Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pitas

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Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pita is grilled and cut in half on a wood platter with filling oozing out.  In the back is a small bowl of crema.
Hand holding half of a Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pita that's grilled.  The other half is sitting on a wood platter with filling oozing out.  In the back is a small bowl of crema.

Get ready for a crazy-delicious grilled, stuffed pita sandwich to surpass all other sandwiches!  You will never want to eat a pita that isn’t seared in butter again.  These Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pitas are an ooey-gooey-delicious family dinner!  If you love spinach artichoke dip, this stuffed pita will blow your mind.  Onions and garlic are sauteed with chopped artichoke hearts, then fresh baby spinach is added and cooked down with broth.  Finally, shredded cheddar cheese is melted in and chicken mixed in for the perfect pita filling.  If that isn’t enough….the pitas are coated in butter and seared in a pan for a crispy, crunchy, and buttery outside.  As you bit through the crunchy outside, the creamy and cheesy insides ooze out for messy YUM! 

You’re welcome!

SO EASY TO MAKE AHEAD!

This is an incredibly easy-to-make recipe that you can prepare entirely ahead and then just grill off before dinner. A way to make this recipe – and many other recipes – even easier, is to use precooked chicken from the deli or rotisserie or leftover chicken.  Click here to get 30 More Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas

HEALTHY VEGGIES!

While this recipe definitely has some indulgent cheese, it’s also packed with healthy chicken and veggies.  Artichokes provide fiber AND protein and are packed with nutrients, Vitamins C and K, Magnesium, Potassium, and Iron just to name a few!  I love to use artichokes in salads, but also cooking them in other dishes, such as Skillet Artichoke Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes.  One of my favorite appetizers to make ahead and serve to friends (or just me!) is Bruschetta Topping with Tomato, Artichoke, and Goat Cheese.

Everyone knows that spinach is good for you!  It provides Vitamins A, C, and K1, as well as protein, fiber, Iron, Folic Acid, and calcium.  My favorite recipes to add spinach to is Walnut Sauce with Ricotta and Spinach.  I also love it in Creamy Ground Chicken Tomato Soup!

Women need, on average, 50-60 grams of protein per day, though everyone’s exact needs are determined by a variety of factors including activity level.  This recipe delivers a whopping 46g of protein, so it’s a great way to get much of your daily protein needs!*  Scroll down to the bottom of the post for more on the nutrition content for this recipe.

*Consult with your medical provider for your specific dietary needs.

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pita is grilled and cut in half, then stacked on a wood platter with filling oozing out.  In the back is a small bowl of crema.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special for this one! Just a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) and a small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa.

You need a sheet pan to roast t…. and a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

Oh, I also like to cut my raw chicken with kitchen shears, but you can also just cut with a knife. And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR SPINACH ARTICHOKE CHICKEN PITAS

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

The first thing you want to do is cook and shred the chicken. You can save time by buying already roasted or grilled chicken.  The deli will often have grilled chicken and bigger stores have rotisserie chickens.  Both are great as you can simply shred them and you’re all set.

If you’re doing it from scratch, you can season with salt and pepper and bake them in a 400 F degree oven for 20 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees F.   When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into bite-size pieces.

Next, prep the onion and garlic, as well as the artichoke hearts.  Clean the spinach leaves if needed.  Measure the salt and pepper.

Finally, mix 2 tbls cornstarch into 1/4 cup cold milk until completely dissolved. Set aside.

COOK & ASSEMBLE 

NOTE: You can make the filling ahead and store in the fridge to fill the pitas later. 

For the filling, the onions and garlic are sauteed and then the artichoke hearts and baby spinach are added. Cook until the spinach leaves wilt down. Stir in the broth, milk & cornstarch slurry, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer stirring until it gets thick.

Hand adding minced garlic to cooking onions in a pan for the Spinach Artichoke Chicken filling that will be stuffed into pitas and then grilled.

