Light and Fresh Chicken Saltimbocca

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Chicken SaltimboccaIf you frequent Italian restaurants, you may have seen a dish called veal saltimbocca on the menu. To make it, they pound the veal thin, stuff it with prosciutto and sage, and cook it swimming in a delish (and buttery) marsala sauce. Trust me, it’s good. I wanted something similar, but easier on the arteries, time, and budget too.

I swapped out the veal, prosciutto, and butter, and replaced them with healthier choices. The result was a quick and light tasting meal that was perfect for a weeknight dinner even though you aren’t starting with my usual pre-grilled chicken. Serve this with a side of steamed broccoli or green beans, and a bed of pasta if you like to round things out. I loved how the pasta soaked up the flavor of the sauce the following day for leftovers.

Light and Fresh Chicken Saltimbocca Fresh and Light Chicken Saltimbocca

  • 16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 – 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 oz thinly sliced ham
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 lemon, optional

Cut your chicken breasts into 4 large pieces that are about the same size. Use a sharp knife and carefully cut a pocket lengthwise into each breast piece. I just held the chicken piece in my hand and sliced partway through, then used my fingers to widen the pocket. Very similar to opening a pita pocket. 😉

Stuff each pocket with 1/2 oz of the sliced ham and 3 – 4 sage leaves. Preheat a skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add the chicken to the pan and cook on the first side for about 6 – 7 minutes until the bottom is browned. I looked at the cut side and could easily see that the bottom half was cooked through. Flip and cook the other side for another 6 minutes or so until completely cooked.

Remove the chicken from the pan and place on plates. Return the skillet to the heat and add the broth and lemon juice. Whisk in the cornstarch and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and drizzle the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 157 calories – 24g protein, 4g carbs, and 5g fat.


  • Since you are using the ham to replace salty flavored prosciutto in this recipe, you want to choose a traditional flavored ham instead of a honey ham. I had mine very thinly sliced to make it easier to stuff into the pocket instead of trying to shove a huge piece in there.
  • I used fresh sage leaves since fresh makes a huge difference in flavor. I ended up using the entire little container that I got and it was about 4 springs or 16 leaves once removed from the sprigs.

So for a fraction of the calories and time, you still get the flavor of saltimbocca and a home cooked meal. What’s your favorite Italian dish?

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