Chipotle Ranch Turkey Panini

I wanted to sneak in one last Thanksgiving leftover post before the big festivities tomorrow. This is pretty much the perfect day-after sandwich – super quick to throw together in the midst of shopping trips but it doesn’t feel like leftovers.

The crunchy onions and cranberries are staples in lots of Thanksgiving dishes so I’m guessing you’ll have them (and turkey!) on hand. A few extra ingredients and you’re good to go.

I made a few of these during the last week and I’m genuinely looking forward to refreshing my turkey stash tomorrow so I can have another.


Chipotle Ranch Turkey Panini
(a Kate’s Recipe Box Original)
Makes 1 sandwich

3/4 cup chopped turkey
1 Tbsp. dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. crunchy onions
1 Tbsp. real bacon bits
2 Tbsp. chipotle ranch dressing
2 slices provolone cheese
1 Ciabatta roll

In a small bowl, toss together the  turkey, cranberries, onions, bacon bits and dressing until evenly combined.

Slice the roll in half, top with turkey mixture and cheese. Press in a Panini press until warmed through and crunchy on the outside.

One-Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Vegetables

There was a running joke in college that I would only do the dishes if I had been drinking. I hate washing the dishes and apparently that was the only way it was tolerable. Now, I don’t have to do the dishes often because Mark and I have a deal worked out – if I cook, he’ll clean up.

The problem is that he’s been working late a lot lately so I’ve been having to do both. Solution? One pan (or pot) meals. And lots of them. This was one of the best I tried – super easy and super flavorful. Tiny and I loved them!


One-Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Vegetables
(adapted from Damn Delicious)
Serves 2

2 pork chops
2 large white potatoes, dices
8 oz. green beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Add the  pork chops, potatoes and green beans to the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Ranch Seasoning and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss then shake into a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until pork is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Serve immediately.


Chicken Tortilla Soup with Hatch Chilies

I’m really having a love/hate relationship with this cooler weather in the morning. I love fall and this summer was humid beyond belief so the break is so, so welcome. But it’s also reminder that winter’s knocking on the door. I feel like my favorite season is going to get crowded out fast this year so I’m trying to savor every minute of it.

This quick and easy soup is our first of the fall season. I always anticipate soups taking a lot time to prep but using a rotisserie chicken sped this along nicely. I loved the kick the hatch chilies gave it, but you could also use canned, chopped green chilies or omit the chilies altogether.


Chicken Tortilla Soup with Hatch Chilies
(from The Wicked Noodle)
Serves 8

4 large tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. cumin
32 oz. chicken broth
4 hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed and seeded, then diced
4 cups shredded chicken (or one whole rotisserie chicken)
Toppings: sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, avocado

Preheat the broiler. Half the tomatoes and place them cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt. Broil until the skins are beginning to blister and blacken, about 5 minutes.

In a large pot, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about five minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Add the roasted tomatoes and their juices along with the chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine and let simmer for 15 minutes. Puree with a hand blender, then stir in hatch chilies and chicken. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes and then serve.

Hatch Chili Chicken Burgers

Grilling season is waning here. We’re getting that chill in the morning and I actually wore pants all day yesterday. Pants! So now, of course, I’m regretting all of the grilling I didn’t do all summer long.

We cooked these up while watching the football game. I always try to make something fun in case the game is lackluster – and in this case, the food was the highlight. If you’ve still got some hatch chilies around, this is a great way to use them!


Hatch Chili Chicken Burgers
(adapted from MJ + Hungryman)
Makes 6

4 hatch chilies – roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 lb. ground chicken
½. tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. cumin
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
Garlic mayonnaise
6 slices pepper jack cheese
6 hamburger buns



In a small bowl, toss together first 4 ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the ground chicken, salt, pepper, cumin, egg and breadcrumbs until thoroughly combined. Divide into 6 equal servings  and form into patties. Chill for a half hour then grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 8 minutes per side.

Top patties with cheese and let melt. Serve burgers on buns topped with the hatch chili relish.


Hatch Chili Mac ‘n Cheese

For the first time since I started this blog, one of our local grocery stores stocked hatch chilies. I feel like I’ve been watching my more-Southern food blogger friends rave about them for years and could never participate in the hatch chili fun. So now that they’re here? I’m making hatch chili everything.

First up: mac n cheese. I really, really loved this. The roasted chilies paired really nicely with the jack cheese sauce. I had split this into two pans with intentions to freeze one for later – but it all got eaten before it made it to the freezer. Oops!



Hatch Chili Mac ‘n Cheese
(from Life’s Ambrosia)
Serves 6-8 as a side

5 hatch chilies
2 cups elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 Tbsp. flour
2 cups whole milk
3 cups shredded jack cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil

On the grill, roast the chilies over high heat until charred and blistered. Transfer to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, peel the chilies, seed, remove the membrane and dice.

Cook macaroni according to package directions.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the diced onion and cook until nearly translucent. Whisk in flour until the mixture is a play dough consistency. Add milk, whisking constantly, and cook until starting to thicken, about a minute. Stir in cheeses and stir frequently until melted. Stir in cooked macaroni and diced chilies and season with salt to taste. Spread the macaroni in a greased baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine the panko and olive oil. Spread over the top of the macaroni.

