Pizza chicken pasta

I found this recipe in Great Food Fast, my favorite pressure cooker book, but it’s easily adaptable for baking in the oven too. It’s warm and comfort-food-ish without being heavy, and is very kid-friendly as well! I mean, it’s practically PIZZA. This is great served with some garlic bread or, I don’t know, some vegetables? I seem to have skipped that part. Ahem. Anyway! Try this:

Pizza chicken pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 24 slices pepperoni
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Corkscrew pasta

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the salt, pepper and flour, then toss the chicken breasts in the flour mix
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet or in a pressure cooker set to brown, then lightly brown chicken on each side
  3. Put chicken in pressure cooker dish or casserole dish and cover with spaghetti sauce, water, and pepperoni
  4. Cook in a pressure cooker on high pressure for 8 minutes, or bake at 350F in a casserole dish for 40-50 minutes depending on thickness of chicken breasts
  5. While chicken is cooking, cook pasta in well-salted water
  6. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta, sprinkling mozzarella over all of it

Notes

You can also transfer the chicken to a sheet pan, then top with mozzarella and cook under the broiler till melted and bubbling. This would be easy to do in a slow cooker as well! Just allow 4-6 hours for the chicken to cook

Help me out! What’s your go-to side dish for spaghetti sauce based recipes?

Spicy black bean soup

This recipe was born of a sudden cold day, and the accompanying feeling that I MUST EAT SOUP TODAY. I was ready for fall; what can I say? Fortunately I had what I needed on hand (which was very little, honestly) to throw this together. It’s not super spicy, but has just enough kick to warm you up; the protein from the beans makes it deliciously filling.

Spicy black bean soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans
  • 1 can Ro-tel
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 16 ounces chicken broth
  • Shredded cheese, hot sauce, tomatoes, sour cream, and or green onions for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, then saute the onion till it’s nice and soft
  2. Add in beans (you can drain if you want, but either way is fine), Ro-tel, tomatoes, chili powder, salt, pepper, and chicken broth; stir well
  3. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes or so; you can serve as is or blend a little with an immersion blender, which is what I did. Top with whatever sounds good, and enjoy!

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

My friend Lissa and her family are in town this week! So fun! We’re all about sharing recipes with each other, and we’re both definitely drawn to ones that are quick and easy but over the top tasty. As soon as I saw her this week she said she had a new one for me: macaroni and cheese cooked in a pressure cooker in six minutes. SIX MINUTES. Speaking my language, girlfriend.

The recipe originates from this bookwhich may have found its way into my Amazon shopping cart. I added some frozen mixed vegetables to it because, hey, vegetables.

By the way, this Fagor Multi Cookeris the pressure cooker I have. I’ve had it since 2009 and use it several times a week — still going strong!

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces processed cheese (I used Velveeta)

Instructions

  1. Add pasta, chicken stock, water, butter, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, salt, and pepper to pressure cooker
  2. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for six minutes, then quick release
  3. Stir in cheddar and Velveeta until melty and creamy; let everything sit for five minutes before serving if you want it to thicken up a bit (I found it didn’t really need it)

Informal poll! How many of you have a pressure cooker? What’s your favorite thing to make in it?

Tex-Mex Stuffed Shell casserole

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked forever, and finally got to play around with it. And I’m so glad I did! Mine is, um, not photogenic. But it sure is tasty! It’s like Tex-Mex comfort food, which is exactly what sounds great to me this time of year. Well, really, any time of year, if we’re being honest here. It’s a nice departure from my standby of cultural divide casserole (have you weighed in?) which gets made a lot in winter weeknights.

Tex-Mex Stuffed Shell casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 12-oz box large pasta shells
  • 1 large (29 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can Ro-Tel
  • 4 Tbsp. (or one packet) taco seasoning
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • Salt
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Boil the pasta shells in well-salted water for about four minutes less than the time indicated on the box for al dente (mushy noodles = bad)
  3. Make the sauce by combining tomato sauce, Ro-Tel, taco seasoning, and black beans; heat to a low simmer in a saucepan
  4. Make the ground beef mixture by browning the beef, onion, and garlic together, then stirring in cumin, chili powder, and salt; turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese
  5. Assemble the casserole by putting in a bottom layer of shells into a large baking dish, each shell stuffed with about a Tbsp. of the ground beef mixture (a small cookie scoop works great for this), follow with about half the tomato sauce mixture, then a layer of cheese. Repeat the layers, then cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so until cheese is bubbly

I would love to hear what your cold-weather favorites are! What else should I try?

Coca-cola pot roast

I’m freezing. Are y’all freezing? It’s prime comfort food time for me, and this delivers.  A librarian printed this recipe out for me once and I promptly lost the paper; I make it from memory now, and I’m not sure of the original source. Regardless of its origins, it’s hot and tasty and definitely fall-off-the-bone tender.

Coca-cola pot roast

Ingredients

  • Chuck roast, about 4 pounds
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. salt (coarse/kosher salt, ideally)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 packet French onion soup mix
  • 1 can Coca-cola
  • Baby carrots or chopped carrots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop
  2. Season the roast with salt and pepper, then sear the roast on all sides in the Dutch oven till it’s nice and brown
  3. Sprinkle over the garlic powder and onion soup mix, pour in the Coke and add in the carrots around the roast; put a lid on it and stick the whole thing in the oven
  4. Cook till the internal temp of the roast is 165F; this will take about three hours or so depending on your oven and the size of the roast. Let it rest for about ten minutes before serving

… and may I suggest serving with mashed potatoes? Trust me.

Bonus: you can also make this in the slow cooker so it’s ready when you get home at night. Please to enjoy.

Crockpot Italian Chicken

I have been wracking my brain (and my computer) trying to figure out the source for this recipe! I saw this Pin on Pinterest and thought it sounded great… but when I clicked through it went to a white cheddar chicken pasta recipe. While that also sounds fabulous, it’s not what I was looking for this time. I finally found the recipe, though, on The Girl Who Ate Everything. Yay!

I scaled down the recipe a bit because I had only two chicken breasts plus a couple tenderloins (what came in our CSA box), and tweaked the timing so the cream cheese wouldn’t cook to long and curdle. So I pulled together this:

Crockpot Italian Chicken

Ingredients

  • Two chicken breasts + 2 tenderloins
  • 1 packet Zesty Italian dressing seasoning
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 8-ounce block of cream cheese
  • Cooked pasta or rice

Instructions

  1. Put soup, chicken, and Italian seasoning in slow cooker and turn on low — you’ll want 4-6 hours of cooking time at least, but more is fine; I’ve never had anything overcook in the slow cooker
  2. About an hour before you’re ready to eat, take the chicken out and cut it into chunks, then return it to the slow cooker; add in the cream cheese and cook everything together for another hour, then stir so it’s all incorporated into thick sauce
  3. Serve over cooked pasta or rice

This was so, so good, and is definitely going in our supper rotation!

Do y’all have any suggestions for more slow cooker meals for fall?

Traci’s tropical chicken

I’m kind of a crazy woman right now with a teething baby and homeschooling Kiddo, so I’m going on the assumption that a yummy recipe with no picture is better than no recipe at all. Right?? :)

My sweet friend Traci sent me this recipe — her favorite standby meal. She makes it straight-up BBQ served over mashed potatoes instead of rice, and it’s her favorite comfort food. Heaven forbid I leave a recipe alone, of course, so I tweaked it a bit and came up with this. It is SO FREAKING GOOD. You must make it.

Traci’s tropical chicken

Ingredients

  • 4-6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce of your choice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • pineapple rings
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups pineapple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9X13 glass baking dish and place chicken breasts in the dish
  3. Whisk together BBQ sauce, sugar, chili powder and a pinch each of salt and pepper; pour over the chicken, then top with pineapple rings
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until chicken registers at least 165 degrees. BE CAREFUL pulling the pan out of the oven because, as Traci says, there will be lots of sweet, delicious, sploshy sauce. I love that!
  5. When the chicken has about 20 minutes left to cook, stir together rice and pineapple juice and add in the 1 Tbsp. of butter; cook either in a rice cooker or in a pot on the stove. We’re using pineapple juice INSTEAD of water here — do not also add water to it
  6. When everything is done, serve chicken over rice, then spoon some of the sauce over the whole thing

It is heavenly.