It is hard to find someone who isn’t a fan of chicken parmesan. The crunchy breaded chicken, lovely tomato sauce and cheesy goodness is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
What would you say if I told you, I found a way to have this classic dish but with half the effort and calories but with all the flavor and goodness?
And it is so easy and delicious!
Now if you want to use jarred sauce, go right ahead, they did in the recipe I adapted this from. Just make sure it is a good brand without lots of sugar and that you use at least 28 ounces. I prefer using crushed tomatoes (from my garden if possible), fresh basil and garlic and some salt, and pepper.
Now for the easy part. Just place the chicken in the slow cooker, dump the tomatoes or sauce over the top and add the herbs. Cook it on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Once the chicken is done, shred it right in the slow cooker then add in your pasta (I used rotini) cover. Cook for about 25 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Just make sure all the pasta is covering in the tomatoes and juices before you cover and walk away.
Top with mozzarella cheese, cover and cook 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Now for the best part! The crunchies!
Toast whole wheat panko breadcrumbs in a skillet! Right before serving, sprinkle some of that crunchy goodness on each serving!
There you go! Totally easy and totally delicious without all the frying!
Does anyone else type things into Google as a spellchecker? Hopefully I’m not the only one who does this.
As I was typing “Cacciatore” into Google to make sure it was spelled correctly, it’s meaning popped up. “Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, often bell peppers, and sometimes wine. Cacciatore is popularly made with braised chicken or rabbit.” I don’t eat rabbit but it’s yummy with chicken!
Awesome, makes complete sense. Typically, when I make cacciatore, I bread and fry or bake the chicken. With busy sports schedules and lessons after school, time to do all that is limited. I figured there had to be a way to make it in the slow cooker and still have it be the comforting dish I am used to. My biggest concern being that when you cook peppers and onions in the slow cooker, all their liquid releases and its makes whatever you are cooking more liquidly. We like our cacciatore thick so liquidly won’t fly.
To get around this, I sauteed the peppers and onions before I added them to the slow cooker. I also browned the chicken for a few minutes.
It turned out perfectly except for one mistake that I made. I meant to chunk the chicken instead of shredding it. Whoops! It was still really good!
Typically it is served over pasta but I served mine over brown rice with a nice big spinach salad. Sorry there is no picture. I was hungry and my stomach took over before my brain processed I hadn’t taken a picture.
Serving Size: approx 2/3 cup
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
A thick, hearty Italian classic, done right in the slow cooker!
15 minPrep Time:
8 hrCook Time:
8 hr, 15 Total Time:
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 red (or whatever color you like) bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
salt and fresh pepper to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium-high.
Lightly spray with oil and brown chicken on both sides a few minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and add to the slow cooker.
Spray the skillet with a little more oil and add onions and peppers and minced garlic.
Sauté until juices release and the vegetables become slightly tender.
Add to the slow cooker.
Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables,
Add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a stir and cover.
Set to LOW for 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.
Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and chunk chicken.
Serve over pasta or rice!
Cuisine: Italian |
21 Day Fix: 1/2 G, 1/2 P, 1 R, 1 tsp (adjust your yellows according to what you serve it over)
This time of year, soup is one of our dinners a couple of times a week. Especially when the weather is cold and snowy outside. No that it has been this winter but it is supposed to be a high of 1° this weekend, so this recipe will come in handy. This minestrone is definitely one of my favorites! A classic, hearty Italian soup with tomatoes, white beans, fresh vegetables and pasta. You can use Swiss chard or kale instead of spinach if you wish and you can omit the pasta if you don’t want the carbs. It’s still yummy without it.
One of the best things about this soup is the rind of Parmesan that I like to throw in as it cooks. It gives the soup a wonderful flavor. I keep them in my freezer. If you do not have a rind, simply toss in some fresh grated Parmesan as it cooks.
This can be made in both the slow cooker or on the stove. Either way turns out great. Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread or small sandwiches and you have yourself an easy, delicious meal!
Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups
Loaded Minestrone Soup (Slow cooker and stove top versions)
10 minPrep Time:
40 minCook Time:
50 minTotal Time:
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (Vegetable for vegetarian)
Who doesn’t love a quick, one pan dinner? Less mess to clean up and so easy to assemble and throw in the oven! And even better? You cook your veggies alongside that savory garlic chicken sauce, letting the juices run loose as your vegetables get roasted to crisp-tender perfection. Yum!
Now you can use any type of veggies that you want, you just have to be be aware of cooking times for them. I used red skinned potatoes because I had some that I needed to use up. Sweet potatoes or butternut squash would work just as nicely. Green beans, carrots or cauliflower could be used instead of broccoli.
My kids love this dish!
Don’t have time when you get home to throw this in the oven? That’s okay! This dish can also be made in the slow cooker! Just mix up the sauce, put everything in the slow cooker, pour the sauce over and 7-8 hours later, your dinner is ready when you walk in the door! It can’t get any easier then that!
Yield: 4 Servings
One Pan Sweet Garlic Chicken with Vegetables (Slow Cooker recipe also included)
Sweet and Savory and done in one pan for an easy clean up!
10 minPrep Time:
30 minCook Time:
40 minTotal Time:
1 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lbs (~2 large) regular or sweet potatoes, cubed
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
24 ounces (~4 cups) broccoli florets
parsley for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, Dijon, garlic, oregano and basil. Set aside.
Place potatoes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Top with chicken in a single layer and brush each chicken breast completely with the honey mixture.
Place into oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, (thermometer read 165 degrees F) or about 30 minutes*.
Stir in broccoli during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Garnished with parsley, if desired and serve immediately.
*Cooking times will vary depending on thickness of chicken and size of potato cubes
**Slow Cooker- combine sauce ingredients. Place chicken, potatoes and sauce mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, basting every hour. Add broccoli during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.**
21 Day Fix (with Broccoli and Potatoes): 1G, 1R, 1Y, 1O
I love getting requests for recipes. I have had three requests for this particular one so…Chicken Enchilada Soup is here! Made in the slow cooker so you can just throw everything in that morning and off to work you go! Usually a comforting food for this time of year BUT it’s currently 64° here in upstate New York. Very odd for us. Still easy and very delicious even if it is not soup weather outside.
Normally I make this with chicken breast that I just throw in the slow cooker along with everything else but all I had was ground chicken so I browned that in a skillet first then threw it in the slow cooker. This was the first time I have tried it this way and it was still delicious. I think I like the shredded chicken breast better but that’s because I do not have to stand and brown the meat. I can just throw it all in and go.
I also cheated and used jarred enchilada sauce. You can certainly make your own if you have a recipe you like. I usually try to avoid canned or jarred things but I love this one. Also, the recipe calls for black beans. The ones I used, I previously soaked, cooked and froze for later use. I put them in the slow cooker still frozen and it turned out fine. Same with the corn. Instead of canned, I used frozen organic sweet corn.
Pair this soup with some warm cornbread or tortilla chips and you have yourself a warm, cozy, easy meal as soon as you walk in the door!
Yield: 6 Servings
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
10 minutes of prep time and you have a warm, comforting soup!
10 minPrep Time:
8 hrCook Time:
8 hr, 10 Total Time:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, homemade or store-bought
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained or dried beans that have been soaked and cooked
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 large can whole-kernel corn, drained or frozen corn
I wasn’t lying when I said, “I could prove a person could live off pumpkin recipes for a few months.” This recipe is one of our favorites. Mine, because the slow cooker does it all and the kids because they love chili, as long as it is not too spicy. For the past couple of years, I have made this on Halloween night. Festive with the pumpkin and easy. Let’s face it, no one wants to spend the evening in the kitchen while trying to get excited children in costumes and tending to the trick-or-treaters’ at the door. So what better idea than to throw together something warm, delicious and comforting that will be ready whenever everyone is ready to eat?
