Baked Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Casserole

I know I’ve been only posting sweet treats lately, but I promise we’ve been eating more than cake and muffins! I’ve been going back and making some old favorite meals and also planning meals around what I need to use from our freezer.

Back in March when I had my SRC assignment where I made pretzel-crusted pork chops from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks, I found this recipe and pinned it. I knew it was something that we all would enjoy and make enough for leftovers for lunches or another dinner. Things are going to get a little more hectic around here as Madeline starts swim lessons tomorrow night, so we’ll be having more quick meals than ones where we sit down and actually enjoy dinner. I’m sure things will only get more crazier as the kids get older and get involved in more activities!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breasts
2 cups mozzarella cheese
In a medium sauce pan, add the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes until fully cooked.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced onions and peppers. Saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 minutes to reduce slightly. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes and spices. Bring to a low boil to simmer.
Cook the chicken in a saucepan in an inch of water. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes on each side just until it’s cooked through. Remove and cut into bite sized pieces.
Add the diced chicken and quinoa into the tomato mixture. Stir to combine well.
In the prepared baking dish, layer half of the chicken and quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining chicken and quinoa mixture and then the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.

Baked Sausage with Roasted Vegetables

I’m guest posting over on The Secret Recipe Club! Check out my post about baked sausage with roasted vegetables. It’s a great recipe when you just want a quick and easy meal during the crazy holiday season!

Check it out here!

Spinach Artichoke and Chicken Casserole

I love spinach artichoke dip and this casserole totally reminded me of that! It’s comfort food all the way! I was surprised my daughter gobbled it up. She usually turns her nose up at artichokes but I cut them into bite sized pieces that I don’t think she even realized they were in there.

When you make this, get everything ready the day before – it needs to set overnight in the refrigerator. I didn’t read this step first before making it and had to put it off a day so I could let it sit. I ended up making in in the morning and let it sit for 6 hours during the day before I baked it. It came out fine!

Make sure you stop by tomorrow. I have a special announcement about an online bake sale where you can have a chance to bid on a dozen of my delicious double chocolate biscotti!

8 oz bow tie pasta
1 Tbsp butter
salt & pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
14 oz can quartered artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and wrung out with a dish towel
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain pasta and set aside. Spray a 9×13 glass dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and chicken, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle and the onions are translucent. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oregano and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Stir in the cheese, artichokes and frozen spinach. Combine the wet mixture with the pasta and chicken. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover the pan with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the wrapped dish into the oven for 20 minutes. While the casserole is baking, combine the bread crumbs, paprika and melted butter in a small bowl.

After 20 minutes of baking, remove the foil from the dish and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the casserole. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and toasty.

Source: Iowa Girl Eats

Meat Filled Jumbo Shells

Did you know today is “National America Makes Dinner Day?” I use Cozi  for our family calendar and I absolutely love it! It’s been great to keep our lives a little more organized (plus I’m working on a couple other projects to help with that) especially since Madeline started Kindergarten this year and there’s so many more activities we plan to participate in.

Cozi and Partnership for a Healthier America declared October 17th as America Makes Dinner Day. I’m always making dinner so this was an easy challenge for me! We’ll be eating meat filled jumbo shells for dinner tonight. What are you having for dinner tonight?

This is a super easy recipe and I love the combination of beef and pork. This recipes makes a lot so it’s perfect for freezing or leftovers!

1 box jumbo shells
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb ground pork
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
28 oz jar spaghetti sauce
grated parmesan cheese

Cook shells according to the package instructions. Cool in a single layer on wax paper to keep shells from sticking together.

Preheat oven to 350 degress. In a skillet, brown the pork and ground beef. Drain any excess grease. Add the cooked meat to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly. Combine the remaining ingredients with the meat except for the spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese.

On the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, spread a thin layer of sauce. Fille each shell with approximately 2 tablespoons of meat filling and place the shell in the pan. Continue until all the shells are filled. Pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the shells and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and make for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly!

Serve with a green salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

I had this recipe pinned for months and kept coming back to make it, but never got around to it until last week. Yes, I’m that far behind in blogging! This was a quick casserole to make especially when the chicken and rice are already cooked. I’m always trying to find recipes that use leftover chicken and this is a perfect one! We all loved it and something different than any of the other casseroles I’ve made before.  It’s definitely going on my make again list.

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

4 cups cooked brown rice
¾ cups frozen corn
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup low-fat sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
4 oz fluid can green chilies
½ cup salsa
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, plus more for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix together.  Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish and top with the extra cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.

