Getting in a dinner funk? If you’ve got all the ingredients for spaghetti and marinara plus 1 pound of chicken breast, you’re all set for this deceptively easy dinner that looks so fancy!

Next, let me convince you WHY you should go through the effort of butterflying and pounding out your meat. 

  1. You forgot to marinate your meat. Meat can be tenderized chemically or mechanically. Marinating your meat – for example in yogurt or Italian Dressing- is an example of chemically tenderizing your meat. Pounding your meat with a meat mallet mechanically tenderizes meat. 
  2. Pounding out meat doesn’t add any additional calories or salt to the dish, while chemically tenderizing meat does. It’s hard to know how much marinade your meat is actually absorbing, isn’t it?
  3. It can be done in an instant pot (see suggested modifications)

Butterflying is when you slice your meat horizontally, but you don’t cut it all the way open. This gives you control over how even your meat is. It’s going to cook faster, and it’s going to make our roulade easy to roll up.


1 pound chicken breast

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt-free Italian Herb seasoning

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Special Materials

Butchers twine, toothpicks, or aluminum foil

Meat mallet

Instant Pot, if using (see suggested modifications)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Pound out your chicken breast. If your chicken breast is thick, butterfly it first.
  3. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs and spread the tomato paste over one side
  4. Roll up your chicken breast with herbs on the inside
  5. Use butcher’s twine, toothpicks, or wrap in foil to keep your roulade rolled while it’s cooking
  6. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165℉ (about 35 minutes)
  7. Cut into 4 portions

Makes 4, 4 – ounce portions

Exchanges per serving: 4 Protein, 2 Fat, 1 Vegetable

Suggested modifications

  • Pack in the veggies: Stuff with assorted veggies like asparagus, yellow squash, and onion
  • Instead of baking, cover roulade (seam side down) with chicken broth inside of a pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes. Allow the steam to escape naturally.
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