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.

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.


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.

Chicken Piccata with Zoodles

Every once in a while, we end up with a really healthy week of dinner plans. I don’t usually do it consciously – it seems that after a week of celebrating or heavy eating, I naturally go for something lighter. And, really healthy meals are always a bit of a gamble around here. Something drowning in cheese and butter? Sure to be a hit. Something naturally gluten free and heavy on the veggies? Maybe – or maybe not.

Luckily, this was a huge hit. Zoodles as a side dish were great and the chicken was super easy but super flavorful. I was really impressed on how quickly this meal came together – and how satisfying it  was.


Chicken Piccata with Zoodles
(adapted slightly from Primal Palate)
Serves 2

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thickness
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsps.. olive oil
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp. capers
2 Tbsp. white wine
1 Tbsp. butter
2 zucchini, ends cut off and spiralized

Whisk together the almond flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and add chicken, one at a time, turning until thoroughly coated.

Cut half of the lemon into slices and juice the other half.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

Add garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the chicken broth and lemon slices and cook several minutes, until the lemon gets soft. Add the capers, lemon juice and white wine and cook until it’s thickened a bit. Remove from heat and stir in butter until well combined. Pour into a bowl and cover with foil.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in the skillet. When shimmering, add zucchini noodles and cook a few minutes, tossing occasionally, until they’re al dente. Sprinkle cooked noodles with salt.

Serve the noodles topped with a chicken breast topped with the sauce.

Chicken Zoodle Lo Mein

My mother-in-law gave me a veggie spiralizer for my birthday in June and up until now, it’s been sitting it the cabinet unused. Why? I knew spiralized veggies in place of spaghetti would be a hard sell at our dinner table. My husband grew up in a very Italian family and the man likes his pasta. To be honest, I wasn’t so sure about zucchini instead of spaghetti in a big, Italian meal either. But in a stir fry? That was something I could get on board with.

I’m not a complete zoodle convert. You’re not going to mistake them for noodles in this dish but they’re good in their own right. I thought this was a great, lighter meal – and my husband downed several bites before asking me where the noodles were, always a good sign! It’s probably a gateway dish for us – after this, I’ll definitely be trying more zoodle meals.


Chicken Zoodle Lo Mein
(slightly adapted from Skinnytaste)
Serves 2

1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1/2 Tbsp. rice wine
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
1 large boneless chicken breast, cut into thin, short strips
Salt, to taste
2 tsp. canola oil, divided
3/4 cup sliced bok choy
1/2 cup shredded carrots
3 scallions, sliced into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
1/2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.

Spiralize the zucchini and cut into spaghetti-length strips.

Heat a skillet or wok on high heat. Add 1 tsp. oil. Season chicken with salt, add to the wok and stir-fry until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.

Add remaining oil to the wok, followed by the bok choy, carrots, scallions, ginger and garlic Cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside with the chicken.

Pour the sauce mixture into the wok and cook for about a minute, until bubbling.  Add the zucchini and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken and vegetables to the wok and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

It seems that the colder it gets outside, the hotter my cooking gets. We’ve had more hot/spicy dinners in the last few weeks than we’ve had in probably the last six months  combined. Maybe I’m subliminally trying to combat the -2 degree weather with hot sauce?

Casseroles are such a comforting dinner on frigid nights. I roasted the potatoes for this during afternoon nap so come actual dinner prep time I only had to do some minimal assembly and pop it in the oven. It worked like a charm! And, warmed us up nicely.


Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole
(adapted from Life Love Larson)
Serves 3-4

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large, bite-sized chunks
3-4 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. Frank’s buffalo sauce
1 cup cheddar, shredded
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 green onions, sliced
Ranch dressing, for serving.

Preheat the oven to 500F degrees and line a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and buffalo sauce. Toss the potatoes in the sauce. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking sheet, leaving behind as much sauce as possible. Roast, stirring every 10-15 minutes until cooked through and crispy on the outside, about 45 minutes. Remove potatoes and reduce oven temperature to 400F degrees.

Place the cooked potatoes in the bottom of a casserole dish (I used a 9×6″). Toss the chicken with the remaining sauce and place on top of the chicken. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Top with cheese, bacon crumbles and green onions and return to oven until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve with ranch dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Cups

I have a tendency to obsess over things. And whatever my current obsession is always seems to keep bubbling up in life. Like, for example, buffalo chicken. I forgot how much I loved it and then have made four different buffalo dishes in the last month because I can’t get enough. But I’m not talking about buffalo chicken right now.

I’m currently obsessing over Macy Beckett’s Make You Remember.  I downed that book in about a day and a half and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. I’m such a sucker for a first-love-reunited story. But as satisfying as the story was, I can’t wait for the next in the series. Can’t. Wait. Alex and Ella-Claire were teased throughout the book and I need to know how things will go with them. NEED. It’s probably a little sad how much time I’ve spent thinking about them.

What does that have to do with this post? Well, when I was getting ready to make this, I realized the recipe was on a blog called Ella Claire. Seriously. This series is now even influencing my recipe choices! Is that funny? Or sad? I haven’t decided.


Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Cups
(from Ella Claire)
Serves 2-3

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 up Frank’s Buffalo wing sauce
1/2 tsp. celery seed
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
Head of bib or iceberg lettuce
Blue cheese crumbles and ranch dressing, for serving

In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add the wing sauce and celery seed. Stir in the cooked, shredded chicken and toss to coat. Add pepper, to taste. Heat until sauce is bubbly and remove from heat and stir in celery.

Serve chicken warm in lettuce cups, topped with blue cheese and ranch dressing.

Rattlesnake Pasta

My Mom and Mother-in-law both got me vintage Pyrex pieces for Christmas. Since then, I’ve become mildly obsessed with casseroles. Because when you’re using dishes from the ’50s, is there anything more appropriate to make than a casserole? I think not.

My new casserole dish is small – perfect for 2-3 servings, so I’ve been using it a lot and freezing extra portions for busy nights.  I can’t wait to break this one out again!


Rattlesnake Pasta
(adapted from The Oland Girls Craft)
Serves 6

12 oz. whole wheat pasta
1 26 oz. jar Alfredo sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 lb. dice, cooked chicken
1 small can diced green chilies
1 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, Alfredo sauce, garlic, Parmesan, bacon, chicken and chilies. Stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Top with shredded cheddar.

Baked for 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Oven Fajitas

One of the things that’s been difficult for me with October Unprocessed is that I tend to pick recipes that are more complicated and time-consuming. I’m not sure why they appeal to me so much, but they’re really just not ideal for busy nights when you’re also juggling a baby. I’ve had to made a conscious effort to find quick, easy dinners that don’t rely on processed ingredients.

This was one of the best dinners so far. I did the prep during nap time so when dinner time came, I just had to toss it with the seasoning and oil and stick it in the oven. I served them with lettuce leaves for wrapping to make it October Unprocessed friendly, but tortillas would be great too.


Oven Fajitas
(from Budget Bytes)
Serves 4

1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. corn starch
2 small onions
2 medium green bell peppers
1 medium red bell pepper
1 lb. chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium lime
Tortillas or lettuce leaves for wrapping

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. In a small bown, whisk together the first nine ingredients. Set aside.

Slice the onion, peppers and chicken into strips and place them into a 9×13″ baking dish. Sprinkle the seasoning over everything and then drizzle the oil over everything. Toss to coat evenly.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. When done, squeeze juice from half of the lime over everything. Serve on tortillas or lettuce leaves with your favorite toppings.