Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Best of 2 "Italians"

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It is no secret how much I love Italian food.  I adore marinara sauce and basically will eat anything if it contains mozzarella or ricotta cheese.  I'm mostly Irish and Scottish but even though my easily-sunburned skin denies it, I swear I have some Italian in me somewhere!

I stumbled upon this concept for a recipe on one of my new favorite recipe blogs: Skinny TasteI've gotten tons of ideas on how to lighten up carb or fat-heavy dishes from this site, not to mention just a kick of inspiration when I'm reaching too often for the same recipes.

I couldn't resist giving this recipe for Chicken Rollatini a try, it incorporates everything I love about both chicken parmesan and lasagna without it being too heavy.  I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit my family's tastes and to punch up the flavor with more herbs.  It does take some planning and assembly, but once your ingredients are prepped it really comes together quickly and makes for a perfect weeknight meal.

Chicken Rollatini w/Spinach & Parmesan

- 8 thin chicken cutlets, approx 3 oz. each
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp. oregano
- ½ tsp. basil
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 egg whites (divided)
- 5 oz frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Olive oil nonstick spray
- 2 cups marinara sauce (use your favorite jarred brand or homemade)
- Salt & Pepper
  1. Pound the chicken into uniform thickness.  You can skip this step if you purchased ready-made thin cutlets.  You only need to worry about pounding them out if you made the cutlets yourself from chicken breasts.  I’ve used both types of cutlets and they both work well.
  2. Season the cutlets well with salt & pepper and set aside.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly spray a glass baking dish (13x9) with cooking spray.
  3. Combine panko, Parmesan, oregano, basil and garlic powder in a shallow dish, set aside.  Whisk together 2 of the egg whites until frothy in another shallow dish and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the last 2 egg whites, ½ cup of the mozzarella, the ricotta, spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Spread about 2 tbsp. of the ricotta mixture on each chicken cutlet.  Loosely roll up the cutlets and keep seam-side down (no need for toothpicks).  Dip the chicken in the egg whites, then in the panko mixture, making sure they are all well coated.  Place in the baking dish and mist lightly with the nonstick spray.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and top with the marinara sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake another 4-5 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the sauce is heated through.  Serve hot with a big green salad on the side. 
 Printable Recipe 


  1. This looks SO GOOD Em. I made my very first (cooking virgin? *raises hand*) lasagna a couple weeks ago that was basically a lot of out-of-the jar Trader Joes items and added veggies. I think I'm ready to try a more authentic lasagna now, so I pinned this as a reminder! xo

  2. Yay! So glad you like the look of the recipe, it's really simple to make. And I love a good lasagna, you can really customize it however you like. If you're looking for a good authentic lasagna recipe, I think it really starts with a great tomato/marinara sauce. Here's a link to the one I've created and use all the time: