Crockpot Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken is a super easy and incredibly delicious dinner your whole family is going to love! Sweet and savory and full of flavor the chicken is tender and juicy.

I love meals that are easy but taste amazing! Make this a complete dinner and serve with Broccoli, Rice or Potatoes.

Chicken thighs in an apricot sauce in the crockpot.

Apricot Chicken Recipe

A friend made this for all of us last summer. I was a little unsure about it because of the apricot jam in it. But I loved it! It gives the perfect balance of flavor between the apricot jam and Russian salad dressing. Trust me on this flavor combination, it is the best. The sauce has a sweetness but a spicy savoriness to it from the dressing. They combine in the most magical way.

Apricot chicken makes my busy day become stress free. It is one less thing I have to worry about and my family is happy that they get dinner! I love slow cooker set it and forget it dinners. And a miracle happened, my extremely picky eater even ate it. This child does not like anything it seems and he had seconds. If he likes it, you are going to love it!

What You Need For Easy Apricot Chicken

With ingredients that are easy to have on hand, you can throw this together on a busy day and have a delicious dinner ready when you are.

  • Apricot Preserves: You can use a low sugar apricot jam too, this creates that bit of sweet.
  • Russian Dressing: Use your favorite brand, I used Wishbone brand.
  • Dry Onion Soup Mix: This adds spices and the savory flavor. Make your own mix for incredible results.
  • Chicken Thighs: Use bone in chicken thighs, boneless or even chicken breasts.
  • Oil: Good quality high smoke vegetable oil such as canola.

How To Make Apricot Chicken in the Crockpot

The only extra step you have is to quickly brown the chicken. Remember this isn’t to cook it, just to give the skin some texture and flavor.

  1. Combine: In a medium bowl mix together the preserves, dressing and soup mix.
  2. Brown: This is optional but I highly recommend it. Generously salt and pepper the chicken. Place in a skillet that has been heated to medium high that has a good Tablespoon of oil in the bottom. Cook each side for 1-2 minutes or till good and golden.
  3. Crockpot:  Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour the mixture over the chicken.
  4. Cook: Cook on low for 3-4 hours or till internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Browning the chicken thighs, placing them in the crockpot, and pouring the sauce on top.

Tips and Variations For the Best Apricot Chicken

The wonderful thing about this chicken recipe is that it is forgiving and can be adjusted to your liking or needs. Slow cooking is just that way.

  • Chicken:  Using bone in and skin on chicken thighs will give you the juiciest chicken. You can use chicken breasts or skinless boneless chicken thighs it may not be as moist. Thighs contain the darker part of the chicken and darker meat is naturally juicer. Keeping the bone in and skin on will add even more moisture. Chicken breasts are known for being more dry and over cooking, even in sauce, can cause it to be dry.
  • Browning: Similar to searing beef, searing chicken can lock in juice and add immense flavor. It is an extra step that you do not have to do, but I highly recommend it. The chicken is just that much more divine.
  • Preserves: If you do not have apricot jam or cannot find it, there are options. You can use pineapple, mango, orange  or peach instead. Also try a mixture of apricot and peach or pineapple for a nice twist in flavor.
  • Dressing: There are times when I cannot find Russian dressing. It isn’t very often but it happens. Substituting Catalina or French Dressing will give you the same results.
  • Onion Soup Mix: Do not leave this out. It adds the flavor and savory you need in this dish. I also recommend making your own. It is super easy and simple and tastes way better than store bought!
  • Extras: To add oomph to your dish try sautéing onions and adding them to the apricot chicken. For more zip throw in fresh grated ginger, a Tablespoon of soy sauce or Dijon mustard.
  • Potatoes: For an all in one crock pot meal add baby Yukon or red potatoes with the chicken.
  • Different Protein: This slow cooker apricot chicken recipe works really well with pork chops too!

Freezing and Storing Apricot Glazed Chicken

I love dishes that make great leftovers and this chicken recipe make amazing leftovers

  • Store: If you do have leftovers place in a tightly sealed container and place in the fridge for 4-5 days. Warm up leftovers in the microwave or the stove top.
  • Freeze: Let the chicken cool and place leftovers in a freezer safe bag. Tightly seal. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
Apricot Chicken on top of rice with a side of broccoli on a plate.

More Slow Cooker Recipes to Try

Slow cooker or crockpot recipes are favorites that will never go out of style. Slow cooking infuses flavor into your meal and cooks it to tender juicy perfection. Sauces are rich and luscious, spices, herbs and ingredients create remarkable dishes, the whole family will love.

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Crockpot Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken is a super easy and incredibly delicious dinner your whole family is going to love! Sweet and savory and full of flavor the chicken is tender and juicy.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian American
Keyword apricot chicken, chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 420kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups apricot preserves
  • 1 cup Russian dressing I used Wishbone brand
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 6 bone in chicken thighs can use breasts, and boneless thighs

Instructions

  • Mix together the preserves, dressing and soup mix.
  • Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker; pour mixture over chicken.
  • Cook on Low and continue cooking for 3-4 hours.

Notes

Updated on March 30, 2021

Originally Posted on July 10, 2012

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 930mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 189IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

 



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Mongolian Chicken

Mongolian Chicken is coated chicken tossed in a sweet savory sauce that is better than take out!  This simple recipe is the beginning to tasty dinner in minutes.

Just like my Mongolian Beef, this tastes amazing and is easy. Serve it over a bowl of rice with Egg Rolls and Wontons for a dinner out, from home!

Chicken and green onions sauteed in a wok.

Easy Mongolian Chicken

Inspired by my Mongolian Beef, this Mongolian chicken has all the flavor and richness, but with chicken! I like to use chicken because it can be a lot cheaper than beef, it is better for the heart and taste and texture just work. My family loves this dish. It is a favorite since it has just enough sweet and savory that makes it so good! We usually do not have leftovers, which is bummer because they are just as good if not better than when we have it fresh.

The “Mongolian” flavor comes from Taiwan and does not have anything to do with Mongolia. But that does not stop this dish and others like it from being one of America’s favorite. You have to try Mongolian chicken noodles, Mongolian Beef and Broccoli and these that are cooked in the slow cooker with beef or chicken.

Ingredients for Chinese Chicken

Basic ingredients combine quickly to make a fabulous dinner that is divine.

  • Chicken Breasts: Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces of equal proportions.
  • Cornstarch: This coating adds texture to the chicken and helps thicken the sauce.
  • Olive Oil: For cooking the chicken.
  • Chicken Broth: The base of the sauce.
  • Brown Sugar: You can either use light or dark brown sugar.
  • Soy Sauce: Use low sodium soy sauce if you would like.
  • Hoisin Sauce: Classic Asian sauce that adds a bit of sweet and salty.
  • Sesame Oil: This is a great finishing oil that adds flavor.
  • Cornstarch: Thickening agent that works without adding flavor.
  • Sesame seeds and Green Onions: These are optional but add color and flavor.

How to Make Mongolian Chicken

Quick and easy you will love this better than take out dinner. You will love how fast it is and your family will love the flavor.

  1. Chicken: In a ziplock bag add the chicken and cornstarch and shake to coat.
  2. Sauté: Using a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, add the olive oil. Working in batches add the chicken and fry each side until golden
  3. Sauce: In a small bowl whisk together the chicken broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch. Pour over the Chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce starts to thicken.
  4. Serve: Serve with sesame seeds and green onions.

Coating the chicken, adding sauce and sauteing it in a pan.

Tips and Variations for the Best Mongolian Chicken

This is super simple to make and super delicious. Sure to be a family favorite.

  • Chicken: Coating the chicken in cornstarch and then stir frying it crisps it up perfectly. You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
  • Vegetables: This is one of the best ways to vary the recipe. Although this is usually served by itself it is awesome with vegetables. Try broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, carrots, water chestnuts or sugar snap peas.
  • Spicy:  Add a bit more heat by adding siracha, red pepper flakes or fresh ginger.
  • Serve: Serve over rice, brown rice, stir fry noodles, or even zoodles.

Storing Leftovers

Leftovers are a beautiful thing when it comes to Mongolian chicken. I like to make a double batch so I have enough for at least two meals.

  • Leftovers: This is almost better the second day. Leftover will keep for up to 4 days and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove top.
  • Freezing: Once the Mongolian chicken has completely cooled, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Microwave or reheat in a skillet or wok.

Mongolian chicken in bowl with rice.

More Asian Recipes to Love

There is nothing better than making your own take out. It is awesome. You can make it to your liking adding or substituting ingredients. Make it spicier or more milder. And cooking your own is much healthier and cheaper. I have all the best recipes that are tried and true right here.

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Mongolian Chicken

Mongolian Chicken is coated chicken tossed in a sweet savory sauce that is better than take out!  This simple recipe is the beginning to tasty dinner in minutes.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian American
Keyword mongolian chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 262kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon hoisen sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish

Instructions

  • In a ziplock bag add the chicken and cornstarch and shake to coat. In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, add the olive oil. Working in batches add the chicken and fry each side until golden.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the chicken broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Pour over the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Serve with sesame seeds and green onions.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1060mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg



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Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)

Greek Meatballs also known as Keftedes, are full of flavor and super delicious. These have all the greek flavor and super easy to make!

Greek food is so good, make this a full greek meal and serve this dish with some Greek sides. Try my tried and true Pasta Salad or Green Salad and then top it off with some sweet Baklava.

Greek meatballs on a plate with pitas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce.

Greek Meatballs

Greek meatballs or keftedes, are tender, juicy meatballs that are often served as an appetizer on what’s known as a meze platter. Usually they are served with pita bread, greek olives, cucumbers, onions, and almost always, tzatziki sauce. Although they are an appetizer, these are so good you could make a meal out of them. Use the meatballs instead of chicken in gyros or sliders. Super delicious.

Traditional keftedes are usually made with ground beef and ground lamb. I used ground pork instead of lamb which can sometimes be hard to find. It will still give you that tender juicy inside and tons of flavor. Do not be afraid to use the mint in these meatballs. Mint is traditional herb used in Greek cooking and it pairs beautifully with the other spices and herbs. You and your whole family are going to love these Greek Meatballs!

Ingredients for Easy Greek Meatballs

Use extra lean ground beef and pork so that the meatballs are not too fatty. If you can use find fresh mint and parsley that works best, but you can use dried if unable to find. Just reduce the amount by about 1/3.

  • Ground Beef: Use extra lean or lean ground beef to reduce the amount of grease.
  • Ground Pork: Using pork as well adds a ton of flavor, do not skip this.
  • Breadcrumbs: Adds moisture and helps the meatballs to be tender.
  • Egg: This is a binder that keeps it all together.
  • Red Onion: Brings flavor and a bit of texture. Finely mince or grate.
  • Garlic Cloves: Minced finely or grated.
  • Fresh Parsley: If you cannot find fresh use about 2/3 the amount of dried.
  • Mint Leaves: It adds a classic greek flavor, but will not be minty.
  • Dried Oregano: Another stable in Greek cooking.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add to taste.
  • Milk: Adds moisture and acts as a binder.
  • Olive Oil: For cooking the meatballs in.
  • Flour: Rolling them in flour helps hold it together and gives a nice flavorful coating to the outside that browns and crisps while keeping the inside tender and moist.

Optional Toppings! 

  • Pita Bread: Buy your pitas or make this flavorful homemade Naan that will work and tastes amazing!
  • Cucumbers: Sliced and diced, adds a great fresh flavor.
  • Red Onion: Thinly slice the red onions.
  • Tzatziki Sauce: Make your own tzatziki sauce that is super easy and absolutely divine.

How to Make Greek Meatballs Keftedes

These keftedes may look complicated, but they could not be simpilier. Combine, cook and enjoy!

  1. Combine: In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the ground beef, pork, breadcrumbs, egg, onion, garlic, parsely, mint, oregano, salt, pepper and milk. Mix until it is all incorporated.
  2. Form: Shape into 2 inch meatballs.
  3. Heat: Add the olive oil to a medium sized skillet and turn to medium high heat.
  4. Roll and Cook: Roll the meatballs in the flour and place them in the pan. Cook on each side until no longer pink.
  5. Serve: Serve with pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki if desired.

Making the meatballs, rolling it in flour and frying in oil.

Tips and Variations For the Best Greek Meatballs

Greek meatballs are not like other meatballs. Their flavor is distinctly Greek. Served with the tzatziki and pitas it just makes them delicious.

