Chicken Enchilada Soup

It’s just barely September and I’m ready for fall. I’m ready for warm soups and stews, comfort food like meatloaf and pasta. Unfortunately, the weather here doesn’t agree with me. With the exception of a couple of cool days following some storms, it’s still been 90+ degrees pretty regularly.

But I don’t care. I’ve been craving soup. And the moment I told my hubby that we were having Chicken Enchilada Soup for dinner, at 3pm, he couldn’t stop asking when it was going to be ready. We really enjoy this recipe, one that I had found last year and never got around to photographing. It’s quick and easy. It’s healthy, even when I deviate from original recipe (minus the tortilla chips). It’s adaptable – use up leftover veggies, add extra chicken for a heartier soup, add extra kick with an additional chipotle. Make it your own. And it freezes beautifully – important for me this past week, as I was making a double batch so that I could deliver some to friends with a newborn.

Below, I included both directions for making this in a crock pot as well as making it on the stove-top.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Adapted from Skinny Taste

Serves 6

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 c. low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce*
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro or 3 Tbs. freeze-dried cilantro
  •  15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 to 3 skinless chicken breasts – raw for the crock pot or cooked & shredded (roughly 3 c. if you’re using leftover chicken) for the stove-top
  • Optional toppings: additional cilantro, scallions, shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips

* Tip: Freeze extra chipotles in ziplock baggies for future use. One or two chipotles in a bag, and they defrost in 5 minutes or so on the counter.

Directions for the Crock Pot:

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat oil. When hot, add onion, garlic, and chipotle. Saute until soft and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

While above is cooking, add remaining ingredients to a crock pot. Then add onion saute. Give a quick stir, ensuring that the chicken breasts are completely covered. Cover crock pot and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Remove chicken from crock pot and shred with a fork. Return to crock pot. Give a quick stir, and cook on high heat for 5-10 minutes, just long enough to warm up the chicken (if it cooled while shredding) and the soup (if it switched to low heat after cooking for the 4-6 hours).

Directions for the Stove-Top:

In a large pot over medium-low heat, heat oil. When hot, add onion, garlic, and chipotle. Saute until soft and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (including cooked, shredded chicken) to a saucepan. Give a quick stir. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, until soup is hot and flavors have melded together.

Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

Sloppy Joes

I’m not feeling very inspired to write today. Maybe it’s because me and sloppy joes don’t really have a history. I had them at my in-law house one of the first times I went home with my hubby. Something about this recipe struck me and I ended up loving it. I think it’s the slight tang of the sauce. Sloppy joes quickly became a regular in our weeknight menu – it’s healthy & filling; it comes together pretty quickly; and it’s one of my favorite leftovers to take to work. Enjoy!

Above, served with mixed berry salad with vanilla syrup.

Sloppy Joes

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave p. 91

Makes 6-8 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded & small diced
  • 1-15.5 oz. can low-sodium red beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 1/2 c. no salt added tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. unsulfured molasses
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 8 burger buns or sandwich thins for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, brown meat and onions until meat is mostly browned.
  2. Remove drippings from pan – pour or use a turkey baster to remove them – and add bell pepper and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, minus the burger buns. Cook for another 5 minutes until flavors meld together.

Serve on burger buns or sandwich this.

Make ahead and reheat in a crock-pot on low for 2-4 hours.

Nutrition: 1/2 c. of the sloppy joe mixture is 220 calories and will yield a full 8 servings.

Chicken Enchiladas

Finally – a break from desserts and some savory food! And a healthy recipe at that!

These chicken enchiladas were a treat for my hubby. I had never made enchiladas before, mostly because I always thought they were a bit too cheesy or creamy for my taste. However, I loved these – made with a chipotle tomato sauce, chicken, and veggies. I’ve made them a couple times now. As noted below, I usually use larger tortillas than the recipe calls for, so bulk up the filling with extra veggies (usually bell peppers or mushrooms), in order to keep the nutrition facts similar to the original recipe (about 250 calories per enchilada!). I make a big batch of these on the weekend, and then hubby and I heat them up for lunch or dinner during the busy week. They’re even better leftover!

Chicken Enchiladas

Adapted from Gina’s Skinny Recipes

Makes 4 servings (8 enchiladas)

Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbs. chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (1-2 chipotles), minced
  • 1-1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Enchiladas:

  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1 c. diced onion
  • 2 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 8 (7-inch) tortillas*
  • 1 c. shredded low fat Mexican cheese
  • 1/2 c. chopped scallions or cilantro for topping

* The original recipe called for 8 7-inch reduced carb whole wheat tortillas (at 50 calories each… so that each enchilada would be about 160 calories). I used 8-10 inch whole wheat tortillas (at 130 calories each). Each enchilada was about 250 calories.

Make the Sauce:

  1. Spray a medium sauce pan with cooking spray. Over medium heat, saute garlic until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make the Filling:

  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil. Add onions and garlic, sauteing until soft. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Make the Enchiladas & Bake:

  1. While the chicken mixture is cooking, preheat oven to 400 and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. When chicken mixture is ready, place 1/3 c. chicken mixture into each tortilla. Roll it, and place it in prepared baking dish, seam side down.
  3. Cover with sauce and top with cheese.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, covering with aluminum foil if the top starts to burn.

Serve topped with scallions or cilantro, and if desired, sour cream. Serve with rice.

Apple Almond Chicken Salad #AppleWeek

Chicken tossed with sweet apple, tangy homemade mayo and topped with slivered almonds for a nice crunch, this Apple Almond Chicken Salad will get anyone out of a lunch rut!

Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Disclaimer #1: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

Disclaimer #2: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link and purchase, I make a very small percentage (at no additional cost to you!) which goes towards maintenance of this blog. Thanks for your support!