Bake at 350F degrees until bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Cheddar Ranch Chicken

This is one of our newest family favorites. And my newest favorite meal to take to new moms. I think I’ve brought it to my last three or four friends that have had babies. It’s a hit for two big reasons: it only requires about 5 minutes of prep time and it reheats well.

I’ve been pairing it with wheat dinner rolls and green beans. It’s been a perfect, comforting dinner with almost no effort.


Cheddar Ranch Chicken
(from Damn Delicious)
Serves 4-6

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package ranch dressing mix
3 cloves garlic, minced
8-12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup Panko

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Spray a 9×11 pan with non-stick spray. Arrange chicken thighs in the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, ranch mix and garlic. Spread evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle the panko evenly over the top of everything.

Bake for 25-50 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top.


Grilled Dijon Chicken

Lately, dinner has been all about whatever I can get on the table the fastest. Mark’s been working late and as soon as Jake realizes I’m cooking, he’s at my feet whining like he’s never been fed before. Our weekends, though, have been much more laid back so I’ve been doing as much prep as I can then.

This chicken is a brilliant two-fer. I made it on the weekend but it’s quick enough for a weeknight, too – just throw the marinade together in the morning and it’ll take you just a few minutes to grill it up in the evening. The best part, though, is using the leftover chicken to make these melts another night. Leftovers that don’t feel like leftovers are always appreciated here!


Grilled Dijon Chicken
(from Homemade by Holman)
Serves 4-6

2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey and lemon juice. Stir in spices. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Grill over medium- high heat until cooked through, turning halfway, about 15 minutes.


Mango-Mint Turkey Burgers

In a lot of ways, this has been the perfect summer. We’ve had friends from all over visit, we made trips to Boston and Hershey and the shore, we introduced little man to swimming and ice cream and county fairs. We celebrated my 30th birthday, little man’s first birthday and our 6th wedding anniversary. I’ve also gotten back into a few things that had fallen by the wayside during the last year – mainly, working out and reading.

Instead of spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ve been revisiting old favorites that I know I can whip together quickly. It’s been nice to have a few weeks to just cook and not worry about trying new things or photographing meals. The break was good for the soul and helped revive my drive to cook – my dinner plans for the next few weeks are more ambitious than I’ve felt in a while!

These burgers were, mostly, a “use up what you’ve got” recipe. I had turkey that needed to get cooked that day and some mint that I had forgotten to toss in another dish (oops), so when I saw this on Pinterest it became dinner for the night. I was still on “blogging break” when I made these so I half-heartedly snapped a picture before I dug in – but despite the lackluster snapshot, these were too good not to share! These are a really great summer burger.


Mango-Mint Turkey Burgers
(from No Biggie)
Makes 4

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 large mango, finely diced
1 Tbsp. mint, chopped
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp. steak seasoning
1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash original seasoning
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
Buns, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce and teriyaki sauce. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, combine the turkey, mango, mint, onion and seasonings with your hands. When thoroughly mixed, divide into 4 equal balls and shape them into patties. Brush the tops of the patties with the sauce mix.

Cook the burgers on a medium-high grill. Place them glazed-side down and brush sauce on the other sides. Flip halfway through cooking and glaze again.

Serve on buns.

Chicken Fajita Kabobs

Meat on sticks! You knew it was going to happen.

I really love this version of kabobs. It’s sort of like tacos on the grill. We ate these over Cilantro Lime Rice and it was a great, summer meal – and using the grill and rice cooker meant we weren’t heating up the house with the stove. Perfect!


Chicken Fajita Kabobs
(from Well Plated)
Serves 4

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp. canola oil
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1 large red onion
Salsa, sour cream and guacamole, for serving

In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, lime juice, zest, chili powder, cumin, garlic, jalapeno and salt. Add chicken and toss to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate for at leas an hour.

Cut the bell peppers and onion into chunks.

Thread the marinated chicken, peppers and onions onto skewers.

Heat grill to medium-high and spray with non-stick spray. Grill for 6-8 minutes, turning once or twice.

Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Taco Spaghetti

I love kids television. I would totally pick the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon over most adult shows any day. I know what you’re thinking, what does that have to do with anything?

Well, a few years ago I binge-watched iCarly and one of their meals of choice was spaghetti tacos. Which was obviously supposed to be a show joke but since the show was so popular, it became a real thing. I’ve had it in the back of my head that maybe, possibly, at some point I’d try them… just to see.

And then I ran across this recipe and I immediately knew this would be a much better take on the iconic iCarly meal. I’m always a fan of one-pot meals and this one didn’t disappoint!


Taco Spaghetti
{from Ready, Set, Eat)
Serves 4

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 1/2 cups water
8 oz. spaghetti, broken in half
Sour cream, for serving
Avocado, for serving

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef. Add taco seasoning, tomatoes and water. Stir to combine. Stir in the spaghetti. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Serve topped with sour cream and avocado.