  • Shape: Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to form your meatballs so they are all the same size. This way the keftedes will cook at the same rate and time. If you do not have a scoop use a spoon to make the roughly the same size.
  • Roll it: To keep the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands, grease them with a bit of cooking spray.
  • Mix It: To really mix up the meat mixture use a food processor. This will also help grind up the onion and garlic really infusing it into the meatballs. Everything gets mixed up really well and evenly with a food processor.
  • Mint: If you cannot find mint you can use fresh basil instead. Basil is often substituted for mint when you cannot find it. Dried mint or basil will also work if you cannot find fresh.
  • Let it sit: To allow the flavors to really saturate and infuse into the meat mixture, make it at least an hour or more ahead of time. Cover it tightly and place in the fridge for up to 4 hours a head of time.
  • Lemon: Add some fresh lemon juice to the mixture to brighten the meatballs and add a little bit of zing.
  • Flour: Rolling the meatballs in the flour before frying keeps the meatballs moisture and juices locked in. The flour almost creates a barrier. It also adds a nice crust that creates a delicious texture to each and every bite! Be sure to shake off excess, however, you do not want them to be caked in it.
  • Toppings: Also serve with tomatoes, feta and greek olives.
  • Grate: The best way to distribute the onion flavor without chunks is to grate the onion. If you do not have red onion, yellow onion will work just fine. I prefer the extra bit of bite from the red onion however.

 

 

Meatballs in the skillet browned and ready to serve.

How to Bake Greek Meatballs

If you need to make a ton of meatballs for a large crowd you can bake a large batch in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray the aluminum foil. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and coat them with just a little bit of cooking spray. Bake the meatballs in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until they are brown and fully cooked. The internal temperature should register 160 degrees.

Storing and Freezing Meatballs

  • Storing: Keep leftover meatballs in the fridge tightly covered or in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Leftovers can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave.
  • Freeze: These meatballs are great for freezing, and then you can pull them out when you need a quick meal. After the meatballs have completely cooled place them in a freezer safe bag and keep in the freezer for up tot 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and warm in the microwave or in pan on the stove.

Browned meatballs on a platter with pitas and vegetables.

More Meatball Loving Recipes!

Once you realize how easy it is to make meatballs, you are going to want to make them all the time. Meatballs are bite sized nuggets of pure delight. Kids and adults alike love to eat meatballs. They make great appetizers and easy meals. Meatballs are easy to customize and add flavors to. So if you need a good meatball recipe for dinner, a party or an appetizer I have you covered. These incredibly luscious meatballs will leave you craving more!

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Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)

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Greek Meatballs also known as Keftedes, are full of flavor and super delicious. These have all the greek flavor and super easy to make!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Keyword greek meatballs, keftedes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 524kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork or lamb
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 red onion finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 6 mint leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour

Optional Toppings:

Instructions

  • In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the ground beef, pork, breadcrumbs, egg, onion, garlic, parsley, mint, oregano, salt, pepper and milk. Mix until it is all incorporated.
  • Shape into 2 inch meatballs.
  • Add the olive oil to a medium sized skillet and turn to medium high heat.
  • Roll the meatballs in the flour and place them in the pan. Cook on each side until no longer pink.
  • Serve with pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 579mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 363IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 5mg



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Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

This garlic chicken stir fry is a quick and easy dinner that’s perfect for those busy weeknights. Cubes of chicken are cooked with colorful veggies and tossed in a flavorful garlic sauce for a meal that’s way better than take out!

Stir fry is almost a complete meal by itself. Just add some Egg Rolls, a Fruit Salad and some Cream Cheese Wontons for a complete meal!

Chicken Garlic stir fry in the pan with broccoli and mushrooms.

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

When I am looking for a speedy dinner, I often turn to stir fry. It’s so easy to make and super versatile. It is fast and easy and curbs that temptation to hit the drive-thru. Stir fry is also a guarantee that I can get my kids to eat their vegetables. They love the combination of chicken and sauce. It is always a meal I can count on to feed the masses and they will leave the table with full bellies and smiles.

This incredible garlic chicken stir fry features diced chicken and mixed vegetables in a garlic sauce. This dish is definitely for garlic lovers – there are four cloves of it in the recipe! If you prefer a milder garlic flavor, you can easily cut down to 2-3 cloves and it will still be flavorful. I feel the 4 cloves are just the right amount without overdoing it however, give it a try, you will love it. The whole family will love this stir fry, and you’ll love how quick it is to make!

Ingredients for Chicken Stir Fry

The sauce for this dish is a simple combination of ingredients that you probably already have in the pantry, like chicken broth, sesame oil and soy sauce. Adjust the quantities for your families needs, double it if you like it saucey or have a bigger family. Half the stir fry recipe for a smaller crowd.

