Healthy Pesto Chicken Bake

Another great twist on chicken parm. Turning the red sauce into pesto and adding fresh tomatoes makes this American classic easy to enjoy guilt-free!

Healthy Pesto Chicken Bake

healthy pesto chicken bake

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Prepared Pesto
  • 1-2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Trim the chicken and lay them in a glass baking dish in a single layer.
  2. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the pesto on top of each chicken breast.
  3. Cut the roma tomatoes into slices approx 1/2″ thick and lay 2 slices on top of each chicken breast.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the chicken breasts.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is done and the juices run clear.
  6. Serve over a bed of rice or a plate of pasta. Enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.thepinningmama.com/2014/09/21/easy-dinner-recipe-italian-chicken-bake/

Advertisements

Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole

I took my 4 favorite ingredients and put them into 1 casserole for a delicious dish, and vuala!

Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole

loaded sweet potato casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 -3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil (or 1/4 olive oil, and 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 lb shredded brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chives

Directions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Cube the sweet potatoes and add them into a bowl. Mix in the garlic olive oil, rosemary, and thyme. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes at 500 degrees.

Meanwhile, shred the brussels sprouts. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and heat up the brussels sprouts until they become a bright green color and start to soften. Set the brussels sprouts aside and add the chicken to that same pan. Heat up the chicken until cooked through.

Once the sweet potatoes come out of the oven, reduce the oven to 350 degrees.

Now it’s time to layer up! In an oven safe casserole dish layer the chicken, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts. Add crumbled goat cheese on top, along with the mozzarella. Sprinkle the chives on top of the whole dish.

Bake your casserole for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted, at 350 degrees.

loaded sweet potato casserole-2
(I like to add a little hot sauce to my serving for extra heat. I used Sambal chili paste for the perfect bite!)

Recipe source: http://www.food.com/recipe/loaded-potato-and-buffalo-chicken-casserole-493413

Cheesy Greek-Style Baked Quinoa

This healthy quinoa bake is so good you won’t even realize how healthy it is! Plus it is so easy to make with simple ingredients that wont break the bank. It’s the perfect healthy comfort food!

Cheesy Greek-Style Baked Quinoa

 cheesy greek style baked quinoa

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Cooked Quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cup Fat Free Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Reduced Fat Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 cup Chopped Spinach
  • 1 cup Diced Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the quinoa as directed.  While quinoa cooks, dice cherry tomatoes and chop spinach leaves, then set aside.  Next, in food processor combine feta, skim milk, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley, blending until smooth.
  2. When ready, cherry tomatoes and spinach into quinoa, plus 1 tbsp oil, stirring well.  Pour over with feta sauce, then season with onion powder and salt & pepper, combining thoroughly.
  3. Transfer mixture to oven safe casserole dish, spreading evenly.  Top with mozzarella, then bake at 400F for 15 minutes until top has melted.  Immediately plate and serve.

Recipe source: http://cookingwithcakes.com/cheesy-greek-style-baked-quinoa/

Pesto Pasta Bake

I have been really into bakes lately and this one is one of my favorites. The original recipe has you making your own pesto, but with my busy schedule I just used pre-made pesto. The best thing about bakes is that you can add whatever you have on hand to make this dish suitable to your tastebuds. You can add artichokes, different cheeses, a different tubular pasta, really whatever you have on hand.
Pesto Pasta Bake
pesto pasta bake
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. whole wheat rigatoni
  • 2-3 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups of chopped spinach
  • ½ cup pasta water
  • ½ cup shredded cheese of choice (I used mozzarella)
  • pesto (as much or as little as you like)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop up the tomatoes and spinach and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cooked noodles with the chopped tomatoes, pesto, and a little pasta water if it needs to be more saucy. I usually had enough pesto to coat all the pasta. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Recipe source: http://pinchofyum.com/healthy-baked-pesto-rigatoni

Chicken Parm Casserole

As it gets closer to fall, I am excited for all the comfort food that will come with it! Here is one of my favorites. This one is for those who like chicken parmesan but are annoyed with how long it takes. Here is a quick, healthy twist on your favorite.

My husband and I love having wine and cheese nights. When we do, I like to shop in the gourmet cheese section and get a variety of gourmet cheeses to try. I luckily had a block of truffle cheese left over and thought I would use it in this dish. I didn’t have enough of the yummy cheese to cover the dish, so I added shredded mozzarella that I had on hand.

 Chicken Parm Casserole

Chicken Parm Casserole

Ingredients

-Chicken, cut into strips or bite size (I buy chicken pre-cooked to save time)
-2 cups tomato sauce
-2 cups shredded mozzarella (or any kind of grated cheese)
-Pasta (optional)
-hot sauce (optional)
I used a little bit of my favorite Sambal chile paste in the sauce to add a little spice. You can also use red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy dish.

Directions

If you are including pasta in your dish, you’ll want to start by boiling water and cook the pasta el dente.

If you are not, you will want to start the layering process:
-Spray a casserole dish with oil, or butter
-Add the cooked chicken to the bottom of the dish (pasta would go before the chicken if you are adding pasta)
-On top of the chicken, spread an even layer of tomato sauce (and hot sauce if you prefer)
-On top of the sauce, layer your shredded cheese
-Drizzle the cheese with olive oil (I used garlic infused olive oil to give it a little more flavor) to create a cheesy crust. And feel free to add more cheese if you like 🙂

Put the casserole dish in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese melts, approximately 10 minutes.

