Happy Winter everyone! These cold, snowy days have me craving all the comfort foods (or maybe it’s the pregnancy!). That in combination with not wanting to stand over the stove for more than 30 minutes has really made me hone in on quick and simple recipes like this one. Only one pan to wash (win!), no meat to cook (win!), and it is loaded with cheese (major win!). Plus my 18 month old ate about half of it (sort of win!).
My due date is in 6 weeks which is very very surreal to me. I feel like in some ways I have been pregnant for 125 years, and other times I feel like there’s no way it is already winding down. I knew that my second pregnancy would be different than my first, but I wasn’t expecting all of the new emotions you feel with round two. I go from super excited to grow to a family of 4 to a little bit sad thinking that I won’t be able to give all my attention to Rory anymore. I know he will adjust, as all first children do, but is it weird that I feel guilty for making him share everything including his parents?! I’m sure once the baby is here all will be right with the world, and my funny thoughts about having this second child will subside but for now, I’m over here feeling like I’m a string of happy-sad-happy-sad-happy-crying-laughing emojis. Ugh, hormones man.
Anyway, please enjoy this hearty, lazy meal and don’t feel guilty for making your significant other wash the dishes! (one dish! – and maybe a cutting board)
One Pot 30 Minute Taco Mac & Cheese
Everything gets thrown into one pot and is ready to serve 30 minutes later! Weeknight winner for sure.
Mince onion and place in a large stock pot or dutch oven with 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in 2 Tbsp of the taco seasoning and the green pepper. Saute for additional 2-3 minutes.
Add in tomatoes, beans, broth, pasta, and corn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once pasta is done, add in the final 2 Tbsp of taco seasoning, 1 Tbsp chili powder, and the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and serve.
You can add chicken or ground beef to the first step if you would like additional protein.
Omit the chili powder if you are feeding sensitive palates (I dished some up for my son before I added the chili powder).
We like to top it with sour cream, but feel free to add any additional taco toppings you would like!
It’s May! And it’s rainy. I guess it doesn’t matter if May is “in like a lion”. The motto for May in Colorado is “I do what I want”. Snow, rain, hail, 90 degrees, we saw it all last year. I’m looking forward to having a garden and being somewhat self sufficient with produce (as soon as our backyard is no longer just dirt – the joys of new construction). I started tomatoes from seeds indoors but now they are looking so wimpy – any guru gardeners out there??
On another note, this post is all about using those leftovers. YES! Have you made my Crock Pot Pulled Pork recently and got sick and tired of sandwiches by day 4? (me! me!) Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Costco recently got me again! They had Pillsbury crescent rolls on sale for < $1 a tube (steal!) but did I really need 40 crescent rolls? Sigh. Probably not. It gave me the perfect excuse to continue experimenting with this recipe until I got it just right though. Five ingredients and 20 minutes will get you a fun dinner on the table. Kids will love it because it looks cool and your husband/wife/SO will appreciate it because it looks like you put effort into dinner (shh don’t tell). Have at it!
Pulled Pork Crescent Roll Ring (with BBQ + Ranch Dipping Sauce)
Reinvent pulled pork with this fun and easy weeknight dinner. Have it on the table in < 30 minutes!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees for dark or nonstick pans).
Open crescent rolls and place in a circle with overlapping corners (should look like a sun when you are done).
Spread the cheese around the base of the crescent rolls in an even circle.
Then add the pulled pork the same way (no need to heat the pork up first).
Then sprinkle onions over the pork followed by one slice of jalapeno at the center of each triangle base.
Fold the point of each triangle over the base and attach it to the base of the triangle next to it. It will look like a pinwheel when you are done.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until crescent rolls just start to turn golden brown. I baked mine on parchment paper to save with clean up.
To make the dipping sauce: equal parts BBQ sauce mixed with equal parts ranch dressing! That's it! Cut into slices, dip, and enjoy!
Get the recipe for Crock Pot Pulled Pork here.
The leftover episode part 2 is here! Have you made the Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken nachos and now you have half the chicken leftover? Well make these enchiladas. Please! You will not be disappointed. These enchiladas definitely make my top 5, that’s right – TOP 5, list of leftovers I will gladly eat cold, hot, for breakfast, for lunch, for a snack, etc. They are that good and so easy – only 5 ingredients (plus your favorite toppings).
