We all need some green in the diet, but let’s not have it taste sad. Creamy spinach + Gruyere (one of my fave cheeses) + Prosciutto = a big dinner win.
With this chicken rollatini recipe I’m including several clutch options for you, like how to make it in advance, go gluten free, and to cut corners for a quicker weeknight meal. I also love this as an entertaining option for a rustic family-style entree. Follow along!
Make the Spinach Mixture
I start with the spinach because it needs to cool before you combine it with the mascarpone cheese. I stick the spinach in a bowl in the fridge and then prep the chicken while it cools, returning to finish the creamed spinach afterwards.
I cook this spinach with shallots, garlic, a splash of apple cider vinegar, nutmeg, and some dried herbs. Cook out all the liquid, patting it dry with a towel if you need to at the end, and then transfer to a bowl to cool. When the spinach is cool, mix it with mascarpone cheese and grated Gruyere. It should be a nice thick but spreadable mixture.
Prepare the Chicken
The key to this dish is to make sure your chicken cutlets are nice and thin. You can be confident the meat will be cooked through, but the chicken remains tender and is easy to slice. Pound the chicken until the cutlets are nice and thin, or just buy cutlets at the grocery store for the win. If you buy whole chicken breasts, slice them in half lengthwise and then thin those pieces out.
Pat the chicken dry, and season with salt and pepper and lightly flour each piece. Dip in a dish of beaten eggs, then dip into a dish with a mixture of breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan cheese. Set your slices on a cutting board and go back to the spinach.
Assemble and Bake
Line each piece of chicken with one to two slices of Prosciutto. Then schmear the creamed spinach over the entire piece, be very generous here. Roll each piece of chicken, placing seam side down in your baking dish. If you need, use a toothpick to help keep the roll closed.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, then allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. If you have thicker pieces of chicken, I’d suggest using a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken (165 degrees), or give it an extra five minutes in the oven to ensure there’s nothing under cooked.
Make Ahead Option
Either prepare the spinach mixture ahead of time and save it in the fridge until you’re ready to do the chicken and assembly, or prepare the entire dish up until the point of baking and cover the dish and refridgerate until you’re ready to bake.
Gluten Free Option
Skip the breading altogether. I’ve cooked this with just a brush of olive oil or butter, salt, and pepper on top of the chicken and it comes out great. Obviously I prefer breadcrumbs and cheese but you can totally skip this step for a lighter version.
Quicker Option – Let’s Get This Done
Use a package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and really SQUEEZED of water. Mix mascarpone cheese, gruyere, seasoning, and spinach together, eliminating the cooking step (and therefore omitting the vinegar and shallots).
If your grocery store has it, you can buy prepared cutlets, I’ve even bought them pre-breaded before to entirely skip the chicken prep step! The photos here are using prepared cutlets from Whole Foods Market that already had the Parmesan exterior. WIN.
Chicken Rollatini with Creamy Spinach and Prosciutto
- 4 chicken cutlets, or 2 chicken breasts sliced in half
- For the Creamy Spinach:
- 6 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1.5 cups shredded gruyere cheese
- 12 oz baby spinach
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 4-6 slices prosciutto
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar (any vinegar is fine, you could also use sherry or marsala)
- For the Chicken:
- 2-3 beaten eggs
- bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking or casserole dish.
In a large pan over medium heat, add some olive oil or butter and cook the shallot for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic for 1 minute, stirring to prevent any burning or sticking.
Add handfuls of spinach, you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of pan, and wilt down until all of the spinach is in the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the splash of vinegar and continue to cook out the liquid. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Remove spinach from pan and roughly chop, I also pat with a towel or tea towel to remove excess liquid. Allow to cool.
Prepare the chicken cutlets to be nice and thin.
Pat each cutlet dry, and then coat with salt, pepper, and flour, shaking each piece off so there's not any clumps.
Immediately dip the chicken pieces into your dish of beaten eggs, and then into a combination of parmesan and bread crumbs.
Place each breaded cutlet onto a work surface for the next step.
Once the spinach has cooled, stir it into the mascarpone cheese and then add the nutmeg and gruyere, salt and pepper.
Line each piece of chicken with one to two pieces of prosciutto.
Schmear each piece of chicken with the creamy spinach mixture. Be very generous - you should thickly cover each piece.
Roll the chicken up and place seam side down in the baking dish. If this is tricky, you can use a toothpick to help keep the pieces closed during baking. I like to use a dish where the pieces fit snugly to help keep them together and contain the filling that melts out.
Bake for 35 minutes and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Time estimate totally depends on how many of the steps you prepare yourself - the baking time will stay at about 35 minutes, but if you buy prepared chicken cutlets vs pounding out larger chicken breasts it will save on overall time. Estimate about 15 minutes to make the spinach, 5 minutes to mix it all together, and 10 minutes to fully assemble the dish before baking.