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Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice Casserole

I’ve been trying to use up some of the items in my pantry, freezers, and refrigerators before the end of the year. I had all these ingredients on hand and tossed them together to make a yummy casserole the other night. It turned out really great! Everyone ate it for dinner and then they all took it for lunch the next day! 

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Ingredients:
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1 bag (16oz) frozen broccoli, cooked
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
16 oz velveeta cheese, cubed
3 cups rice, cooked
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
4 Tbsp butter or margarine, divided

Directions:
1. In microwavable bowl, combine soup, milk, and velveeta cheese. Microwave until cheese is melted; combine well.
2. Combine cheese mixture, rice, pepper, and chicken in large baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
3. Add broccoli and mix gently.
4. Top with breadcrumbs.
5. Dot pats of butter or margarine on top.
6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

This was a super easy, super quick weeknight dinner for me. I literally tossed it together in minutes and threw it in the oven to bake. Those are my favorite kinds of dinners on busy nights. I’m definitely adding this one to the meal rotation. 

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Easy Cajun Chicken & Rice

Everyone in our household loves spicy food! One evening recently I was desperate for a quick dinner because while we were gone during the day the power went out and I came home to a completely frozen dinner in the crockpot. Sigh. It happens. I had all the ingredients on hand to create this Cajun dish and it was a huge hit! Everyone LOVED it! I’ve added it to our regular rotation now!

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Ingredients:

2 cups chicken, cooked & shredded
2 cups white rice, cooked
1 bag frozen fajita vegetables, cooked
1 can Rotel
2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Combine cooked chicken, rice, vegetables, and rotel in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
2. Add cajun seasoning according to taste (*I used 2 Tbsp but we like it spicy so you can adjust for your family’s tastes)
3. Top with shredded cheese.
4. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

 I couldn’t believe how delicious this dinner ended up being. You can adjust the Cajun seasoning to your liking and if you really aren’t a fan of spicy, switch out the Rotel for regular diced tomatoes. This was a quick dinner that I was able to toss together with minimal effort. 

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Easy Chicken Parmesan Bake

One of my favorite meals is Chicken Parmesan. Unfortunately I rarely have time to make it from scratch. So I decided to make it into a casserole bake instead. My kids loved it so much. They actually preferred this version to my homemade from scratch real Chicken Parmesan! And this took less than 30 minutes! 

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Ingredients:
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1 box penne pasta, cooked
1 jar (24-28oz) spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs

Directions:
1. Combine pasta, sauce, chicken, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
2. Spread remaining mozzarella cheese over top.
3. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over cheese.
4. Top with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

I served this with a side salad and garlic bread and my whole family was happy and full. This is one dinner that’s definitely going on my monthly rotation.

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Easy Better Than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice

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Finding dinners that all my kids will eat without complaint is tricky. But my current struggle to get the grocery budget down means I have to be creative. This dinner originally started out as just scrambled eggs and rice but after a quick survey of what was in the pantry and fridge/freezer I realized I could make Chicken Fried Rice! This is the first time I’ve ever made it at home and it turned out fantastic! 

Ingredients:
9 eggs
1 cup milk
4 cups white rice, cooked and chilled
1-2 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup oyster sauce

Directions:
1. Crack eggs into large mixing bowl; add milk and whisk until smooth.
2. Add eggs to frying pan sprayed with cooking spray and heated over med-high heat.
3. Cook eggs until scrambled; break into small pieces and move to one side of pan.
4. Add rice to empty side of pan with 2-3 Tbsp cooking oil.
5. Add soy sauce and gently fold eggs and rice together; stirring constantly.
6. Add chicken and peas and carrots and continue to stir gently.
7. Add oyster sauce; reduce to heat to low and continue to stir gently.
8. Allow to simmer while still stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes until vegetables and cooked and tender.

Notes: This made a ton for our family- we got 5 dinners, 5 lunches, and 4 snacks out of this one meal so feel free to adjust the amount if you aren’t feeding a giant football player 🙂 If you’re in a time crunch you can steam the vegetables in the microwave and then add them to the pan. I always cook the rice in the morning, allow it to cool, and then refrigerate so it doesn’t become mushy when I fry it. I cooked my chicken breast in the crockpot on High covered with water that morning but you can use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken instead. I usually add onions along with the peas and carrots but I forgot to buy one this time. Adjust the soy and oyster sauce amounts according to your family’s tastes.

My kids loved this dinner! They adore takeout Chinese food but it’s too expensive for us to eat on a regular basis! This was a great alternative and they liked it even better than takeout. That’s some high praise, y’all! I’m definitely keeping this one on my dinner rotation!

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Delicious 7 Layer Taco Salad

We are a Mexican fiesta loving family and I’m always looking for delicious new recipes and things to make for Taco Tuesday. I’ve made taco salads before but I’ve never made a 7 layer taco salad. This ended up being one of our favorite recipes ever. I cannot wait to make it again!

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Ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef
2 pkts taco seasoning
2 cups romaine lettuce
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1 bag tortilla chips, crushed
1 can fire-roasted corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup pico de gallo

For dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
4 Tbsp lime juice

Directions:
1. Cook ground beef and drain.
2. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup of water; simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Mix dressing ingredients together and set aside.
4. Combine corn, black beans, and pico de gallo together in bowl.
5. On individual plates assemble the 7 layers: crushed tortilla chips, taco meat, romaine lettuce, corn mixture, cheese, tomatoes, and top with the dressing.
6. Serve immediately.
7. Refrigerate any leftovers (but you probably won’t have any)

We had no leftovers at all! The kids ate every single bite. I went back for seconds as a midnight snack but there was nothing left! Dang kids. 

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