Chicken Pinwheels with Sage, Ricotta, and Parmesan

Last week, I made a big batch of marinara sauce intending to make eggplant parmigiana.  My plans were derailed, though, by what turned out to be a rotten eggplant. I was left with a double batch of marinara sauce in the fridge.  So, I decided to make chicken pinwheels to use up some of the sauce.

I love to cook with fresh herbs, so the last few years I have been growing my own in my garden.  This spring, I was happy to see that my sage plant had survived the winter and was full of beautiful sage leaves. Typically I use sage in chicken dishes, due to a lack of creativity on my part, I suppose.  So, this is my not-so-creative use for the plentiful sage leaves that are growing in my garden.  Creative or not, it was delicious… and I was able to use some of that marinara sauce in the fridge!


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (I used low fat ricotta, but whatever you prefer will work)
  • 1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce


In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Generously season with black pepper. (Note – I didn’t add additional salt because the Parmesan cheese is fairly salty already. Add salt here if you like.)

Place the two chicken breasts on a large cutting board.  Place two sage leaves crosswise on each of the pieces of chicken.  Spread the ricotta mixture evenly on top of the sage leaves.  Roll the chicken and secure with toothpicks.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and minced garlic over medium heat.  Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the chicken is browned.  Remove the chicken from the pan.

Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add the marinara sauce and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until the internal temperature has reached 165°F.  (Hint – if you have a meat thermometer with a probe that can be left in, stick it in the center of the roll before you put the lid on.  Then, you won’t have to keep opening the lid to check on the chicken.)

Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken from the pan.  Remove the toothpicks and slice the chicken crosswise.  Top with the sauce.  I served this with Parmesan orzo and steamed  broccoli.

14 Responses to Chicken Pinwheels with Sage, Ricotta, and Parmesan

  1. How lovely! I’m growing sage for the very first time and I’m now on the lookout for recipes to incorporate it. This looks so fresh and healthy too!

  2. Not creative?! Of course, it’s creative and just from the picture along I wish i was at your house for dinner.

  3. Gosh, that looks fabulous! I wish I had leftover marinara in my fridge, just so I can make this dish! forget it, I’ll just MAKE fresh marinara just for this!

  4. I am always looking for new ways to serve chicken. This looks great, and open to adaptation which is awesome!

  5. That looks sooooooo good. As my stomach rumbles I should probably hurry up and leave the comment so I don’t get tempted to walk to the kitchen and eat snacks:)

  6. I just wanted to thank you for this recipe! I tried it for the first time tonight and it was wonderful, my family really enjoyed it. I tried serving it with green beans and a Ciabatta bread Crostini topped with some of the leftover Parmesan cheese.