Here on the blog, my affinity for Italian food, as well as all “stuffed” foods, has been well documented. So what could possibly be better than combining the two? I’ll tell you…pretty much nothing.
Chicken Parmesan is wildly popular in the US. It’s probably one of the most popular Italian dishes ordered, along with pizza and lasagna. This recipe does not have the typical fried crust on the outside, but instead has crushed ritz crackers. It still tastes like normal chicken parmesan, but the crackers give it a little (less fattening) twist. But don’t worry, you still get the delicious crunchy texture. (I’m definitely a texture person when it comes to food…that matters about as much as the taste).
What I REALLY loved about this recipe is the creamy cheese and spinach filling. Oh my goodness that stuff is SO good. We actually had a little bit of left over filling that didn’t fit inside the chicken breasts, and we used it as a spinach dip for our extra Ritz crackers. Seriously, the filling could be its own dip recipe in itself! But you won’t want to miss out on the combo of the chicken and filling together.
- 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Reduced Fat Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
- 1-1/4 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
- 6 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1-1/2 lb.)
- 1 egg
- 10 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)...(I just crushed mine like it says, but if I make it again, I'd probably put the crackers in the blender to get them more of a sand-like consistency so they stay on better)
- 1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated
- Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. (If you don't know what this means, all you do is put your chicken on a cutting board, cover it with plastic wrap, and then, using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound the chicken, working outward until desired thickness.)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan until well blended; spread onto chicken breasts. Starting at one short end of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if needed.
- Beat egg in shallow dish. Mix remaining Parmesan and cracker crumbs in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then roll in crumb mixture to evenly coat. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray
- Bake 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve chicken topped with spaghetti sauce and remaining mozzarella.