Chicken Roulades with Tapenade and Prosciutto

Chicken Roulades with Tapenade and Prosciutto

There are some weeknights when I arrive home from work so famished I have all I can do not to make a meal out of the nearest bag of Doritos Jacked Smoky Chipotle BBQ chips (ahem, my guilty food pleasure). And on those nights, I turn to either 30-Minute Mongolian Beef or these Chicken Roulades with Tapenade and Prosciutto. I shared the basic technique for roulades in last week’s newsletter, and I was asked to post this specific recipe. Ask and ye shall receive!

“Tapenade” is just a fancified French word for puréed olives, olive oil and a variety of other add-ins. I make mine with Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic and lemon zest, which is then spread on thinly-pounded chicken breasts before being topped with a slice of prosciutto and rolled into a flavorful bundle. A quick sear in olive oil and the chicken roulades are ready for slicing. Dinner is served, and that bag of Doritos Jacked lives to see another day (and by “day,” I mean “a few more hours.”)

Sundried Tomato Tapenade

Chicken Roulades with Tapenade and Prosciutto

Chicken Roulades with Tapenade and Prosciutto

Chicken Roulades with Tapenade and Prosciutto

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Chicken Roulades with Tapenade and Prosciutto

Yield: 4 servings


4 chicken breasts (See Kelly's Notes)
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil
2/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
3 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup bread crumbs
4 thin slices prosciutto
Olive oil, for sautéeing


Place one chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound it with a meat tenderizer (or the bottom of a heavy skillet) until it's 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sundried tomatoes packed in oil, olives, garlic cloves, lemon zest and bread crumbs. Pulse until well combined and the mixture blends into a paste.

Spread one-fourth of the mixture on one side of each of the chicken breasts then top it with a slice of prosciutto. Tightly roll up each chicken breast and secure it with a toothpick. Season the roulades with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sear the roulades on all sides, cooking them until the interior reaches 165ºF. Allow the cooked roulades to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the toothpicks from the roulades then slice and serve.

Kelly's Notes:

Use chicken breasts that are at least 6 ounces in size, as once pounded thin, they'll provide enough surface area atop which to spread the sundried tomato tapenade.

The tighter you roll your roulades, the more uniform spiral you'll create.

You can finish the seared roulades in the oven in order to guarantee they reach 165ºF. Simply transfer the skillet to a preheated 350ºF oven and let them bake until they're cooked throughout then remove the toothpicks, slice and serve immediately.


  1. 2

    Buckley says

    I noticed when you described the “Tapenade” that you could put other ingredients besides the garlic, sundried tomatoes, lemon zest etc. Would it be possible to substitute things like onions, spinach or even mushrooms?

  2. 4


    Wow, looks delicious! I have days like this too, sooo famished I feel like I may just fall over. My trick is to snack on cucumbers while I prepare dinner. I sprinkle a bit of no salt seasoning on them (they have so many flavors) and snack while I prepare our meal. Keeps my paws out of the chips 99% of the time!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 14th, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

      Love this idea, Leanne! I will definitely be doing this next time to avoid that bag of chips :)

  3. 7


    Tapenade is so full of flavor, this is a wonderful way to use it and in my humble opinion, prosciutto makes everything better. ;) This recipe is a great way to make a weeknight meal more special.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 14th, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

      Agreed, Judy! I include prosciutto where ever it’s semi-acceptable :)

  4. 8


    What a fun (and pretty!) entree! I love getting tapenade from the grocery store but it honestly never occurred to me to make my own — it doesn’t even look too hard. Great recipe!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 15th, 2013 @ 7:21 am

      Thank you! I always bought tapenade, until I discovered how easy it is. And of course the homemade variety has infinitely more options for flavors!

  5. 9


    I made something similar last week after work, too! With salami and mozzarella, hah. And breading…because I’m still trying to work through my holiday eating habit problem. Oh well! I love the tapenade idea. My husband, surprisingly enough, loves tapenade and especially loves saying tapenade.

  6. 10


    You have a great blog here, Kelly! I just discovered it and am looking forward to exploring your posts. I love how simple and elegant this dish is – just the thing for a weeknight dinner!

  7. 12

    Aubrey Doede says

    Hi Kelly! This looks amazing! I was wondering if it’s possible to freeze this one for later, either before or after cooking? Have you tried it before?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — September 8th, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

      Hi Aubrey! So great to hear from you! You could definitely freeze the sundried tomato tapenade separately, but I wouldn’t recommend freezing the assembled roulades prior to cooking, as I’m not certain how that would affect the texture of the prosciutto. Hope this helps and big hugs to you and your family!

  8. 15

    Gaby G says

    I cooked these today…yummy! However, what is the trick to perfectly cut roulade slices? I tried different knives to get a perfect slice but it looked nothing like yours!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 20th, 2014 @ 1:40 am

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe! It’s best to use a very sharp chef’s knife, or even a serrated knife would work well.

  9. 16

    Mary Moore says

    This looks both yummy and elegant. Can they be pre-made and frozen for later use? This is something that would be perfect for a single who would rather cook than eat out. Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 26th, 2014 @ 11:39 am

      Hi Mary! Thanks so much! I’ve never tried freezing the chicken, so I can’t say with certainty if they would defrost/well, but please let me know if you give it a shot!

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