  • Vegetable Oil: Canola or vegetable oil will work, need an oil with a high smoke point.
  • Broccoli Florets: Wash and chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces if needed.
  • Mushrooms: Wash and quarter your mushrooms or slice them.
  • Yellow Bell Pepper: Slice the pepper and then cut the slices in half for easy eating.
  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add to taste.
  • Garlic: Minced or finely chopped garlic to spread the flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: This is the base for the garlic sauce.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds a little bit of sweet, use dark or light brown sugar.
  • Soy Sauce: Low sodium soy sauce is ok here, or regular too.
  • Sesame oil: Sesame oil adds a depth and richness to the flavor of the sauce.
  • Cornstarch:This will thicken the sauce so it will stick to the chicken and vegetables.

Making Chicken Stir Fry with Garlic Sauce

  1. Heat: Place 1 teaspoon of oil in a large pan and heat over medium high heat.
  2. Vegetables: Add the broccoli, mushrooms and bell pepper to the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Transfer: Remove the vegetables from the pan; transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  4. Heat: Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel, then heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over high heat.
  5. Chicken: Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Saute: Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until chicken is browned and cooked through.
  7. Garlic: Lower heat to medium, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Combine: Add the vegetables back to the pan.
  9. Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch.
  10. Pour:  Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture and bring to a simmer.
  11. Simmer: Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has just thickened.
  12. Serve: This is best served immediately with steamed rice if desired.

Sauteing mushrooms, peppers, and broccoli.

Tips for Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

The veggies are cooked first, then removed from the pan and the chicken gets seared to golden brown perfection. Cooking them seperate will ensure the chicken gets done and the vegetables don’t over cook.

  • Faster: For even quicker prep, used bagged broccoli florets which are usually washed and already to go. Mushrooms can also be found presliced. It makes preparing the dish a breeze.
  • Pepper: I used a yellow pepper, but you can use whatever color you wish. Try red, or orange peppers, or a mixture. Green peppers will have a different flavor and so I do not recommend them.
  • Chicken: You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs too. Whichever one you use cut your pieces into the same sized pieces. They will cook more evenly.

Stir frying the chicken in the wok.

Variations for Your Chinese Stir Fry

I used chicken breast, broccoli, mushrooms and yellow bell peppers in this dish. You can easily substitute in your family’s favorite vegetables.

  • Vegetables: Other great choices are snow peas, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, beans, water chestnuts, or even celery.
  • Protein: Exchange the chicken for pork, beef, shrimp or tofu.
  • Vegetarian: Make it vegetarian by using no chicken and vegetable broth instead of chicken.
  • Sweetness: Exchange the brown sugar for the same amount of honey. It will had a nice flavor.
  • Zing: Add a teaspoon of ginger to give a bit more spice. It is so good!!

Adding the vegetables to the chicken and the sauce.

What to Serve Your Stir Fry With

Stir fry is awesome just by itself, especially if you are trying to keep it low carb, but serving it on top of a luscious carbohydrate can make it divine.

  • Rice: Serve with rice, brown rice or even fried rice.
  • Quinoa:  High in protein and deliciously nutty.
  • Noodles: Use asian noodles, Lo Mein, Sesame Noodles, or even spaghetti noodles.
  • Cauliflower Rice: Use cauliflower for a low carb option.

Stirring the chicken, broccoli and mushrooms all together.

Storing Leftover Chicken and Vegetables

Stir fry is best eaten immediately before the vegetables get too soggy, and it can be hard to keep them from going soggy when you store them. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat leftovers in a saute pan or microwave.

Garlic Chicken Stir fry on a plate with rice.

More Take Out Type Recipes To Make At Home

I love being able to recreate restaurant favorites at home. They always taste better and I know exactly what I’m feeding my family. My family is also more likely to eat these meals too. They have more flavor, and I can adapt them to our specific tastes. Add more or less spice, more or less vegetables, etc. And may I add it always cheaper to make it yourself. So the next time you get the craving for take out, reach for one of these tried and true recipes instead.

