Chipotle Ranch Chicken Pasta

The Eat at Home Challenge is off to a great start! Nearly 1800 people have joined.  I’m doing the challenge right along with everyone else, but last week I was sick all week.  Summer isn’t supposed to be for viruses, but this one sure did lay me flat!  It’s put me a little behind and made the Eat at Home Challenge a bit more challenging for my family.  We haven’t eaten perfectly planned meals, but we have eaten.  Fingers crossed that this week is better!

Today, we’ve got a recipe from Kate.  This one looks fantastic!

I know the summer stereotype is lazy days but my summers are always busy. The longer days always seem to keep us out and about later, which often means less time to make dinner. This pasta has been one of my favorites so far this summer. It’s a recreation of something I got at a local café and it comes together in about fifteen minutes. If you cook the pasta the night before, you can have it on the table in about five.

ChipotleRanchChickenPasta

I prefer to serve this cold – it feels more refreshing on a summer night, especially with fresh-from-the-garden corn and tomatoes – but you can heat it if you want to.

ChipotleRanchIngredients

Chipotle Ranch Chicken Pasta
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. mini penne
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 ear of corn, grilled and cut off
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 8 oz. Colby Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 tsp. chipotle sauce, or more, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ranch dressing and chipotle sauce.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken, corn, tomato and onion. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Add the cheese and stir until evenly distributed.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Kate is a home cook and new mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

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Italian Sausage Sub Casserole

I love this recipe that Eat at Home writer, Kim brings us today!

I love Italian sausage, and use it in the place of, or in addition to, ground beef in many recipes. I also really like Italian sausage subs. You can usually substitute it in the place of meatballs on a meatball sub or chicken in a chicken parm sub. I can not tell you how many of these I ate during my first pregnancy! Maybe that’s why my oldest loves sausage. This recipe is basically a sub sandwich in casserole form, and comes together quickly and easily.

Sub Casserole Ingredients EAHI used a cheese bread loaf purchased from my grocery store’s deli, but any good thick bread will work. You can’t have too much cheese in my house! I also used turkey Italian sausage, reduced fat cream cheese and light mayo to cut the calories a little. You can use your favorites. Speaking of favorites, the sauce pictured – Newman’s Own Sockarooni, I highly recommend it!

Sub Casserole Collage EAH

I usually cut this recipe in half, so pictured is an 8 x 8. The recipe below is for a 9 x 13 casserole dish. You could also add peppers and onions, but I have to pass on that to get my kids to eat it. I even have to puree my sauce so there are no chunks! Any one else have super picky eaters?

Italian Sausage Sub Casserole EAH

Italian Sausage Sub Casserole
All the flavors of an Italian Sausage sub sandwich, in casserole form!
Ingredients
  • 1 package Italian Sausage links (4-5 links)
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread
  • Olive oil, for coating bread
  • garlic powder, optional
  • 1 (8 ounce) brick Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook Italian sausage links according to package directions. Cut into 1 inch chunks.
  3. While sausage is cooking, slice bread into 1½ inch slices. Spray or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Broil until lightly toasted on each side.
  4. Place toasted bread in a single layer in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  5. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mayo, Italian seasoning and pepper.
  6. Spread cream cheese mixture over bread, and top with ½ the cheese.
  7. Place Italian sausage over cheese.
  8. Pour spaghetti sauce and water over the sausage and top with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.

I do love a casserole, and this one is a keeper!

Kim M. is a contributing writer for Eat at Home, as well as the mom behind the mayhem at Makin’ it Mo’Betta. There you will find kid-friendly recipes, quick and easy meals, and lots of desserts!

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Ginger Peach Pork Tenderloin

Ginger Peach Pork Tenderloin

 

One of my goals for this summer is to increase my grilling skills.  I’ve been wanting a ceramic grill for a while, but now is not the time for us to buy.  So I’m committed to really learning to use the gas grill.

I’ve cooked on a gas grill for years, but I’ve never really tried to learn any techniques.  But this year, I’ve really been working on seeking out good grilling methods.

