I know it has been a long time since I’ve done a blog post. Working 50-60 hours a week makes it hard to find time to blog, or do much of anything.
So finally here is a tasty chicken recipe, quick enough to be made on weeknights. Next I will need to be planning all the holiday food: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and Christmas cookies! I’ll probably need to run a marathon every week…
But anyways, back to the chicken. This Cheezy Cheez-it Chicken is similar to my Pepperoni Pizza Chicken, but has a completely different taste because the marinara and mozzarella are replaced with ranch dressing and colby cheese.
It all starts with a beautiful, crunchy crust of Cheez-it crackers. You can use any of the cheese flavors – cheddar, white cheddar, parmesan, four cheese, etc.
I didn’t want this chicken to be too dry, which is why I added the ranch dressing. The ranch adds a nice punch of flavor. I prefer Ken’s, but use whichever brand you like best.
Since we have cheese cracker coating, it is only fitting that we add some cheese on top. I used a colby-monterey jack blend, but cheddar would be good too.
No need to transfer the chicken to the oven or broiler. I just let the cheese melt in the pan over low heat for a few minutes. If you’re looking for a new chicken recipe, give this one a try. It is relatively quick and easy and has lots of flavor.
Cheezy Cheez-it Chicken
Tender chicken with a crunchy Cheez-it crust, topped with ranch dressing and shredded cheese.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or cutlets
- 1 Tb butter
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tb water
- salt & pepper
- 2 cups crushed Cheez-it crackers, any cheese flavor
- 4-8 Tb ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup shredded colby-monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- If using chicken breasts, slice the breasts horizontally and flatten them to the desired thickness (if using chicken cutlets, skip this step). Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Next, dip the chicken in the beaten egg mixed with water. Finally, dip both sides of the chicken in the crushed Cheez-it cracker crumbs (the finer your crumbs, the better they will stick). Let the coated chicken rest while preparing pan.
- Heat 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook the chicken on each side until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Make sure the first side is fully-browned and crispy before you flip it to the other side (this will make sure your coating stays adhered). Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes per side.
- Pour 1 or 2 Tb of ranch dressing on each chicken cutlet. Then top with the shredded cheese. Let the chicken stay in the pan over low heat for a few minutes until the cheese starts to melt, then serve.
The coming of fall and winter means it’s time to pull out the soup pot (even though it’s still close to 90 degrees in Georgia). This Lasagna Soup is flavorful and hearty, full of ground beef, cheese tortellini, tomatoes and spices. Bonus – it can be made in about 30 minutes. My daughter declared it one of my best recipes yet.
You start by sauteing some onions, then adding spices, tomatoes, and chicken broth. Your kitchen will start to smell amazing while it is simmering.
Using high quality tortellini is important. I used Buitoni brand from the refrigerated section of the supermarket, not dried tortellini.
Of course, what would lasagna be without cheese. Once ladled into the bowl, I topped this soup with a slice of mozzarella, which melts right into the soup. Yum!
A hearty soup full of ground beef, cheese tortellini, and tomatoes, topped with mozzarella cheese
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 cups cheese tortellini (fresh refrigerated, not dried)
- 1 Tb butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 ts basil, dried
- 1 ts parsley, dried
- 1/2 ts garlic, minced
- 1/2 ts Italian seasoning
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes
- 1 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 ts sugar
- 1 ts salt
- 1/4 ts pepper
- mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Crumble ground beef in a skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the basil, parsley, garlic and Italian seasoning. Pour in the chicken broth and stir. Crush the whole tomatoes (using your hands works best) and add to the soup. If the stewed tomatoes are large, chop them into smaller pieces and add them to the soup. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Add the cheese tortellini. Boil for 3 minutes or until the pasta is soft. Drain the grease from the ground beef and stir the meat into the soup.
- Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese.
We eat a lot of chicken at our house, so it’s good to have a lot of chicken recipes on hand. This is my version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, which is relatively simple.
First, I bread chicken cutlets and brown them in a cast iron skillet.
Next, I dot the chicken breasts with a pat of butter, so that the chicken doesn’t get too dry and the swiss cheese gets extra melty.