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Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

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This garlic chicken stir fry is a quick and easy dinner that’s perfect for those busy weeknights! Cubes of chicken are cooked with colorful veggies and tossed in a flavorful garlic sauce for a meal that’s way better than take out!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian American
Keyword chicken stir fry, garlic chicken stir fry
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 183kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil divided use
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup mushrooms halved
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  • Place 1 teaspoon of oil in a large pan and heat over medium high heat.
  • Add the broccoli, mushrooms and bell pepper to the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Remove the vegetables from the pan; transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel, then heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over high heat.
  • Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until chicken is browned and cooked through.
  • Lower heat to medium, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the vegetables back to the pan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch,
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has just thickened.
  • Serve immediately, with steamed rice if desired.

Video

Notes

Updated on March 18, 2021

Originally Posted on February 22, 2017

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 676mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 79.9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

 

 




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Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage will make your St. Patrick’s Day a breeze. The beef is tender and the cabbage and potatoes is full of flavor, you will love this!

Corned Beef and Cabbage is a classic then add Soda Bread to complete the meal. For dessert enjoy a little green with Mint Brownies or a Shamrock Shake.

Corned beef, potatoes, cabbages, and carrots on a platter.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

This Irish holiday is a favorite at our house. Along with everything being turned green ( think green milk, pancakes etc), we get to eat this delectable dish! Corned Beef and cabbage is a must for St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Cooking it in the instant pot guarantees tender moist beef and perfectly cooked cabbage and potatoes.Adding the carrots gives it texture, color and flavor. It is the easiest and most delicious way to eat this Irish traditional meal.

Cooking the corned beef and cabbage in the instant pot is a hands off approach that will save you time and stress. If this is your first time cooking it, then the instant pot is the way to go. It will come out perfect and tender! Cook the vegetables separate from the beef so that they don’t get over cooked. This will be a meal that will wow your family! It is so good you may want to make it more than just once a year, which you probably should anyway!

What is Corned Beef?

Traditional Irish made this meal originally with boiled bacon, but when they immigrated to America, they could not afford it pork or bacon. Corned Beef Brisket is what they used instead. They paired it with the cheapest vegetables around, cabbage and potatoes. It has been tradition here in America ever since.

Corned beef is beef brisket that has been soaked in brine and then cured with salt and seasonings. The pink color comes from the sodium nitrate that is used in the  curing process. Corned beef comes in multiple cuts, and is best cooked for a long period of time so that it comes out tender. It can be boiled, slow cooked, or roasted.

What You Need To Make Corned Beef

Now is the time to buy corned beef! I like to buy more than one and stick one in my freezer for later in the year when I get the craving. Corned beef is a favorite.

  • Onion: Roughly chopped
  • Corned Beef Brisket:
  • Water: Needed to create the pressure.
  • Pickling Spice: Many corned beef come with the spices in a packet included.
  • Carrots: Use regular carrots and not baby carrots for best flavor.
  • Baby Potatoes: Red or yellow potatoes work well.
  • Cabbage: Roughly  chopped.

How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage in the Instant Pot

The instant pot takes the work and fret out of making fork tender corned beef. The vegetables need to be cooked separately so they don’t turn to mush.

  1. Place: Add the onion to the bottom of your instant pot. Place the corned beef on top and sprinkle with pickling spice.
  2. Cook: Add the water the instant pot and make sure the valve is turned to seal. Set the instant pot to high and cook for 80 minutes.
  3. Rest: Once the time is up, carefully turn the valve to release and let the remaining pressure out. Remove the beef and onions from the instant pot and set it aside to rest.
  4. Cook Vegetables: Take out two cups of the water and add the carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Make sure the valve is turned to seal. Turn the pressure cooker to high for 5 minutes. Once the time is up then release the pressure. Once the pressure is released slice up the meat going against the grain and serve with vegetables.

Putting the corned beef in the instant pot and adding the vegetables.

How to Buy Corned Beef

March is the perfect time to buy corned beef, although you can usually find it year round. It is mostly found in two different cuts. The flat cut brisket and the point cut. You can also sometimes find a corned beef roast, but they are not as popular since they have the least amount of fat and dry out easily.

Flat cut brisket and point cut brisket are the cuts you want to look for and buy. Flat is a favorite because it comes in a uniform shape and size. This makes the corned beef easy to cut and you can trim the fat off easy from the top. Point cuts usually have the most fat, but can be the most tender.  Either one will work beautifully for this Instant pot recipe.

Cooked corned beef with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots.

