The interwebs are all abuzz with talk of Superbowl Sunday, and I’m just over here like – what food are we gonna eat? Sorry folks, but I don’t give a hoot about the teams that are playing, and doubt I will watch any of it. I’m a Texans girl, all the way. Even though I’ve been a lousy fan the past…four years. I used to watch the games religiously, but…notsomuch anymore. I still root for them to win though, even when they’re having a lousy season. However, despite my lackluster enthusiasm for Superbowl, itself, I do love an excuse to make party food! Don’t you??
Nachos, chips and dips, crock-pot meatballs in grape jelly & chili sauce – all the finger foods. Yep. Sign me up. Heck, I’d even pay attention to the game for 5 minutes while devouring all the good food! Yes, I’m a bit of a junk food junkie. Despite my love for cooking, there is a part of me that holds on to all my kid cravings with an iron grip. You know…spaghettio’s with meatballs, pizza rolls, even Ramen noodles. Now, do I eat those things very often – or even ever? Not really. But my now-mature (ha!) mouth definitely waters at their mention. What can I say…I’m an equal opportunity eater. All. the. foods.
But, when there are meals like this one. This fancy-seeming chicken roll up dish. All the junk food in the world just can’t compare.
All the components just scream perfection. I mean…spinach and ricotta filling, crispy breaded chicken breast, marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella slices, and fresh basil on top! Just tell me what sounds better than that right now?? I can think of nothing, my friends. Nothing at all. Well, maybe some sort of dessert – but we aren’t talking dessert right now!
I was so, so pleased at how well these turned out. Especially since a week or two ago, I attempted a stuffed flank steak and it did not turn out so well. Flank steak is a fickle piece of meat, I tell ya. I’ll tame it yet, just you wait. But these rolls, were easy and turned out perfect. Tasty, still juicy, and just plain amazing really. You can serve these on their own or with your favorite pasta and a nice side salad. And if you make it for company, they will absolutely be impressed with your mad cooking skills, promise!
So, maybe you are planning to indulge in all the Superbowl junk food this weekend – which is perfectly acceptable. Maybe you don’t watch or care about football, or the party food, at all and just want an amazing meal to indulge in this weekend. Or maybe you are all about football and the Superbowl, but you want something a little fancier than they typical game day food. In either of the latter cases – this is the meal for you! The half-time performance won’t be the star of the show with this dish in tha house. Trust.
A creamy spinach & ricotta filling, rolled up in a crispy baked, breaded chicken breast, topped with marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella slices, and basil makes the perfect meal!
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts 3-4 breasts
- 1 cup whole wheat Italian style bread crumbs
- 6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 5 oz fresh baby spinach
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 beaten egg whites
- 3 oz fresh mozzarella cheese thinly sliced
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced for topping
Cut each of the chicken breasts in half, horizontally, so each piece makes two pieces. Then pound each half until it is thin and has a larger surface are for easier filling and rolling.
In a shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, and set aside.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil a medium skillet over medium heat, roughly chop the spinach and saute it with the garlic for 2-3 minutes or until just barely wilted.
In a bowl, combine the sauteed spinach with the ricotta, remaining 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and 2-3 tablespoons of the egg whites. Place the remaining egg whites in a separate shallow bowl and set aside.
Drizzle a tablespoon of oil in the bottom of a large baking dish and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the breadcrumb and egg white dishes next to each other and next to the baking dish, for easy assembling.
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, put a heaping spoonful of the spinach and ricotta filling in the center of the chicken breast. Wrap the end of the chicken closet to you up over the filling and roll to form a seam. Dip the entire chicken roll in egg whites, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Place in a baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken, making sure to place them with a little space in between each piece so that they get crisp all around. Bake for 25 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked through and browned on the top. Cover the chicken with the marinara sauce and slices of Mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melting. Top with fresh basil slices, and serve with your favorite pasta and salad!
Source: Pinch of Yum