Enter this 7-6-5 Method for grilling pork tenderloins.  This is so easy and so full of flavor!  I’ve done this multiple times already.  The process involves brining the pork for about 45 minutes.  Brining just means pouring cool water mixed with kosher salt and sugar over the pork and letting it sit in the fridge.  It couldn’t be simpler.

After the brine, I pat the meat dry and usually give it a generous sprinkle of McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning or McCormick Maple Smokehouse Seasoning.  But this time I decided to give it an extra summery flare and use peaches.

I pureed a couple of peaches, added McCormick ground ginger and rubbed the meat down with the peach sauce.  The sugar in the peaches gave the pork a nice char on the outside.

To serve along with the meat, I added a teaspoon each of brown sugar and soy sauce to the remaining puree and warmed it in the microwave for a minute.  The ginger, peach and pork make a wonderful combination!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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15 Minute Creamy Chicken Florentine Quesadillas

Creamy Chicken Florentine Quesadillas

 

Quesadillas are a quick and easy favorite in our family.  I wanted to take the concept and give it a different spin.  Something other than Mexican.

We loved these Chicken Florentine Quesadillas!

They’re full of chicken (I used rotisserie chicken I had in the freezer), garlic cream cheese spread, spinach, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and Parmesan.

The great thing about quesadillas is they’re easy to make to order.  So if you’ve got someone in your house that turns their nose up at the good stuff, give them a plain chicken and cheese option.

Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

[Read more…]

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This meal has been my go-to quick recipe for over 10 years

mexican beans and rice done2

 

I make a lot of new recipes.  We rarely repeat meals, because I’m always trying to create new recipes to share with you.

That said, there are a few go-to meals that are so well liked and so easy that they get repeated with some frequency.

Mexican Beans and Rice is one of these.

A friend gave me this recipe over 10 years ago.  I have no idea how many times we’ve had it since then.  It takes common, pantry ingredients that I almost always have on hand.  It’s cheap, nutritious and can be made in just 15 minutes.

I wrote the post with the recipe about a month after starting this blog.  The photos were pretty bad, so I shot new ones a few years ago.

And there are near endless substitutions and additions you can make, depending on what you’ve got on hand:

  • Use black beans or pinto beans instead of kidney beans, or use a combination of beans.
  • Use brown rice or instant brown rice instead of white (I like the flavor of brown better, but I’m always in a huge hurry when I make this so I stick with Jasmine rice, which cooks quickly.)
  • Add cooked ground beef or cooked chicken for added protein.
  • Top with cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Serve with guacamole or avocado slices.
  • Use a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies if you don’t have any salsa.
  • Serve in tortillas instead of over rice.
  • Cook the rice in chicken broth for extra flavor.

If you haven’t tried this one, I encourage you to make it soon.  It’s a great recipe to add to your arsenal of easy, weeknight meals.

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Quick & Easy Skillet Chicken Jambalaya – 15 minute meal

Quick and Easy Skillet Chicken Jambalaya

 

We love jambalaya, but it takes a while if you bake it in the oven.  I’ve tried making it in the slow cooker, but that didn’t turn out very well.

Then I realized that it could be made in a skillet, using a similar method that I use for fried rice.  The rice cooks separately, in chicken broth instead of water.  Once it’s added to the ingredients in the skillet, it all comes together similar to a traditional jambalaya.

The bonus, of course, is that it’s much faster to make on the stove top.  If you use jasmine rice, it will only take 15 minutes for the rice too cook and the whole dish is done in short order.  Jasmine is my favorite rice for this reason.  With other long grain rices, I’ve found it takes closer to 30 minutes for it to get tender.

Start the rice, then beginning chopping and cooking the other ingredients in the skillet.  To keep this in the 15-20 minute range, you’ll also need to use chicken that’s already cooked.  I keep rotisserie chicken in the freezer for quick meal prep.

If you want to cook the chicken from raw, you can still have a quick meal by following the instructions on Basic Chicken Skillet.  This recipe is a take on that basic recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need for Skillet Chicken Jambalaya:   [Read more…]

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15 Minute Chicken Fiesta Skillet

15 Minute Chicken Fiesta Skillet

 

This is one of those fall-back kind of recipes.  You can vary it in a million ways.  And as long as you have cooked chicken in the freezer, you can have this dish on the table in just 15 minutes.  If you have to cook the chicken it will take a bit longer, but it’s still a quick meal.  Use the Basic Chicken Skillet instructions to get started if you’re using raw chicken.  You could also go vegetarian and leave out the meat altogether.

