Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pesto Chicken and Cheese in Pastry Shells

I was off yesterday and was just not in the mood to go to the grocery store. So, I left myself with the personal challenge of creating dinner with what I had on hand. I actually really enjoy doing this sometimes. I had purchased these Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells over Christmas, with the idea that I might use them for a festive dish of some kind. They are really easy and fun to use and are quite delicious. I had several types of cheese on hand, as well as some chicken and purchased pesto. The following is my new recipe:

Pesto Chicken and Cheese in Pastry Shells

1 pkg Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells

6 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp purchased pesto (or homemade if you have it!)
salt and pepper to taste
2 - 1/2 cups cooked, cubed chicken

Combine filling ingredients and place in a greased pyrex dish. Place shells on a greased cookie sheet. Bake together at 400 for 10-12 minutes, or until pastry is nicely browned and filling is bubbly.
Remove tops of the pastry shells carefully with a fork and set aside. Remove the uncooked dough from the insides of the shells. Fill with hot filling and serve immediately.

This is what the shells look like uncooked. They are well-marked to show which is the TOP. Place them on a greased cookie sheet, TOPS up.

Combine filling ingredients and place in a greased casserole:

The pastry should be a nice golden brown when done:

Take off the tops with a fork and set aside:

Then carefully remove the uncooked dough from the center and discard:

Fill with the hot filling and serve, with or without the tops:

These turned out to be delicious, with a creamy, cheesy Italian flavor. The filling could also be baked in the small phyllo cups (by Athens) as a appetizer, with or without the chicken.


Kathryn said...

mmmmmm. good. i love using these Pepperidge Farm pastry shells. Make a common "casserole-type" dish look special.

cojome1 said...

Vickie, This looks delicious! I am going to try it today. I had trouble finding pesto sauce at first, but finally found a dry mix of it. I just added my own olive oil and wsater.

Can't wait to try it out. I'll let you know how it goes. :-)


Vickie said...

Thanks Kathryn and Ali.
I have never heard of a dry pesto mix. Very cool. Please do let me know how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

I had extra puff pastry shells and googled different recipes that would utilize it. Tried this one out (added a few other things... like sun-dried tomatoes yum) and it was great... warm, cheesy goodness. Thanks for sharing!

- KJ

Vickie said...

Hi KJ,
You are welcome! I am glad you liked the recipe. Sun-dried tomatoes sound like a great addition. My husband would love that.