One of my all-time favorite restaurants is in West Hartford, CT (where I grew up) – it’s a Mediterranean-style place called Tapas and has a cult-like following in the area. I try to order something new every time I go home to visit my family, especially their seafood daily specials, but there’s one dish that I’m always drawn to! It’s very simple – pita bread, topped with cooked mushrooms/onions/grilled chicken and then finished with melted cheese. I just had it about a week ago and it immediately gave me the idea to create this pita casserole – very similar concept to theirs, but bulking up the veggies to make it a true one-stop, well-rounded meal.
I think you’ll love this one – my husband thought it has the savory taste of a bread stuffing, and I completely agree. The pita soaks up all the juices from the cooked mushrooms/onions and then the combination of the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and chicken is one I just adore!
Please note this dish calls for 3 cooked chicken breasts (or about 2 cups shredded meat from a rotisserie chicken) – if you don’t have any precooked chicken on-hand, please ensure you bake/grill/saute some prior to starting with step #1!
Here’s how you make it (8 servings):
- Preheat the oven to 180C/375F
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 containers white mushrooms (quartered), 3 cups finely diced white onion, 2 tbsp dried oregano and salt/pepper to taste – saute for 10 minutes or until they’ve taken on a nice color/fragrant smell
- Add in 1.5 cups of chicken broth to the mushroom mixture and set aside
- In a 9×13 baking pan, start the casserole assembly by throwing in the 6 cups of torn pita as the first layer
- Top with 4 cups of fresh baby spinach, followed by 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, mushroom mixture, shredded chicken breast meat and then 1 cup of cheese
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese looks perfectly browned and the casserole is warmed through
Things to note:
- I had a little extra mushroom mixture – it was amazing in an omelette the next day, never toss out extra cooked veggies!
- Feel free to switch up the ingredients to best suit your tastes – black olives, feta crumbles, cooked asparagus or roasted eggplant would be amazing additions/replacements
- If you don’t use pita bread often, start trying it in recipes that you traditionally use bread for – bread salads, lunchbox sandwiches, egg casseroles, etc.
- If you want to make this more indulgent, you could do a few things:
- Add in extra cheese on top of the pita layer
- Toss the pita bread with either olive oil or melted butter prior to layering
- Toss the mushroom mixture with a little sour cream prior to layering
- 6 cups whole wheat pita bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 containers white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (about 700g)
- 3 cups finely diced white onion
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, drained well (I like to keep them whole, but diced would be just fine too!)
- 3 cooked chicken breasts (or equivalent rotisserie chicken meat – about 2 cups), finely shredded
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
I can’t wait to hear what you think about this one – it’s so easy to throw together and gives you great casserole flavor with a healthy twist!