Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta

‘Tis the season for comfort food. I’m not sure if it’s holiday stress or the weather getting colder but I now want all of my food to be warm and cheesy. Which totally does not agree with losing the baby weight. And knowing that I’m going to totally blow any good eating at holiday parties, I’ve been trying to be a little more careful with family dinners.

Luckily, I have some awesome blogger friends to lean on! This lightened-up comfort food dish from Prevention RD‘s cookbook totally hit the spot. This was warm and cheesy and perfect – without the guilt.

SkilletBBQChickenPasta

Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta
(from Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking)
Serves 4-6

1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 red onion, diced
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
12 oz. whole wheat penne
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/3 cup cheddar, shredded

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet until shimmering. Add the chicken and onions and cook until chicken is cooking through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, at the water, chicken broth, penne and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer 12-15 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed and pasta is tender. Stir in barbecue sauce and Greek yogurt. When well combined, stir in the cheeses and reserved chicken mixture. Cook until heated through. Serve immediately.

Instant Pot Brown Sugar & Garlic Chicken

Raise your hand if you bought an Instant Pot on Black Friday! I’m guessing there are quite a few of you because the requests for IP recipes have pretty much tripled in the last week.

I grabbed an Instant Pot a few months ago and I’ve been loving it for quick side dishes but I’ve been slow to use it for meals. That’s changing, though, as I’m forever forgetting to throw things in the slow cooker as planned. Mom brain is real, you guys.

This chicken was one of my first main dishes in the IP and man, was it a winner. The chicken was juicy and flavorful. We paired it with Hibachi Style Noodles and roasted broccoli for a great dinner.

BrownSugarGarlicChickenIP

Instant Pot Brown Sugar & Garlic Chicken
(from Once a Month Meals)
Serves 4

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup lemon lime soda
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. black pepper

Place chicken in the Instant Pot. Mix remaining ingredients together in a small ball and pour over the chicken. Cook on manual for 15 minutes, then release the pressure and serve.

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken

 

Julie’s now 7 weeks old and I’m just getting into enough of a rhythm with the kids that I can actually stand over the stove and cook some nights. Up until this point, dinner has been something I can throw in the crockpot or oven between diaper changes. It’s been nice to do some hands-on cooking for a change!

Still, dinners haven’t been anything too involved – this easy, one-pan meal was a recent favorite. I added a loaf of crusty bed and dinner was on the table in a half hour. Mom win!

ParmGarlicChickenZucchini

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken
(from The Recipe Critic)
Serves 4

2 chicken breasts, cut in half and slightly pounded out
8 Tbsp. butter, divided
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, coin-sliced

In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.

In the microwave, melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the bread crumbs, 1/2 cup parmesan and flour. Coat the chicken in the butter then in the bread crumb mixture and add to the skillet.

Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through and the breading is golden. Remove chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet. When melted, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add in the zucchini and cook until tender. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Add the chicken back and cook until heated through.

Chicken Sausage and Marinated Summer Veggies

Current craving: all the veggies. I’ve eaten more salad and grilled vegetable sandwiches recently than I ever have in my life. I’m not sure if it’s a pregnancy thing or just the mid-summer bounty, but it’s been delicious.

While aimlessly flipping through Pinterest, this recipe caught my eye because of all of the veggies. I adapted it slightly to fit what we had in the garden/what looked best at the store, but you could really do this dish at any time of the year with whatever produce is in season.

I served it along with a loaf of warm, crusty bread – it was an awesome summer dinner.

ChickenSausageSummerVeg

Chicken Sausage and Marinated Summer Veggies
(slightly adapted from Beachbody)
Serves 4

2 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, taste
2 zucchini, coin sliced
2 yellow squash, coin sliced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
4 cooked chicken sausages, coin sliced
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss all the veggies with the balsamic mixture and let sit for 30 minutes, stirring halfway.

Preheat your broiler to high.

Stir the chicken sausage into the veggies and transfer to a sheet pan. Broil for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are soft, turning halfway.

Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pulled Chicken

I had bought chicken to make something else – and then realized that my day was entirely too busy to make what was planned. After scrambling around Pinterest for a few minutes for something I already had ingredients, I found this recipe.

This is simple, but good. My toddler totally devoured it. And demanded most of the leftovers for himself.

HoneyMustardPulledChicken

Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pulled Chicken
(from Wonky Wonderful)
Serves 6

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
1/4 cup water +2 Tbsp., divided
2 tsp. cornstarch

2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. sugar

Sandwich rolls, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, Dijon and 1/4 cup water.

Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Pour the honey mustard mixture over and toss to coat. Cook on low for 4 1/2 hours, remove chicken and shred.

Whisk together the remaining 2 Tbsp. water and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk into the slow cooker. Return chicken and stir to coat. Cook for another 20 minutes, or until thickened.

While the chicken cooks, in a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, Dijon, honey and sugar. Toss with red cabbage. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve pulled chicken on rolls, topped with cabbage slaw.

Grilled Pineapple Chicken Foil Packets

I’m so excited grilling season is back! I’ve been bookmarking grill recipes like crazy, but when one of my blogger friends mentioned they’d tried and liked this, it jumped to the top of the list. This is super easy to put together, which makes it perfect for a weeknight, and Jake downed it so it’s toddler-approved.

I’m pretty sure this blog is going to be all about the grill this summer. Jake LOVES playing outside and will happily hang out in the back yard for hours. I’ve been loving watching him from the window as I prep and then joining him in the backyard to grill. It’s looking like it’ll be a pretty mellow summer – at least until the new little sister gets here!

PineappleChickenPackets

Grilled Pineapple Chicken Foil Packets
(from Crème de la Crumb)
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts cut into 1½ inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 15 oz. can pineapple chunks
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup Asian toasted sesame dressing
Sesame seeds, optional, for serving
Rice, for serving
4 12″x12″ sheets of foil

Preheat the grill to medium heat.

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

Divide the chicken, peppers, onions and pineapple chunks between the foil packets. Fold up the edges of the foil a bit, add the sauce and close up completely.

Grill for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from heat and check chicken for doneness – cook longer if neede.

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.

HatchTortillaSoup

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.

CheddarRanchChicken

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!

DijonGrilledChicken

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!

ChickenFajitaKebabs

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.