I am on a roll. And when I am on a role, I go all out. What, you ask? Pasta. Specifically, pasta recipes. Recipes with delicious noodles filled with all kinds of extras like chicken, veggies of some sort, and of course the red or white sauce that brings it all together. That may or may not include wine. In the recipe or on the side. And every good pasta recipe deserves fresh herbs. It is all about the packages my friends. All about the package. They are sweet and necessary things in our lives that make things seem just a bit better. So, what's this all about? Well, simply put, a great pasta recipe simply comes in a package of ingredients that are common staples every time. Noodles: check. Sauce: check. Herbs and spices: check. Meat variety: check. You see where I am going with this? Begs the question. Are all pasta recipes the same? No way!!! Take this Chicken Parmesan Bundles recipe for example. Â It uses Ritz crackers and cream cheese. Who does that?!?
Who cares? This is one fine tasting recipe that gets every happy chemicalÂ in my brain jumping for joy! That's the great thing about packages in life - sometimes you get to mix and match. Speaking of mixing and matching, it was time this month for a new mattress set. Sales guy says that by mixing and matching we could save a bundle and I am all for that! But then he goes on to say that we won't know what kind of box spring will arrive at our doorstep. Could be pink and purple checkers with little happy feet on them. Ya, well. Way to lose a sale :) I suppose it doesn't matter. Afterall, who cares! Not gonna see it anyway. Jumping right back into this Chicken Parmesan Bundles recipe, the cream cheese and spinach filling just fits. The 300 g box of chopped frozen spinach is perfect. And may I suggest being quite mindful if you thaw the spinach in the microwave. Don't let it thaw too much so that the sides of the cube of spinach begins to cook. Its okay if it is little bit icy. You can always place in a strainer and pour cold water on for that last little bit of ice removal. Be sure to drain all the water from the thawed spinach cause you don't want the filling to be a soggy mess. It's the right thing to do!
Ok, I am going to get a little silly here. But doesn't the spinach and cream cheese filling on the chicken look a wee bit like a turtle? Oh, I love turtles! Maybe it is just me :) See it? No? Ok, moving on -- insert red faced blushing emoticon here-- Seriously though, once you mix the cream cheese, spinach and parmesan cheese in a bowl you spread the filling on the chicken breast but don't worry, this goes on really easy. Kind of like a paste. I will tell you a secret. Don't use a spoon to mix it all up. Wash your hands (ew, gross - you wouldn't think of doing it any other way first) and get your hands messy. Like a kid playing with play doh you will knead the mixture (kind of like massaging) til it is well mixed. Slap it on (how dramatic) and then wrap it up or roll it up and stick tooth picks in to hold it all in place. So, what do you do when things are a cookin' in the oven? Clean up, read a book, or take a nap? You are not snacking are you? Seriously, you have to stay hungry for this!
Ok, so this photo shot of the chicken in aÂ 13X9 inch baking dish (who really measures a dish?) is about 3/4 done. I recommend using aÂ meat thermometer to make sure it is fully cooked. I think my chicken was thicker than what the recipe calls for ---- hey, by the way... RZ memberÂ sammyzoey posted this recipe on our site in 2012. Internet years that is forever ago. Can't believe I have never tried this recipe before then. I have, in the past
Â (emphasis all mine!) picked up frozen spinach chicken from Costco and have really enjoyed it. Great meal to throw in the oven for them busy days when there is just no time for cooking. What? Is that everyday for many of us??? Anyway, this recipe takes that love for the spinach filled chicken to a whole new lovin' level. Wow. Amazing. Anyway, again, back to what I was saying before.... at 30 minutes in the oven my meat thermometer was saying not yet done. I love my little meat thermometer cause it has little pictures of animals to let me know in an easy way if it is fully cooked or not. Mine says to cook to a safe internal temperature of 179.6 degrees or 82 celsius for our non USA friends. So, I added another 20 minutes.
Final verdict? Well, steam up some zuchini strips (way easier cutting up in a spiralizer) heat up some of your favorite marinara sauce, noodles, cut up some greensÂ such as fresh basil and parsley, andÂ voilÃ -
AMAZING! Such a quick and easy recipe to prep and cook you will definitely want to give this a try and serve to your bestest of friends and family. There really is no comparison to pre-made and you will think that you have just sat down in a quaint little Italian village's bistro. Now, what will your conversation be like?
Recipe type: Dinner, Main Dish
Prep time: 35 Minutes
Cook time: 30 Minutes
Total time: 65 Minutes
125 grams cream cheese (1/2 of 250 g pkg Philadelphia brick cream cheese, softened)
1 package (300 gram) frozen chopped spinach (thawed, well drained)
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (Kraft)
6 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (pounded to 1/4 inch thickness, 6 small breasts)
1 large egg
1/2 cup crackers (10 Ritz crackers - crushed)
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce (heated)
- Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheight. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 3 tbsp of the Parmesan cheese until well blended; spread evenly onto chicken breasts.
- Starting at one of the short ends of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if desired. Set aside.
- Beat egg in shallow bowl or pie plate. Mix remaining 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese and the cracker crumbs in separate bowl or pie plate.
- Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place, seam sides down, in a 13X9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake 30 mins or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove and discard toothpicks, if using.
- Serve topped with the pasta sauce and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Serving Size: 246.1 g
- Calories: 387.9
- Total Fat: 18.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 9.1 g
- Cholesterol: 155.8 mg
- Sodium: 604.9 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 11.3 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
- Sugars: 3 g
- Protein: 42.8 g
- Calcium: 378 mg
- Iron: 3.1 mg
- Vitamin C: 14.7 mg
- Thiamin: 0.1 mg