Chicken Mozzarella Roll-Ups

Delicious mozzarella cheese, fragrant basil and roasted red peppers are rolled in tender chicken breasts and baked in tomato sauce.
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Your family will love this chicken dish so much that you’ll want to double the recipe and freeze half for another meal.
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  • Total Time : 55 minutes
  • Prep Time : 20 minutes
  • Cook Time : 35 minutes
  • Servings : 4 as a main course


  • 4 small (4 ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 large, fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 pieces roasted red pepper (available in jars), about 2 inches by 5 inches, ribs and membrane trimmed, patted dry
  • 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (about 12 Tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups canned, plain tomato sauce

  • Optional
  • For extra flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano to the tomato sauce.


step 1Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place 2 chicken breasts in a 1 gallon Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bag and seal. Working from the thinnest to the thickest part of the chicken breast, pound each piece with a rolling pin, meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet, being careful not to tear the meat, until it is 1/4-inch thick and approximately the size and shape of a 4-by-8-inch rectangle. Remove the chicken from the bag and set aside on a clean plate. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

step 2Lay the chicken breast on a clean work surface or cutting board in front of you, horizontally, with one long (8-inch) edge toward you and the smooth side down. Layer each piece with 3 basil leaves, 1 piece of roasted red pepper and 2 Tablespoons of the shredded mozzarella (reserve remaining mozzarella for later). Roll one long edge toward the other long edge to enclose fillings—like a wrap—making sure the edges overlap slightly. Fold in the loose (short) ends and secure with toothpicks on each side.

step 3Pour 1 cup of the tomato sauce into a 9-by-12-inch nonaluminum baking dish that’s at least 2 inches deep, and distribute sauce evenly over bottom of dish.

step 4Place the rolled chicken breasts, seam side down, in the baking dish. Top each roll with the remaining 1/2 cup of tomato sauce (about 2 Tablespoons each) and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
step 5Sprinkle the remaining 4 Tablespoons of shredded mozzarella (1 Tablespoon each) over the top of each chicken roll and broil on a low setting for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese melts and browns on top.
step 6Remove the baking dish from the oven, transfer the chicken breasts to plates, carefully remove toothpicks, spoon any remaining sauce from the baking dish around the chicken and serve immediately.

Chef’s notes

To avoid tearing the chicken breasts, don’t pound the meat too vigorously.

If you are looking to avoid unnecessary calories, check the label on the can of tomato sauce to make sure there is no added sugar.

To save time on baking day, you can prepare the recipe ahead of time through step 2. Chicken rolls can be covered with Saran™ Premium Wrap, refrigerated and baked the next day. Or place them in Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bags and freeze for up to two weeks.

Aluminum pans are “reactive”—they’re affected by or affect acidic foods like tomato sauce and can actually discolor or change the flavor of the food. So use a roasting pan made of oven-safe glass or one with an enamel, nonstick or stainless steel surface.
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recent comments
7/6/2013 , 
Kim  H.
I make a dish similar to this but I use Pepperoni, Roasted red peppers and Cheese. I put extra pepperoni on top and put some chicken broth and white wine in the baking pan and cook for about 45 mins covered then take the foil off and brown it for about 15 mins. I don't add any tomato sauce because it makes a nice sauce with the broth, wine and juices from the chicken and I put it on a bed of angle hair pasta or rice.
7/1/2013 , 
Faby  G.
Would it be a good idea to use spaghetti sauce?
5/6/2013 , 
Linda  C.
I found these difficult to roll up. I was afraid of pounding holes in it if I pounded it any thinner. I finally ended up tying them with kitchen twine to hold them together.
1/26/2013 , 
shelby  t.
..I made this with spinach instead, and I used a sauce made with turkey Italian sausage ..and it was delicious! Served it over a bed of spaghetti... and got lots of raves on it.Definitely a good recipe that can be ' tweaked' depending on ingredients at hand or preference!
10/31/2012 , 
Sam  A.
I skipped the red peppers and put a garlic butter mixture in the middle instead, with cooked bacon, basil leaves and a mix of cheddar and mozerella cheese! It was divine! Thanks for the recipe :)
Showing 1 - 5 of 14 comments:
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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 roll-up
Serving Amount 4 (4 oz)
Calories 230
Calories From Fat 60
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 3.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 80mg
Sodium 850mg
Total Carbohydrates 8g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 5g
Protein 33g
Nutritional information provided by
Compu-Food Analysis, Inc.

find out more

To get the latest information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on safe handling of raw poultry, go to

To learn about nonreactive and other types of cookware:
The Cookware Cookbook: Great Recipes for Broiling, Steaming, Boiling, Poaching,Braising, Deglazing, Frying, Simmering, and Sautéing by Jamée Ruth and Leigh Beisch.Chronicle Books.