Swiss cheese, Canadian bacon, and more Swiss cheese top it off,
A brief transfer to a hot oven and the cheese melts to blanket the chicken.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Breaded chicken cutlets topped with Swiss cheese and Canadian bacon
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
- 3 Tb butter
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1 Tb milk
- salt & pepper
- 1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
- 4 slices Canadian bacon
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, beat the milk with the egg. Dredge the chicken cutlets in flour, then dip in the beaten egg, and then coat both sides with breadcrumbs.
- Heat 2 Tb butter and 2 Tb olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook the chicken on both sides until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, cook the Canadian bacon in a small skillet over medium heat until slightly browned.
- Top each chicken cutlet with a small pat of butter. Lay a slice of Swiss cheese on each cutlet, followed by a piece of Canadian bacon, and another piece of Swiss cheese. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake for 3-5 until the cheese has fully melted. Remove from the oven and serve.
I love, love, love nachos, and I’ve come to love chicken nachos more than the ground beef variety. The flavors and textures of salty, crunchy tortilla ships, spiced, shredded chicken, and gooey, melted cheese, come together so nicely.
Using pre-cooked chicken makes these nachos quick and easy. I season and roast bone-in chicken breast in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. Then I shred the meat and place portions into freezer bags for later, which can be used for soups, nachos, tacos, sandwiches, chicken and dumplings, the list goes on…
Of course, what would nachos be without lots of cheese? For chicken nachos, I use pepper jack, Monterey jack, and mozzarella – all soft cheeses that melt well and provide extra gooey-ness.
For some extra spice, you can add sliced or pickled jalapenos. Or if you prefer your nachos more cheesy and less spicy, you can omit them (like my daughter’s preference on the left).
Either way, they will be delicious!
Nachos topped with shredded chicken, cheeses, and jalapenos.
506 calories per serving
- 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 ts garlic, minced
- 1/2 ts salt
- 1/4 ts cumin
- 1 Tb hot sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 ts olive oil
- 8-10 oz. tortilla chips
- cooking spray
- 4 oz. pepper jack cheese, sliced
- 4 oz. Monterey jack cheese, sliced
- 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. Colby Monterey jack cheese blend, shredded
- sliced or pickled jalapenos
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch pan generously with cooking spray.
2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shredded chicken and chopped onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender. Add the taco seasoning, garlic, salt, cumin, and water. Stir in the hot sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off, but not all. You want the meat to be a little juicy.
3. Spread the tortilla chips in the 9×13 pan. Layer the sliced pepper jack and Monterey jack over the nachos. Top with the chicken mixture. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheeses on top, along with sliced jalapenos. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Since my Sticky Garlic Chicken is so good, I decided to pour the sauce onto some tender meatballs. The result – tasty!
This dish is spicier than the chicken version because I added crushed red pepper to the meatballs. If you prefer a milder version, you can omit the spice. I baked these meatballs in the oven on parchment paper to eliminate the grease.
While the meatballs are baking, you have time to make the sauce. This sauce is so amazing – what else could I put it on?
Once the tender meatballs come out of the oven, just toss them with the sauce and serve!
Sticky Garlic Meatballs
Tender meatballs tossed in sticky garlic sauce.
354 calories per serving
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 ts minced garlic
- 1/2 ts dried minced onion
- 1/2 ts salt
- 1/4 ts pepper
- 1/4 ts crushed red pepper
- 1 Tb soy sauce
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
- 3 Tb dark brown sugar
- 2 ts sriracha sauce
- 1 ts sesame oil
- 1/4 ts salt
- 2 ts minced garlic
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tb cornstarch
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 1 ts vegetable or canola oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. Crumble ground beef into a large bowl. Add all of the remaining meatball ingredients and mix well (mixing with your hands works best). Form into meatballs and place onto sheet pan. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.
3. While meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce. Heat the vegetable or canola oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and dark brown sugar. Stir in the salt. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into 1/4 cup cold water. Add to the sauce mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat off and stir in the green onions.
4. When the meatballs have finished baking, transfer them to a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Serve with white rice, fried rice, or rice pilaf.