© 2014 Life Of a Russians Wife

Quinoa with Cheese and Herbs

This is my new favorite comfort food. It’s healthy, it’s cheesy, but most importantly its easy and delicious! The original recipe called for farro, but I couldn’t find that in my grocery store so I substituted it for quinoa, which is great and adds protein to this simple dish. Call it an adult mac and cheese if you must!

Quinoa with Cheese and Herbs

Quinoa with Cheese and Herbs

 

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa, with 2 cups water
2 cups (8 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar
2 cups (8 ounces) grated mozzarella
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (about 5 ounces) 1/2-inch thick slices multi-grain or whole-grain bread, preferably 1 day old, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Butter, for baking dish

Directions

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Quinoa: In a pot, bring the quinoa, water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the quinoa is cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Fluff once the water has evaporated.

Filling: In a large bowl mix together the cheeses, milk, herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked quinoa and stir until coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Topping: Arrange the bread pieces on top of the farro mixture and drizzle liberally with olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes until the topping is golden. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/farro-with-cheese-and-herbs-recipe.html

Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls

I love spinach artichoke dip! This recipe is a smaller, bite size, version of spinach dip! It is spinach dip wrapped in bread…what is better than that!?

Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls

Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls

Ingredients
13.3 oz roll of refrigerated french bread loaf, I used Simply Pillsbury
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup light sour cream
2 Tablespoons fresh shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Ancho Chile Pepper (I used Chili Powder)
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Garlic Salt
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt (I used Kosher salt)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook and stir spinach until wilted, about 3 minutes then add garlic, cook and stir for another minute then turn heat off.

3. As the spinach and garlic cool down a bit, spray 10 regular muffin cups (can also use mini muffin tins) with non stick cooking spray.  Unroll package of french bread loaf and slice into 10 equal size slices, about 1 inch thick.  Press each slice into about a 3 inch round, I did this by pressing in between my hands.  Press into the bottom and up sides of the muffin cup.  Set aside.

4.  Mix cream cheese, sour cream, cooked spinach and garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Ancho Chili Powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.  Mix until well combined.  With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dip into each of the centers of bread bowls.  Top evenly with shredded cheese and bake for 15-17 minutes until just turning brown on edges.  Remove and let cool for 3-5 minutes before removing from oven.

Recipe Source: http://picky-palate.com/2011/01/31/baked-spinach-dip-mini-bread-bowls/

Caprese Panzanella Salad

Need a light, healthy, easy dish to bring to your next BBQ? This dish will be a hit on everyone’s palate! Buying ingredients that are already cut up, or the size you want them to be, makes this dish, and any, quicker to make. I used day old baguette slices to create my “croutons” for this salad. The best part about this recipe is that you can make as much or as little as you prefer of it, which is why the ingredients don’t have measurements.

Caprese Panzanella Salad

caprese panzanella salad

Ingredients

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Basil, chiffonade
  • Bread, any kind, cut in bite size pieces (It is best to use day old bread, or bread that is a little hard for this dish)
  • Italian dressing

Directions

Drain the mozzarella (if packed in water) and add them to a bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Chiffonade (or chop) the basil and add that to the bowl as well. Cut up bread into bite size pieces and add that into the bowl. Add just enough Italian Dressing to coat your salad. Toss and serve.

Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

This chicken recipe is like a stuffed chicken parm. The stuffing is definitely what makes this dish delish! The spinach-ricotta filling gives a unique twist to this classic dish. And rolling it up and stuffing it just makes it fun 🙂

Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

baked mozzarella chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 4-ounce pieces)
  • 1 cup whole wheat Italian style bread crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 clove minced garlic and olive oil for sauteeing
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup beaten egg whites (I used something similar to Egg Beaters)
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup marinara sauce

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

2. Prep the chicken: Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and pound the pieces until they are thin (for quick cooking and to make room for more filling).

3. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and set aside.

4. Prep the filling: Chop the spinach and saute it with the garlic and just a drizzle of olive oil for 2-3 minutes or until just barely wilted.

  • Combine the sauteed spinach with the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and 2-3 tablespoons of the egg whites. Place the remaining egg whites in a separate shallow bowl and set aside.

5. Assemble the chicken: Oil the bottom of a large baking dish. Put a spoonful of ricotta-spinach filling right in the middle and roll the chicken up so that the edges meet to form a “seam”.

  • Dip the entire chicken roll in egg whites, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Place in a baking dish, seam side down. Repeat for the remaining 7 pieces of chicken. Bake for 25 minutes.

6. Finishing touches: After 25 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through (white on the inside) and browned on the top. Cover the chicken with the marinara sauce and slices of fresh Mozzarella. Bake for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Recipe Source: http://www.lovewithrecipe.com/recipe/681.html

Basil Chicken Parm

Are you a fan of chicken parm? Then you have to try this recipe!

This recipe puts a new twist on chicken parm. Instead of using marinara sauce, it uses basil pesto! Mmm! Using the basil keeps this dish light, and if you make the pesto from scratch (super easy) it becomes that much more healthy!

Baked Basil Chicken Parm

basil chicken parm

Ingredients

  • 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Basil Pesto
  • 1/2 cup Low fat mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.

2. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken pieces, then cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces.

3. Spray a 9″ x 12″ (or 8.5″ X 12.5″) baking dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. Lay the chicken strips over the pesto, then spread 1/4 cup more basil pesto over the chicken.

4. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. (Don’t cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.)

5. When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese (or more!).

6. Put the dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted.

Recipe source: http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2013/11/baked-pesto-chicken/