Sweet and Spicy Honey Chicken | Slow Cooker

Sweet and Spicy Honey Chicken | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Sometimes you just need Chinese takeout.  When the baby isn’t sleeping and the toddler isn’t listening and you just want to hide in a bowl of something hot and fragrant and delicious and sweet and sticky and spicy and sweet.  I’m drooling just thinking about it.

But sometimes you really don’t need Chinese takeout.  Like any time that you realize that bathing suit season is just around the corner.  Literally.  Southern California has been playing tricks on us so it could be beach weather tomorrow for all I know anymore.

Sweet and Spicy Honey Chicken | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

You especially don’t need it when you realize you’re supposed to run a half marathon in a few weeks and there’s no way that’s going to happen with your lack of training due to non-sleeping baby and non-listening toddler and the only way you may keep from dying is maybe if you have less weight to carry for 13.1 miles.

So what do you do?  You put this in the crock pot.  And you feel satisfied.  But you don’t feel like you dove headfirst into a pot of MSG because you made it with real ingredients and it’s totally delicious.  By the way, you could totally throw some veggies into the pot in the last hour and make it much healthier.  But I didn’t.  Maybe next time.

Sweet and Spicy Honey Chicken | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

Sweet & Spicy Honey Chicken | Slow Cooker
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite sized cubes
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ginger
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 4 T honey
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 1 T sriracha (more or less depending on how spicy you'd like it to be), plus more to top
  • 2 cups white or jasmine rice, cooked
Instructions
  1. Heat sesame oil over medium high heat in a large skillet
  2. Add chicken, cornstarch, salt, pepper and ginger to a large plastic bag and shake to coat
  3. Cook chicken in skillet until no longer pink, or 5-8 minutes
  4. Add chicken mixture to slow cooker
  5. Pour soy sauce, honey, garlic and sriracha over the top and stir to combine.
  6. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours
  7. Remove and serve over rice, topped with sesame seeds and additional sriracha if desired

Sweet and Spicy Honey Chicken | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps | Slow Cooker

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

First of all, I want to thank everyone again who sent some love after last week’s announcement of Snuggle Up Buttercups, my new Etsy shop full of deliciously snuggly blankets.  I really hope you love it an welcome any feedback or ideas for future products!

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

So in the midst of taking care of two babies, teaching fitness classes, sewing and, ya know, living life, I also made something delicious, healthy and super easy that I had to share.  Anyone else love buffalo sauce??  My husband and I are obsessed, and the toddler is generally a fan, unless we throw too much heat at her.  I calmed this one down with a little bit of chicken broth, but if you’re all about spicy, you can add the extra buffalo sauce instead.

It’s been on and off summery here in So Cal, so the lettuce wrap idea was perfect for a warm evening.  I know it might not appeal as much to those who are trudging through snow every day, so throw those bad boys in a tortilla and call it a day instead.  Or pin this one for when the snow melts and the summer sun comes shining through.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps | Slow Cooker
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ⅓ cup buffalo sauce, plus more to garnish
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 3-4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 head of lettuce, rinsed and separated for lettuce cups
  • Blue cheese, crumbled, to top
  • Avocado, sliced, to top
Instructions
  1. Combine chicken, buffalo sauce, broth, corn and beans in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  2. Shred chicken with two forks.
  3. Stir in shredded cabbage and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes on low.
  4. Serve mixture in lettuce cups, topped with blue cheese and avocado.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Chicken Enchilada Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash | Semi-Slow Cooker

Chicken Enchilada Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash | Semi-Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Can I tell you something weird?  Sometimes I think that one morning, my alarm is going to go off and I’m going to be back in high school, living in my parents house and none of the last several years would have happened.  I wonder how it’s possible that I could be married, living in a house with two kids who I get to stay home with and love on every day.  And then I realize how very lucky I am, even with some very terrible twos going on with the toddler and an still inconsistent night sleeping schedule with the baby.

