Spinach & Mozzarella Chicken Roll Ups

We’re gettin’ fancy over here today, folks! Rolling up a delicious filling inside a thin piece of meat has long been a trick of restaurants to make a dish look polished and expensive. Truth is, you can do it right at home! This was super delicious and didn’t take much effort to get a restaurant-quality plate.

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Now, I pulled a bit of a multi-tasking trick here. I knew I planned on making Parmesan rice with this (find the recipe here!) so I made more “filling” than I needed so that I could stir it into the rice. I highly recommend you do the same, because it makes the rice even better! The measurements I give allow for you to have that extra amount of filling.

In a skillet over medium heat, heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil and then saute half a diced sweet onion and two cups of chopped frozen spinach. (Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil while cooking.) When the onions start to become translucent, add 2 large cloves of minced garlic, toss, and then remove from the heat.

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For your chicken, take two large breasts and cut them in half so you have four thin slices. Salt and pepper each half, then sprinkle mozzarella cheese on the wider end of each. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of your filling on top of the cheese, then carefully roll up from the wider end to the thinner end. Place in a greased baking dish seam side down and then top with lemon zest, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

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Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with Parmesan rice (don’t forget to stir in the extra filling!) and sauteed green beans.

(For the green beans: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute 1/4 finely diced onion or shallots for two minutes, then add 8 ounces frozen green beans, salt & pepper, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until green beans are cooked with a little crunch left to them.)

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Wow your family or entertain dinner guests with this fabulously fancy (and deceptively easy) dish! Serve with a mild white wine like Pinot Grigio if you’re feeling extra fancy. 🙂

Full Recipe:

Spinach and Mozzarella Chicken Roll Ups

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 cups chopped frozen spinach
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Zest & juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt, pepper, and basil, to taste
2 large chicken breasts, each cut in half into thin slices
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Process:

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet, then saute onions and spinach with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil until onions become translucent. Add garlic, toss, and remove from heat.

3) Salt and pepper each piece of chicken, then evenly divide mozzarella cheese on the wider end of each piece. Top cheese with 2 tablespoons of spinach filling, then carefully roll up each piece of chicken and place seam side down into greased baking dish.

4) Sprinkle lemon zest, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese on top of chicken, and then bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

5) Serve with Parmesan rice – stir extra filling into rice for added body and flavor.

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*Super Bowl Week* Beef Taco Crescent Rolls

It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were all counting down the days until the start of pre-season, and now suddenly the ever-anticipated Super Bowl is upon us again!

I’m a huge football fan, and of course I love to cook for people, so my house is normally a gathering place for Super Bowl every year, since I love to entertain! I’m going to focus this week on some awesome recipes for entertaining on the big day, so keep checking back for more new ideas!

I decided to kick things off (pun intended!) with a great finger food with a Mexican flair – all the goodness of tacos, wrapped up in easy to eat crescent rolls! As I already stated in my Handheld Apple Pie recipe, I just adore the versatility of crescent roll dough!

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Wrapped up in delicious crescents is one of many ways to use this recipe – it would also make a fabulous hearty dip for chips or you could even use it to make sliders or full size sandwiches. However, I really like the neatness and compactness of the crescents.

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and lining two baking sheets with non-stick foil. Then, coat a frying pan in about 1 tbsp of oil and brown about 1/4 pound of ground beef in the pan over medium low-heat. (2-3 minutes.)

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While the meat is browning, dice up 1/2 of a green pepper and 1/4 of a red onion.

Pepper and onion

Once the meat has browned, turn the heat down to low, add the onion and pepper, and sprinkle with seasonings. I used 1/2 tsp salt and then cheated a little by using 2 tsp of McCormick’s “Perfect Pinch” Mexican spice mix. If you don’t have a Mexican spice mix, you can do 1/2 tsp each of cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, and cilantro.

Simmer

Stir to combine, and then cover and let simmer for about 3 minutes.

While that is cooking, prepare your crescent dough. You’ll need two packages (8 crescents each) of the dough; Unroll each section of dough and separate out the triangles so they are all lying flat your prepared baking sheets.

After you’ve let your beef, onions, and peppers simmer, remove the lid and add 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa. (I personally like medium, but feel free to kick it up a notch with a hotter salsa!) Stir this in and then remove the pan from the heat.

Assemble the crescents by spooning about 1 tbsp of the filling onto each crescent, sprinkling cheddar cheese on top, and then rolling them up.

Pre bake

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Do each crescent one at a time! (Place the filling, sprinkle cheese, roll up.) The heat from the filling will make the dough soft very quickly, and if you let it sit too long, it will become too thin and fragile to roll up properly!

Once all the crescents are rolled, bake them for 12 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let them cool for a minute or two, and then serve with sour cream!

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They really are fabulous, and there’s just enough filling inside to give it a nice kick without being messy!

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Like I said earlier, feel free to try the filling served with tortilla chips or on sliders, too!

Full Recipe:

Beef Taco Crescent Rolls

Yield: 16 rolls

Ingredients:

2 packages crescent roll dough
1 tbsp oil
1/4 pound ground beef
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp McCormick Mexican spice mix (or 1/2 tsp each cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, & cilantro)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Process:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with non-stick aluminum foil.

2) Coat a frying pan in 1 tbsp of oil over medium-low heat. Brown ground beef in the pan, about 2-3 minutes.

3) Once the beef is cooked through, add onions, peppers, and spices. Stir to combine, cover and let simmer for about 3 minutes.

4) Uncover and add salsa. Stir to combine and remove from heat.

5) Unroll each section of crescent dough and separate the triangles so they are all lying flat. Spoon 1 tbsp of filling onto one triangle at the wide end, sprinkle with cheese, and then roll up the crescent. Repeat with all 16 dough triangles.

6) Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool for 1-2 minutes, and then serve with sour cream.