Gluten-Free Chicken Rolls

Makes 12 to 18, depending on size of thighs

Not counting the olive oil, salt and pepper, these crowd-pleasing gluten-free chicken rolls contain only four ingredients and deliver an authentic taste of Italy.


  • 6 large (about 1½ pounds) chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto, from a jar or homemade
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (cured, unsmoked Italian bacon) or prosciutto, each slice cut in half crossways
  • 1 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Heat the oven to 400° F. Rinse the chicken thighs, pat dry and cut in half lengthwise. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread each piece with about ¼ teaspoon of pesto sauce. Fold the chicken around the filling as much as possible and wrap the pancetta to form a roll.

Set out a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken rolls in one layer. Tip the tomatoes into a bowl. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chopped tomatoes to the baking dish, reserving the juice for another use.

Arrange the chicken bundles on top. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake for about 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, and the pancetta is starting to brown. If not browning, place the dish under a hot broiler for a minute or two, watching it carefully.

Cook’s tip: Creamy polenta cooked in gluten-free chicken broth or long-grain white rice makes a complementary side dish.

Nutrition Analysis: 80 cal, 4.5 g fat, 35 mg chol, 140 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 9 g protein.

The author of more than a dozen cookbooks to date, Gluten-Free Living Contributing Editor Jackie Mallorca’s titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian.