It all started with a desire to clean out our overburdened upstairs freezer. There was a random assortment of things I couldn’t identify, and every time I pulled the drawer open, it felt like the garbage compactor scene in Star Wars (A New Hope).
It was a mess.
I first saw the old box with one lonely sheet of puff pastry, shoved way in the back under all the ice packs. After digging a bit more, I came across some grilled chicken. A search of the fridge netted some mozzarella, baby kale, and pesto. The pantry unburdened itself of an onion, and a new dish in our house was born.
As I threw things together, I thought “this could work. Or turn out to be a beautiful disaster”. I put it on the table, everyone took a bite, and I held my breath. After finishing his bite, Troy said “this is what a Hot Pocket should taste like”. We’ll go ahead and call that a compliment. I think?
Savory Puff Pastry Sandwich Bakes
A simple, make ahead meal that uses odds and ends from your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Don't let the prep time fool you - almost all of that is related to letting the puff pastry thaw out to make it workable.
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1 tbsp pesto
- 1 tbsp marinara or brushetta sauce
- 2 handfuls baby spinach or kale. Fresh
- 1/4 onion sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 handfuls chopped cooked/grilled chicken
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Remove the puff pastry from the box and wrapper, and allow to thaw on the counter for about 25 minutes. You want the pastry to be pliable, but not warm. Lay the pastry sheets on a large baking sheet lined with parchment.
In a medium frying pan, melt the butter over medium low, and cook the onions down until soft; about 15-20 minutes.
Spread the pesto in the middle of one puff pastry sheet, and the bruschetta in the middle of the other.
Top with spinach/kale, cheese, chicken, and onions.
Like you are wrapping a present, fold the two top "flaps" over each other. Repeat with one bottom flap, and then the other. Pinch the dough together a bit to secure it.
Bake at 400 degrees for 23 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and flaky. We have found it is easiest to cut in to portions with a pizza cutter. Serve hot with a side salad or delicious grilled veggies.
The second time I made this, I also made one with bruschetta sauce. You could easily make this vegetarian by leaving out the chicken, and adding white beans or another non-meat protein. Artichoke hearts would be pure heaven. Due to the time needed for thawing the pastry (20-30 min at temperature), it would be ideal to prep this in the morning before leaving for work. Throw the pastry on the counter before you shower, then assemble everything before heading out the door. Put in an air-tight container in the fridge, and bake when you get home.
In just a few short weeks, this has quickly become a favorite go-to dinner for us. It is a speedy main dish to serve on baseball nights, and everyone from my mom to Bennett will happily gobble this up. Jack doesn’t even complain about the giant amount of baby kale inside, and between that and the pesto, it is a no brainer for getting more greens in our diet. Plus, who doesn’t love deliciousness wrapped in flaky doughy goodness? Well, dianogas of course, but they really prefer a hapless band of anti-heroes in garbage pods.
Yeah, I’m a freaking nerd. So?