Green Chile Chicken Chimichangas

I think I’m just going to start this post with my son’s review. “Mom, these are a 10 out of 10!” I really think I outdid myself with my new Green Chile Chicken Chimichangas. Like most of my recipes, this has simple ingredients but BOLD flavor. Rotisserie chicken, potatoes, onions, green chilies, salsa verde, and Monterrey Jack cheese are combined with my quad of Tex Mex spices that you see often from me: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. All of these bold flavors come together for the perfect bite! I like to top the finished product with sour cream and Tajin as shown below. So good!

Ok let’s start with the “cast of characters” because I bet you already have at least half of these things. I always keep shredded rotisserie chicken in my freezer so the only thing I had to buy for this was the salsa verde.

Do you see my shortcut in the picture? Yes it’s Simply Potatoes! You can usually find them near the bacon and breakfast sausage in the grocery store. I pretty much have them in my freezer at all times.

Save time with these! No peeling or chopping potatoes and onions!

The mixture is very easy! Just cook the potatoes and onions in a skillet then add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. It doesn’t even need to get that hot because it’s going to cook through when baking or frying.

Just give me a fork! Yum!

Assembly

Now let’s talk about assembling. I use the “soft taco” sized tortillas but you could definitely use the large burrito sized ones. Just add more filling and cheese and you’ll probably end up with six large ones. Assembling the chimichangas is very easy! Here’s how to do it:

Add 1/3 mixture to tortilla.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Fold up two sides toward center.
Fold one open side toward center and roll.
Perfect little chimichanga!
Secure seam with a toothpick if you’re planning to fry.

Two options for cooking

There are two options for cooking: baked or fried. I had a little extra time (don’t we all) so I decided to fry. It was really easy and quick once my oil reached temperature. You can also bake them like my Baked Beef Chimichangas which is even easier. I have to admit, frying does add a lot of yummy flavor and crunch though!

I’m definitely adding these Green Chile Chicken Chimichangas to my “make often” list because it’s one of my favorite recipes that I have created in a long time. I could eat these every week!

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Green Chile Chicken Chimichangas

Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup potato, peeled and diced small
½ cup onion, diced
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
½ cup salsa verde
3 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
12 soft taco sized flour tortillas
Canola oil (if frying)
½ cup melted butter (if baking)

Directions

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook until tender and browned. Add green chilies and salsa verde then stir to combine. Add chicken and seasonings then stir to combine. Add 1 cup cheese and stir until melted. Turn off heat and set aside.

To assemble, add 1/3 cup chicken mixture to center of tortilla then sprinkle about 2 tablespoons cheese. Fold two sides towards center, fold one open side toward center then roll up tightly.

Baking Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place assembled chimichangas seam side down on baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Frying Instructions: After rolling up tortilla, secure seam with a toothpick. Add canola oil to a large deep skillet or dutch oven about 1 ½-2 inches. Once oil reaches 350-375 degrees, place chimichangas in and cook each side until golden brown. Remove with tongs and allow to drain on a paper towel lined platter.

Notes:
1. Use “Simply Potatoes” Diced Potatoes with Onion for a quick shortcut.
2. Use your Air Fryer to cook these!
3. Freezer friendly! Just assemble, secure with toothpick, then place in freezer bag. Thaw and cook when needed!

Cheesy Beefaroni

Are you ready for the easiest 5 main ingredient meal? This is “quarantine cooking” at its finest! I have been making my Cheesy Beefaroni for over 15 years and it’s one of those meals that I always have the ingredients for. I bet you have them all right now too! Ground beef, onion, diced tomatoes, elbow macaroni, and cheese. Add a few seasonings and water and you have a complete meal! My kids loved this as toddlers and they still gobble it up as teenagers. When I made it again recently, they were so happy to have what they call a “nostalgic dinner” from mom. It’s simple comfort food at our house!

Here is the lineup. So easy! I also like to call this “Homemade Hamburger Helper” because it reminds me of the flavors. I haven’t bought Hamburger Helper in 20 years because this is SO much better! This also takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Love dinners like this!

Brown the ground beef and onion first.
Add tomatoes, dry macaroni, water, and seasoning. Cover for 10 minutes.
When pasta is done just add cheese and serve!

This is honestly one of those meals that I never thought I’d have on here. I wouldn’t have considered it “blogworthy” but times are different aren’t they? We are in a time where simple pantry meals are best and I thought this was perfect. I know your family will gobble it up just like mine has for the last 15 years!

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Cheesy Beefaroni

  • Servings: Serves 4-5
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Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1 small yellow or white onion, diced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup water
1 cup elbow macaroni
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef and onion. Drain grease if needed. Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, water, and macaroni. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve.

