Chef Dennis’ Chicken Rollatini with Arugula Pesto

It’s no secret that the way to reach your golden years is to take care of your body.  We’ll after many years of over indulging, I’m beginning to think it’s time to belly up to the bar (pardon the pun) and try to amend some of my eating habits.   I know it’s not going to happen all at once, you don’t just give up heavy cream and butter cold turkey.  But I think it’s time to start cutting back.

Lisa and I have been talking about it (me eating healthier) since we’ve decided to make the move to Florida when we retire.  She wants to make sure I’m still alive when we go, and I do understand that, after all I do all the cooking and shopping.  (I know that’s not the only reason, let’s just say she’s gotten used to having me around)

So one might call it serendipity or in my case just pure dumb luck, but I was recently contacted by Kelapo to see if I would be interested in working with them, developing recipes using their Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.  I have to admit at first I was reluctant.  I didn’t know anything about coconut oil, but the more I googled coconut oil, the more I learned how good it was for you……who knew?   Well evidently the nice folks at Kelapo knew!

For my first foray into the wonderful world of coconut oil, I wanted to do something a little different…..something you could sink your teeth into.   I tested a few of my recipes, checked how the Kelapo coconut oil reacted and found it to be a most resilient product.   So far so good!   From my restaurant days I chose a simple dish of Chicken Rollatini.   I had served it as an appetizer and a main dish, and my stuffing of choice had been a basil pesto and toasted pine nuts.   For this dish I used arugula for the green in my pesto, and keeping with the green theme I went with pistachio’s instead of pine nuts.

The Kelapo coconut oil worked just as well as olive oil in my pesto, even using it in its solid form.  It had no aftertaste and the nutty flavor of the arugula still shone through!  I did want to add some cheese to the dish, but I didn’t want to use Romano with these flavors.  Instead I opted to use Gorgonzola crumbles, and my friends, it was a good decision.  I decided to add the Gorgonzola crumbles after applying the pesto to the chicken breast.  This kept my pesto a vibrant shade of green and allowed the arugula to maintain its flavors as the cheese slowly melted into a creamy texture.

The aroma was heavenly as the chicken finished baking, and the results were delicious!



Chicken Rollatini with Arugula Pesto


  • Pesto
    • 1 bunch- about 3 cups of arugula leaves
    • 1/4 cup (40 gm) salted pistachio’s
    • 2 tbsp (30ml) Kelapo Extra Virgin coconut oil
    • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • Chicken Rollatini
    • 6 thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 3 tbsp (60gm) gorgonzola crumbles
    • 1/2 cup (30 gm) seasoned bread crumbs
    • 2 tbsp (30 ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil



  1. Clean and wash your arugula leaves, pat dry in paper towels
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, add the arugula, garlic clove and pistachio’s. Pulse until fully blended and finely chopped.
  3. Add Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, and pulse until well blended*

Chicken Rollatini

  1. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Lay breasts flat on cutting board and add about a tablespoon (15 gm) of the arugula pesto on each piece and spread it evenly on one side of the breast, staying away just a bit from the edges.
  3. Top with Gorgonzola crumbles
  4. Roll breasts starting at the smaller end until completely rolled up.
  5. Dredge finished breast in bread crumbs to get a light coating.
  6. Heat pan and add olive oil
  7. Sauté breast seam side down first, then as you turn them allow them to touch so they do not come unrolled.
  8. Sauté each side until they are golden brown.
  9. Place finished breasts in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

10. **Be careful not to overcook the breasts, leaving them in the oven to long will dry them out and all of the coconut oil will drain off.

11. Serve with sides of your choice



*if you feel better drizzling the coconut oil in the pesto, you can heat it up first, but it really doesn’t make much of a difference.


I served my Chicken Rollatini with locally grown grilled sweet corn and a tri-color tomato salad.   It was the perfect summertime meal, fresh, colorful and healthy!

Thanks for stopping by today for my first real meal with Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.   I hope you enjoyed it as much as Lisa and I did as I take my next step towards healthier eating.  Let’s hope there are many more to come!

Disclosure:  I have received compensation for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

Chef Dennis Littley

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