Friday, June 25, 2010

Chicken, Spinach and Cannellini Bean Quesadillas

HEALTHY ALERT! We've put the cheesecake behind us, walked a thousand miles uphill backwards, and now we're ready for some tasty food that our bodies are going to thank us for. Chicken breast, spinach and cannellini beans equals lean protein, Popeye pectorals, and enough fiber to keep things moving in a positive manner, so to speak.

We're not slouching on flavor here though folks. This recipe started out as a quesadilla filling and did indeed become that for hubby, but I enjoyed it as is, mounded in a bowl with a hefty dose of freshly cracked black pepper.

First some basics on the chicken. You can use any type of cooked chicken you can get your hands on, but I prefer to take a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts (a little over two pounds this time) and poach it in some boiling, salted water for about 20 minutes. I remove the breasts from the boiling pot to a cutting board and tent them with foil to keep them moist while they cool for a bit. Then I dice them and season them with a generous handful of Montreal grill seasoning. I use what I need for the specific recipe I'm making, and then I freeze the rest in one cup portions for future quick-fix meals.

Cannellini beans remind me of potatoes. They're so creamy and blend so well with other flavors and textures. You can sub in great northern or black beans for this recipe if you desire, but you'll forfeit a bit of the creaminess factor.

Chicken, Spinach And Cannellini Bean Quesadillas

1 1/2 -2 cups seasoned, cooked and diced chicken breast meat
1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 banana pepper, diced
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (heaping) TBSP all purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
4 cups fresh baby spinach, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 (15.5 ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Cooking spray
Flour tortillas
Shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, cheddar or a combination of the two works well here)
Avocados, diced
Fat free sour cream

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, red bell pepper and banana peppers. Season with the crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Saute until veggies have softened, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir to combine. Cook while stirring for several minutes so that the flour loses its raw taste. Whisk in the chicken broth and stir until bubbly and smooth. Add the baby spinach and continue cooking for another minute or two or until spinach has wilted. Stir in the cooked chicken and cannellini beans and remove from heat.

Spray a large skillet or griddle with cooking spray. Heat over medium to medium-high heat. Place one tortilla on griddle and spread cheese over tortilla. Spread chicken, bean and spinach mixture over one half of the tortilla. Check underside of tortilla and when browned a bit, flip the half with just cheese over the half with the chicken. Remove from heat and cut into slices. Top with diced avocado and sour cream, if desired.

39 comments:

Julie said...

Maggie - Delicious! I am always looking for something different to eat for lunch. I will be trying this one!!

June said...

Wow - pictures are amazing Mags and these look darn delicious! I'm with you for the "bowl" version!

Karen said...

This looks good either in, or out, of a tortilla! Quesadillas are great... you can just about put anything in them and they're delicious!

Sippity Sup said...

That top photos is stunning. It's not easy to make a quesadilla look that great. I know I have tried. This one is perfection! GREG

Barbara Bakes said...

What a great idea for a quesadilla filling. I need to get more creative with them.

A Busy Nest said...

These look yummy!

Cindy Sue said...

YUMMY! great idea, will give it a go with hubby...

Grumpy and HoneyB said...

I'll eat it either way.

I love the way you write. LOL. You always manage to make me smile and you are so darn REAL. lol

Moogie said...

Yum... Mags. I'm still waiting for the stay-over invite.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Love these! I make quesadillas out of just about everything, and I think the spinach and cannellini bean combo sounds like a great new idea!

Sophia said...

I could totally eat cheese and bread in any form, especially quesadillas. They're so easy to make and they really fill me up. Your recipe looks delicious. I usually make these Quick Chicken Quesadillas. I love them!

csapp said...

These sound delicious!! How many servings does this make? I would like to try and figure ww points.
Thank you!!

MaryLiz said...

Saw this recipe on Pinterest. Love the name of your blog! :-) Thanks for sharing a healthy recipe. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for the tip about cannellini beans. I think I can get dry cannellinis in the bulk section at the health food store.

suzanne abu-shaaban said...

these look really great! But really, how many servings does it make? I'd love to make it for a pot luck but have no idea how much of the groceries I need to get.

