Creamy Cashew Chicken Puffs (Vols-au-Vents)

Crunchy, buttery cashews, tender chicken and crisp broccoli surrounded by a luscious Gouda Cream Sauce served in flaky, melt-in-your mouth puff pastry shells. An elegant dinner that looks difficult to make, but it’s really pretty simple and oh so delicious!

Vols-au-Vent, pronounced voool-oh-vaw, are little puff pastry shells you can fill with sweet or savory fillings. I made dinner size shells and filled them with creamy cashew chicken.

The shells are easy to make with frozen puff pastry sheets available at most supermarkets. You can make them round, but I used a flower cookie cutter to give them a pretty ruffled edge.

I created this recipe for the Cache Valley® Signature Recipe Contest! and it was chosen as one of two $1,000 winners! Thanks Cache Valley! So glad you loved this recipe as much as my family.

I can’t say enough good things about Cache Valley products, especially their new Gouda cheese. It melts like a dream and adds a creamy, buttery, richness to the sauce. It would be fabulous in your favorite mac and cheese recipe, or melted over your favorite sandwich.

Creamy Cashew Chicken Puffs (Vols-au-Vents)


Puff Pastry Shells

  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Gouda Cream Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 5 slices Cache Valley Gouda Cheese

Creamy Cashew Chicken

  • 3 tablespoons Cache Valley butter
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Gouda Cream Sauce (recipe above)


Puff Pastry Shells

Thaw puff pastry sheets according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each sheet of dough into a rectangle approximately 11″x 8″.

Using a 3.5″ round cookie cutter cut 6 large circles in each sheet. Inside 6 of the circles, using a 2.5″ round cookie cutter, cut a hole in the middle to make rings. The rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent and the solid rounds will be the bottoms.

Mix together egg and tablespoon of water to create an egg wash. Put the solid bottom rounds on baking sheet. Brush the bottom rounds lightly with egg wash.

Top each bottom round with a ring and press gently into place. Brush the top of the rings lightly with egg wash. Prick the center of the shells with a fork. Place shells in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Gouda Cream Sauce

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour. Cook over low heat, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly add half and half, stirring constantly until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in Gouda slices until smooth and creamy. Add additional half and half if necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste

Creamy Cashew Chicken

In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and cook cashews until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cashews from pan and set aside.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add chicken and onions, sauté stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and onions are tender. Add water, broccoli, and rosemary. Cover and cook until broccoli is tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add toasted cashews and 1/2 cup Gouda Cream Sauce. Stir to combine.

To assemble Creamy Cashew Chicken Puffs:

Make puff pastry shells and put in the refrigerator to chill.

Prepare Gouda Cream Sauce and keep warm on low heat.

Prepare Creamy Cashew Chicken.

Bake shells 15–20 minutes until they have risen and are golden brown. Remove from the oven and prick the center of the shells to deflate center.

Spoon Creamy Cashew Chicken into shells and drizzle with remaining Gouda Cream Sauce.

Serve immediately.

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