Asking my husband to go out and grab something from our “Redneck freezer,” is asking for a talking to, but I did it anyhow. Yes, that freezer is so stuffed, that when he went out, I prayed the chicken would be right near the top, or his frustration level would be sky high.
It wasn’t. Near the top, that is.
He had to dig through the blocks of thawed and then refrozen ice… in our redneck freezer… in our shed… in the winter. Not a recipe for cozy delight.
As he returned, he eyed me, “You need to do another one of those things. You know that thing where you don’t shop for the month and we eat up everything we already have, but never use? You’ve done it the last few January’s?”
I sighed, “You mean my Pantry Challenge?”
“Yep, I NEED too. I just don’t think I WANT too.”
So as I get up the motivation to do what I NEED to do, my Pantry and Freezer Challenge, even though I don’t WANT too, I’ll share a recipe that I always start with since I certainly have those ingredients in the house.
It’s my test drive. I use recipes like this a lot during the winter, since I don’t have to “think” much when I make it. It always tastes good, and I can throw in extra ingredients, like some more veggies, if I am trying to use them up. Since I follow my 10 Minute Dinner philosophy, I already have chicken cooked and baggied up in my freezer (read “Cooking Chicken in Bulk“), as well as some chopped onions, it’s only a matter of thawing those, throwing them into my skillet and continuing from that point in the recipe.
As you look at the list of ingredients, don’t gasp when you see Velveeta. I don’t cook with it on a regular basis, but one of my favorite appetizers consists of sausage, salsa, Velveeta and Cream Cheese.
Yep, it’s completely sinful and addicting. We only have it a couple times a year, but it is football season, so that one needs to be made. It’s tradition. Velveeta just melts so creamy in this casserole, but you may easily substitute real cheese and “healthify (my word) it. If substituting real cheese, which I often do, mix in some softened cream cheese or cooking cream to give it that creamy texture.
This yummy casserole has just enough zip to it that it gives a perfect twist on the tradition spaghetti. Make sure and double this for another meal, since it freezes and reheats well.
Recipe: Western Chicken Spaghetti
Summary: This creamy Western Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is the perfect comfort food casserole With just a slight zip, it’s a great twist on traditional spaghetti.
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed *
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic (or tablespoon of minced garlic) * optional
- 1/3 package Velveeta (or equivalent generic substitute)
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or any flavor)
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1 can milk
- 6 to 8 servings spaghetti ( To cook this within the 10 minute time frame, use thin spaghetti)
- shredded cheddar
*Pre-cooked Rotiserrie chicken cuts down the time, but hopefully, you already have your bulk chicken cooked and waiting for you.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Thaw chicken, then cut into bit sized cubes if not already done from a previous Power cooking session.
- Chop onion, and set aside.*
- In a nonstick skillet, cook chicken in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until no longer pink.*
- Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook thin spaghetti in a stock pot according to package instructions.
- Drain and set aside.
- Saute the onion and garlic in the butter in the Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Stir and cook until onions are tender. Add the Velveeta (or cream cheese), and stir until melted.
- Add the soup, tomatoes and chiles, garlic salt, seasoned salt, pepper, and milk.
- Heat through, stirring frequently.
- Add the chicken and spaghetti, stirring thoroughly to combine.
- Pour mixture into 9×13 casserole dish, and top with shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake in oven at 350° for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Dish out and serve hot.
*Following the 10 Minute Dinner philosophy, the chicken will already by cooked, and onions diced, so begin at step 6. While the spaghetti is cooking, saute onion and garlic, and continue recipe from there.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6