Italian Chicken Roll-Ups

CATEGORIES: Italian, Kate, Oven Baked, Poultry

Sometimes I feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over again with chicken breasts. Taco chicken. Fajitas. Marinated. Again and again. It all tastes good and my family never complains, but I just get bored. Sometimes I need to do things a little differently. And then we go out to eat because the concept of thinking outside the box and doing things a little differently makes me feel like that could be the one thing that would push me over the edge that day and I can tell you one thing: no one wants to see me pushed over the edge by the thought of chicken breasts.

I love this recipe because it’s different, and it’s fancy enough that you could serve it for company, but it’s also super easy and doesn’t have a mile-long ingredients list of things that you’ll buy and then toss into the backs of your cupboards, never to be seen again.

For stuffing the chicken, you’re going to need 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (yes, I do realize there are four in this picture. Math may not be my strong suit, but I did catch this one…)

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, spinach leaves, ricotta cheese, garlic bread seasoning, and mozzarella cheese.

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the ricotta cheese and garlic bread seasoning and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place a chicken breast flat on a plastic cutting board and cover the entire board with a piece of plastic wrap.

Pound the chicken breast with a meat mallet until it’s about 1/4″ thick (it will have spread considerably).

Cut the pounded chicken breast in half.

Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Line a chicken breast with spinach leaves.

Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese…

And spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over the spinach leaves and cheese, leaving about a 1/2″ margin from each edge.

Starting at on one end, carefully roll up each chicken breast and secure with 2 toothpicks.

Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

Roll each stuffed chicken breast in melted butter,

then roll in the Italian seasoned bread crumbs

and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven or until the chicken is cooked through. If you want to brown the tops a little, turn on the low broiler for 1-2 minutes (be sure to  keep an eye on it–burning things at this point would be very sad). Makes 6 servings.


  1. This looks so yum, but I do have a question. I’m not sure the big difference between chicken breasts and thighs, but we do have a huge-a bag of thighs in the freezer–would thighs work in this recipe?

    1. Hi, Carmen! Boneless chicken thighs are great–some of my favorite recipes use thighs. I think they’re more flavorful and moist. That said, They’re also very fatty (you can trim the fat, which I definitely recommend, but it’s a tedious process) and in this recipe where you have cheese, the fattiness might be overwhelming (thighs are great on the grill when the fat can drip down off the food). Plus, they’re smaller than breasts and they also have a less uniform shape once the bones are removed, so they’d be difficult to wrap. I hope that helps!

  2. I haven’t made a single meal that was on my menu plan this week so why start now? This looks perfect for dinner tonight! Thanks!

  3. This looks fabulous. I have never used melted butter for getting the breadcrumbs to stick, usually it’s an egg. Is there a difference? I’m just really curious 🙂

    1. It’s just a slightly different texture. For things where you really want a good, solid breading, eggs are the way to go, but in this recipe, it’s okay if they’re just kind of sticking to the chicken. Hope that helps!

  4. Just wondering, wouldn’t it be easier to cut the chicken breast in half before you pound it, or is there some reason it’s better to do it in the order mentioned?

  5. OH! I’m so excited about trying this. The Italian place in town (yes, there’s only the one) used to have a creamed-spinach stuffed chicken breast that I loved but had no idea how to replicate. I’m thinking this could be just the ticket. Also, seems like I could do every step right up to the butter/breadcrumb roll the night before and then just do that part right after work before baking, yeah? That would make my life easier, so I’ll try it.

  6. These look really delicious! I’ve only tried pounding chicken breasts a couple of times but I feel like I’m doing something wrong. They always split somewhere and it just doesn’t work. I end up with holes in the breast. Any tips? Am I supposed to be pounding on a specific side of the breast? And since I’m asking a million questions… when you say cut it in half do you mean lengthwise or to filet it or in half width wise?

  7. I feel kind of dumb asking this, but I am confused and I can’t tell from the picture, when you say to cut the chicken in half, do you mean cut it width or length wise? Meaning if you pound it to 1/4″ thick do you cut it so it’s 1/8″ thick or do you cut it down the middle so you have 2 1/4″ thick pieces?

  8. Just a quick tip: Pounding meat under plastic wrap can sometimes be unwieldy and the plastic can tear. I’ve had great success saving emptied cereal or cracker bags for pounding meat. The plastic is a lot thicker and the bag contains any gross flying about from the pounding. Great recipe – thanks!

  9. This looks delicious.
    What is the pizza/marinara sauce used for? I don’t see anything about it in the directions.

  10. Couldn’t wait to make this, so I just used what I had in the fridge. I subbed cream cheese for the ricotta and then at the last second choose some feta I needed to use up instead of mozz. Feta is such a good combo with spinach. AMAZING. I love that it’s so adaptable too. Going into the rotation for sure.

  11. While mine did not look NEARLY as nice as yours, they tasted great! I had a hard time pounding the chicken. Several of the pieces tore in places and then when I cut the first 2 in half, the halves were realllly small and hard to work with so I ended up just pounding out the last one and using the whole thing. I think I need to start with bigger chicken breasts. And apparently I also need to learn how to pound meat better! All that being said, they were so yummy!

  12. I made this tonight for the family and despite the whiny almost-2-yr-old it was still pretty simple to make! I made it with a very small portion of alfredo pasta and we sprinkled MORE of the garlic bread seasoning on top of our alfredo instead of regular parm. DELISH. Instant favorite in my house. Thank you guys for all the recipes! You have saved me from my boring routines several times with your new and butt-kicking recipes!

  13. I want to make these tonight, but I’m wondering- could they be assembled beforehand? I would do everything except roll them in butter and crumbs? That way I can easily pop them in the oven after church! Thanks!

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