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

suzanne: I'm terrible about listing how many servings my recipes make. I'm sorry. There are so many variables here, and depending on what size tortilla you use, your results may vary. I'm going to guess that this would make 6 servings.

Susan said...

This sound absolutely delicious! I love cannellini beans but haven't been able to figure out what to do with them! I am going to have to make this this week!

Budget Earth - Kid Friendly Vegetarian Cookbooks

Anonymous said...

I'm eating these quesadillas right now and they are delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Anonymous said...

SO GOOD, and love that these are healthy! My 5 year old enjoyed them too!

Leander said...

It looks awesome! I need to try it soon!

Merilee said...

The secrete to making Quesadillas look this way is by putting a thin layer of mayo on the outside of the tortilla and then brown in Skillet with a lite spray of oil.

Anonymous said...

How many servings does this make? Thanks.

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

Anon: I'm terrible about listing how many servings my recipes make. I'm sorry. There are so many variables here, and depending on what size tortilla you use, your results may vary. I'm going to guess that this would make 6 servings

Darlene said...

when i do quesadillas i put shell down add cheese when melted take off, put on plate put on grill another shell add cheese and chix minture what ever kind you are making then put first shell on top of the one still on grill, dont have to try to turn, and make a mess you can make alot faster you are making a whole shell not a half

Anonymous said...

WOW - I never comment after I've made something but...WOWOWOWOW!!! I loved this recipe! Try it ASAP - It's a staple in my cookbook for sure! Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

Made these tonight for dinner and absolutely loved them!! Will definitely have them again! Thanks for sharing!

fiercefoodie said...

I made these last night and they were amazing!! Wonderful flavor and texture! Thank you!

Sarah Lempke said...

Just made this for dinner. Delicious! This will move to the front of my recipe box and I will be making this often. Made it with whole wheat tortillas and loved it!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried to make the filling ahead of time, and stick it in the fridge or anything? Just wondered if that would keep okay, I probably wouldn't use all of the filling in one night. Thanks!! :)

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

anonymous: I have made this and refrigerated the leftover filling and it works and tastes great reheated.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Mags! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

How about posting nutritional info with these recipes. It would be helpful to those who are counting. Thanks

SBerry said...

I made these for dinner tonight and they were VERY tasty! I am keeping this recipe.

I made 9 quesadillas with about half the bean/chicken filling. Also, I shredded blocks of Monterey Jack & Mild Cheddar in my food processor and that really helped too (sorry but much tastier than the stuff pre-shredded in the bags). We're having leftovers tomorrow night!!

Any time I can get two dinners out of the work of one, I am pretty psyched.

Danielle said...

My husband and daughter devoured this meal!!! They begged to keep this in the rotation. Thanks for a great quesadilla recipe.

Elizabeth R said...

I made these using 9 10-inch tortillas. These were divine! Thank you so much! A hit for my entire family!

Kenya G. Johnson @ KenyaGJohnson.com said...

I found your recipe a while about two months ago and have since made it three time. I can't believe my husband and son are eating spinach and bean in a QUESADILLA! Thanks a mill. I wrote about an app that I use to save my recipes and I used snapshot of your recipe to demonstrate it. http://kenyagjohnson.com/techbytes/2013/11/5/the-secret-ingredient-is-paprika

Anonymous said...

I just have to let you know that my husband and I eat this almost every week. My kids, who are not as adventurous, will just have cheese quesadillas with it. It has become one of our favorites. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Made this tonight for the first time. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

Heather said...

Very good! Thanks for the recipe!

Giant Princess said...

Made this last night and I loved it! My husband ate 2 gigantic quesadillas (I got the 8" ones) and my 8yo daughter had half of one and asked for more in her lunch today. I ate leftovers here at work cold from the fridge and they were still fab. I was thinking sauteed mushrooms would be a great addition to these, but maybe separately or if you had some leftover so you don't add too much liquid to the veggies. I also used a mix of bell peppers (but not the evil green ones). And I used 3 different kinds of cheese I had on hand, including Mexican mix, sharp cheddar and then mozzarella, and they were all good. Thank so much for this recipe!