Tips for the Best Instant Pot Corned Beef

Leftover corned beef is divine! Make a Breakfast Corned Beef Hash or these Incredible Corned Beef Sandwiches!

  • Potatoes: To get the best results you want to use waxy potatoes that won’t break down as easily when cooked. Yukon golds or yellow potatoes, red potatoes and fingerlings are all ideal choices. Avoid russets, they can break down into mush when cooked.
  • Carrots:  Yes baby carrots can be used and are convenient, but if you have the time use large carrots peeled and chunked. They will give you better flavor and hold up nicely to the instant pot.
  • Pickling Spices: Almost all corned beef will come with a package of spices with it. This is the same as pickling spices and you can just use them for ease. If you do not have a packet use a combination of allspice berries, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, whole pepper seeds, bay leaves and whole cloves. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut against the Grain: This is one of the most important steps for insuring tender, melt in your mouth meat. As you look at your corned beef you’ll notice how the strands of meat lay in one direction, usually lengthwise. You are going to want to cut against that or at a perpendicular angle. This automatically will help the meat be tender and not fibrous when you eat it.
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers tightly wrapped or in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat as desired.

Sliced corned beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes on a plate.

More Recipes With Cabbage to Rediscover

Cabbage is wonderful little vegetable that gets overlooked sometimes. It is an exceptionally healthy food. Cabbage  is especially high in vitamins C and K. In addition, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion and combat inflammation. It also adds crunch, volume and taste to dishes. So add these tried and true recipes to add more cabbage to your life. It’s good for you!

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Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

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Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage will make your St. Patrick's Day a breeze. The beef is tender and the cabbage and potatoes is full of flavor, you will love this!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword Corned beef, Corned beef and cabbage, instant pot corned beef, instant pot corned beef and cabbage
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 People
Calories 580kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 3-4 pound corned beef brisket
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons pickling spice
  • 4 large Carrots
  • 1 pound baby potatoes
  • 1 head cabbage quartered

Instructions

  • Add the onion to the bottom of your instant pot. Place the corned beef on top and sprinkle with pickling spice.
  • Add the water the instant pot and make sure the valve is turned to seal. Set the instant pot to high and cook for 80 minutes.
  • Once the time is up, carefully turn the valve to release and let the remaining pressure out. Remove the beef and onions from the instant pot and set it it aside to rest.
  • Take out two cups of the water and add the carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Make sure the valve is turned to seal. Turn the pressure cooker to high for 5 minutes. Once the time is up then release the pressure. Once the pressure is released slice up the meat going against the grain and serve with the veggies.

Nutrition

Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 2835mg | Potassium: 1460mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 8180IU | Vitamin C: 137mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 5mg



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Best Ever Baked Rigatoni

Baked Rigatoni is full of zesty meat, tender noodles and lots of cheese!  Super simple this is the ultimate comfort food!

Turn this hearty dish into a wonderful meal and serve it with these favorites. Garlic Bread, Asparagus and a Salad!

Baked rigatoni being spooned out of a bowl.

Baked Rigatoni

Baked Rigatoni is like taking the best parts of lasagna and spaghetti and putting them together. What you get is a magical hearty, cheesy dish! Everyone loves baked rigatoni! With tons of cheese, zesty tomato sauce and tender noodles, it is just so good! This is truly one of those comfort foods that fills you up both tummy and soul! Baked Rigatoni is a meal everyone loves to come home to and will readily devour.

Rigatoni is named for the noodles typically used in this Italian dish. Rigatoni noodles are large, round, and have ridges that help to hold in all the saucy goodness. They are a larger hollow noodle too which makes it wonderful as will fill with the meaty sauce and cheese. Do not get it confused with ziti which is smaller and does not have ridges or penne which is cut on a diagonal. Baked Rigatoni makes a large amount, so come hungry!

What You Need For Rigatoni

Amazing ingredients on their own, combine to create an incredible homey dish.

  • Rigatoni: Cook the pasta al dente for best results.
  • Olive Oil: The perfect oil for this Italian dish.
  • Small Onion: Finely chopped.
  • Garlic Mince the garlic.
  • Ground Beef: Use lean ground beef.
  • Ground Sausage: Using Italian sausage add a nice bit of spice.
  • Italian Seasoning: A great combination of spices and herbs.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add to taste.
  • Marinara: Use your favorite jarred sauce or even better make your own, it is so easy and delicious!
  • Mozzarella: Use freshly shredded mozzarella over pre-shredded.
  • Parmesan: Finely grated.
  • Chopped Basil: This is optional but adds great flavor.