I came up with this on the way home from church last Sunday.  I hadn’t made any kind of plan for lunch, so while we drove home I took a mental inventory of ingredients in the kitchen.  I do this on purpose sometimes, because it forces me to create easy recipes with common ingredients.

This skillet dish is an adaptation of Chicken Fiesta with Black Beans in the Slow Cooker.  That post is old – one of the first posts I ever wrote on this site over seven years ago!  The photo is terrible (I really need to snap some new ones).  The recipe is stellar though and  it’s one of our family favorites.

Unfortunately, on Sunday I didn’t have any black beans so I subbed kidney beans instead.  I don’t have an ingredient photo for you this time either.  We were in a big hurry to sit down and eat.  I didn’t think to take photos until a day or two later, after we’d eaten nearly all the leftovers.  You’d think after seven years that I’d be a better food blogger!

15 Minute Chicken Fiesta Skillet

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, green pepper and garlic to skillet and cook until onion is soft.
  3. Add chicken, tomatoes, corn, beans and spices.
  4. Heat over medium heat until it's all hot through.
  5. Serve in tortillas, over cornbread or with tortilla chips.

P.S. Want to save $60 and 2 hours each week on grocery shopping? Click here.

 

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26 Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

cinco

Mexican food is always a hit at our house.  I’ve shared a lot of our favorites here on the blog over the years. These are recipes we come back to time and time again.   Whether authentic or some of our favorite “Americanized” versions, it always seems to hit the spot! Plus, there are so many delicious sides you can serve with Mexican inspired meals. And the great thing about many of these recipes is they are so easy and quick to put together. That makes weeknight meals a breeze.  A bit of homemade salsa and fresh guacamole, and it’s perfect.

So in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, here are 26 of our favorite Mexican inspired recipes for you to enjoy. Whether you are planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo or not, you’ll love these meals!

 

15 minute Sausage and Corn Quesadillas with Azteca tortillasSausage and Corn Quesadillas

Salsa Verde Steak Slow Cooker RecipeSalsa Verde Steak 

bbqchickenfajitas_thumb.jpgBarbeque Chicken Fajitas

beanandcheeseenchiladasdone2_thumb.jpgBean and Cheese Enchiladas

beef and black bean taco casserole doneBeef and Black Bean Taco Bake

Black bean and corn chicken taco bake done

Black Bean and Corn Chicken Taco Bake

 

sloppy chicken tacos done

Sloppy Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos

Slow Cooker Creamy Jalapeno Chicken TacosCreamy Jalapeno Chicken Tacos

smokychipotlechickentacosdone_thumb.jpgSmoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos

taco soup new picTaco Soup

Quick and easy Chipotle Style Chicken Burrito Bowls

Quick and Easy Chipotle Burrito Bowls

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce and White CheeseChicken Enchiladas

Chuck Roast Enchiladas www.eatathomecooksChuck Roast Enchiladas

black bean tacos done close

Crisp Black Bean Tacos with Feta & Lime

crockpot beef fajitasCrockpot Beef Fajitas

Crockpot Chicken FajitasCrockpot Chicken Fajitas

pork-carnitasPork Carnitas

Shreddedbeeftacos1-1024x678Shredded Taco Beef

grilled chicken and cream cheese enchiladas done

Grilled Chicken & Cream Cheese Enchiladas

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Dressing

mexican beans and rice done closeMexican Beans & Rice

Chipotle Chili Chicken NachosChipotle Chile Chicken Nachos

mexican-veg-on-cornbread

Mexican Vegetables on Cornbread

White Queso SoupWhite Queso Soup

oven baked chicken tacosOven Baked Chicken Tacos

McCormick Tacos with Chipotle and Garlic

15 Minute Tacos with Chipotle and Garlic

If you love easy meals like this, check out our Weekly Meal Plans and save several hours of planning and a lot of money each week on groceries. Click here.

