Kimberly A. Morales is the writer and recipe developer behind Poor Girl Eats Well. Focusing on eating well no matter how slim your budget, Kimberly shares original recipes and money-saving tips that have helped thousands of readers since 2008.
With summer winding down and school starting up again, everyone’s schedules keep getting tighter and tighter. Some nights there’s just too much going on to devote a lot of time to dinner, so many of us turn to leftovers to get us through those hectic times.
But sometimes those leftovers can get stuck in a rut of “same old, same old” recipes. The biggest victim: leftover roasted chicken. Extra meat will usually end up in a salad or pasta dish, or perhaps a light soup. Thick, hearty stews or chili can also be good options once the weather gets cooler but overall, chicken seems to get the raw end of the leftover deal.
I was in a similar dinner rut this week, and it happened to coincide with a slight pizza craving. Rather than try to justify the convenience and leftover appeal of a large pizza pie, I decided to make my own. Let’s face it: As convenient and tasty as take-out can be, it’s just not an affordable option in the long run. The money spent on one take-out dinner can easily be turned into a great shopping run at the grocery store. Those ingredients can be used in a variety of different meals that you can stretch out for a few days, rather than a one night thing.
I try to keep a couple balls of frozen pizza dough ready to go for those random pizza cravings. Not having any on hand this time around, but set on having a pizza night, I decided to stick with an easy flatbread pizza. The dough for the crust is extremely simple to make, and there’s no need to worry about fiddling around with yeast and rising times. With a creamy herb sauce I like to use on this roasted sweet potato pizza, and topped with tomatoes and spinach, this was a decidedly un-boring way to use those leftovers!
Chicken Florentine Flatbread Pizza
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp finely chopped chives
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- ½ tsp Herbes de Provence
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp nonfat milk
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped scallions or chives
- ½ tsp Herbes de Provence
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup creamy herb sauce
- 1 cup leftover chicken, chopped or shredded
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, scallions, garlic and salt, and mix well. Slowly pour in the water and mix until a dough is formed. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes.
Prepare the creamy herb sauce by whisking together the cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add the fresh and dried herbs, and mix well. Cover and set aside.
Roll the chilled dough on a floured surface, about ⅛" to ¼" in thickness. If you'd prefer smaller pizzas, simply split the dough into two balls and and roll out accordingly. Transfer onto a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and spread a generous amount of creamy herb sauce on top. Top with chicken, tomatoes and cheese, and pop back into the oven for another 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from heat, top with chopped spinach and parmesan cheese if you like, and enjoy!
Save even more time by prepping ahead! The creamy herb sauce can be made ahead of time, and will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days. The dough can be made the night before (or the morning of). Simply wrap in plastic, refrigerate, and by the time you get home from work, you’re ready to roll!