Finger Sandwiches, Updated

I must confess, the concept of finger sandwiches as associated with bridal and baby showers is completely lost on me. I often see discussions on cooking forums where people ask for suggestions on what to serve at the showers they are hosting, and inevitably someone always “finger sandwiches… like cream cheese and cucumber, and… ???” Ok honestly I don’t know what else is really typical for a finger sandwich, probably because I don’t pay attention because they don’t sound all that appealing to me. And, I’ve never actually been to a shower or any party where finger sandwiches were served.

If you know me by now you know that I pretty much always stray a bit from the ordinary, so if I were to come up with a finger sandwich, you’d bet it would be cute, flavorful, and a little different than what the girl next door is serving. These delish lil’ cuties came about as a result of my good friend Ronnie asking me for a little help with her son’s second birthday. The party was at 11am, and we needed some lunchtime snacks for the adults. I didn’t want it to be anything too heavy, and I immediately thought of the mini cocktail-sized pitas I love from Trader Joe’s. I have used these several times to make mini burgers, or sliders if you will, for cocktail parties. I decided they’d also be great stuffed with light and flavorful sandwich fillings for this early afternoon affair. It wasn’t until the day of the party that I realized I had actually made finger sandwiches. I’m including them here because I think the concept is also great for those searching for a little twist on that shower classic!

Creamy Chicken Salad with Apples and Cheddar mini Pita Sandwiches
Adapted from
Whole Foods
You might be surprised to know that I did not create the recipe from scratch, given that it involves blended cottage cheese. In fact, I was surprised myself! I knew the cottage cheese would create a nice and creamy texture without the heavy taste and feeling of mayonnaise. The original recipe as written might appeal to those trying to avoid mayonnaise altogether, but I didn’t feel like opening a container of yogurt for just 2 tbsp. Well, that and the fact that it would throw off the even 4 servings I get out of a 16oz tub of my beloved nonfat Greek yogurt.
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons nonfat milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to even thickness
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp herbs de provence
freshly ground salt and pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, and chopped finely
about 3oz sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thinly
mini cocktail pita, sliced in half, for serving

Heat grill over medium-low heat. Place chicken in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper, and use hands to coat chicken in oil and seasonings. Grill for about 10-15 minutes on each side, until cooked through. When cool enough to handle, chop finely. Add to a bowl with apple and green onion.

Combine dressing ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Pour over chicken mixture and stir to coat. Can be made ahead and chilled to combine flavors. To serve, slice the pita in half and fill each one with a small scoop of chicken salad and a slice of cheese.

Tuscan Tuna Salad mini Pitas
adapted from
Whole Foods
The original recipe seemed more like a “bean salad with tuna” than a “tuna salad with beans”. I wanted the latter, so I increased the amount of tuna and other ingredients while keeping the beans the same. I used tuna packed in water rather than oil, and added a little extra oil to the recipe. Because the salad would be served on mini pitas, I feared the whole beans would take up too much “bite” so I decided to roughly chop them. After preparing the salad with the ingredients as written, it was still missing a little something to me, so I added some lemon zest. Perfect!

1 (15-ounce can) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped in a food processor
3 (6-ounce) cans tuna in water, drained and flaked with a fork
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
grated zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in and mix well. Can be made ahead and chilled to combine flavors.

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10 Responses to “Finger Sandwiches, Updated”

  1. 1

    Liz — January 19, 2009 @ 3:28 am Reply

    So cute, and a great idea for a party!

  2. 2

    Mary Ellen — January 19, 2009 @ 2:09 pm Reply

    I just saw mini whole wheat pitas in the market the other day and was trying to picture what to do with them. I love your creations!

  3. 3

    Mrs. in May — January 19, 2009 @ 5:22 pm Reply

    I love those mini pitas! These are perfect for showers or a brunch! Or even a picnic!

  4. 4

    Joelen — January 20, 2009 @ 4:15 am Reply

    We love the mini pitas from TJs and I love that you used them for this event! The two salads sound wonderful!

  5. 5

    Gourmet Chick — January 22, 2009 @ 10:56 am Reply

    Just discovered your blog. These look great! And best of all I am a Cara as well. You know our name means My friend in Gaelic and expensive in Italian. I was named for the Gaelic but have tendencies towards living up to the Italian meaning of my name at times!

  6. 6

    Liz — January 26, 2009 @ 8:54 pm Reply

    Your blog is so refreshing, I have given you the Lemonade Award! See my blog for details!

  7. 7

    EJacks — February 3, 2009 @ 3:19 pm Reply

    These sound great! I think I am going to use this chicken salad recipe for an upcoming party.2 Questions – at what point did you use the herbs de provence – when you cooked the chicken, or when you combined the dressing ingredients in the food processor?Also – about how many mini-pitas does this recipe fill?

  8. 8

    Joelen — April 5, 2011 @ 1:21 am Reply

    We love the mini pitas from TJs and I love that you used them for this event! The two salads sound wonderful!

  9. 9

    Liz — April 5, 2011 @ 1:21 am Reply

    So cute, and a great idea for a party!

  10. 10

    Gourmet Chick — April 5, 2011 @ 1:21 am Reply

    Just discovered your blog. These look great! And best of all I am a Cara as well. You know our name means My friend in Gaelic and expensive in Italian. I was named for the Gaelic but have tendencies towards living up to the Italian meaning of my name at times!

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