My oldest sister says I’m overly fond of using cheese in my recipes. She’s right, but it’s one of those foods I find hard to resist and, since my guys have high metabolism (yes, makes me sick too), I get no complaints from them. Though this dish was a hit, I’ve made adjustments to the recipe to improve on it (could have used more chicken).


1 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup diced onion

1-4.5 oz can diced green chiles

1-15 oz can Cannellini beans, drained

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tsp cumin

2-13 oz cans chicken breast, drained


1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup diced onion

2 tbsp flour

1 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup half-and-half

1-4.5 oz can diced green chiles

2 tbsp diced jalapenos

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup light sour cream


6 oz cheddar jack blend cheese

10 large flour tortillas

Optional topping: 2 cups shredded lettuce, 2 tbsp minced cilantro, 1 green onion (sliced thin)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) CHICKEN & WHITE BEAN FILLING: Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add onions and cook 2-3 minutes; add green chiles, beans, chicken broth, and cumin; stirring occasionally, cook 10 minutes; add chicken and cook 5 minutes; set aside

3) GREEN CHILE SAUCE: Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat; add onions and cook 2-3 minutes; sprinkle flour over onions and stir well; cook 1 minute; stir in chicken broth and half-and-half and cook 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens; add green chiles, jalapenos, and salt; cook 1 minute and remove from heat; stir in sour cream

4) Pour 1/2 cup of green chile sauce in bottom of a 9×13″ casserole dish and spread evenly across the bottom; lay out tortillas and divide chicken and white bean filling among them; roll tortillas and place seam side down in casserole dish

5) Pour remaining green chile sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese; cover casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake 25-30 minutes; remove aluminum foil and bake an additional 3 minutes; remove from oven and either serve as is–Yum!–or go the extra mile and scatter shredded lettuce, cilantro, and green onions on top; ring the dinner bell!

Servings: 6-8 (depending on how many guys and how hungry they are)

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 07/17/12–the one that disappeared into a black hole (which is the reason WordPress and I met up).


I started off making a traditional chicken pot pie for our get together with friends but then decided Phyllo Pastry would be tastier than the usual pastry. Next, I discovered I was missing an ingredient–or two. However, the substitution of tomatoes and cannellini beans seemed doable–if quite different–and so this dish was the result. Gone to the last spoonful, so…well received, I’d say 🙂

Chicken Pan Pie with Criss-Cross Phyllo Pastry

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, diced

1 cup matchstick carrots

2 celery stalks, diced

4 cups deli-roasted chicken, diced

1-14 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1-15 oz can petite diced tomatoes in their juices

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1-1/2 cups red cooking wine

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

8 oz frozen Phyllo Pastry sheets (1 set of a two-pack), thawed

olive oil spray

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) To large, oven-safe skillet (I used cast iron) add olive oil; heat over medium-high and add onion, carrots, and celery; stirring often, cook 7-8 minutes until onions soften; lower heat to medium and stir in chicken, cannellini beans, tomatoes, thyme, cooking wine, and black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes

3) Meanwhile, generously spray olive oil over each phyllo pastry sheet and layer one atop the other; cut into 3/4″ strips

4) Remove skillet from stove top and lay half the strips vertically across chicken mixture, leaving 3/4″ gaps; lay remaining strips horizontally, leaving gaps, to form lattice pattern (Note: you probably won’t use all the strips)

5) Place skillet in oven and bake 30-40 minutes until phyllo pastry is golden brown; serve it up!

Serves: 6


I’m not big on zucchini unless it’s breaded, fried, and bad news for my waistline, but it was a wonderful addition to this tasty dish. And then there was the cannellini beans and spinach. Many thumbs up!

Chicken Zucchini Cannellini Bean Medley1

Chicken Zucchini Cannellini Bean Medley2

1 tbsp olive oil

4 bone-in chicken thighs

2 cups coarsely chopped red onion

1 peeled and coarsely chopped zucchini

1 cup red bell pepper, sliced

1-15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1-1/2 cup pasta sauce (I used marinara)

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1) Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken and brown 2-3 minutes each side; transfer chicken to plate and keep warm

2) Add onion to skillet and, stirring often, cook 5 minutes; reduce heat to medium and stir in zucchini, red bell pepper, cannellini beans, and spinach and cook 3 minutes; stir in pasta sauce, wine, basil, oregano, rosemary, salt, and pepper and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally

3) Return chicken to skillet and spoon sauce over pieces; reduce heat to low and cover skillet with lid; cook 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through; serve chicken smothered in sauce and spinkled with Parmesan

Servings: 4


These chicken quesadillas are fantastic. Is it the spinach? The sun-dried tomatoes? The Cannellini beans? The pepperoncini? All are great ingredients, but marry them and melt them between layers of cheese and flour tortillas and you have a winner. I declare, had there been leftovers I would have ignored my calorie count and kept right on eating.

8 flour tortillas

2 cups Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend

1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup diced onion

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped pepperoncinis

pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp ground pepper

1 tbsp + 1 tsp all-purpose flour

3/4 cup chicken broth

3 cups deli-roasted chicken

1-15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped

olive oil cooking spray


Optional: lettuce leaves

1) Lay out 8 flour tortillas and divide cheese evenly between them; let sit (you’ll come back to them shortly)

2) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and cook 5 minutes; lower heat to medium and stir in sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoncinis, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minutes

3) Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes; add chicken broth and stir until smooth; stir in chicken and cannellini beans and cook 2 minutes; add spinach, stir to combine, and immediately remove from heat

4) Divide onion-chicken mixture evenly between all tortillas, spreading mixture out to edges; fold each tortilla over to form half circles and gently press down

5) Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium; place two halves in skillet and cook 2-3 minutes each side until cheese melts and tortilla turns golden brown (Note: plan on cooking in batches; if you use two skillets, it obviously goes faster); remove quesadillas from skillet and serve with salsa on a bed of lettuce (optional)

Servings: 4-6