How to Make Chicken Rolls

Whether you stuff chicken breasts with delicate ingredients like butter and herbs, or go with bold choices, like chiles and cheese, a chicken roll is a wonderful thing. Here's how to make a chicken roll dish (aka stuffed chicken breast recipe) for family and friends.

What's So Great About Chicken Roll-Ups?

Everything! Chicken rolls (aka chicken pinwheels or stuffed chicken breasts) are stuffed with delicious ingredients, and most are coated with breadcrumbs before cooking. The results are a golden-brown, crisp exterior with an oozy, sauce-like center (without the hassle of making a sauce). Plus, because the chicken breast used for a chicken roll is pounded thin, the meat is ultra-tender. What's not to love?

Besides—how often does someone make a chicken roll recipe for you? Rarely (or never), right? That's why if you make one, everyone will be wowed—and grateful.  We'll show you exactly how to make chicken roll in just a few easy steps. 

Stuffing Choices for a Great Chicken Roll Recipe

There are many great ways to stuff a chicken roll: Classic Chicken Kiev calls on butter and herbs. In another classic chicken roll recipe, Chicken Cordon Bleu, you'll find ham and cheese inside the chicken roll. Of course, there are many filling variations: For instance, Green chiles, Monterey Jack cheese, and cilantro stuff our Pollo Relleno chicken roll ups recipe, while dried fruits, honey, and ginger stuff our Apricot-Chicken Roll recipe. See links to these recipes and others, below.

Here are a few great stuffing combinations for a chicken roll (for four servings):

• Butter- and herb-stuffed chicken rolls: 1/2 of a 1/4-pound stick butter, 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley, and 1 minced clove garlic.

• Gruyère-stuffed chicken rolls: Gruyère cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, 2 teaspoons snipped fresh tarragon, and 1 minced clove garlic.

• Cheddar-stuffed chicken rolls: Cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, 2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme, 1 minced clove garlic.

If using butter to stuff your chicken rolls, cut a half-stick of butter lengthwise into four pieces. If using cheese, cut four 2-1/2 by 1/2-inch sticks cheese. 

How to Pound Chicken Breasts for a Chicken Roll Recipe

When you pound chicken breast halves, they become thinner and larger in surface, making them perfect for stuffing and rolling. Some butchers will pound breasts for you upon request. Otherwise, here's how to do it at home:

Place a chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet and starting from the center of the breast, pound chicken lightly into a rectangle with an even thickness of 1/4- to 1/2-inch. Discard plastic wrap; sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts. 

How to Roll a Chicken Roll

Now, you're ready to roll! Divide the herbs and smaller ingredients, such as green onions, among the chicken breasts. Place a butter or cheese stick in the center of each piece. (Or, use the ingredients specified in another recipe you're using.). Fold in the side edges; roll up from the bottom edge.

Hint: You'll be refrigerating the breasts after the next step—this will help those edges seal together better. 

How to Coat Each Chicken Roll with Crumbs

Our basic chicken roll recipe calls for coating each roll with flour, then dipping each roll in a mixture of 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, then coating each roll with fine dry bread crumbs. To make each chicken roll extra crunchy, we dip each roll in the egg mixture again, then coat with additional crumbs. We use 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup crumbs for 4 chicken breasts.

If your recipe calls for a crumb coating, be sure to completely cover the chicken, including the ends, unless otherwise directed.

Place each coated, uncooked chicken roll in a baking dish; cover and chill for 1 to 24 hours. Hint: Don't skip the chilling step—it helps each chicken roll keep its shape. 

Cooking Your Chicken Roll Ups

Some chicken roll recipes call for browning each chicken roll before baking. Follow the directions in your recipe.

Here's our basic how-to for sautéing and baking the rolls:

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. 
  • Add chicken rolls, seam sides down. Cook each chicken roll about 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning to brown on all sides. 
  • Return the rolls to the baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 18 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F.) Spoon any drippings over each chicken roll.

Chicken Roll Recipes You'll Love

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