This pumpkin chili recipe is even more perfect for this time of year by adding in pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!). Adding a little bit of cinnamon makes it even more inviting. It’s hearty and filling, and will keep all of your little ghouls and goblins warm and sated so they don’t all their candy while out. Which lets face it, here in western NY it is a crap shoot whether it will be warm or snowing. There were many years I remember having a snowsuit over or under a costume!
Serve it up with a slice of pumpkin cornbread, and dinner is ready with very little effort – because we all know that there is way too much going on to worry about what’s going to be for dinner!!
Sorry for the short post today. We have been having internet and server issues the past few days (hence the no posts in a few days) and I didn’t want to risk losing stuff.
Serving Size: 1 cup
Slow Cooker Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Favorite Fall Flavors added to a Quick, Comforting, Slow Cooker Classic!
15 minPrep Time:
6 hrCook Time:
6 hr, 15 Total Time:
1 pound ground turkey (beef or chicken would work too)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 8-ounce can tomato sauce
215.25-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
few drops hot sauce, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef.
Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.
In a medium slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and hot sauce. Stir.
Add in the cooked turkey and stir.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve with your favorite chili toppings and some cornbread!
Cuisine: Tex-Mex |
21 Day Fix: 1G, 1P, 1R, 2Y
Pumpkin puree counts as a purple, pumpkin chunks as a green. Same with tomatoes. Sauce and puree counts as a purple while chunks/diced or whole count as a green.
Let me introduce you to one of the easiest and most satisfying recipes ever! Slow Cooker Chicken! Five minutes of prep and the slow cooker does the rest! You get tender, juicy chicken that falls right off the bone. AND you get a few meals out of one chicken plus you can use the bones to make chicken stock! Yes, whole chickens can be pricey sometimes but if you look at what you can actually do with it, the price is completely justifiable in my book.
Start with a whole chicken, 3-4 lbs to be exact (innards removed). I used a Harvestland Organic Chicken. Yours does not have to be organic, that was just my preference. First thing you are going to do is rinse the chicken off. Once you have rinsed it, take paper towels and pat the chicken completely dry. Now, if you are anything like me, after placing the dry chicken on a baking sheet you are going to immediately wash your hands and bleach your sink. Raw meat is skivvy to me so I must immediately clean right after it’s finished touching what it is touching. Blah.
Next comes the rub. You’ll need onion powder, garlic, paprika, black pepper, thyme, oregano and sea salt. Or not. You can use a rub you already have, or make your own. just mix all the rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub the mixture all over the chicken. Don’t take the skin off. It helps hold in the yumminess. If you don’t want to eat the skin later, you can just peel it off when the chicken is done. Coat the bottom too. Leave no breast behind! Hee, hee! Sorry I didn’t get a picture with the rub on the chicken. My hands were covered in rub and by time I washed them I completely forgot!
Break out some foil/parchment paper and make two small balls out of it for the chicken to sit on top of in the slow cooker. Flatten the balls out a bit and pour some water down in the bottom of the crock pot for steam….just don’t cover the foil balls. I think I had about ½ inch of water in total.
Place your chicken on top of the foil balls and wash your hands for the third time in this process.
Put on the lid and cook on high for 2 hours. Set a timer or if you have a programmable slow cooker, use that. After two hours, turn it to low and cook for another 5 hours. Your house is going to smell awesome! Get your thermometer and test to make sure it’s done. It should read at least 160°. As you can see, mine was WAY hotter than that.
Slice it up and serve it for dinner. We ate once of this meal and I had 4 cups of chicken left and the bones for stock. So easy, so delicious! Fall comfort at it’s best!
Yield: 1 Whole Chicken
Slow Cooker Chicken
5 minPrep Time:
7 hrCook Time:
7 hr, 5 Total Time:
1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
2 teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic finely minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Ball up two pieces of foil or parchment paper.