Chili Relleno Casserole

Every year I grow anaheim peppers in my garden and I never know what to make with them. I try to figure out something but somehow I never can come up with anything good…until now. This was the perfect recipe to utilize the peppers and highlight their flavor. My daughter even ate it after I picked out the peppers, they were a little too spicy for her. I definitely know what I’ll be making when the next batch are ready to be picked!

3 – 5 Anaheim chilies
3 eggs
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp fat free sour cream
3 oz can sliced black olives, drained
2 cups low fatMexican blend cheese
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1 can green enchilada sauce

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rinse chilies and place on prepared baking sheet. Broil chilies for about 5 minutes on each side until skin is blacked. Your oven rack should be moved to the highest position closest to the heating element.

Remove from oven and place peppers in a resealable bag. Close bag and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove chilies from bag. Skin and remove the veins and sees from the chilies and cut into thin strips.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl. combine eggs, flour, sour cream, olives, salt and pepper. Mix to combine thoroughly. Set aside.

In your baking dish (I used a 2 qt casserole dish), prepare by coating with a non-stick spray. Add a layer of chilies. Add half of the egg mixture, 3/4 cup of cheese, 1/2 of the black beans, 1/2 of the ground beef and repeat layers once more or until all ingredients are used.

Top with the enchilada sauce and the remaining cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Source: Whisk and a Prayer

Chicken Spaghetti

I’ve had this recipe tagged in The Pioneer Woman Cooks recipe book since I received it as a gift from my friend Katey. It’s a pretty simple casserole to make and I took some short cuts and tried to make it healthier.

But I have to say…I wasn’t sold on it. We all could just taste the cream of mushroom soup and nothing else, but we all forced a plate of it down. I wasn’t going to throw out half a casserole, so we had leftovers for dinner tonight….and I must say, it’s much better as leftovers! Maybe it’s just one of those recipes that you freeze and reheat.

2 boneless chicken breasts, skin removed
1 pound thin whole wheat spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
4 oz jar diced pimientos, drained
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
2 cans fat-free cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tsp seasoned salt
fresh ground pepper
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Poach the chicken breasts in a large stock pot filled with water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken is cooked about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate to cool. Once cool, shred or cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.

In a separate pot, cook the spaghetti to al dente. Drain pasta and palce into a large bowl.

To the bowl, add the cream of mushroom soup and stir to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, onions, peppers and pimientos. Stir to combine. Season well with the seasoned salt and black pepper. Finally add the chicken and broth. Stir together until well combined.

Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until bubbly. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow sauce to thicken up.

Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Creamy Taco Mac

I’m still continuing trying to eat healthier and eliminating processed foods. This recipe is fairly healthy – I used fat free cream cheese and sour cream. It’s still nice and creamy and tastes great as a leftover too! It very similiar to Hamburger Helper, but uses ground turkey instead.
1.25 lbs ground turkey

1/2 onion, chopped

8 oz dry pasta + 1 cup reserved pasta water
1 16oz jar of salsa
4 Tbsp mild taco seasoning
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
salt & pepper
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese, plus more for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta per directions. Reserve one cup of pasta water.
Over medium heat, brown ground turkey until no longer pink. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add taco seasoning and salsa. Allow to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta, reserved water, cream cheese, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Give it a good stir until cheeses are melty and incorporated. Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, as desired. Top off with cheddar cheese for extra cheesy goodness

Green Bean & Artichoke Casserole

A twist on a traditional recipe. From the December 2008 issue of Everyday Food.

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch lengths
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups milk (I used skim milk – while the recipe calls for whole milk)
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts in water, drained, squeezed dry and quartered lengthwise
cayenne pepper
ground black pepper
6 slices bread, crusts removed, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degress. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beants until tender, 4 – 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Transfer 2 tablespoons to a medium bowl and set aside for breadcrumb topping. To remaining butter in pan, add flour and garlic; cook whisking 1 minute (do not let brown). Gradually whisk in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer; cook until sauce has thickened, 2 -3 minutes. Stir in green beans and artichoke hearts; season with salt, pepper and pinch of cayenne pepper. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Toss breadcrumbs with reserved melted butter; scatter over green bean mixture. Bake until crumbs are golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 10 -15 minutes.

Cheesy Rice, Broccoli & Chicken Casserole

I found this receipe on, but changed it slightly.

2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
1 3/4 cups water
1 lb chicken, cooked and cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup (or any cream soup)
1/2 cup milk
12 oz frozen broccoli (I used a frozen steamer bag and only partially cooked it in the microwave)
1 small onion, chopped
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Make rice according to package. Cook chicken in skillet seasoned with salt and pepper. Cube when slightly cooled.

In a 9×13 baking dish or deep dish pie pan, mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and broccoli is fully cooked. Stir halfway through baking to help the cheese melt evenly.