Blueberry Banana Coconut Trifle

Trifles have become one of my favorite desserts to create! They are easy, so delicious, crowd pleasers, and beautiful. I know that y’all love them too because my Carrot Cake Trifle and Caramel Apple Cheesecake Trifle are two of the most popular recipes on my blog and Pinterest. I come up with flavor combinations so often that I currently have a list of ten trifles that I want to make! This Blueberry Banana Coconut Trifle is my newest creation and it might be my favorite one so far. I mean, what’s not to love? Moist banana cake, luscious coconut cream, juicy blueberries, and toasted coconut. That’s my idea of a perfect dessert!

Let’s start with the “cast of characters” because there’s not as many as you’d think. Each layer is pretty simple!

Looks doable huh? You start by making the cake according to package directions. Then you add baking soda, mashed bananas and bake. If you ever need a quick banana bread, this is perfect! The blueberries are as is and I personally prefer thawed frozen ones. They are juicier than fresh ones!

Don’t you want to dive right in? That is TWO ingredients! When I was creating this recipe, I knew I wanted to have a coconut cream layer but wasn’t sure how to do it. I walked around the grocery store looking for inspiration and found Coconut Cream Jello pudding mix. I decided to try making it the way I make the cream for my Italian Love Cake. Let me tell you, heavy cream + Coconut Cream Jello = MAGIC! Just whip them up in your stand mixer or a hand mixer. Simple and done!

No judgment if you lick the whisk clean! Ha!

Have you ever toasted coconut? The smell is so amazing! Just add to a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes. It can burn fast so watch it!

Now it’s time to assemble! You don’t need a trifle dish but you do need a glass or clear plastic bowl. You need to see those pretty layers!

Just add 1/3 of each cake, blueberries, and cream at time.
You won’t think it’s all going to fit but it does!

The hard part is having to wait to eat it! It needs to go in the fridge and get nice and happy for a few hours first. It will be even better the next day! This is the perfect dessert for Easter or spring or summer or ANYTIME! You’re going to love it!

Check out my IGTV on Instagram @charlotte.shares to watch me make this!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace.

Blueberry Banana Coconut Trifle

  • Servings: Serves 8-10
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Ingredients

For the cake:
1 yellow box cake mix (plus eggs, oil, and water to make)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the cream:
1 quart heavy cream
2 boxes Coconut Cream Jello pudding mix (3.4 oz each)

2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Directions

Mix cake according to box directions. Add baking soda and mix. Fold in mashed bananas. Pour into a greased pan and bake as directed. Let cool completely and cut into cubes. (Cubes don’t have to be perfect!)

To toast coconut, add to a baking sheet, spread evenly, and bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes. Stir halfway through to ensure even toasting. Careful not to burn!

Using a stand or handheld electric mixer, whip heavy cream with pudding mixes until stiff peaks form. Add more cream or milk if it gets too stiff. Set aside.

To assemble:
Place 1/3 of the cake in a glass bowl or trifle dish. Top with 1/3 of the blueberries. Add 1/3 of the cream and spread evenly. Repeat layers two more times ending with cream. Top with toasted coconut. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

Chicken Spaghetti

Y’all, I miss Texas so much. I have a trip planned for the end of May and am really hoping that actually gets to happen. I’m worried it won’t, so for now, I’m using food to remind me of home. Something that transports me right back to my mom’s kitchen is classic Chicken Spaghetti. This cheesy, indulgent dish was a staple for us growing up. It was something that my mom made often and knew that we would all love. The foods that we grew up eating as a child are usually at the top of our comfort foods list, right? With everything going on in the world right now, I felt like you all needed a bit of Texas comfort, too.

Chicken Spaghetti is so easy to make! It uses lots of simple pantry ingredients too. Yes it has VELVEETA in it! I’ve tried making it without and it just isn’t the same. My mom used only Velveeta but I like the sharpness that the cheddar adds. A little Velveeta is just perfect and adds the right amount of creaminess. I have recently seen two Food Network chefs use Velveeta on their Instagram stories so I think we are all looking for a little cheesy comfort right now. Ha!

My favorite brand of pasta!
Just simmer the onion and pepper in the broth to soften because that’s the way my mom did it!
Add the hot broth mixture to the bowl and mix! It turns into the sauce for the spaghetti.

One thing I love about this dish is that it makes a great freezer meal. Since my husband is gone right now, I knew it would take the kids and I a week to eat a 9×13 pan of it. I divided the mixture into two pans and have one in the freezer. I love when one meal (and mess) makes two dinners!

This is an 11×7 and a 9×9 pan.

I hope that my Chicken Spaghetti fills your kitchen (and bellies) with some delicious comfort during a time when we all need it so much. Please make sure to comment here on my posts and share your creations on social media!

