My love for Italy began simply because I hate being cold! I was backpacking through Europe (okay, I had a rolling carry-on but that doesn’t have quite the same ring) and found myself in Berlin, Germany on a very cold winter day. It started to snow and I had to get the heck out of dodge…this girl does NOT do well in that kind of weather! I hopped on a train with the intention of getting as far south as I could and wound up in Italy. It was love at first sight!
While I had a blast travelling alone, the one place that I felt a twinge of loneliness was in Venice. There’s a reason it has the reputation as one of the most romantic places in the world! I vowed that one day I would come back with “my true love”, though I had no idea who it was at the time! Years later I returned with my husband and he loved it as much as I do! It was one of our favorite vacations and we made lots of amazing memories. Of course, now that we have kids, our travelling days are over for awhile…at least any trips that involve crossing an ocean!
That doesn’t mean that we can’t have our own Italian nights at home. When I saw that Publix was having their #PublixVivaItaliaSale, I took full advantage of it and planned an Italian night. Usually in our house that involves “make-your-own-pizza” night with the kids but this time I wanted to do something a little different. I came up with the idea for baked chicken stuffed with Italian sausage, tomatoes, mozzarella and ricotta. Lucky for me, Progresso Bread Crumbs (Italian Style, of course) and Hunt Diced Tomatoes were on sale and I also picked up a loaf of Pillsbury refrigerated bread while I was at it.
Okay, I know that the bread is French bread but France IS right next to Italy and anyway, can you really tell the difference once it’s out of the tube?
Anyway, now that I had all my ingredients, it was time to start cooking! The first thing on the agenda was to brown the Italian sausage and set it aside.
Next, pound the chicken breasts to about 1/4 inch thickness, then add the sausage, diced tomatoes, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and top with dried basil and oregano.
Roll the chicken and secure with toothpicks (I usually soak them in water for a few minutes first). Then dip them in egg and roll them in the Progresso bread crumbs. If the toothpicks are in the way, just pat the breadcrumbs around that area.
Bake in the oven while you prepare your sides and before you know it, you have a delicious Italian dinner!
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 4 ounces Italian sausage
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp basil
- Preheat oven to 375
- Soak 12 toothpicks in water.
- Brown the sausage and set aside.
- Pound the chicken breasts until they are approximately ¼ inch thick.
- Top each breast with 1 oz sausage, 1½ tbsp diced tomatoes, 2 tbsp mozzarella and ½ heaping tbsp of ricotta.
- Finally, top each one with ½ tsp oregano and ½ tsp basil.
- Roll chicken breasts and secure with toothpicks.
- Dip in egg and roll in bread crumbs. If toothpicks get in the way, pat the crumbs around them.
- Bake at 375 until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 (approx 40 minutes)
- Top with diced tomatoes and parmesan cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted (approx 3-4 minutes)
Don’t forget to pick up some cannoli from the bakery for dessert! You can also check out the ReadyPlanSave page for more delicious recipes like the Roasted Veggie Pasta Bake, Chicken Osso Bucco, Slow Cooker Mushroom Spinach Lasagna and more!