Food & Recipes

Chicken Recipes by Weelicious

by Catherine McCord of Weelicious

Chicken Recipes by Weelicious

It's no surprise that kids love chicken—so you'll heart these three fresh and, most important, easy spinoffs.

This is one of those recipes that should get filed under “lifesavers”! Every week I buy a good-quality whole chicken and pop it into the slow cooker, and a few hours later I have the most juicy, succulent meat to eat on its own or add to a variety of other favorite recipes like mac, chicken, and cheese bites; chicken pesto pasta; or cheesy chicken taquitos, which are great for dunking in salsa or guacamole or whatever dip your kids like. Short on time? Just pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken instead!

CHICKEN PESTO PASTA Cook 1 lb rotini, small shells, campanelle, or other short pasta according to package directions; drain and add back to the pot. Mix in 1/2 cup prepared pesto, 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, and 1 tsp salt.

CHEESY CHICKEN TAQUITOS Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend in a bowl. Soften 12 corn tortillas by microwaving two at a time between damp paper towels for 20 seconds. With one tortilla in front of you, place 2 Tbsp of the chicken mixture on the side closest to you and roll it up. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and filling. Place taquitos seam-side down on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, and bake for 25 minutes or until crisp.

MAC, CHICKEN, AND CHEESE BITES Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook 1/2 lb elbow macaroni until al dente; drain and set aside. In a saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter, whisk in 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 tsp salt, and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups milk. Let simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup shredded cheddar and 1/4 cup grated parmesan; stir until melted. Pour cheese sauce and 1 cup diced cooked chicken over the pasta; stir to combine. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup grated parmesan and 1/4 cup bread crumbs. Pour 1/4 cup of the macaroni mixture into 20 greased mini-muffin cups, sprinkle the tops with the bread-crumb mixture, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.