Fresh Baby spinach overflowing in a pan as it starts to cook into the Spinach Artichoke Chicken filling. It will be the stuffing into pitas.

Spinach Artichoke Chicken filling in a large pan on stove for stuffing into pitas and then grilling.

Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese until fully combined. Then mix in the shredded chicken. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Spinach Artichoke Chicken filling in a large pan on stove for stuffing into pitas and then grilling.

Using scissors or a knife, cut off or slice through one side of the pita to create a hole large enough to fill the entire pita. Gently divide the filling in the pan into 4 sections to ensure each pita is filled evenly. Then using a spoon, fill the 4 pitas with the filling. Butter the outside of both sides of each pita.

Spoon adding Spinach Artichoke Chicken filling to a cut open pita with pan of filling off to the side.

Preheat a clean frying pan or grill on medium-high heat. Add the buttered pita to the pan and let sear. Cover if needed to melt the filling inside. Gently flip the pita to grill the other side. Do this for all filled pitas. Cut in half and serve!

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pita grilling on a round grill pan on the stove.

RECIPE FAQS

Can I use pre-cooked chicken?

Yes!  You can use leftovers, so make sure to always think about how to use leftover chicken ahead of time.  Make one or two extra breasts so you have them on hand.  You can also buy already roasted or grilled chicken.  The deli counter will often have grilled chicken and bigger stores have rotisserie chickens.  Both are great as you can simply shred them and you’re all set.

Can I use powdered garlic instead of fresh?

Fresh will always deliver the deepest flavor.  But if you only have garlic powder on hand, then you can use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Can I make this ahead and freeze?

The Spinach, Artichoke, Chicken filling can be made in advance and frozen.  You can then defrost it in the refrigerator.  Once defrosted, make sure to remove any liquids that separated out and then stir the mixture well before adding to the pitas.  You could also fill the pitas and grill/sear them, then wrap individually in aluminum foil and freeze.  To reheat the stuffed pitas from the freezer, preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.  Take the wrapped pitas directly from the freezer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until hot in the center.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pitas

These Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pitas are an ooey-gooey-delicious family dinner!  If you love spinach artichoke dip, this stuffed pita will blow your mind.  Onions and garlic, chopped artichoke hearts, and baby spinach cooked down with broth.  Then shredded cheddar cheese is melted in and chicken mixed in for the perfect pita filling. Then the pitas are seared in a pan with butter for a crispy, crunchy, and buttery outside.  As you bite through the crunchy outside, the creamy and cheesy insides ooze out for messy YUM! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword artichoke, chicken, healthy dinner, healthy lunch, pitas, sandwich, spinach
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 602 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 12 ounces Chicken Breasts boneless and skinless
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Filling

  • 1/2 cup Onion, diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 14 ounces Artichoke Hearts packed in water
  • 5 ounces Baby Spinach Leaves
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Milk (I used 1%)
  • 8 ounces Shredded White Sharp Cheddar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Other

  • 4 Pitas, 6-inch round
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. ROAST CHICKEN. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Put the chicken breast on a baking sheet and rub with a drizzle of Olive Oil and dash of salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees F. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers.

  2. MAKE SLURRY. Mix the cornstarch into cold milk until completely dissolved. Set aside.

  3. PREP VEGGIES. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Chop the artichoke hearts.

    Prepped ingredients on counter for Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pitas. From left top to right: chopped artichoke hearts, baby spinach leaves, diced onion, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Cooking and Assembly Steps

  1. MAKE THE FILLING. To a preheated large skillet on Medium-Low, add the olive oil and then the onions. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring so they don't burn. Add the garlic, artichoke hearts, and baby spinach. Cook while stirring gently for 3-4 minutes to wilt the spinach leaves. Stir in the broth, milk & cornstarch slurry, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer stirring until it gets thick. Remove from the heat.

    Spinach Artichoke Chicken filling in a large pan on stove for stuffing into pitas and then grilling.
  2. ADD CHEESE AND CHICKEN. While off the heat, stir in the shredded cheese until fully combined. Then mix in the shredded chicken. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

    Spinach Artichoke Chicken filling in a large pan on stove for stuffing into pitas and then grilling.
  3. FILL PITAS. Using scissors or a knife, cut off or slice through one side of the pita to create a hole large enough to fill the entire pita. Gently divide the filling in the pan into 4 sections to ensure each pita is filled evenly. Then using a spoon, fill the 4 pitas with the filling. Butter the outside of both sides of each pita.

    Spoon adding Spinach Artichoke Chicken filling to a cut open pita with pan of filling off to the side.
  4. SEAR OR GRILL PITAS. Preheat a clean frying pan or grill on medium-high heat. Add the buttered pita to the pan and let sear. Cover if needed to melt the filling inside. Gently flip the pita to grill the other side. Do this for all filled pitas. Cut in half and serve!

    Spinach Artichoke Chicken Stuffed Pita grilling on a round grill pan on the stove.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  1. To save time on the chicken, you can of course use leftovers.  You can also usually find already grilled chicken at the deli counter.  Or you can buy a rotisserie chicken!  
  2. For the artichoke hearts, I used canned hearts in water. You can also use frozen, but thaw them out in the fridge the night before you use them.
  3. For the milk, I used 1%, but you can use any milk that you prefer.
  4. You can replace the cheddar cheese with manchego, jack, gruyere, gouda, or mozzarella.  All will work well.

Easiest Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken

Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl. Chopsticks are sitting on top and scallion slices are on top.
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Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl.  Chopsticks have noodles wrapped around and scallion slices are on top.  The pan of noodles is in background.

Get ready for slurping deliciousness taken to the next level!  This is my Easy Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken and it is heavenly.  We are not talking about a one-note stir fry dish.  Nope, this is a symphony of flavors with sesame, soy sauce, chili paste, garlic, ginger, and more.  The sauce is savory, tangy, nutty, spicy, and slightly sweet.  It pairs perfectly with the hearty ground chicken and egg noodles. 

While traditional dan dan noodles have a rather complex sauce, I have taken some shortcuts on ingredients, but definitely not on flavor.  The result is a super easy 30 minute family dinner you will love!

 

WHAT ARE DAN DAN NOODLES?

To be very honest, I looked through all of the local Chinese take out menus (there are at least 20 Chinese restaurants in my city of Hoboken, NJ!) and only came across Dan Dan noodles in a couple.  However, you will more often see other similar noodle dishes with Sichuan in the name.  Sichuan is a southwestern province in China, which is known for its bold and spicy flavors.  Sichuan cuisine typically uses lots of garlic and chili peppers, namely Sichuan peppers. 

Dan Dan Noodles originate from Chinese Sichuan cuisine.  They typically include chili oil, Sichuan pepper, ground pork, preserved vegetables, and scallions served over noodles.  However, for this recipe, I made a few changes to make it less spicy, leaner and easier for busy families.

For the spice, as mentioned, Dan Dan recipes typically have chili oil and sichuan peppers.  You can buy chili oil in some grocery stores and specialty asian markets, but I opted for a more widely-found Sambal Oelek Chili paste.

Bottle of Sambal Oelek chili paste with a spoonful in front for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian, ground raw chili paste with red chili peppers, vinegar and salt.  It’s easy to find and easy to use in a great many recipes where you want to add a kick, so it will not go to waste.  For the oil, I added Sesame Oil in this recipe.

To make this recipe leaner, I used ground chicken rather than pork.  However, you can use ground pork, chicken, turkey, or even beef.  

Finally, rather than preserved vegetables, I added fresh baby spinach leaves.  The spinach melts into the dish perfectly so that it brings vitamins and nutrients and helps to thicken and round out the dish.

Want more Asian Family Dinners?

If you and your family love making Chinese, Thai, Korean or other Asian recipes at home, then check out my Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with Tofu and Veggies or Asian Teriyaki Meatballs with Veggie Stir Fry & Noodles Dinner or try my Korean Beef Tacos or Korean Ground Beef Rice Bowls!

Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl. Chopsticks are sitting on top and scallion slices are on top.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You will need a large skillet/frying pan for cooking the ground chicken and making the sauce, then mixing in the noodles. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

You also need a medium-large pot for boiling the noodles.

You can buy already minced garlic and Garlic Press. Or you can peel the garlic and the ginger and mince together in a mini food processor.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THIS DAN DAN NOODLE RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

Slice the scallions, separating the whites (for the chicken) from the greens (for garnish). If not already minced, peel and mince the garlic and the ginger (see notes on best ways to do this above in the Equipment section).

Scallion whites cut and separates from the greens with knife on cutting board for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Make the Sauce. Mix together in a bowl: the Peanut Butter, Sesame Oil, Chili paste, Honey, Vinegar, and Cinnamon. 

Measuring spoon adding honey to bowl of Peanut butter, chili paste, and other ingredients for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Peanut butter, chili paste, and other ingredients whisking in bowl for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Once combined, whisk in the Soy sauce and water.

COOK YOUR DAN DAN NOODLE RECIPE 

Cook the egg/rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Preheat a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and then the ground chicken. Break up the chicken as it cooks and let it really get browned, cooking about 5 minutes.

To the chicken, stir in the minced garlic and ginger, plus the whites of the scallions and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Cooked ground chicken in a pan for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

Then add the Chicken Broth scraping up all of browned bits from the bottom. Finally, stir in the Sauce, HALF of the scallion greens, and the spinach leaves. Let cook for a final 4-5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and completely coating the chicken.

Add half of the noodles to the pan (or all of them if you can fit them) and slowly toss to combine.

Spoon adding noodles to pan with chicken and sauce for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

To serve, add some of the plain noodles to the bottom of the bowls (this is if they didn’t all fit in the pan with the sauce), then top with the saucy noodles and more meaty sauce. Garnish with the remaining green scallion slices and Enjoy!

Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl. Chopsticks are sitting on top and scallion slices are on top.

RECIPE FAQS

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes, you can use fresh or frozen shrimp.  The key is to ensure that they are cleaned of the digestive tract along the back and that the tail is pinched off.  You could cook this recipe with the tails on, but it’s more difficult to eat as you have to bite off the tail and discard.  It’s really a personal preference.  If you use frozen shrimp, you want to thaw them in the fridge overnight or under running (not standing) cold water.

How can I make this more or less spicy?

The spice in this recipe is provided by the Sambal Oelek Chili Paste.  It’s a subtle heat that coats your mouth and lips.  Two teaspoons of the chili paste will give a very light heat; however, if you are concerned, then start with 1 teaspoon and once the sauce is mixed with the chicken (before adding the noodles) taste it to see if you want more heat.  If so, add another teaspoon at a time until you achieve the level you want.

What other veggies can I add to this?

So many vegetables would taste great in this recipe.  However, unlike spinach, which just wilts into the sauce in minutes, all other veggies will likely need to be cooked separately and then mixed in or kept separate.  You can pick the couple other veggies that you want to add and sautee them in a frying pan with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender, but not mushy.  Once they are done, you can add a scoop of the Dan Dan sauce to their pan and cook for another minute to incorporate the flavors and then toss them into the complete dish.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes!  You can make the Dan Dan Sauce with Ground Chicken mixed and store in the fridge for up to 5 days in advance.  I would wait to cook the noodles until you are ready to eat and then toss them into the sauce after it’s warmed up.  

Can this be frozen?

You can make the Dan Dan Sauce with Ground Chicken mixed and freeze it WITHOUT THE NOODLES.  To freeze it, simply place it in a freezer bag or freezer container and freeze for up to 5 months.  I would wait to cook the noodles until you are ready to eat and then toss them into the sauce after it’s warmed up.  

