Pesto, like hummus, is something I haven’t ever made myself for some reason. I always just buy it. It seems easy enough to make it, and in doing so I could customize it to exactly the taste I want, but it just hasn’t happened yet.
Fortunately, I found a store-bought brand that I just love. It is one of the only ones I’ve ever found that doesn’t have nuts in it (not even pine nuts, which I heard are actually seeds? Either way, I’m not going to test my allergies to them…), and it also contains no preservatives or other nasties.
I like to add this pesto to a big bowl of quinoa or spread on ciabatta to make a caprese sandwich. But this last week I tried something I should have years ago: I spread it on chicken, added some cheese and spinach, rolled the chicken up, and baked it.
Pesto Chicken Rollatini (egg and nut free)
– 4 chicken breasts
– 1/4 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade
– 4 slices of provolone or havarti cheese
– 1/2 cup spinach
– 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
– salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or garlic powder, to taste
– toothpicks, for securing roll
- Spray a 7×11 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Heat oven to 350*F.
- Pound out each chicken breast to 1/4-inch thickness. (I use a resealable plastic bag and a meat tenderizer to do this, but you could sandwich the chicken between plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to pound it out.)
- Lay the chicken out on a work surface. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the pesto onto each chicken breast. Top each with a slice of cheese, and a few leaves of spinach.
- Roll up each chicken breast and secure with toothpicks. (I use about 4 toothpicks each, as I want to ensure the cheese doesn’t melt out too much!)
- Place each rollatini in the baking dish, with the seam either to the side or down. Sprinkle the top with panko and seasonings.
- Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for 35 minutes.
- After that time, remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, until the tops of the rollatini are golden brown.
- Serve hot with a side of veggies or over lemon-scented pasta, and enjoy!
I wanted something deliciously Italian to serve with the rollatini when my friends Briana and Amber came over for lunch. It was a beautiful summer day, and I was inspired to use lemon. So, based on this recipe, I made lemon-scented fusilli.
Lemon-Scented Fusilli (egg, nut, and dairy free)
makes 8-10 servings
– 1 lb. whole wheat fusilli
– salt for pasta water
– 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
- Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper. Pour over pasta, stir, and enjoy!