Chicken Enchilada Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash | Semi-Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I think this nonsense usually happens at the beginning of each month when I once again have to collect my dropped jaw because it cannot be that it’s February already.  It cannot be that my little ones are another month older, we’re that much further from Christmas {which I swear was still yesterday} and closer to summer {um, please? this cold and rainy So Cal weather is not fun…sorry East Coast…I’ll stop whining now}.  So yea.  Hi, February.  Let’s make some cute heart shaped crafts and move on to March so we can hurry along to heat and pools and beaches and fun.

Chicken Enchilada Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash | Semi-Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Anyway, food blog.  Let’s talk recipe.  I’m trying to lighten it up finally.  Other than the sauce, this is a really healthy little recipe and the sauce isn’t half bad either.  I’ve heard you can make your own enchilada sauce but the one at Trader Joe’s is so good I haven’t tried.  And lazy.  So that.

Chicken Enchilada Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash | Semi-Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

So the gist of it?  Make the inside of some really fabulous easy enchiladas in the slow cooker.  But instead of using those less-than-healthy tortillas, mix in some spaghetti squash, melt some cheese on top and call it a day.  It was totally delicious and everyone ate their weight in squash, which is a total victory.  The toddler ate her first helping and then said “Mommy, I demolished that chicken.  Can I have some more?” No joke, people.  She was quite a fan.  So it was a win in my book.

Chicken Enchilada Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash | Semi-Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Chicken Enchilada Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash | Semi-Slow Cooker
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 spaghetti squashes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t black pepper
  • ½ t chile powder
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, plus some to garnish
  • 1 + ½ cup Mexican cheese
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, sauce, onion, beans and corn in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Cut squashes in half, remove seeds, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and chile powder.
  4. Place squashes cut side down and cook for 30 minutes. Turn skin side down and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until easily shredded.
  5. While the squash is cooking, shred chicken in the slow cooker with two forks and stir in cilantro and 1 cup Mexican cheese.
  6. Remove squash from oven and shred.
  7. Mix shredded squash into chicken mixture.
  8. Place chicken and squash mixture back into the squash shells and top with remaining cheese.
  9. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly brown.
  10. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy immediately.

 

Asian Pineapple Chicken | Slow Cooker

Asian Pineapple Chicken | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

EDIT: I somehow lost half of this post and the recipe!  Sorry guys! I’ve rewritten the recipe below.  Enjoy!

Oooook, I suppose it’s time to start getting healthy and all that nonsense that you talk about after the first of the year.  I may have given you something delicious and decadent and fabulous last week, but we’re getting back onto the right track now.  I promise.  Maybe.

Asian Pineapple Chicken | Slow Cooker
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • ½ onion, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 1 t ginger
  • 2 cups rice, cooked, to serve
  • Sesame seeds and green onions to garnish
Instructions
  1. Place all items except rice in the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  2. Serve on top of cooked rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

 

Asian Pineapple Chicken | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce | Semi Slow Cooker

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Guys, Christmas is seriously right around the corner.  I can’t even handle how fast this is all going right now.  But I’m not going to lie, I love it all.  Every time I hear holiday music or drive at night and see Christmas lights or see decorations at every turn, it fills me with holiday cheer.  This really is the best time of the year.

But onto the recipe.  It’s simple and delicious and perfect for when you’re running around to holiday parties or finishing up your shopping and you just need something good and warm, but also fresh and relatively healthy.  Because you gotta do what you gotta do to keep off those holiday pounds, amiright?

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

For some reason, I’ve always been a little hesitant with gyros.  They never really jump off the menu or the recipe list at me.  But a few months back I tried some fish gyros {that never made it to the blog #lazyblogger} and they were totally scrumptious.

So this time around I figured I would simplify {as always} and throw the chicken in the crock pot with some veggies and seasoning and let it happen.  Throw on some sauce, leftover cucumber from sauce making, shredded lettuce and feta and call it a day.  And wrap it in a pita.  Because yum.

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites In addition to the meal being scrumptious, we all loved the tzatziki, and luckily I made a little extra so we could use it as a dip and sauce for days to come.  What is it about toddlers and dips?  Mine is totally obsessed with dipping, and this one is no exception.  She has no idea that she’s eating mostly Greek yogurt and cucumber.  And honestly, I forget it too…it’s a great dip for fresh veggies to add some flavor and tang to an otherwise boring food.

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce | Semi Slow Cooker
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
 
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts {I used frozen, if you use fresh err on the lower side of cooking time}
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 T mediterranean seasoning
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, half shredded and half sliced into small pieces
  • Juice of ½ of a lime
  • 2 T feta cheese, plus additional to top if desired
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 1 t dill
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • Shredded romaine lettuce to top
  • 4-5 whole wheat pitas
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, bell pepper, onion, seasoning, olive oil and chicken broth in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 5-7 hours or high for 3-6 hours.
  3. Come back and shred chicken with two forks or cut into pieces.
  4. In a small bowl, combine greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, lime juice, feta, garlic, dill, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until use.
  5. Recommended assembly: toast pita, scoop in chicken mixture with slotted spoon, and top with sliced cucumbers, additional feta, romaine and sauce.

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Spicy Taco Chicken Pasta | Slow Cooker

Spicy Taco Chicken Pasta | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I don’t know about you, but sometimes spicy food is just what I need to warm up my soul when it’s getting a little chilly outside.  But I don’t always want to have to slave away in front of a hot stove to do it.  In fact, I don’t really ever want to slave away in front of a hot stove…even if it’s cold outside.  That’s what my crock pot is here for.

Spicy Taco Chicken Pasta | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

So this one.  Taco.  Pasta.  Two staples in our house.  Put them together and it’s magic…and with just a little bit of extra effort your boring ol’ pasta or your simple ol’ tacos turn into something new, fun and exciting.

Spicy Taco Chicken Pasta | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

And it was so easy…the toddler and I threw the ingredients into the slow cooker together after lunch {I cut, she pours…often into her mouth…}, I added a few things and popped some pasta on to boil right before dinner and voila!  Enough spicy goodness to enjoy that night and leftovers for many days to come.

Spicy Taco Chicken Pasta | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

If your family isn’t as into “spicy” you can omit the green chiles, swap the pepper jack for cheddar, and opt for a low heat taco seasoning.  We usually dig it over here.  And we’ve convinced the toddler that milk helps if it gets too spicy {truth} so she ends up chugging down her often untouched milk on spicy food days.  #dontjudge

Spicy Taco Chicken Pasta | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

Spicy Taco Chicken Pasta | Slow Cooker
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use frozen. If you use fresh, err towards the lower ends of the cooking time)
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped into large pieces
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes in juices
  • 1 small can green chiles
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup pepper jack cheese, plus more to top
  • 1 lb pasta, cooked according to package
  • Optional to garnish: pepper jack cheese, cilantro
Instructions
  1. Combine chicken, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes (including juice), green chiles, taco seasoning and broth in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
  3. Shred chicken with forks or remove and cut into bite sized pieces.
  4. Stir in greek yogurt and pepper jack cheese and let cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until fully combined and cheese is melted.
  5. Stir in pasta until fully coated and combined.
  6. Enjoy hot and top with additional cheese or cilantro.

Spicy Taco Chicken Pasta | Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker

Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

The best weeknight dinners are the ones that are easy to make, packed with healthy ingredients, delicious, and make enough for leftovers {that everyone wants to eat} all week long.  This recipe has all of these awesome qualities.

As much as I wish everything could be made exclusively in the slow cooker, sometimes these things take a little extra finishing in the oven.  Because anything topped with melted cheese and stuffed with fluffy quinoa is a happy place for me.  And now that it’s getting a little cooler, it’s kind of nice to heat up the house a bit every now and again.

Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

We’re going to call this one pseudo-healthy.  Because although it’s packed with super healthy ingredients like chicken, fresh veggies, greek yogurt and quinoa, I also put in lots of cheese.  If you want to tone down the cheese and ramp up the healthy factor, you’re more than welcome to and I’m sure it would still be delicious.  Just not as cheesy.

We found out something fun with this one…the toddler is developing quite a taste for limes.  We squeezed some fresh lime juice over the top and she devoured her portion, and then asked to taste the lime after.  She’s done this before and given us the usual sour face and handed it back, but this time, she sucked on the lime, squeezed some more on the rest of her food, and chewed on it again.  It makes my mouth pucker just to think about it.

Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts {I used frozen...if you use fresh, cook on the lower end of the cooking time}
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 bottle salsa verde
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 1 T garlic salt
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 t chile powder
  • 1½ cups shredded green cabbage
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese
  • 1¼ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Optional to garnish: chopped avocado or additional cilantro, lime juice, cheese or greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, onion, bell pepper, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, salsa, honey, lime juice, garlic salt, cumin and chile powder in the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
  3. Shred chicken with two forks.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  5. Add green cabbage and cilantro and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add greek yogurt, 1 cup cheddar cheese, ¾ cup pepper jack cheese, and quinoa and stir to combine.
  7. Spray a 9x11 casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  8. Pour entire contents of slow cooker into casserole dish {it should look a little soupy but the quinoa will soak up the excess moisture}
  9. Top with remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese and ¼ cup pepper jack cheese
  10. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until quinoa has soaked up the juices and is soft and fluffy and cheese has browned.
  11. Enjoy hot, and garnish with avocado, cilantro, cheese or greek yogurt as desired

Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites
Salsa Verde Chicken Quinoa Casserole | Semi Slow Cooker | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Sausage & Pepper Tortellini

Sausage & Pepper Tortellini | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

My husband is…how do I put this delicately…well he’s slightly…he’s kind of….not the best most imaginative eater?  He’s picky.  There, I feel better.  He’s sometimes pickier than the two year old.  But he puts up with a lot from me in the kitchen in the name of “trying new things.”  There aren’t a lot of repeat meals around here as we explore the culinary world.

Sausage & Pepper Tortellini | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

So this one was kind of for him.  My man is a pasta lover and a sausage lover, so I married the two together on his behalf for what turned out to be quite the spectacular dish.  There was a grand battle over who got to eat the leftovers for lunch for the next few days.  All three of us were big fans, and I loved that the little one was happily getting in bell peppers, tomatoes, chicken sausage and cheese in one bite.  The most wholesome meal in the world it is not, but it’s well rounded and delicious.

Sausage & Pepper Tortellini | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

This was a relatively simple recipe {but you’re making your own sauce which makes it feel a little more special to me} and you could easily be made with a box of regular pasta instead of tortellini for just as delicious of a meal.  We already had the frozen chicken apple sausages in our freezer {Costco for the win}, but you could use spicy Italian sausage and it would be spectacular too.  Any sausage that you prefer will do.

Sausage & Pepper Tortellini | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

As much as I hate to repeat, this one may be on the menu again sometime soon.  Especially if my professional taste testers have anything to say about it.

Sausage & Pepper Tortellini | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Sausage & Pepper Tortellini
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 5 sausages, cooked and cut into half moons {I used the precooked chicken apple sausages, but feel free to use your favorite}
  • 2 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 package refrigerated cheese tortellini, cooked according to package
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes in juices
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1 t red pepper flakes {more or less if you prefer it more or less spicy}
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 1 T garlic salt
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat
  2. Add onion and garlic and let cook for 3-5 minutes
  3. Add sausages and let them begin to brown, approximately 5-7 minutes
  4. Add bell peppers and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes
  5. Add tomatoes {in juice} and all spices and let simmer for 8-10 minutes
  6. Stir in cooked tortellini and cheese and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until combined and cheese is melted
  7. Serve immediately, and garnish with additional cheese, parsley, and red pepper flakes

Sausage & Pepper Tortellini | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Jambalaya Pasta

Jambalaya Pasta | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Alternate Title: That Time That Everyone Went Back For Seconds

…and wanted to go back for thirds.

