Mouthful of a name. Quite the flavor party. This recipe is good all around!! It’s baked, it’s juicy, it’s cheesy, it’s saucy….you get the drift!!
Sauteing the spinach with garlic before stuffing the chicken makes the spinach the perfect consistency for this recipe. There is also a very therapeutic element to pounding out chicken cutlets with a tenderizer 🙂 Great after work meal! (For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, you can pound out your chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap or in a food storage bag. Using a metal tenderizer, make the meat as thin as possible without ripping through it — it’s a fine art!!)
This meal would pair well with pasta or with a salad…or the chicken can be free-standing. It’s plenty yummy just as it is 🙂 Tell me how you like it best!!
Baked Spinach-Stuffed Caprese Chicken
- 5 chicken cutlets, pounded out thin with a meat tenderizer
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 oz. baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 egg
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 c. whole wheat seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (this is ideal, but use whatever breadcrumbs make you happy)
- 2 more eggs, scrambled for egg wash
- 1 c. marinara sauce
- 5 thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
- fresh basil, julienned
~ In a large saute pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add spinach and garlic and allow to wilt, inhaling the aroma of the garlic as it seeps into the spinach. Yum.
~ While this is cooking, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, 1 egg, salt & pepper, and fresh parsley. Remove the spinach and garlic mixture from heat; add to this bowl and stir. Aren’t the green ribbons beautiful?
~ Assemble your chicken-stuffing station. I set up my cheese and spinach mixture, the pounded out chicken breasts, a shallow bowl full of breadcrumbs, and another shallow bowl with two beaten eggs in it.
~ Scoop some of the filling into the middle of the chicken, forming a thin line down the middle. Roll it up as tightly as you can, creating a seam by pressing the end of the chicken into the other side. Take the rolled up chicken, dip it in the egg, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with other cutlets.
~ Place the rolled up chicken in a greased baking pan (I used olive oil spray).
~ Bake in a 450 degree oven for 25 minutes (high heat, I know – but it works). Remove from the oven and top each with some marinara sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Place back in oven and allow to cook for another 5ish minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking. Garnish with fresh basil and serve as desired.
~ Isn’t that pretty?? Enjoy!!!