Easy Chicken Pot Pie

I knew I would be short on cooking time for a few nights earlier this week due to Christmas shopping so I picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store one night.  The next day when I had a little bit of time all I had to do was shred the chicken and measure out portions for different dishes.  After that I knew I’d have enough for at least 3 meals.  So I made this pot pie, a tamale pie (substituting chicken in place of the ground beef) that I threw in the freezer for later, used some chicken on top of salads for lunches, and I’m using the rest of the chicken for a small amount of chicken noodle soup.

This pot pie recipe calls for one cup of cooked chicken and two cups of mixed vegetables, but I think you could swap that if you want a meatier meal.  Use 2 cups chicken and one cup veggies.

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Source:  Clipped from a small booklet called “Suppers”

Ingredients:

1 can of Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken soup

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed*

1 cup cubed/shredded cooked chicken

dash of ground pepper

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose baking mix (Bisquick)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9-inch pie plate mix soup, veggies, black pepper, and chicken.  Mix the milk, egg, and baking mix.  Pour that over the chicken mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

Enjoy!

*To thaw vegetables, microwave on high for 3 minutes in a glass bowl with 1/4 cup of water.  Drain before adding to recipe.

Tamale Pie


We love spicy Mexican food and can’t get enough of it. I cook it at least once a week so I’m always looking for new Mexican recipes.

Tamale Pie
Source: A Couple Cooks

1 (18 oz) tube polenta
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1/2 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup taco seasoning
dash to taste – cumin, cayenne, dry cilantro, garlic powder
1.5 cups shredded cheese
sour cream for serving

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray an 8×11-inch baking dish (or similar size).

Spread the polenta into an even layer on the bottom of the baking dish.

Cook the ground beef with onion an bell pepper, then drain. Stir in the taco seasoning, canned tomatoes, any additional seasonings and mix until heated through and well combined then add the corn and black beans. Layer the beef mixture over the polenta. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake about 20 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Top each serving with sour cream.

Enjoy!

Pineapple Casserole

I heard about this dish about 2 years ago and have been intrigued ever since.  I finally got around to making it for Easter this year.  Boy am I glad that I did.  It was a hit!  It is a great side dish for ham, but is sweet enough that it could be served as a dessert.  The texture is between bread stuffing and bread pudding, definitely not too mushy though.  I thought it was perfect.

Pineapple Casserole

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

12-14 slices (1/2 of a loaf basically) regular white sandwich bread, cut or torn into 1″ pieces

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla soy milk)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 can (20 oz.) of crushed pineapple with juice

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a large baking dish (such as a 9×13) with Pam or grease with butter.

Mix the eggs, milk, butter, and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the crushed pineapple with juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Then add the cubes of bread and stir just to coat.  Don’t over mix.  Pour into the prepared baking dish, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Can be served warm or cold.

Spaghetti Beef Casserole

This recipe calls for two of the dreaded gelatinous canned condensed soups, but I really don’t care.  I try to buy the low-sodium ones and try to avoid using them more than once a week.   I’ve been making this dish as long as we’ve been married and we really enjoy it!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – casseroles are just so good, man.

This makes a really big casserole so I divide it into two dishes and freeze one.  Win win!

{Picture was taken before it went in the oven.}

Spaghetti Beef Casserole

Source:  clipped from an unknown magazine over 4 years ago

Ingredients:

1 pound dry spaghetti

1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 of a jar of pimentos {probably 2 tablespoons} – optional

1 can condensed tomato soup

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of water {to rinse out the cans of soup}

2 cups of shredded cheese – cheddar or mozzarella or other kind of your choice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray one large or two medium-sized casserole dishes with non-stick spray.

Cook the spaghetti in boiling water.  Drain.

Meanwhile cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper in a really large skillet until beef is no longer pink.  Drain off grease.  Add soups and water and about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Mix together, then add the cooked pasta and stir everything together.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish(es).  Top with shredded cheese.  If you are cooking one large casserole, bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot.

If you are cooking one smaller casserole now, bake it for about 30 minutes or until hot.

Cover the extra casserole with freezer wrap/foil, label it, and place in the freezer to be used within about 3 months.  When ready to use it, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, set out on the counter for about 30 minutes before placing in a 350 degree oven and baking for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until hot throughout.

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

I’m becoming painfully aware of how many casseroles I make!  Yikes!  I need to branch out.  But, in the winter they are just so wonderful, comforting and hearty.  And of course, they are easy too.  I think it’s a requirement for being a Mid-westerner to make so many casseroles!

This one is creamy from the soup and cheese, and yet very crunchy from the dressing.  The chicken was very moist too.

