Cheater Chicken Parmesan

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Our clan was busy busy visiting family, opening gifts, eating, (#priorities), etc. This truly is “the most wonderful time of the year” in my opinion!

Today, I have a simple and scrumptious recipe for you. And the best part is… it only requires 4 ingredients! You’re welcome.

The secret of this recipe is in the name, Cheater Chicken Parmesan. I cheated with this recipe by using frozen, breaded chicken tenders instead of breading and frying my own. This dinner comes together so quick by using prepared chicken. Don’t knock it until you try it (I did it for you and can already tell you its awesome!).

Husbands and kids alike will LOVE this dish! Try it out this week.

Have a Happy New Year!

Cheater Chicken Parmesan

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Frozen, breaded chicken strips (I used a few strips from the Kroger brand 25 oz. bag)
  • 1 jar Marinara sauce (I used Barilla brand)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 lb. spaghetti
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, etc. to taste

Directions

  1. Cook desired amount of chicken strips according to package directions.
  2. In a large pot, boil spaghetti according to package directions.
  3. In a small sauce pan, add your marinara and desired seasonings.
  4. When chicken is ready, top with a spoonful of marinara and sprinkle with mozzarella.
  5. Broil chicken strips for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve spaghetti topped with extra marinara and chicken strips.
Advertisements

Simple Grilled Chicken Marinade

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all  had a great weekend. Last week was jam-packed for us, and I was feeling under the weather most of the week. Thankfully, I had a much better weekend! And we got in some great family time.

Not to mention, Friday my husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage – woot woot! That’s an achievement in my book lol. I have so enjoyed doing life with my husband! He is my perfect match, and an awesome daddy to our little girl. Love you babe!

But, back to our busy week discussion… It seems most of our weeks this summer have been busy, but you know, I’m OK with that! We couldn’t afford to take a “summer vacation” this year, so our weekends have mainly consisted of swimming and grilling out. And that’s really made for a great summer!

Our daughter is 2 1/2 and she’s been LOVING the water. We’ve been putting a swim jacket on her in the pool, and encouraging her to swim on her own. Its taken a few weeks, but last weekend she finally let go and swam without our help! She would get so nervous when you let go of her hand or if she knew you weren’t holding onto her. But for whatever reason, after we put some goggles on her she just went for it. I don’t know if they made her feel more secure, but she hasn’t needed us since to swim! Either way, I’m excited she’s not scared of the water and has enjoyed herself. I really feel that even if you can’t afford to take a long vacation somewhere, if you make the time you spend with family feel special, that’s all that matters.

As I mentioned, another thing we’ve done a lot of this summer is grilling. And one of our favorite things to grill is chicken! As a kid, I wasn’t a big fan of grilled chicken because it always seemed dry and didn’t have much flavor. I love chicken, but cooking it on the grill was not my favorite when I was younger.

I think the key to delicious grilled chicken is to marinade it first. Even if its just for a few minutes, having a sauce or a rub on it before grilling really gives it flavor and keeps the inside moist.

This Simple Grilled Chicken Marinade that I do is delicious, and really is what the title says – simple! It requires just a handful of ingredients, most of which are probably in your kitchen already.

So, if you’re in need of more flavor for your grilled chicken, then try this recipe out!

Have a great week!

 

Simple Grilled Chicken Marinade

*Recipe makes enough marinade for 4 large chicken breasts*

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Whisk all ingredients in a medium to large bowl (that comes with a lid).
  2. Add chicken to bowl and mix well, massaging marinade into chicken as you mix.
  3. I suggest letting the chicken marinade for at least 30 minutes before grilling.*
  4. We grill our chicken on high heat for about 15 minutes. But use an internal thermometer if you’re unsure – be sure if reads at least 165 degrees before removing the chicken.

*Note: You can also bake the chicken after marinading if you prefer. Grilling just keeps the house cool during hot summer days!

Meal Prep: Balsamic Chicken & Veggie Pasta

I’m really getting good with my weekend meal prepping. It seems to be getting easier for me to follow through with it, which is great since I know its saving us money!

If you like to meal prep, I cannot recommend doing sheet pan meals enough! It is such a time saver and makes for easy clean-up. Sheet pan meals are a big thing right now, which I’m sure you know if you’re on Pinterest.

My usual meal prep includes chicken, veggies, rice, and some sort of Asian-inspired sauce. This past week, however, I decided to mix things up. I was inspired by this post and this post to do a pasta dish with a balsamic sauce. And I’m so glad I did!

This pasta dish is filling, but also seems light – like a pasta salad – from the sauce and veggies. There was a bit more clean-up than I would usually prefer, but it was worth it! Tip: If you try this recipe, be sure and read all the way through before beginning to get an idea of what prep work you’ll need to do.

I used red bell pepper and broccoli in this recipe, as those are two of our faves and are easy to roast in the oven. But, feel free to use whatever veggies you like! Just know the balsamic sauce is tangy and sweet, so you want veggies that pair well with it.

If you meal prep, I would highly suggest trying this recipe out! It makes enough for my husband and I to have prepared lunches for most of the week. Obviously, you could also make this for your family for dinner, or half the recipe if there’s just two of you. Options here, people!

Maybe I’ll eventually post my Asian-inspired dish that I often meal prep as well. You need variety sometimes 🙂

Enjoy friends!

 

Balsamic Chicken & Veggie Pasta

Servings: 6 (good-sized portions)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil for sauce + more for cooking
  • 2 tsp. each salt and pepper + more for taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. On a large sheet pan, spread out your red bell pepper and broccoli in an even layer. Drizzle 2 tbsp. olive and sprinkle 1 tsp. each salt and pepper over veggies. Mix them up with your hands to coat all the veggies.
  3. Roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes (Note: I only do 15 min. because it keeps the veggies a little crisp).
  4. While the veggies roast, heat a large skillet on medium high with 2 tbsp. olive oil.
  5. While the oil is heating, boil the water for your pasta – cook according to the package, drain, and set aside until the chicken is finished.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, honey, light brown sugar, and a little salt and pepper.
  7. When your oil is warm (it will sort of be rippling when you look at it), add in your diced chicken and sprinkle with 1 tsp. each salt and pepper, plus more for taste if needed. After about 5 minutes, turn your chicken and pour in half of the balsamic sauce (It will bubble up for a bit, but that’s normal!). Cook for about 3 more minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside, then turn off your heat.
  8. When the veggies and pasta are done, add them into the pan with the chicken. Pour in the rest of your balsamic sauce and stir the mixture.
  9. Serve for dinner with crusty bread, or divide into well-sealed meal prep bowls (Note: Let the meal prep bowls cool completely before refrigerating).