Cheesy Chicken Taco Casserole

TacoCasseroleThis Cheesy Chicken Taco Casserole from MyRecipes.com would make a great group recipes to share with friends or roommates. It’s very easy to make, and only costs $2.29 per serving.

Here is the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar pasta sauce
  • 9 (5-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack (8 oz.)
  • 1 small tomato, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. 
  3. Place in a small skillet and add cold water to cover. 
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, turning once or twice, until opaque and firm, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove, let cool and cut into small pieces or shred. You should have about 3 cups cut-up chicken.
  6. Spread one-third of sauce over bottom of a 7-by-11-inch baking dish. 
  7. Arrange 3 tortillas, slightly overlapping, on top. 
  8. Sprinkle one-third of chicken and cilantro over tortillas. 
  9. Top with a third of cheese. 
  10. Make two more layers of sauce, tortillas, chicken, cilantro and cheese.
  11. Arrange tomato on final layer of cheese. 
  12. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. 
  13. Remove foil and cook until top is lightly browned, 10 minutes more.

Reviews were generally positive, though some reviewers had suggestions for improvements:

TacoCasserole1 TacoCasserole2 TacoCasserole3 TacoCasserole4Enjoy!

Honey Lime Shrimp

shrimpThis shrimp dish from The Dough Will Rise Again looks amazing–and incredibly easy to make!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T honey
juice of one small lime, or half a large lime (2-3 T)
zest of one small lime, or half a large lime
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large ziploc bag, combine all the marinade ingredients. When everything is well-combined, add the shrimp, squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag, and close it up. Place it in the fridge.
  2. Let the shrimp marinate for 30-60 minutes, flipping the bag around once or twice during that time, so that all the shrimp stay evenly covered in the marinade.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, take the shrimp out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; there is no need to add any oil or butter to the pan, as the marinade has enough oil in it to keep the shrimp from sticking to the pan. (If you would prefer to use the grill for these, you can thread them onto skewers and toss them on the grill at this point.)
  4. Add your shrimp to the pan in a single layer, making sure they are not too crowded; you can always cook them in more than one batch. Let them cook on one side for about a minute, until they curl up and start to turn pink. Flip them over, and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until the shrimp are opaque. Remove from the pan, and serve immediately!

These shrimp can be served with a wide variety of sides, or they could be served in a salad, quesadilla or taco. Reviewers had a lot of positive things to say about the recipe. Here are a few of their comments:

shrimp1 shrimp2 shrimp3Enjoy!

Pollo Fundido (Melted Cheese Chicken)

polloThis recipe from Neagle’s Nest offers a homemade version of a popular Mexican Restaurant favorite. I have never tried Pollo Fundido, but it looks like a different take on the typical Mexican dish.

Here is the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breast (cut in half lengthwise to make them thin)
  • Onion
  • Mexican Dipping Cheese (try the jalapeno flavor)
  • 6 to 8 ounces milk (just add enough to get to the consistency you prefer.) 
  • Chili Salt (1/4 cup sea salt, 1/4 cup pure chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, pinch ground oregano. Mix together and store in an airtight container. This makes 1/2 cup of chili salt.)

Directions:

  1. Saute your onions in a lightly greased skillet and set them aside.
  2. Sprinkle your chicken with chili salt and begin cooking it in the skillet.
  3. Grate the Cheese and melt according to directions. I add the milk a little at a time until it gets to a consistency I like. You don’t want it to be so thick you can’t pour it, but so thin it’s like water either.
  4. After you have all your chicken cooked through, put the onions back in the skillet and turn the burner off. Now you are ready to pour your cheese over the top and it is ready to serve!
  5. Of course, you can pair this with your favorite sides and it is absolutely excellent rolled into a tortilla.

pollo1

Reviewers loved this recipe! Several had issues finding a Mexican Dipping Cheese, and chose to use alternatives. Here are a few examples of reviewer comments:

pollo2 pollo3 pollo4 pollo5I can’t wait to try this one out myself.

Enjoy!

Grilled Caribbean Chicken with Bacon

caribbean2This grilled chicken dish from Favorite Family Recipes looks delicious, cheap and easy! I personally don’t own a grill (I don’t know if many college students do), but this recipe could also work well if you baked or sauteed the chicken instead.

