Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

I love Caesar Salad. I also love pasta salad. I thought I would combine them and the flavor is incredible. Perfect for a side dish, but also perfect for a main course in these hot summer months.

Ingredients:

1 pound Pasta, I used large elbows but any shape will do

3.5 ounce jar of capers

7 ounce jar chopped red pimentos, drained

3-4 green onions, sliced thin

1 cup of celery, diced

2 large cooked chicken breasts, shredded (I used a Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken)

2 cups finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Salad Supreme or Paprika for garnish, optional

Dressing:

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 -3/4 cup Caesar Salad dressing ( I used Kens)

Boil pasta according to the directions on the box. Once it’s cooked, drain and run pasta under cold water. Once pasta is drained and cooled, add to a large bowl. Mix in capers, pimentos, onion, celery, shredded chicken and Parmesan cheese.

In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and Caesar Salad Dressing. Once combined, mix and incorporate into pasta salad. Enjoy!

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Dinner In 30 Minutes

I really wasn’t trying to make a dinner in 30 minutes but when I did, I thought I would share it. This recipe isn’t written in stone, you can change the pasta to low carb or gluten free. Change the dressing to one of your favorites. My cost for dinner was under $20 because of the ingredients I already had at home. However, if you were to go buy everything from start to finish, it would still be under $25 in my area.

Ingredients for Main Course:

1 package of Bow tie pasta, or your favorite low carb, gluten free

*1 package of chicken tenders, cooked or rotisserie chicken, cut in bite sized pieces

1/2 cup pasta water

**Olive Garden Salad Dressing, or your favorite dressing, you add how much you like. I didn’t drown my pasta in dressing.

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, make garlic bread. Cut chicken in bite size pieces. I also made my bag salad.

Garlic Bread:

Sliced bread

Garlic butter or spread

Parmesan cheese

Paprika

Spread prepared garlic spread or butter on sliced bread. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and sprinkle paprika on top of cheese. Broil under butter has melted. Timing depends on how close the rack is set close to the broiler. The closer it is, the faster your bread will cook or burn. You must keep an eye on it.

Salad:

I bought a Caesar Salad in a bag. No shame in that. The kit included dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons in the bag. The package I bought was two for five dollars. Can’t beat that. These salads literally take a few seconds to make. Cut open the bag, dump in the ingredients and toss.

*Believe it or not, chicken tenders I purchased were $9.00. A rotisserie chicken is under $5 at Sam’s Club, a little higher at my grocery store.

**Cant find Olive Garden dressing or like it, a good substitute a good Italian or Balsamic Italian Dressing, whatever you prefer.

Another helpful money saving hint, my grocery store often has buy one get one free pasta. I often stock up on pasta when that happens.

My cost:

Chicken Tenders $9.00

Pasta $1.69 (free from my pantry)

Bread $3.00

Garlic spread $3.60 (I used what I had)

Salad $2.50

Salad dressing $3.99 (already had in my pantry)

Company’s Coming Chicken Casserole

I love this retro recipe revamp. My Mom used to make chicken over rice with just cream of mushroom soup. It was good but sorry Mom, this is better. This is made with cream of mushroom soup and cheddar cheese soup. If you don’t like mushrooms, use cream of chicken instead. The chicken cooks over the rice like my Mom’s recipe but I added a few things to the rice. The sauce over the chicken is very tasty. Great for company, big families or freeze after you cook it and reheat it later.

Ingredients:

2 cups instant rice

1 cup diced/sliced celery

8 – 12 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 cup onions

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup heavy cream

5 – 6 chicken breasts, I flattened my down some

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9″ casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, mix rice, celery, mushrooms and onions together. Spread in the bottom of prepared casserole dish. Lay chicken breasts on top of rice. Mix soups, mayonnaise and heavy cream together. Spread over the top of the chicken. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 – 50 minutes more. This is so delicious, your guests may never leave! Enjoy!

Cool Chicken Taco Pizza

I love pizza. I love tacos. Today I created a cool chicken taco pizza. Everything you love on a taco but made on a pizza crust served room temperature. Make the crust ahead or buy a premise crust and assemble in less than 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

Pizza dough or use a pre-made crust

I purchased pizza dough at my grocery store bakery. I rolled it out on a lightly floured surface. I sprayed Pam on the pizza dough (or brush with oil) and baked it in a 400 degree oven on a stone for 15 minutes.