Place in 5 quart or larger crock pot and pour ½ inch of water in the bottom.
Rinse and dry the whole chicken.
In a small bowl, combine the spices.
Rub into the entire chicken.
Place chicken on top of foil balls.
Cook on high for 2 hours then switch to low and cook for more 5 hours.
Test for 160 degrees on a thermometer.
Eat for one meal, then pick the chicken from the bones.
Save all the fat, bones and skin for chicken stock.
Slow cooker chicken fajitas! Can you say, “Yum?” Their bright colors and sizzling aroma attracts lots of attention at restaurants. Fajitas are one of the things that I order most when ever we go out for Mexican food. It is one of those thing that I never make at home though I’m not sure why. I guess I consider it a luxury item reserved for the special occasion of going out. Either that or I just don’t feel like marinating everything and standing at the stove sauteing it all. Either way, that is no longer the case. This recipe is so easy and has so much flavor, that I will be making them quite often! And the best part is… it cooks all day while you do other things!
The boys ate theirs with corn tortillas that I placed in the oven to make the shells hard (they don’t care for soft corn tortillas). I opted to make mine a salad over kale with olives and avocado and some white cheddar cheese. Both yummy choices! Enjoy!
Okay, dump chicken sounds horrible, I know…BUT I have to tell you how simple and fabulous this chicken is! Three ingredients! That’s it! And literally all you do is dump them in the slow cooker, turn it on and go about your day. The majority of dinner is done when you get home and you have wonderfully moist (sorry Anna) and delicious southwest chicken. How easy is that?
You take fresh or frozen chicken (I buy my chicken in large quantities, divide it up and freeze it), a jar of your favorite salsa and some homemade taco seasoning and dump it all in your slow cooker.
Once it is done cooking, you take two forks and shred the chicken. Or if you are like me and the sound of forks scrapping against glass or metal is worse than nails on a chalkboard, you put it in your stand mixer and let the paddle attachment shred it for you!
Seriously though, I can’t stand the sound of utensils scrapping against a plate, teeth, glass or metal. If it were healthy and cost effective, my family would eat with plastic utensils at every meal. I spend most of my meals cringing. Anyone else have this problem or am I the only weird one?
Anyway, back to the chicken. I use this recipe for pretty much every Mexican/Southwest meal I make. We made tacos with it this night but I have made burritos, enchiladas, tostada’s, copycat southwest egg rolls and salads with it. If you want you can add corn and black beans for the last half hour of cooking and make it a meal over brown rice or quinoa! Kind of like a burrito bowl! The options are endless!
I usually divide the mixture up and freeze half to use another time.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of salsa. If you prefer peach or mango salsa, use it! It’s actually very tasty. Prefer more spice? Add hot salsa. Like it green? Add salsa verde! You get the picture, taylor it however your family wants!
Slow Cooker Southwest Dump Chicken
Slow Cooker Southwest Dump Chicken to use in tacos, enchiladas, burritos or salads
5 minPrep Time:
6 hrCook Time:
6 hr, 5 Total Time:
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
1 16 ounce jar of your favorite salsa
3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or 1 packet store bought)
Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
Place fresh or frozen chicken in a single layer at the bottom of the slow cooker.
Sprinkle the taco seasoning evenly across the top of the chicken breast.
Dump the jar of salsa over the top of the chicken breast.
Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Depending on your slow cooker and whether you use fresh or frozen chicken. Internal temp of the chicken breast should be 165 degrees.
Remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred with two forks or place in a stand mixer and shred the chicken on low speed with the paddle attachment.
Place chicken back in the slow cooker and stir everything together.
Serve in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or salads. Or add cooked corn black beans and serve over rice.
Recipe freezes well. After chicken has cooled, place in a freezable container for up to 4 months.
Get creative! You can add corn and black beans to the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes for more vegetables. Also try out different salsa's ! I have used homemade and even ones with mango's and peaches! It was fabulous!