On another note, my husband and I had our first overnight trip without the baby. I don’t think I’ve ever organized things more in my whole life than I did to prepare for my parents’ babysitting him. I made meal lists, food prepped (left them a container of Crock Pot Pulled Pork) emergency contact lists (for the baby and the animals), routine lists, suggestions for how to get the kid to go.to.sleep. The struggle is real sometimes people. All in all he survived, we survived, I think Grandma and Grandpa survived. We went to the Cub’s spring training in Arizona, and I think we thought we could go to dinner after 8 p.m. (the rebelliousness I tell ya) and sleep in. Well, my husband went to bed at 9 pm the first night and slept until 9 am. Me on the other hand – I couldn’t fall asleep until 10 pm and then of course I had to get up to pump at 6 am anyway and then I couldn’t go back to sleep. SMH. At least my alarm clock was internal and not a crying baby.
It was nice to be home though and to have some easy meal ideas in my back pocket. These enchiladas take < 10 minutes to prep and < 15 minutes to cook due to using leftover chicken. You can also definitely make this with fresh Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken and save the nachos for another day! Also, add another freezer friendly meal to your list (yessss) to save yourself even more time in the future. Go to this link to get the recipe for the Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken.
Chicken Enchiladas with Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken
Part 2 of using your Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken. So yummy and extremely easy!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken (cold is fine), taco sauce, and 1 cup of the cheese.
In the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, spread 2-3 Tbsp of enchilada sauce around to coat the bottom.
Dollop about 2 Tbsp of chicken mixture onto the middle of a tortilla shell and then roll up the tortilla. Place seam side down into the 9 x 13 pan. Repeat this process with remaining 11 tortillas and line them up in the pan. Go ahead, squeeze 'em in!.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and spread evenly (make sure they are all covered). Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over the enchiladas.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until sides are bubbling.
Top with toppings of your choice. I prefer going the simple route with olives and lettuce but tomatoes, sour cream, onions would also be good!
How do you feel about leftovers? I am an appreciate-r usually, I mean it’s one less meal I have to put thought into preparing. There are many times though when I make something and either don’t want to eat it as a leftover (some things just don’t taste as good on day 2, am I right?) or really wish I could do something different with it. Lately I’ve been experimenting with cooking a protein in the crock pot and then using it for a variety of meals throughout the week. To be honest, I make a lot of nachos because 1 – I love (insert heart emoji x 10) nachos and 2 – I usually have some conglomeration of ingredients to make them even if they become pulled pork + bbq + ranch + taco toppings nachos (actually those were REALLY good – I’ll have to share another time).
If you keep up with my blog or Instagram, I am kind of in love with my Crock Pot lately. I go in spurts, and right now I’m in a “I found this shirt at the bottom of my dresser that I forgot I bought and it’s like Christmas” kind of love with my Crock Pot. This chicken recipe isn’t for you non-spicy eaters out there. There are a couple of ways to tone it down a little bit (see notes below the recipe) but it will still have a mild-moderate kick. It is so easy though. A true set it and forget it recipe.
Let’s talk about nachos for a second: the key to truly scrumptious nachos is a sheet pan and layering. Every chip has something on it and it’s heavenly. See the recipe for details about how to assemble.
Come back soon for Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken Part 2: Enchiladas. They were so good that I had them as an “appetizer” while I was making dinner the next night (aka I took a bite between every veggie I cut up, you know, as a reward).
Enjoy! I would love to hear of any other ways you used this chicken. P.S. it’s freezer friendly!
Sheet Pan Nachos with Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken
Nachos with a party on every bite, covered in a spicy chicken that will leave you wanting another scoop of sour cream - in a good way!
Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken
Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken
Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock pot.
Pour in chipotle chiles, including all juices. Make sure chicken breasts are covered with the chiles.
Pour black beans over chicken as well.
Cook on low for 6-6.5 hours or until chicken cooked through.
Remove chicken and chiles from crock pot. Shred both (make sure chiles are shredded into small pieces!) and return to crock pot. Give it a stir and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.
Sheet Pan Nachos
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Get out a large sheet pan and place a single layer of tortilla chips on it. Sprinkle these chips with half of the cheese and a good amount of the chipotle chicken (you decide!).
Add another layer or tortilla chips on top of the first layer then repeat cheese and chipotle chicken layer.
Cook in oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted. I would recommend keeping a close eye on them as some chips and cheeses cook at different rates.
As the nachos are cooking, heat up frozen corn in a small skillet over medium heat with a little bit of butter - add some spices if you like ( I used Tony Chacheres)
Remove from oven and sprinkle on olives, taco sauce, jalapenos, corn, lettuce, and sour cream.
To make it less spicy:
- Use plain black beans instead of black beans + jalapenos
- Remove the chipotle chile pieces from the crock pot after the chicken is cooked instead of shredding them with the chicken
- Omit jalapenos from the nacho toppings
Feel free to add or subtract any nacho toppings!