Baked Chicken Breasts Rolled with Basil and Cheese

November 8, 2010 8 Comments

Baked Chicken Breasts Rolled with Basil and Cheese

Chicken Breasts Rolled with Basil and Cheese:  adapted from The Wine and Food Lover’s Diet

marlee cooksMy neighbor Marlee is teaching herself how to cook and I’ve been offering her some tips, suggestions and mostly encouragement to just start cooking and have fun with it. I asked her to find a recipe, prepare it and then write about it for my blog.

Here is what Marlee had to say about chicken breasts rolled with basil and cheese. I think she did a great job and I like that she tried baking the chicken instead of pan frying as the original recipe called for.

Marlee’s First Blog Post

As a recent college graduate with little cooking expertise, I am teaching myself how to cook. After a quick search on the internet for an easy and fun chicken recipe, I landed on this one and cooked it for my parents and brother last week. With little experience in the kitchen, I found this to be very easy to make and super delicious. There are a couple of things I would have done differently:

  • Be careful when pounding your chicken flat, as some sections of my chicken were about to fall off and this made rolling a little bit difficult. One solution to this is to focus more on pounding the thick sections and be careful on the thinner areas. Or, you could butterfly your chicken breast, creating a thinner, larger cut of meat that’s much easier to roll.
  • Don’t layer on the cheese spread too thick. I was slabbing on the delicious herb cheese spread so thick that when I began to roll the chicken breast, cheese spread was oozing out of the sides and made a mess. So, make sure to spread evenly and use judgment on how thick to pile it on. The chicken turned out fine and tasted great, so if you don’t mind a little mess, pile it on.
  • Be careful when cutting off the Butcher’s twine. Unfortunately, some of the outer crispiness from the breadcrumb mixture came off when I cut the butcher’s twine. Obviously this is going to be sort of inevitable, since I highly recommend tying the chicken breasts before dipping them in the egg and breadcrumbs, but use caution so you don’t lose too much!
  • Use a lot of basil! I used only 2-3 leaves per breast, which I thought would have been enough. In my personal opinion, it was not. Get enough leaves to coat your chicken breast.


stuffed chicken breasts

Baked Chicken Breasts Rolled with Basil and Cheese

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Baked Chicken Breasts Rolled with Basil and Cheese

Tip: For an excellent pan sauce, deglaze any browned bits from the bottom of the baking dish with white wine and reduce on stovetop with 2/3 cup chicken broth, stir and let cook until the liquid has reduced to half the amount, about 2-3 minutes. Pour this pan sauce over the chicken and serve.


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Fresh basil or spinach leaves (enough to coat a chicken breast)

5 ounces herb cheese or herb cheese spread (Boursin makes a great garlic herb cheese)

2/3-cup Parmesan breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten well

Salt Pepper

Butcher's twine Toothpicks

How To Prepare At Home

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Placing chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap, lightly pound the chicken using a meat mallet to about ¼. Season breasts with salt and pepper.

If using basil, place in a small amount of boiling water for a few seconds and then set aside. If using spinach, place in a small amount of boiling water and let them wilt a little, about a minute or so. Place aside, draining excess water and coarsely chop the spinach.

Spread the cheese over each half breast, making sure to coat the entire surface. I used herb cheese spread found at my local store, but Boursin garlic herb cheese or similar works well too.

For basil leaves and spinach, place on chicken, making sure to cover the surface.

Carefully roll the chicken, starting with the smallest end, very tightly. Secure each roll with 2 wooden toothpicks and enough butchers' twine to wrap around the largest part of the roll.

The recipe I used told me to then place the rolls in a skillet, but I decided to go a different way and bake these with a crispy outer skin. For a healthier option, skip these steps and go straight to bake.

In one shallow bowl, beat one egg well. In a separate shallow bowl pour out your 2/3-cup Parmesan breadcrumbs, (Can always combine a couple tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and regular bread crumbs). Dip your roll into the egg first, covering all sides, then transfer and roll into the breadcrumb mixture. Finally transfer the chicken rolls to a greased baking dish.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until your chicken has reached an internal temperature of about 160-165 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to check temperature. Chicken should be slightly browned.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve.


Last modified on Tue 15 July 2014 11:20 am

Filed in: Chicken Recipes

Comments (8)

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  1. Drew @ How To Cook Like Your Grandmother says:

    Marlee, I love your attitude about them. Messy but tastes great? Go for it. Absolutely.
    This looks really good and really easy, too. Might even work for some fish I’ve got in the freezer, too.

  2. Resin says:

    Making it right now! I love making a mess when I prep. I’ll let you know how it went!

  3. Resin says:

    It worked out really great! The only thing I may do the next time is add a little broth and baste it. The outside was a bit dry, BUT the cheese spread and spinach rocked. When my husband tells me to keep a recipe I keep it! Nice job!

  4. Nancy says:

    Marlee, sounds like a great recipe. My question is……what did you serve with it and when did you start cooking those side dishes? Did you know when to start them so they all finished at the same time? Did you pre- prep other aspects of the meal in order to get it all on the table at the same time? I am in NO WAY trying to be critical (sounds like a dish I’d like to make for company!), but much of the art of everyday cooking is having it all HOT on the table at the same time!
    Happy cooking! Nancy

    Hi Nancy, glad to see you over here from the forum. I’ll ask Marlee to check out your comment and let you know what else she served. As someone very new to cooking, I’ll be interested to see what she served as sides and how she timed them. I think this is a question many beginner and intermediate cooks face every day and a topic I need to devote some time addressing on my web site and on this blog. For many of us, it is just experience. For others, it is trial and error. But thanks again for raising this question – it is an important one. – RG

  5. Marlee says:

    Hi Nancy,

    I served the chicken with mashed sweet potatoes (I used yellow sweet potatoes- less stringy) and a can of Le Sueur peas. I made sure to peel the potatoes during the prep stage because I knew that I personally take a lot of time to do this. Once the chicken was in the oven cooking I calculated how much time the potatoes would need and started boiling them when I knew everything would be done around the same time. As for the peas, just a quick steam in the microwave and they were ready.

    The sweet potatoes turned out great- I added a little vanilla extract, honey, ground cinnamon, warm milk and butter (room temp). They turned out savory with a hint of sweetness.

  6. Drew @ How To Cook Like Your Grandmother says:

    A large part of that experience is simply knowing to think about it in advance. If the entree is already in the oven before you start thinking about the sides, you need a healthy dose of luck to get the timing right.

  7. eilish says:

    Congratulations because this is an excellent recipe. Great for company and fresh basil is better than spinach……more flavor. Boursin is great or even Laughing Cow. Thanks indeed.

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