Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

by Erin

Before I talk about food, I forgot to tell you how badly they butchered my last name at graduation. Over the years my family and I have heard all kinds of mispronunciations but one version tends to prevail and I am always prepared to hear it. However, sometimes people like to get creative by adding extra letters and graduation day was no exception. It was so bad even my own family and friends weren’t sure if it was actually me, despite prefacing it with my first and middle names. “Va-see-lick” – where the heck did you see an L in my last name, sir? Were you thinking of a basilisk? But I couldn’t be upset for long because he knew he screwed it up and mouthed a very apologetic “I’m sorry!” as I walked up the stairs. He even pulled me aside afterwards to apologize again and ask me how to pronounce my last name. Oh the joys of having an unusual last name (although I still like it despite all that).

These chicken rolls look more difficult to execute than they truly are (just like my last name). A ricotta-spinach mixture is rolled up in a thin chicken breast, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, and then baked until crispy before topping with marinara, fresh mozzarella and basil. The end result is an entree that looks fancy without all the fuss. I made these on Thursday last week for dinner, ready upon the arrival of my parents (for graduation the next morning) and served with a mixed spinach salad. It was a hit! And then we had pie for dessert O:-).

Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

One year ago: Buttermilk Biscuits

Three years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip


Serves 4


1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs

3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 egg, lightly beaten

2.5 oz. fresh baby spinach

1 clove minced garlic

Olive oil

1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

4 (4 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin

4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup marinara sauce

Fresh basil, for topping

  1. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Place egg in a second bowl. Set both aside.
  2. Chop the spinach and saute it with the garlic and just a drizzle of olive oil for 2-3 minutes or until just barely wilted. Combine the sauteed spinach with the ricotta, and remaining Parmesan cheese.
  3. Grease the bottom of a baking dish (I used a loaf pan) and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place one piece of chicken on a flat working surface. Put a spoonful of ricotta-spinach filling right in the middle and roll the chicken up so that the edges meet to form a “seam”. Dip the entire chicken roll in egg, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Place in a baking dish, seam side down. Repeat for the remaining 3 pieces of chicken. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. After 25 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through and browned on the top. Cover the chicken with the marinara sauce and slices of fresh Mozzarella. Bake for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melting. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

Source: Halved and adapted slightly from Pinch of Yum.


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Mimi @ Culinary Couture December 17, 2013 - 11:09 pm

This looks so good, I love chicken rolls!

Monet December 17, 2013 - 10:12 pm

Hi Erin. I have an unusual last name (Moutrie) that always gets mispronounced. It can be frustrating…but I try to laugh! Some of the versions I’ve heard can only be called humorous! These chicken rolls look delicious though. I’m drooling now. Thank you for sharing them!

Tracey December 17, 2013 - 7:23 pm

I went from having a really easy last name (Boyd) to a very long (but still easy in my book) name after getting married. People stumble over it all the time! It’s so weird after having a simple last name for so many years :P This chicken looks so good, I always need new ideas for chicken breasts!

Susan December 17, 2013 - 6:39 pm

Erin, i really feel for you with the mispronounced name. I lived with my unpronounceable Hungarian name for 63 years before I married a man with an easy name. I did find that as I got older, people got smarter and landed on our adopted Americanized pronunciation more often than when I was young. The interesting thing about my maiden name is that my grandparents chose it to try to disguise their Jewishness, but someone once told me that people with such an obviously Hungarian name usually changed it to something less obvious.. My grandmother outsmarted herself on multiple occasions, and I think the name choice was one of them…

These chicken rolls sound wonderful, and I am looking forward to eventually making them (after we get back from the long trip we’re about to embark on). Congratulations on your graduation!

katie December 17, 2013 - 2:01 pm

Awe sorry to read that they butchered your last name. I married into a very long and hard to pronounce last name, so I’m slowly getting use to it. These chicken rolls though should help ease the pain of name butchering ;)

Kayle (The Cooking Actress) December 17, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Girl, I hear you on the weird last name that gets mispronounced all the time. Blechy.

At least there’s this incredible chicken: I LOOOOVE how amazing this looks. All of the good things in it….yes mmmm

amy @ fearless homemaker December 17, 2013 - 9:24 am

I love rolled-chicken dishes like this + this looks SO delicious! Awesome pic, too – I still struggle to photograph chicken well! And sorry ’bout the name mispronuncation. =( With a pretty easy last night like Donovan, I don’t get that too often, although people DO love to mispell it. Dunovan, Donuven, Dunivant (?!) – they get really creative. =)

spiffycookie December 17, 2013 - 9:28 am

Thanks! I actually struggled with this photo. But I did get a fancy new camera for a graduation present so once I play with that for a bit my pictures should get better still!


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