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Perfect Pasta Salad {plus tips I’ve learned}

4 Tips for Making Perfect Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is a great dish to bring to a party, family get-together or for summer entertaining. It makes a great side, and if you are like me, you can make a meal out of it. It’s also so versatile, that you can add just about anything to it. However, for years…I just couldn’t get it right. After much trial and error, I have come up with what I think is the Perfect Pasta Salad!

Perfect Pasta Salad Bowl EAH

 

  • First tip, it’s important to cook your pasta al dente (it should say on the box how many minutes this is, I like to use rotini pasta and it’s usually 7 minutes). This will prevent the pasta from getting too mushy/soggy because the pasta will soak up some of the dressing as it sits.
  • Second, and this is where I often went wrong, you need equal amounts of pasta to vegetables/add-ins. I like to chop my main veggies fairly uniform (“bite” size), like cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, etc. My other ingredients that I use less of because of the strong flavor, such as onions and peppers, are chopped smaller. By add-ins, I am talking about not only vegetables, but also cheese, meats (pepperoni, ham, chicken), etc.
  • Third,  the dressing…everyone has their favorite and how much they like, but too much or too little can turn your perfect pasta salad into a “ehhh, it’s okay” pasta salad. My rule of thumb is 4:4:14 cups cooked pasta, 4 cups veggies/add-ins, 1 cup dressing. Even when I make a large batch for a cook-out or party, I stick with my ratios. See, math does come in handy sometimes! The pasta and veggies will soak up some of the dressing, so if you make this the night before, you may need to add a little more dressing the next day. This is a good starting point, and you can adjust to suit your taste buds.
  • Finally, and this is just a suggestion because they are not always readily available, but I highly recommend adding fresh herbs. My favorites to use are basil or cilantro.

Pasta Salad Ingredients EAH

I am particularly fond of the above ingredients for my pasta salad. However, I usually add peppers and I always add some kind of cheese, which somehow did not make the picture! I usually use feta, but feel free to add whatever is your favorite.

Perfect Pasta Salad {plus tips I've learned}
This pasta salad is the perfect side or light meal. Great for parties, cookouts, and more.
Ingredients
  • 8 oz dry pasta (will yield about 4 cups when cooked)
  • 4 cups desired vegetables/add-ins (such as cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, fresh herbs, cheese)
  • 1 cup dressing (such as House Italian, Oil & Vinegar, etc.)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package for al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  2. Place drained pasta in a large bowl, adding vegetables and desired add-ins.
  3. Add dressing, salt, pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Place in fridge to chill or serve immediately.

P.S. Want to save $60 and 2 hours each week on grocery shopping? Click herehttp://eatathomecooks.com/MealPlans429

Kim is a contributing writer for Eat at Home and author of food & family blog, Makin’ it Mo’Betta. She blogs about her adventures in the kitchen, incorporating life as mom to teen and tween girls, as well as a young son with nut allergies, and wife to a diabetic husband. Life is never dull!

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Quick Mediterranean Pasta Skillet

When we were first living together, my husband and I started making “clean out the veggie drawer pasta” once a week. It’s exactly what it sounds like: once a week, anything that was left in the drawer went into our dinner. Some weeks it was unexpectedly awesome – some weeks not so much. Over time, it evolved into a few different go-to dinners.

MedPastaSkillet

This variation of the pasta is my personal favorite. I’ll still make substitutions depending on what we have on hand – chicken instead of ham or peas instead of tomatoes make frequent appearances – but these are always what I hope to find in the drawer when we start prepping dinner.

MedPastaIngredients

I love how fast this comes together. I usually start my chopping right after I dump the pasta into the water and then by the time I’m ready to add the pasta to the skillet, it’s done cooking. Paired with a salad and a loaf of crusty bread, it’s an awesome, quick meal.

Quick Mediterranean Pasta Skillet

Serves: 4 Servings

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large ham steak, diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ⅓ cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, julienned
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and ham and cook until onion is translucent and ham is browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds more, until fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and sliced olives and cook another 1-2 minutes, until the tomatoes start to give up their juice.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Add more olive oil as needed to coat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, top with basil and serve.

Kate is a home cook and new mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

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