My daughter and I were browsing through Pinterest recipes last week looking for dinner ideas. This one immediately caught her eyes and she said “Make THAT ONE for dinner sometime!” So, I did! This came out so purdy and tasted so good — it is even dinner guest-worthy. But what’s even better is it is not that overly difficult to make and can be prepared in just under an hour. You just have to be set to get bread crumbs all over the place if you’re as sloppy a cook as I am!
When I went shopping for the cheese I accidentally bought shredded Parmesan instead of grated.
I really didn’t want to use the fake-shake cheese in a green can that is used in emergencies, so I did the next best thing. I simply put some of the shredded cheese into my Ninja food processor and BAM! Instant grated cheese. I just love that little appliance!
Now on to the recipe:
Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Mozzarella Rollups
Adapted from Pinch of Yum Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 4 cups, chopped)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
Marinara sauce, for topping
Fresh basil, ribboned, for topping
Slice the chicken in half lengthwise into 4 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and pound the pieces with a meat mallet until they are about 1/4 inch thin. (I used a smallish cutting board so had to keep moving them over as I pounded each one.) Season both sides with ground black pepper, to taste.
Add the breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl and mix in half the grated Parmesan cheese. (I used the glass lid off one of my Pyrex dishes.) Set all aside.
Drizzle some olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add in the spinach and garlic and saute it for just a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add the spinach to a bowl.
Add the ricotta, the rest of the Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg into the bowl with spinach and combine well. Place the rest of the egg in another shallow bowl (or in my case, another glass lid). Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread 1/4 of the spinach-cheese mixture over each of the chicken pieces.
Roll one of them up starting with the narrowest end. Gently dip the entire chicken roll in the egg, then gently roll it in the bread crumbs, patting the crumbs into the chicken. Place in a 2-quart baking dish sprayed with oil, seam side down. Repeat process with the other three pieces.
Spray the top of the chicken lightly with oil and place in preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
While that is all cooking, slice your fresh mozzarella and chop up any salad fixin’s you want on your green salad, if you are serving the dish with that.
Remove from oven, then spoon desired amount of marinara sauce over the chicken. Top each piece with a slice of fresh Mozzarella. Place back in oven and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh ribboned basil.
Serve with a light green salad and Italian breadsticks or garlic bread. (In our case, we ate the breadsticks AFTER dinner because I forgot to serve them — DOH!) I’ll be making this dish often in our household, as it was fairly easy to make and the flavors are outstanding! And my daughter, who picked out this recipe, really loved it.