This post was updated in September 2017 for #AppleWeek.

Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Welcome to Day 2 of #Appleweek, hosted by Carlee of Cooking with Carlee. The week started off strong with my recipe for mulled cider as well as a giveaway with prize packs from our fabulous sponsors. You can head over here to read about the prize packs. Then scroll to the bottom of this post – leave a comment on this post (and any other #AppleWeek post published today) to get an extra entry. Share the giveaway via Twitter for another extra entry.

When I was little, my mom spoiled me. She worked nights, sleeping in the morning and up by lunchtime. That meant that almost every day, Mom made me a hot lunch. No sandwiches for me and my brothers. We got pierogis and potato pancakes and mini pizzas. To this day, I still prefer a hot lunch to sandwiches. I usually resort to leftovers, soups, and frozen meals.

That being said, this chicken salad is one of the more traditional lunch items that has made it into my lunch rotation. I originally made it for a pig-in at work and loved it. The apples made the salad slightly sweet, distinguishing it from other chicken salad recipes. The mayo is tangy and homemade – but don’t let that scare you. It is easy to make and can be done in minutes. But my favorites part of this chicken salad is the almonds – I loved the crunch that the nuts given to the salad. I’ve enjoyed this chicken salad for lunch several ways: straight-up, on and English muffin and toasted bread, and on a green salad. However you choose to serve it, it won’t disappoint.

Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Adapted from The Pastry Queen p. 158-159

Yields enough for 4-6 sandwiches or salads

Ingredients for the Mayo:

Makes 1 1/2 cups of mayo

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 2/3 c. vegetable oil

Ingredients for the Chicken Salad:

  • 12 oz. cooked, shredded (or diced) chicken breasts, cooled
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 c. diced red onion
  • 1 Tbs. minced chives
  • 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. homemade mayo
  • kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. slivered blanched almonds, toasted

Make the Mayo: In a food processor, combine eggs, yolk, salt, pepper, mustard, and lemon juice. With the mixer still running, pour oil into the plunger in the feed tube, so that oil gets added slowly and consistently. Mixture should be ready just after oil is done, or a minute after. It will be thick, but but yet mayo consistency. That came after refrigerating mayo for a couple of hours.

Store mayo in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Make the Chicken Salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken, apple, onion, chives and parsley. Add just enough mayo to bind the salad, 1/2 – 3/4 c. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate until serving. Add almonds just before serving so that they don’t lose their crunch.

Serve on a roll, bread, English muffin (my favorite), croissant or salad, as desired.

Chicken tossed with sweet apple, tangy homemade mayo and topped with slivered almonds for a nice crunch, this Apple Almond Chicken Salad will get anyone out of a lunch rut!

Enter to win one of our awesome #AppleWeek prizes here:a Rafflecopter giveaway

And finally, more drool-worthy apple recipes to celebrate #AppleWeek

Apple Almond Butter Manchego Grilled Cheese from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Apple Almond Chicken Salad from Books n’ Cooks
Apple Bacon Jam from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Apple Cinnamon Rolls from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Apple Fritter Pie from Dad What’s 4 Dinner
Apple Nachos from Simple and Savory
Apple Pecan Chicken Salad from The Chef Next Door
Apple Turnovers from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Applesauce Cake with Soft Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting from Cooking With Carlee
Autumn Apple Sipper from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Bavarian Apple Oatmeal Streusel Cheesecake from All That’s Jas
Caramel Apple Cupcakes from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Grilled Apple Tossed Salad from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Mini Apple Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping from Family Around the Table
Nutmeg Apple Conserve from Feeding Big
Red Cabbage with Apple from Palatable Pastime
Roasted Apple and White Cheddar Soup from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Sauerkraut & Sausage with Apples from House of Nash Eats

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

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Chicken Cobb Pizza

Did you ever have a meal at a friend’s house, and instantly, the meal became one of your favorites? It’s that dish you immediately try to work into your weekly menu, and immediately start nagging your friend for the recipe… For me, this Chicken Cobb Pizza went straight into the favorites list, from the moment I tried it at K’s house. I’ve made it a couple of times since then, and have begged K to make it when we get together (including for “lunch” at 9am, 10 miles into our Sunday morning walks).

This pizza is pretty healthy in general (the original Pampered Chef recipe, using 1-10 oz. can chicken, says that two squares of this pizza is only 300 calories), but can be made even better for you with reduced-fat versions of the ingredients and even more veggies.

Thanks to K for sharing this great recipe!

Chicken Cobb Pizza

Adapted from Pampered Chef’s Clubhouse Chicken Squares

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2-8 oz. pkg. crescent rolls
  • 1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped (or 1 tsp. Pampered Chef All-Purpose Dill Mix or dried dill)
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked chicken, chopped/diced
  • 1/2 small cucumber, seeded and chopped/diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bacon or turkey bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled

Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 375F.

Unroll one of package of crescent rolls on a baking sheet, with the longest sides of the dough running the length of the pan. With your fingers, seal in the perforations. Press the sides to form a crust.Repeat on a second baking sheet with the second roll of crescent rolls.

Back 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

Make the “Sauce”: In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, mayo, garlic and dill. If the cream cheese isn’t soft enough to mix thoroughly, throw in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.

Assemble the Pizza: When the crust is cooled, spread the dill mixture on top of each crust. Layer chicken, bacon, veggies, and cheese.

Note for preparing in advance: The “sauce” can be made in advance. If it sits overnight, it will be come very garlicky. Also, if put together far in advance, the shredded cheese tends to dry out. Sprinkle cheese on pizza as close to serving as possible.