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Chicken Spaghetti

  • Servings: Serves 6-8
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Ingredients

2-3 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1 lb thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 small yellow or white onion, diced small
1 green bell pepper, diced small
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
½ teaspoon celery seed
4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz Velveeta cheese, diced
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded & divided
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small saucepan, add chicken broth, onion, bell pepper, and celery seed. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

In a large bowl, add pimentos, soup, and Velveeta. Pour the broth mixture over and stir to combine. Stir in 1 cup cheddar. Add cooked spaghetti and chicken and stir until everything is combined well.

Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Pour in spaghetti mixture. Top with remaining 1 cup cheddar.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Notes:
1. If cooking your own chicken, make sure to season it first with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. If using rotisserie or canned chicken, no need to season.
2. This is a great freezer meal! Divide into two smaller pans and freeze one for later.
3. You can use fresh celery (1/2 cup) in place of celery seed if desired.

Whole Wheat Banana Crunch Pancakes

If you’re stuck in a breakfast rut right now from being home every day, look no further because my Whole Wheat Banana Crunch Pancakes are here to save you. Of course, they’re great for dinner too because y’all know I’m a huge fan of breakfast for dinner.

These pancakes have been on my recipe testing list for months and I wish I had made them sooner. The inspiration behind them comes from a vacation that we took about 12 years ago to Palmyra, NY. We were living in Dayton, Ohio at the time while stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and it was our first real family vacation. We stayed at the cutest Bed and Breakfast called Liberty House and they served the most delicious banana pancakes. I asked the owner what her secret was and she said that she put Banana Nut Crunch cereal in them.

At the time, I couldn’t find the cereal she used but we always have Honey Bunches of Oats in our pantry so I thought I’d try those. So perfect! It adds so much crunch, sweetness, and nuttiness! I can’t believe it took me this long to re-create them! They’re my new favorite pancakes!

The cast of characters.

I was so happy to find whole wheat flour at my grocery store! The shelves have been empty of flour and sugar every time I go in lately. I like the flavor that whole wheat flour adds to pancakes, muffins, and waffles. The addition of cereal to the batter makes is stretch! Instead of 12 waffles, it makes about 18 with the cereal!

Just add the cereal right in!

I made these Whole Wheat Banana Crunch Pancakes for a Good Things Utah segment that was a little out of the ordinary for me. I’m usually live in the studio but because of corona virus, they can’t have guests for the time being. I recorded my segment from home and sent it to them. I was more nervous to do that than live tv! Ha! It wasn’t perfect but it was fun and I hope to do it again soon. Watch me make them here.

Whole Wheat Banana Crunch Pancakes

  • Servings: Makes Approx 18
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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 small ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups Honey Bunches of Oats cereal

Directions

In a medium bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Stir in bananas.

Pour the dry ingredients over the wet and mix until just combined. Fold in cereal.

Let the batter rest for 5 minutes. Heat a nonstick griddle (or skillet) to medium heat. Add a little butter to griddle if desired. Add about 1/3 cup pancake batter to griddle for each pancake. Flip when edges start to dry a little. Cook other side until golden brown.

Serve immediately. Makes about 18 pancakes.

Slow Cooker Beef Tips & Gravy

I have another slow cooker recipe for y’all! Slow Cooker Beef Tips & Gravy is something that I grew up eating in Texas. Unfortunately, I never got my mom’s recipe before she passed away but I think she would approve of my version. It is SO easy and tastes like you put much more effort into it than you do! You don’t even have to brown the meat beforehand. Just add everything to your slow cooker and let it do all the work for you!

This is such a great way to use stew meat instead of just making stew. The meat turns out so tender and melts in your mouth! The use of the gravy mix adds thickness and lots of rich flavor. If you happen to be a mushroom hater, you can leave them out. You can also use fresh or dried parsley. Serve these delicious beef tips over mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles. As you can see, we prefer them over creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. Yum!

I love the McCormick Organic Brown Gravy mix!

This would also make a fantastic freezer meal. Just add everything (raw) to a freezer bag and save for later. Then on a busy or a “too tired to cook” night, you can just dump it in the slow cooker and be done with dinner!

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Slow Cooker Beef Tips & Gravy

  • Servings: Serves 6-8
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Ingredients

3 lbs beef stew meat
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
2 (.87 oz each) packets brown gravy mix
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried

Directions

Place stew meat, mushrooms, and onions in a slow cooker. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together broth, gravy mixes, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Pour over meat and vegetables. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Just before serving, stir in parsley. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles.

Note: If you want the sauce thicker, take the lid off of the slow cooker for 30 minutes before serving (but leave heat on).