Our family usually eats our portion and finishes up {other than little miss “more”…mostly with her fruit and snacks rather than her zucchini…}.  We don’t do a lot of seconds of things unless they’re so good that we’re willing to stuff ourselves with them.  This recipe was that good.  And then some.

Jambalaya Pasta | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Jambalaya Pasta | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Jambalya was one of the first meals that Hubby and I ever made together.  And when I say “made,” I mean mixed together a box of Zatarain’s with some precooked sausage and were ridiculously proud of our “cooking skills.”  In a dirty little apartment in Los Angeles.  We probably ate it off of paper plates.  But we both loved it.

This variation uses pasta to bulk up the meal a bit and throws in some good ol’ bell peppers so the kid is getting a little bit of veggie mixed in.  And, mostly because I realized we were out of cajun seasoning when I went to make it, it features a homemade cajun blend.  If you’ve got a shaker of the premixed stuff, feel free to use that in place of the listed spices.

Jambalaya Pasta | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Jambalaya Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Cajun
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lb spicy sausage {or go with a sweet sausage if you're more sensitive to heat}
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t garlic salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1½ t cayenne pepper {less if you're sensitive to spiciness}
  • 1½ t thyme
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese
  • 1 box penne pasta, cooked
Instructions
  1. Prepare hot water and cook pasta according to the box. When finished, drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add sausages and cook until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove and chop into bite sized pieces and return to skillet to brown.
  4. Add onion and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add bell peppers and spices and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in milk and pepper jack cheese until cheese is melted.
  7. Stir in cooked pasta and combine until everything is coated with sauce and cheese.
  8. Enjoy immediately.

Jambalaya Pasta | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Healthy Fiesta Chicken Soup | Slow Cooker

Fiesta Chicken Soup | Slow Cooker

I feel like I always default to Mexican recipes when I want to make a big batch of something.  There’s something about all of the spices and delicious heat that gets me every time.  I rarely find one that I don’t like.

Here’s a little menu planning tip that I use {this may be really obvious, but I feel like sometimes you forget to do the most obvious things until someone reminds you}.  I always start with the biggest batch of something on a Monday, so that we have leftovers for multiple days afterwards to get through the week.  Then I don’t have to worry about supplying lunches as much until later.  I often make a box of pasta on Wednesdays and that will last through the rest of the week if the other recipes don’t.  Voila, lunches for three for the week.

Fiesta Chicken Soup | Slow Cooker

So, getting back to it, the Monday meal usually ends up being something Mexican.  Like this soup.  Because I know that I {and the kid and the hubby} will eat it for multiple days in a row without complaining.  Or leaving it in the fridge and grabbing something else.

This recipe is pretty much as healthy as it gets, which is one of the awesome things about soups.  You can throw together a bunch of veggies, lean meat, some chicken broth and some spices and everyone will eat them by the spoonful without dissecting every little ingredient and only eating this part or that part.  Am I the only one who feels like they’re often rinsing plates with only the veggies left stuck to them?

Fiesta Chicken Soup | Slow Cooker

The other awesome thing about soups is…holy smokes it’s September tomorrow guys!  So I officially can make them without being that person who makes soup in the middle of the summer.  And if you’re not that person, save this one for another month or two, when the chill comes back into the air.  You’ll thank me then.

It was also absolutely delicious, and made a great amount of leftovers for us for the rest of the week.  So it was clearly a win, win.  Oh, and a throw in and go slow cooker recipe.  So win, win, win.

Fiesta Chicken Soup | Slow Cooker

 

Fiesta Chicken Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Starter
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts {I use frozen}
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 T preminced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, plus more to garnish
  • Optional: cilantro, avocado and light mexican blend cheese to garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except cilantro in the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  2. Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low {less if cooking with fresh chicken rather than frozen}
  3. Shred chicken with forks
  4. Stir in cilantro and let cook for another 5-10 minutes
  5. Serve hot, and top with cilantro, avocado, and cheese as desired.

Fiesta Chicken Soup | Slow Cooker

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