Here’s the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pkg bacon (we like to use the thick bacon, it doesn’t fall apart as much on the grill)
  • 1 bottle Caribbean Jerk Marinade/sauce (any brand will work, we used KC Masterpiece)
  • Grilled pineapple (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large Ziploc bag, combine chicken breasts and about 3/4 of the bottle of Caribbean Jerk Sauce. 
  2. In a separate Ziploc bag, add the bacon and remaining Jerk Sauce. 
  3. Put in fridge overnight (or at least 6-8 hours). 
  4. Take out the chicken, discard marinade and grill turning only once if possible. 
  5. Add bacon to the grill. 
  6. When the bacon seems cooked through (watch it closely, don’t overcook), place the chicken on top of 4 bacon pieces and lay the remaining bacon over the top of the chicken.
  7. Grill on low for another few minutes. Serve with grilled pineapple.

There weren’t many reviews of the recipe, but those who commented had positive things to say:

caribbean3 caribbean4Enjoy!

Bruschetta Goat Cheese Cups: Adaptation

00000tmp

I haven’t done an appetizer recipe on this blog yet, but I made an adaptation of these this weekend and had to share the recipe, which comes from MyRecipes.com. They are so easy to make, and the pesto-basil substitution makes them even easier. These would be great to bring to any get-together.

Here is the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1.4-ounce) package crispy pastry shells
  • 1 (4-ounce) goat cheese log, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup refrigerated sweet pepper, vegetable, and olive bruschetta topping or tapenade
  • Garnish: fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

  1. Place shells in a shallow pan. 
  2. Divide goat cheese evenly between shells, pressing gently to fill bottom of each. 
  3. Spoon 1 teaspoon bruschetta topping into each shell.
  4. Bake at 350° for 4 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired.

**Pesto-Goat Cheese Cups: Substitute 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto for 1/3 cup bruschetta topping. Proceed as directed, omitting thyme leaves. Top with finely chopped tomato and toasted pine nuts after baking.

My mom and I made these as an appetizer for our family’s Easter Dinner. Unfortunately, I didn’t even get the chance to take a picture of the final product before they were devoured. We decided to do the Pesto-Goat Cheese Cups adaptation, but we also added prosciutto to give the cups a little more substance. We made thirty cups, and I bought about a quarter pound of prosciutto to fill the cups with (I ended up having a good bit leftover). These were so easy to make, and they were absolutely delicious! I highly recommend them.

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Banana Wraps

Wraps

This Betty Crocker recipe is SO EASY that I wasn’t even sure I was going to include it on this blog. However, it makes for a great quick snack option, and could also be an easy on-the-go breakfast. Plus, the ingredients are super cheap, making it the ideal broke-college-student recipe.

Reviewers offered many different ways of making the wrap, but here is the original version, scaled to serve 4:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • whole wheat or regular flour tortillas (8 to 10 inches in diameter)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • small bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, if desired

Directions:

  1. Spread 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter evenly over each tortilla.
  2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the honey over each tortilla.
  3. Top with banana slices and chocolate chips.
  4. Roll up tortillas.
  5. Secure with toothpicks.

As I previously mentioned, reviewers had a lot of suggestions for even easier ways to make the wraps. Some reviewers also suggested other ingredients for the wraps.

Wraps1 Wraps2 Wraps3 Wraps4I think that the idea of rolling the wrap around the banana seems like it would work better–I only worry that it would be a little too much banana for the wrap. I would suggest slicing the banana lengthwise to make more room for other ingredients.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Onion Casserole

Casserole

I found this Cheesy Onion Casserole on Instructables, though it was originally posted on the Forkable blog. It is basically like a French Onion Soup-type casserole, and it sounds amazing. This is definitely a dish to make with friends, and serving it as a group dish would alleviate costs, making it an even cheaper dish.

Here is the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbs butter or margarine
  • 3 large sweet onions or 4 medium white or yellow onions
  • 2 c. shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted**
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 8 or so slices of French bread

Directions:

  1. Slice onions.
  2. Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and add onions. 
  3. Saute onions until clear, a little brown is okay. 
  4. In a shallow 2 qt. casserole pan, layer onions, 2/3 of cheese and pepper to taste.
  5. In a sauce pan, heat soup, milk, and soy sauce, stirring to blend. 
  6. Pour soup mixture in a casserole and stir gently to mix. 
  7. Top with bread slices. 
  8. Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes. 
  9. After 15 minutes, top of bread should be nice and toasted.
  10. Push bread slices under the sauce and top with the remaining cheese.  
  11. Bake for 15 more minutes and you are done!
    **You can make this vegetarian by substituting cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken.

This recipe definitely requires more steps than most recipes college students are willing to prepare, but if it is made for a group dinner, the work can be divided.

Casserole2

Reviewers had great things to say about the recipe, though some responded with ideas to make the recipe a little less soupy. Others offered substitution suggestions:

Casserole3 Casserole5 Casserole6 Casserole7Enjoy!