking!

  • gardenangel 24 Jan, 2008

    Easy and delicious. I used fresh parsley instead. Made the peas and carrots.. loved the carrots( thinly sliced on the mandolin). Very tender.

  • mwedding 6 Dec, 2007

    My four year old likes to help me make the couscous. I use a microwave safe dish, and she adds the rest. It's tasty and easy.

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