This may be the understatement of the year, but this girl loves some appetizers. I have been known to offer up being the designated driver for certain parties just because I know their food game will be on point.
For instance, I have these two friends that throw the best Christmas party – or at least used to before moving to a different part of LA (which I need to talk to them about). They went all out with whole hams, signature cocktails, cheeseboards… ahhh – the works I tell you! My favorite app was these Filipino lumpia rolls with dipping sauce made from scratch by a Filipino friend. Pretty sure I ate my weight in food that night.
So when creating an appetizer, especially one that you’re going to take to a party, it needs to meet a certain kind of standard. And I think you’ll find just that in these spicy southwestern chicken phyllo cups. Packed with tons of flavor (and a little heat), lots of bright vegetables, and juicy roasted chicken with just enough cheese to hold it all together. Oh and it’s all stuffed inside a crunchy, flakey phyllo cup – yes!
Another priority for app making (for me) is whipping up something that doesn’t require wrecking your kitchen… or day, for that matter. This one required making some super easy phyllo cups (you could easily buy them as well), sauteing vegetables and grating cheese. I also roasted a single chicken breast in the oven while I was sauteing the vegetables, but you could easily buy a rotisserie chicken at the store. Quick and painless I tell you.
These phyllo cups are best right out of the oven, when the cheese is oozing and the crust is crunchy. But I have a little treat in store for you! I made them on Friday when I was home alone. After devouring as many as I possible could, I packed up the remaining ones in a Tupperware container. To my surprise (I really didn’t know how well this would end), I reheated them Sunday night and they turned out just as good as the first time. I simply put them back in the muffin tins and cooked for 15 minutes. Cheese was oozing and crust was a flaking, major success!
So if you want to be the rockstar of your NYE party or bring a rockstar app to your friend’s/family’s/whatever’s house, may I suggest these spicy southwestern chicken phyllo cups.
Perfect for one-handed eating because you’ll want to have a cocktail in your other hand… obviously.
- 1 package phyllo dough, defrosted
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup frozen corn
- ⅓ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons frozen chopped spinach
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (if you want less heat remove seeds or add half of the jalapeno)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces Monterery Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- On a clean workspace (I used a cutting board) place one sheet of the phyllo dough.
- Using a pastry brush, gently brush the butter on the top of the phyllo sheet. Carefully place the next sheet on top, smooth it out, and brush the top with butter. Repeat this step until you have 6 layers of phyllo dough with the tops buttered.
- With a pizza cutter, cut the phyllo dough into 12 pieces. I cut the long side into 4 even strips and the short side into 3 even strips.
- Place each rectangle into a greased muffin tin.
- Repeat process so that you'll end up with 24 phyllo cups.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until phyllo cups are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly,
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet, saute the green onion and bell pepper in the olive oil until soft (about 5 minutes).
- Next, add the corn, black beans, spinach and jalapeno and cook until heated through and the spinach has thawed.
- Add the chopped chicken, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir until the mixture is well combined.
- Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese. Give one last final stir.
- In the prepared phyllo cups, evenly distribute the filling to fill all 24 cups.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes. As soon as the cheese is completely melted, they are done.
- Top with chopped avocado and serve immediately.
*To reheat, place back into muffin tins and cook at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is hot and melty once again.