Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:
chicken (I usually use 5 – 6 frozen chicken tenderloins as we usually have those on hand, but you could use any type of chicken)
16 oz bag frozen veggies
1 c. milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
Topping:
1 c. milk
1 c. Bisquick
1 stick butter, melted

Boil chicken. Tear into pieces (or use your kitchen aid mixer to shred. Simply put cooked chicken in mixer and use regular mixing attachment. so easy!) Add chicken to 9×13 pan. Add veggies. Combine 1 c. milk and 1 c. cream of chicken soup and mix into veggies. Combine additional 1 c. milk, bisquick, and melted butter and pour evenly over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

This chicken pot pie recipe is neither super healthy or super fancy. But it is super easy and super tasty. In fact, Brian and I once had a cook-off in which I made an incredibly intricate lasagna with all sorts of expensive ingredients and he faced off with this chicken pot pie recipe and won. So, maybe its the preservatives or the stick of butter but people love this recipe. We don’t make it often as we try to eat healthy, but its a go-to when I need to feed a lot of people quickly and cheaply. Definitely a crowd pleaser!

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Castellane Pasta with Marscapone and Grape Tomatoes

Ingredients:

2 pints grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 lb castellane pasta or medium (regular) shells
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese (from a 1-lb container)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
1/4 cup minced fresh chives

Directions:
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil and butter foil.

Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in pan and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast until slightly plumped, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water , stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking water, then drain pasta well and transfer to a large bowl. Add mascarpone and stir until melted. Add reserved cooking water, tomatoes, half of parmesan, 3 tablespoons chives, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and toss well, then cool to warm.

Butter a 3-quart (13- by 9-inch) gratin or other shallow baking dish. Toss pasta mixture again, then spoon into gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over top. Bake pasta until golden and bubbly, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon chives.

I got this recipe from Laura Beals. It is a great recipe when you are having dinner guests because you can make ahead and have everything cleaned up before your guests arrive. Plus it is absolutely delicious! I’ve never been able to find Castellane pasta, so I just use small shells. Also you can substitute a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream if you can’t find marscapone cheese. The original recipe can be found here.

Southwestern Casserole

Ingredients:

1 package (7 ounces) elbow macaroni
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

Directions
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture.
Transfer to two greased 2-qt. baking dishes. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and heated through. Serve one casserole. Cool the second casserole; cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Cover and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

This is a quick and easy casserole that is great for the freezer. This Taste of Home recipe actually makes 2 casseroles so you can eat one and freeze one. I got this recipe from a cooking party I went to where we made meals to stock up the freezer. It is so tasty that it doesn’t last long, even though it makes a 9×13. We don’t often make hamburger meals, but you could definitely substitute ground turkey.

Mexican Bean Casserole

Ingredients:
1 c. dry rice
1 pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can creamed corn
1 jar salsa
1 t cumin
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste
1 clove garlic
1 t crushed red pepper
1 box Jiffy corn bread with eggs, milk, etc, or other cornbread recipe

Cook rice in pot according to directions. In fry pan, saute onions, garlic, peppers. Add beans, corn, and salsa. Add spices. Add cooked rice. Transfer to 9 x 13 pan.
Mix cornbread according to package instructions, and pour over top.
Cook in oven according to cornbread directions – about 15 minutes at 350 or until cornbread is done.

I definitely love Mexican food. It is a weekly staple in our house. The recipe came from my mom. She made this one night when we were visiting. I did my best to re-create the deliciousness. This makes great leftovers too! One of the best things for us is that it is dairy free, something that is hard to find with Mexican food!

You could also use this Jalepeno corn bread recipe on top.