Chicken Enchilada Pasta Bake

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This recipe intrigued me.  It really is nothing like enchiladas except in the taste ~ and the taste is fantastic!

I found a couple of recipes for this dish and both were just a little different from the other but this particular recipe is the one I chose.  I did add a can of black beans just because I like them.   I did make my own enchilada sauce ~ recipe HERE! 

The recipe used up the entire jar of sauce I made so I remade it the next day so I could add some when I reheated it so the casserole wouldn’t totally dry out.  If you would prefer to use beef, I think it would work.

Chicken Enchilada Pasta Bake

Chicken Enchilada Pasta Bake

1 lb penne pasta, cooked and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 whole red onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 (8 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with chilis
1 pkg taco seasoning or use your own taco mix ~ I used HOT
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
2 can red enchilada sauce ~ or use THIS RECIPE
2 cups shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, for garnish
optional toppings like avocado, fresh, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onions and peppers until soft. Add the chopped chicken, can of tomatoes, salt and pepper, black beans, and taco seasoning and heat through. Add in 1 cup of the enchilada sauce and 1 cup of the cheese and mix. Remove from heat and add in all the penne and mix thoroughly.

Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Spoon the pasta mixture over the top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and remove cover. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese and return to oven, uncovered, to bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Top with your favorite toppings.

Makes 6 servings.

Chicken Enchilada Pasta Bake 2

Source:  Tasty Kitchen

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Very Easy Enchilada Sauce


I came across an enchilada pasta bake a few weeks ago on pinterest and along with that recipe was a recipe for enchilada sauce.  The ingredients were some that I already had in my pantry so I gave it a shot.  Anything is better than the stuff in the can.  It was so easy to make and tasted fantastic!  I used it all for my pasta bake and then I made it again when I reheated the pasta bake to add into the casserole so it wouldn’t dry out.

With Cinco de Mayo coming up, give this a try if you are making enchiladas.  It’s fantastic!

Easy Enchilada Sauce

Red Enchilada Sauce

2 tbsps canola oil
2 tbsps flour
4 tbsps chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
2 cups chicken broth

In a small saucepan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the flour and stir over the heat for one minute.

Stir in all the rest of the spices. Gradually add the broth and whisk constantly.

Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thick.

Use immediately or store in a container in the refrigerator for no longer than 2 weeks.

Makes 2 cups.

Easy Enchilada Sauce 2

Source:  Gimme Some Oven

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Chicken Fajita Bowls

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Last week I was reminded of the chicken and steak rice bowls that Taco Bell used to have when I saw a recipe for steak rice bowls.  I never liked the steak bowls but I loved the chicken bowls.  So I took that recipe and changed it up to make chicken rice bowls.  They are reminiscent of the Taco Bell bowls but not the same ~ they are better!

This is the recipe that I used the homemade fajita seasoning.

Chicken Fajita Bowls @

Chicken Fajita Bowls

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up into large dice
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
Homemade fajita seasoning, divided
2 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 pkg Spanish or Mexican rice, prepared ~ I used Old El Paso Spanish rice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Favorite toppings ~ cheese, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Place the chicken, chilies, garlic, chicken broth and 1 tbsp of the fajita seasoning in a Ziplock and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or longer. Mine went about 4 hours.

Right before starting to cook the chicken, prepare the rice mix.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet.

Being very careful not to lose the contents of the Ziplock, drain some of the chicken broth from the bag. Empty the bag into the heated canola oil. Stir until the chicken is cooked through. Add the rest of the fajita mix, onions, and both colors of peppers. Saute until the vegetables are tender.

Mix the hot rice with the drained and rinsed black beans (the heat of the rice will warm up the beans so no need to heat the beans) and put a couple spoonfuls in the bottom of your bowl. Top with chicken fajita mixture. Add your favorite toppings.

Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Fajita Bowls

Source:  Adapted from Favorite Family Recipes

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Homemade Fajita Seasoning


Recently, I wanted to make a recipe that called for fajita seasoning and, of course, I had none.  So I searched around and found this homemade recipe for it.  So I tried it.  Result?  I will never buy fajita seasoning again.  I always have these spices and sugar and cornstarch and it makes enough for one time use so no need to store it.  It’s just-enough spicy and perfect for us.  Give it a try!

Tomorrow I’ll post the recipe I used this seasoning mix in!

Homemade Fajita Seasoning

Homemade Fajita Seasoning

1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsps chili powder
1 tsp salt ~ I use kosher
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix the cornstarch and all the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Use as directed in your recipe. Makes the same amount as a packet of fajita seasoning.

Source: Allrecipes

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Black Bean and Salsa Quesadillas

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I don’t usually eat lunch but once in a while I want it.  As I was standing in front of my pantry wondering what to have, I hit on it.  I always have canned black beans, salsa, cheese, and tortillas so I put them all together to make easy quesadillas.

It’s very easy to use whatever you have on hand to make quesadillas so make these the way you like best!

Black Bean and Salsa Quesadillas

Black Bean and Salsa Quesadillas

3 tbsps canned black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsps salsa ~ I used medium heat salsa so use your favorite
shredded cheddar cheese
2 flour tortillas
softened butter

Mix the black beans and the salsa together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Butter one side of each tortilla. In a cold skillet, place one tortilla, butter side down. On one half of the tortilla in the skillet, spread half of the bean/salsa mixture and top with however much shredded cheese you want. Flip over the unfilled side of the tortilla on top of the filling so it looks like a half moon. Turn heat to medium high and cook until browned on one side then carefully flip and cook on the other side until browned. Carefully slide tortilla onto a plate. Repeat with other tortilla. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut into pieces.

Serve with sour cream, tomatoes, or your favorite toppings.

Makes 2 quesadillas.

Source: Nancy @A Recipe A Day

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Jalapeno Corn Muffins

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When I made the Cheddar Cheese Soup the other day, I thought something spicy would be a great addition to the soup.  Wow ~ these are spicy!  Mr. Meat Eater thought they were not spicy at all but I sure did.

They really are great muffins and it’s easy enough to make them less spicy or more spicy by the amount of jalapenos you add.  I used sliced, jarred jalapenos since I have a bad track record using fresh but by all means, use fresh if you want. Just be aware that this recipe uses cake flour ~ not regular flour.

Jalapeno Cornmeal Muffins

Jalapeno Corn Muffins

1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 cup cake flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsps sugar
1 to 3 tbsps jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 tbsps scallions

Preheat oven to 400º. Line cupcake tin with foil cupcake liners. Give the liners a quick spray of Pam.

Mix the egg, melted butter, and oil until blended in a large bowl. Stir in the milk.

In another bowl, mix the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add this mixture to the egg mixture along with the jalapenos and scallions. Stir until just blended. Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough.

Spoon the batter into the liners, filling 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Source: Seasons of Santa Fe

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Cinco De Mayo Chicken Enchiladas #2

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Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a Keurig ~ just click here to read the details!

Today is Cinco de Mayo and this recipe is easy and perfect to serve today or any day.  This is the second chicken enchilada recipe I have posted here hence the #2.

One of my dogs has pancreatitus and is on a chicken and rice diet so I have been roasting chickens and have quite a bit of cooked chicken that I can use for recipes.  I was looking around for a Mexican-type recipe to use some of it up and cam across this recipe on the Betty Crocker website.  It’s easy and delicious!!

I used taco cheese instead of plain cheddar and I had some leftover avocado salad dressing so I put that over my enchilada but left it off Mr. Meat Eater’s since he hates avocados.

Chicken Enchiladas 1

Chicken Enchiladas #2

1 (19 0z) can enchilada sauce
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies ~ I used fire roasted
1 pkg burrito size flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ~ I used taco cheese

Heat oven to 350º Spray a 13×9 glass baking dish with Pam and spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of the pan.

In a bowl, mix the chicken, Jack cheese, sour cream, and chili. Spoon 1/3 cup down the middle of each tortilla and roll up. Place in baking dish seam side down.

Top enchiladas with the rest of the can of enchilada sauce and sprinkle with the cheddar.

Spray a sheet of foil with Pam and cover the enchiladas with the foil, sprayed side down so the cheese won’t stick.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Remove foil and continue to bake for 5 or 10 minutes longer or until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted.

Top with your favorites like avocado, green onions, sour cream, tomatoes, etc.

Makes 8 enchiladas.

Adapted from the Betty Crocker website.

Chicken Enchiladas 2

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Looking for Cinco de Mayo Recipes?

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Cinco de Mayo pics 2

Top Row, Left to Right:

Guacamole Nachos

Easy Mexican Rice

Stacked Chicken Quesadillas

Middle Row, Left to Right:

Cheese Stuffed Chipotle Burgers

Chicken Enchiladas (and a sangria recipe)

Grilled Nachos

Bottom Row, Left to Right:

Huevos Rancheros from Simply Recipes

Mix-Your-Own Taco Spice

Fiesta Chicken Tacos

Happy Cooking!

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Easy Mexican Rice



Don’t forget to sign up on THIS post to enter the giveaway for a new Gooseberry Patch cookbook!

This Mexican rice is really good and easy to make.  I really hate cilantro so I subbed fresh parsley for the fresh cilantro like I always do.  The original recipe came from Tasty Kitchen.

Mexican Rice

Easy Mexican Rice

2 tbsps oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups long grain rice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) can Rotel diced green chilies and tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Kosher salt
Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add rice and garlic. Stie constantly making sure the rice doesn’t burn. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Add Rotel and tomatoes and stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Add broth and stir together. Add the salt and the cumin. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-15 additional minutes or until rice is done.

Before serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

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A NEW Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Giveaway + TWO Recipes!!



That’s right ~ a new Gooseberry Patch cookbook giveaway!

This giveaway is for the new Gooseberry Patch cookbook ~ Weeknight Dinners

Weeknight Dinners 2

This cookbook has a great set-up.  Each chapter is a day of the week and each day is a different type of meals with corresponding recipes:
Monday ~ Meatless Monday
Tuesday ~ Tex-Mex Night
Wednesday ~ Italian
Thursday ~ Comfort Food
Friday ~ Just for Fun

If you win, you can look for the recipe that I have in this cookbook!

The giveaway will run from today to February 14 at midnight. I will use to choose the winner. To enter, comment with your favorite weeknight dinner. You must comment on this post to be in the giveaway. I will email the winner on February 15 and mail out the cookbook shortly after I hear from the winner. If you have any questions, email me at girard.nancy at yahoo dot com.

I chose two recipes that go together from the Tex-Mex chapter.  Mix-Your-Own Taco Spice and Fiesta Chicken Soft Tacos.  Both were excellent.  The spice mixture is a little spicy so if you like things less spicy, use less red pepper flakes or leave out altogether.  I also forgot to add the paprika to the spice mixture but didn’t miss it at all.   The tacos were very easy to make.  My only suggestion would be to cut the chicken in small cubes or strips before sauteing.

A Taco Spice 1

A Taco Spice 2

Mix-Your-Own Taco Spice

2 Tbsps chili powder
1 tbsps ground cumin
2 tsps salt
2 tsps pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in a small covered jar. Makes about 1/3 cup.

COOK’S NOTE: I put the leftover mixture in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer where I keep all my home-mixed rubs and spice mixtures.  Use right from the freezer.

Chicken Taco !

Fiesta Chicken Soft Tacos

2 tbsps oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
1 to 2 tbsps taco seasoning ~ I used 2 tbsps
1 1/2 cups chunky salsa
4-6 soft taco flour tortillas, warmed
Garnish with your favorite taco toppings

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper and garlic; saute until tender being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink ~ about 5-8 minutes depending on size of chicken cubes. Stir in the taco seasoning and the salsa and simmer for 3 minutes.

To serve, spoon mixture onto tortillas. Garnish and fold the tortilla over.

Makes 4-6 soft tacos

Chicken Taco 2

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