Quinoa Stuffed Chicken Roll-Ups

Chicken Roll-Ups
Leyla Shamayeva, MS, RD
Total Time 55 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 40 min
Yield 4 servings (112 calories each)

Whole grains and veggies are usually served alongside chicken. In this recipe, they're wrapped up in it. For only 112 calories per serving you get 15 grams of high-quality protein and 3 grams of fat, making for a light but filling heartburn-friendly meal. The feta cheese complements the steamed veggies and lean chicken breast, adding a hint of creaminess to the overall meal but not overpowering it, and the lemon zest adds a nice kick without any citrus, a known heartburn trigger.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons quinoa, dry
  • 1/2 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 cup broccoli stalks, julienned
  • 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4" thickness
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano, dry
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • zest from 1/2 lemon

Preparation

  1. Set the quinoa to cook according to package instructions.
  2. Steam the carrots and broccoli stalks until slightly tender.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.
  4. Lay chicken breast flat on a lined baking sheet and lightly spray with olive oil (or nonstick cooking spray) and rub with salt, on both sides.
  5. Divide the vegetables, oregano, and quinoa between the chicken breasts, along with the spinach, lemon zest, and feta cheese. Spoon everything onto the middle, keeping the filling away from the edges, then begin to roll from one end of the breast until you end up with a full roll. Tie with twine or insert toothpicks on either end to keep closed.
  1. Transfer the chicken rolls to a small heated pan, cooking until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Transfer the rolls back to the baking sheet and continue cooking in the oven until the breasts are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Let the chicken cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Although chicken roulades are more common, you can make this dish using turkey breast as well. Follow the same steps for a lean, Thanksgiving-style meal. The finished product will look beautiful on the table and the nutrition profile with this protein swap won't be significantly different.

Heartburn-friendly recipes often use lemon or orange zest to get citrus-like flavor without any of the acidity that lemon or orange juice would provide. You can use orange zest instead of lemon in this recipe if you prefer.

Get creative with your veggie stuffing. Asparagus is a common choice in roulades—just 2 spears would be enough for each breast.

If it's in season, use it instead of the broccoli stems.

Cooking and Serving Tips

A steamer basket is the easiest way to steam veggies—simply bring water to a boil and then place the basket over the pot with the veggies inside. Cook covered for a few minutes.

There's also an easy way to thin out the chicken breast: a meat tenderizer.

This hammer-like tool is often used to pound various cuts of beef and poultry. Simply place the chicken breast in a plastic bag or between two sheets of clear plastic wrap and pound it to the desired thinness. Don't over-focus on one spot—make sure you pound evenly throughout.

This roulade is flavorful and strong on its own. It doesn't need an extravagant side dish; simply serve alongside a light salad. You can also serve it with a honey mustard drizzle. Combine one tablespoon Greek yogurt with one teaspoon honey, one teaspoon yellow mustard, and one teaspoon water. Divide the mixture between the two breasts (each one will get about one tablespoon of sauce).

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