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Bake-off honors go to Chicken Florentine Panini

Learn more about the winning 40th Pillsbury Bake-Off recipes.
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Out of thousands of entries, the $1 million grand prize in the 40th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest went to Denise Yennie of Nashville, Tennessee. All eyes were on Yennie Wednesday, when Bake-Off telecast host Marie Osmond unveiled her Italian-inspired chicken sandwiches as the top prize winner. On NBC’s “Today” show, Yennie talks to Soledad O’Brien about her winning recipe and how she created it. Check out her recipe and few of the other winners below.



1 (10-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pizza Crust

1 (9-oz.) pkg. Green Giant® Frozen Spinach

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon vinegar (cider, red wine or balsamic)

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 garlic clove, minced

4 (4-inch) slices provolone cheese

Preparation Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375F. Unroll dough; place in ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Starting at center, press out dough to edges of pan. Bake at 375F. for 10 minutes. Cool 15 minutes or until completely cooled.

2. Meanwhile, cook spinach as directed on package. Drain well; squeeze dry with paper towels.

3. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise and 1 of the garlic cloves; mix well. Refrigerate.

4. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add sugar and vinegar. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.

5. To flatten each chicken breast half, place, boned side up, between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Working from center, gently pound chicken with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick; remove wrap. Sprinkle chicken with Italian seasoning and minced garlic.

6. Spray large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 8 minutes or until browned, fork-tender and juices run clear, turning once.

7. Cut cooled pizza crust into 4 rectangles. Remove rectangles from pan; spread each with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture. Top 2 rectangles with chicken, spinach, onion mixture, cheese and remaining crust rectangles, mayonnaise side down.

8. Heat large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Place sandwiches in skillet. Place smaller skillet on sandwiches to flatten slightly. Cook 4 to 6 minutes or until crisp and heated, turning once. Cut each warm sandwich into quarters.

8 sandwiches; 4 servings

MEXICAN PARTY WINGS Prep Time: 20 Minutes (Ready in 55 Minutes)


1 cup purchased ranch salad dressing

1 (4.5-oz.) can Old El Paso® Chopped Green Chiles

1/2 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour

1 (1.25-oz.) pkg. Old El Paso® Taco Seasoning Mix

2 teaspoons oil

24 chicken drummettes (about 2 lb.)

Dried parsley flakes

Preparation Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In blender container, combine salad dressing and chiles; blend until smooth. Spoon into small serving bowl. Refrigerate while preparing drummettes.

2. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In shallow dish, combine flour and taco seasoning mix; mix well. Add oil; stir with fork until well combined. Coat drummettes with flour mixture. Coat drummettes again to use all flour mixture. Place on sprayed cookie sheet.

3. Bake at 350F. for 15 minutes. Turn drummettes; bake an additional 14 to 17 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender and juices run clear. Sprinkle parsley on salad dressing mixture. Serve with warm drummettes.

24 servings

BOW-THAI CHICKEN Prep Time: (Ready in 25 Minutes)


7 1/2 oz. (3 cups) uncooked bow tie pasta (farfalle)

1/8 teaspoon curry powder

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 to 3/4 lb. chicken breast strips for stir-frying, cut in half crosswise

1 tablespoon oil

1 (1-lb.) pkg. Green Giant® Create A Meal!® Frozen Szechuan Stir Fry Meal Starter

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon peanut butter

3/4 cup purchased Alfredo sauce

3 tablespoons coconut

3 green onions, sliced

Lime wedges, if desired

Preparation Directions:

1. Cook pasta in large saucepan to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; return to saucepan. Cover to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine curry powder and soy sauce. Add chicken strips; toss to coat. Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

3. Add frozen sauce and vegetables from meal starter. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook 6 to 9 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Stir in lime juice and peanut butter.

4. Add Alfredo sauce to cooked pasta; toss to coat. Spoon vegetable mixture over pasta mixture; stir well. Spoon onto individual serving plates. Sprinkle with coconut, onions and peanuts from packet. Garnish each serving with lime wedge.

4 servings

GRANDS!® LITTLE PIES Prep Time: 20 Minutes (Ready in 1 Hour)


3/4 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired

1 (17.3-oz.) can Pillsbury® Grands!® Refrigerated Flaky Biscuits

1 (21-oz.) can apple, blueberry or cherry pie filling

1 to 1 1/2 cups whipping cream


Preparation Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350F. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts.

2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Split each biscuit in half to make 16 rounds. With floured fingers, flatten each to form 4-inch round. Press each biscuit round in ungreased 2 3/4x1 1/4-inch muffin cup. Spoon 2 tablespoons pie filling into each biscuit-lined cup. Sprinkle each with about 2 tablespoons flour mixture. (Cups will be full.)

3. Bake at 350F. for 15 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; place on wire rack. Cool 10 minutes.

4. In small bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Top each serving with whipped cream; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Store in refrigerator.

16 servings

Reprinted by permission of Pillsbury. Copyright ©2002 The Pillsbury Company. For more recipes and information about the Pillsbury Bake-Off Cooking Contest, you can visit their Web site at: