Fancy Chicken Roulade

I can remember when I had my first child, my daughter, Chelsea Rose. I thought three months “off from work” was going to be like a vacation. Ha ha! Right? Not so much.  I barely got in a shower! But I always did find time to try new recipes and cook up a storm. And one of my first recipes was a chicken roll-up recipe, which Russ and I loved.

So, I decided to whip up a chicken roll-up (a.k.a. fancy name: roulade) recipe. Don’t worry: it seems harder than it really is. Just be sure to have some wooden toothpick on hand and you’ll be good to go.

I purchased thinly sliced chicken breast and then pounded them with a meat mallet to make them a little thinner. This extra effort pays off as the chicken cooks up quicker and the end product is well worth it. Then layer a slice of ham neatly over the chicken, a few basil leaves and a small slice of cheese, I used Swiss.

Roll up the chicken with the more narrow end toward the wider end so that when you roll it you have a nice thicker piece on the outside. Secure the end of the chicken roll up with a tooth pick or two. I found some very long wooden toothpicks that worked wonders.

In a skillet, over medium heat add the rolled chicken pieces, season with a bit of sea salt and pepper if desired. Sear the chicken on both sides until nicely browned and then cover skillet to allow the chicken to cook up a bit more. Don’t forget to remove the tooth picks — they don’t taste very good!

Slice chicken in half and place on plate to display the yummy inner goodness.

Serve with whatever else suits you. We enjoyed ours with sautéed summer squash, salad and some brown rice. Yum!

Chicken Ham, Basil and Swiss Cheese Roulade

Recipe by Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN

Serves 4 (2 rolls per person)

8 thinly sliced chicken breast pieces (about 3/4 to 1 pound)
8 slices thinly sliced ham or prosciutto
4 slices Swiss cheese or cheddar, cut in half
Fresh basil leaves
Wooden tooth picks
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil for browning chicken


  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat and add about olive oil.
  2. Pound chicken with kitchen mallet to create an evenly thin piece of chicken without tearing meat.
  3. Fold and layer ham evenly over chicken, followed by a half slice of cheese, followed by a few basil leaves.
  4. Roll up chicken starting with narrowest side and then secure roll with wooden tooth pick or two. Continue with remaining chicken pieces.
  5. Add chicken rolls to skillet. Brown each side of chicken about 3 to 4 minutes each side or until browned.
  6. Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium low to allow the chicken to cook through — about 5 more minutes depending on thickness.
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Kate Scarlata
Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Well with IBS. Read her blog at and follow her on Twitter.