Cool completely. Make it the day or evening before.

Pizza Toppings:

1 8 ounce container of whipped cream cheese

2 Tablespoons of sour cream

1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning

Mix together and spread on cool pizza crust.

Shredded iceberg lettuce

Rotisserie chicken, shredded or cut in bite size pieces

Mexican cheese, grated

Pico de Gallo, I avoided adding the liquid

Chipotle Ranch Salad Dressing

Assemble pizza in layers, beginning with the shredded lettuce. Press down after adding each layer. Add chicken and Mexican grated cheese. I used fresh Pico de Gallo scattered on top of the cheese. I also added a drizzle of Chipotle Ranch Salad Dressing. This dressing some might consider spicy, you can substitute sour cream or guacamole or not use a topping on top of the Pico de Gallo. Enjoy!

Georgia’s Cranberry Chicken

I have enjoyed this recipe twice at my friend Georgia’s house. She makes it with chicken thighs, I made this recipe with chicken breasts. I have had several variations of this recipe, one being made with apricot preserves instead of cranberry sauce. I have also had this with orange marmalade instead of cranberry sauce. Both of the Jelly versions were sweet. The cranberry has a tang and is less sweet. That’s what I prefer.

The cast of characters

Cranberry Sauce Mixture

Ingredients:

1 can of cranberry sauce, whole berry or jellied cranberry works, I used whole berry

1 envelope of Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix

1 8 ounce bottle of French or Russian dressing, Deluxe French is what I used and prefer

2 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts

Right before I covered the chicken and placed it in the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk cranberry sauce, onion soup mix and dressing together. Place chicken in a 9 x 9 pan. You might want to use a 13 x 9 pan if you use chicken thighs. Pour the cranberry mixture over the chicken and cover tightly with foil. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Out of the oven.

Bake covered at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until sauce is hot and bubbly. Using 3 large chicken breasts, I baked mine for 2 hours 45 minutes. If I had pounded them flat, or flatter, they would have cooked faster. I served my chicken with brown rice and veggies. I will make mashed potatoes the next time. The sauce is delicious, not too sweet and has a great tang. The sauce is excellent on the chicken and mashed potatoes. I poured some over my rice. This is a delicious family recipe and perfect if you are entertaining company. Enjoy!

White Chicken Chili

To be honest, I had never made white chicken chili and I had never eaten any. This was my first rodeo! I think I read 50,000 white chicken chili recipes before I came up with my own. I must say that I really enjoyed it both ways. The original crockpot version was more like a broth, tonight I thickened it with half and half and cornstarch. Both ways were delicious.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 teaspoons of cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 cans white chili beans, great northern, I used Bush’s

2 small cans of chopped green chilies

1 32 ounce carton of chicken broth

I onion diced

1 bell pepper, diced, I bought a package of tri colored peppers already chopped

Corn chips, crushed, optional

Sour cream, optional

Lime juice, optional

Shredded Mexican Cheese, optional

Cook on high for 4 hours, shred chicken and return to crockpot.

Thicker Chili

1 cup of half and half

2 – 4 Tablespoons of corn starch

Blend together and add to the chili.

For thicker, creamier chili, add 2 – 4 Tablespoons in one cup of half and half.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

These are a favorite of my Dad and Judy. If you have visited Carmelita’s Mexican Restaurant in Florida, this is combination plate #17. I made these mild for them but you could certainly increase the heat factor. The creamy sour cream sauce is delicious.

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded

2 teaspoons packaged taco seasoning

1 can of Rotel

1 can of green chiles, drained

1 can cream of chicken soup, divided

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 cup whole milk

12 ounces Mexican Cheese, divided

1 package tortillas, taco/fajita size 10 count

Scallions for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray non-stick cooking spray in a 13 x 9 pan. In a large bowl, shred chicken. Add can of Rotel, 1/2 can cream of chicken soup, drained green chiles and combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining cream of chicken soup, sour cream and milk together.

Place 3-4 Tablespoons of chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla. Add a couple tablespoons of cheese. Roll and place seam side down in your pan. Continue until 10 enchiladas are made. Pour sour cream sauce over the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with your favorite side dishes, we had rice and refried beans. Enjoy!