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken and scallions in a pan on counter with chopsticks next to it.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Easiest Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken

This Easy Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken is heavenly and takes slurping deliciousness to the next level.  It's a symphony of flavors with sesame, soy sauce, chili paste, garlic, ginger, and more.  The sauce is savory, tangy, nutty, spicy, and slightly sweet and pairs perfectly with the hearty ground chicken and egg noodles.  While traditional dan dan noodles have a rather complex sauce, I have taken some shortcuts on ingredients, but definitely not on flavor.  The result is a super easy 30 minute family dinner you will love!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Dan dan, ground chicken, noodles, stir fry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Ground Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 5 Scallions WHITES only

Dan Dan Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Peanut butter, creamy
  • 2-3 teaspoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (add more or less for heat)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 2 tablespoons Rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 cups Chicken broth

Noodles & Veggies

  • 16 ounces Fresh Linguine Egg Noodles or Rice Noodles
  • 1 cup Spinach (heaping cup or even 2 cups is good)
  • 5 Scallions, greens only

Instructions

PREP-AHEAD STEPS

  1. Slice the scallions, separating the whites (for the chicken) from the greens (for garnish). If not already minced, peel and mince the garlic and the ginger.

    Scallion whites cut and separates from the greens with knife on cutting board for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.
  2. Make the Sauce. Mix together in a bowl: the Peanut Butter, Sesame Oil, Chili paste, Honey, Vinegar, and Cinnamon in a bowl. Once combined, whisk in the Soy sauce and water.

    Peanut butter, chili paste, and other ingredients whisking in bowl for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.

COOKING STEPS

  1. Cook the egg/rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

  2. Preheat a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and then the ground chicken. Break up the chicken as it cooks and let it really get browned, cooking about 5 minutes.

    Cooked ground chicken in a pan for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.
  3. To the chicken, stir in the minced garlic and ginger, plus the whites of the scallions and cook another 2-3 minutes. Then add the Chicken Broth scraping up all of browned bits from the bottom. Finally, stir in the Sauce, HALF of the scallion greens, and the spinach leaves. Let cook for a final 4-5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and completely coating the chicken.

  4. Add half of the noodles to the pan (or all of them if you can fit them) and slowly toss to combine.

    Spoon adding noodles to pan with chicken and sauce for Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken.
  5. To serve, add some of the plain noodles to the bottom of the bowls (this is if they didn't all fit in the pan with the sauce), then top with the saucy noodles and more meaty sauce. Garnish with the remaining green scallion slices and Enjoy!

    Dan Dan Noodle Recipe with Ground Chicken in a bowl. Chopsticks are sitting on top and scallion slices are on top.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can use fresh or frozen shrimp.  The key is to ensure that they are cleaned of the digestive tract along the back and that the tail is pinched off.  You could cook this recipe with the tails on, but it’s more difficult to eat as you have to bite off the tail and discard.  It’s really a personal preference.  If you use frozen shrimp, you want to thaw them in the fridge overnight or under running (not standing) cold water.
  2. You can also cook the shrimp in a frying pan.  Preheat the pan on Medium-High heat, add olive oil, then add the shrimp.  Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook 1 more minute.
  3. The spice in this recipe is provided by the Sambal Oelek Chili Paste.  It’s a subtle heat that coats your mouth and lips.  Two teaspoons of the chili paste will give a very light heat; however, if you are concerned, then start with 1 teaspoon and once the sauce is mixed with the chicken (before adding the noodles) taste it to see if you want more heat.  If so, add another teaspoon at a time until you achieve the level you want.
  4. So many vegetables would taste great in this recipe.  However, unlike spinach, which just wilts into the sauce in minutes, all other veggies will likely need to be cooked separately and then mixed in or kept separate.  You can pick the couple other veggies that you want to add and sautee them in a frying pan with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender, but not mushy.  Once they are done, you can add a scoop of the Dan Dan sauce to their pan and cook for another minute to incorporate the flavors and then toss them into the complete dish.