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

Source:  adapted from a hometown cookbook

Ingredients:

5-6 small chicken breasts {not too thick}

5-6 slices of Swiss Cheese – I substituted pepper jack

1/4 cup dry white wine – I used Vermouth

1 can cream of chicken soup – I used cream of mushroom

1 box of stuffing mix {not prepared}

1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Place the chicken breasts in a greased 9×13 casserole dish.  Place a slice of cheese on top of each breast.  Pour on the soup and wine, trying to evenly distribute it.  Sprinkle the stuffing crumbs over all.  Drizzle the top with melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cream Cheese Lasagna

First of all, I’m really happy I made this lasagna even though there was one major thing I didn’t like about it.  I actually learned a lot by making this recipe.  In the past whenever I made lasagna, I always used an entire box of noodles, creating several layers and when sliced, the pieces never held their shape and they would go sliding all over the plate.  That fact was part of the reason I started making lasagna rolls most recently – they stay neatly rolled and are easy to serve.  But, this recipe calls for just 6 noodles {I used 8} which means less layers and it held together extremely well when sliced.

Another thing I learned, and probably the most obvious, is that cream cheese makes a wonderful lasagna filling!  I never would have thought of that.  Of course ricotta and/or cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan are obvious ingredients.  The cream cheese creates a thicker filling, which also helped to hold the layers together I would guess.

Now, the thing I didn’t care for at all – the lemon zest.  I should have went with my gut and omitted it from the start, but I decided to stay true to the recipe.  We could taste the lemon in the very first bites we took.  We did not like it, but were able to get past it and eat it because there was no way I was going to throw the whole thing out!

Lastly, I concluded that the pepperoni is completely optional.  Sure it added nice flavor, but I could have done without it.  Again my gut told me to leave it out, but I used it anyway.  I don’t regret it like I regret the lemon, but I will probably skip it next time.

Cream Cheese Lasagna

Source:  Runs with Spatulas

6 or 8 Lasagna noodles
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 pound ground beef
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup fat-free low-sodium beef broth – I omitted
1 (8 oz) package reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons lemon zest – OMIT
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 (4 oz) package pepperoni or salami slices – I used turkey pepperoni
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and 1 teaspoons olive oil and cook according to package directions until al dente.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, and cook until they start to become fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef, breaking up into smaller bits with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with garlic powder and red pepper flakes and cook until brown (about 8-10 minutes) stirring often. Turn off heat and stir in tomato sauce, paste, and broth until the mixture is fully incorporated.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Stir in the eggs until well mixed, then add in the salt, nutmeg, parsley, basil, lemon zest, and Italian seasoning.

Spray a 12x8x2 glass {I used a 13×9 which is why I used 8 noodles} or ceramic baking dish with nonstick spray.  Spread part of meat mixture on the bottom of the pan so it is lightly covered. Layer with 3 {4} lasagna noodles. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over the noodles, spreading evenly across the noodles. Top with 1/2 the pepperoni, followed by 1/2 the mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture, lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, pepperoni, mozzarella and finally the shredded Parmesan.

Cover lasagna with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes, dabbing off excess grease from the pepperoni if necessary prior to serving {This wasn’t necessary for me because I used turkey pepperoni}.

Serves: 12

Thanksgiving Stuffing

I have made this stuffing for the past 3 years and it is phenomenal!  I always get compliments on it.  It takes a little planning ahead, but it is super easy.  For Thanksgiving, I usually make the cornbread on Tuesday evening, then I cut the cornbread and sourdough bread into cubes on Wednesday morning (let them sit out all day and night to dry), and then make the stuffing the day of Thanksgiving.

Cornbread Stuffing

Source:  Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pan of cornbread
  • 1/2 loaf sourdough bread {or French bread}
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery (leaves and stalks), chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoons dried basil
  • ½ teaspoons ground thyme
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cups fresh parsley, chopped
  • S & P to taste
  • I have also added a pinch of poultry seasoning and/or a pinch of dried sage before, delicious but optional.

Preparation Instructions

Chop the cornbread and loaf of French bread up into 1-inch cubes. Spread them out on two baking sheets and let them dry for approximately 24 hours.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add one stick of butter. When it’s melted add the onion and celery and cook for a few minutes until onions are almost translucent. While it’s cooking chop up any fresh herbs you will be using.

Add 4 cups of chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a boil. Add ½ a teaspoon of basil, ½ teaspoon of ground thyme, and ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley {and any other herbs you want to add}. Stir until combined.

Place all of your dried bread cubes into a large bowl and mix them up a bit. Gradually ladle the broth mixture into the bread, tossing lightly as you go. Keep gradually adding the broth mixture, tasting as you go and adding more seasoning and herbs if needed. Add salt carefully. You don’t want to over salt your stuffing.  Add the beaten eggs and mix well. If the mixture is not quite moist enough add a bit more chicken broth and stir.

Either stuff the bird and bake according to turkey directions or place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

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