Making Baked Rigatoni Pasta

You cook the meat and onions and sauce all in the same pan. Saves for easy cleanup.

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside. In a large pot bring water to a boil and cook the rigatoni according to package directions.
  2. Saute: In a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Saute until tender.
  3. Meat: Add in the ground beef and sausage and cook and crumble until no longer pink.
  4. Sauce: Add in the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste, and marinara sauce. Reduce heat and let simmer.
  5. Pasta: Drain the pasta and return to the large pot. Add the meat sauce to the pot and stir until combined.
  6. Layer: Spread half of the pasta in the bottom of your 9×13 inch dish. Layer with half of the pasta.
  7. Add: Layer with half of the cheeses. Repeat with remaining pasta and cheese.
  8. Bake: Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.

Making the meaty sauce and adding the noodles and cheese for Rigatoni.

Tips For The Best Baked Rigatoni

Rigatoni is simple and basic, but you can make it amazing with a few tips.

  • Noodles: Rigatoni is the noodle of choice for this casserole, but you can use other noodles in a pinch. Try to use similar type of noodle. For example rotini, penne, fusilli or large shell pasta. Whichever noodle you use cook the noodles al dente. This helps the noodles absorb the sauce.
  • Fresh Cheese: It is best if you can shred your own cheese, it will melt much easier and taste better. Pre-shredded cheese often comes with anti-caking agents that prevent it from melting the same and can alter the taste.
  • Meat: You can use extra lean ground beef so it isn’t overly greasy. If you find you have a lot of grease in the pan after you cook it. Remove the meat and drain the grease into a can or something you can throw away once the grease has solidified. Do not pour the grease down the sink. It is bad for your pipes. Then back in the meat and continue as directed.
  • Add a little Heat: You can make your baked rigatoni a bit more zesty by using a spicy Italian sausage, or you can add red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Add Vegetables: This is a great dish to add vegetables to or hide them in. Zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, or spinach.

Baked rigatoni in a white bowl.

Make Ahead and Freeze!

This is one of those amazing recipes that you can make ahead of time and it will actually taste better after it has sit and the flavors have melded together.

  • Make Ahead: Make the baked rigatoni according to directions but do not bake it. Tightly cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. Let the 9×13 pan sit for about 20 min before baking.
  • Freeze: If you want to you can even freeze the rigatoni before it is baked or after for up to 3 months. If you don’t bake it let it thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours. Bake as directed, checking to make sure it is done in the middle. It may need more time. If you have baked it, simply thaw and reheat in the oven or microwave.
  • Leftovers: This makes a large dish, so you can feed a crowd or have leftovers. I have to say leftovers taste even better than when it is fresh. There is just something about Italian food that is always better the second day. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Two plates with baked rigatoni.

More Pasta Dishes to Fall in Love With

Pasta is one of the best comfort foods there is, it’s filling, and incredibly versatile. Combine it with all sorts of different sauces and meats to create marvelous dishes! Pasta comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and is so fun to cook with. So when you need a pasta fix reach for some of these divine recipes, they are all delectable.

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Baked Rigatoni

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Baked Rigatoni is full of zesty meat, tender noodles and lots of cheese!  Super simple this is the ultimate comfort food!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian, Italian American
Keyword baked rigatoni, rigatoni, rigatoni pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 People
Calories 906kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce rigatoni pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 Tablespoon italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 (24 ounce jars) marinara sauce or Homemade Marinara
  • 16 ounce mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • chopped basil for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside. In a large pot bring water to a boil and cook the rigatoni according to package directions.
  • In a medium sized sauce pan over medium high heat add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Sauté until tender.
  • Add in the ground beef and sausage and cook and crumble until no longer pink.
  • Add in the italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste, and marinara sauce. Reduce heat and let simmer.
  • Drain the pasta and return to the large pot. Add the meat sauce to the pot and stir until combined.
  • Spread half of the pasta in the bottom of your 9×13 inch dish. Layer with half of the pasta.
  • Layer with half of the cheeses. Repeat with remaining pasta and cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutrition

Calories: 906kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 1144mg | Potassium: 726mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 648IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 530mg | Iron: 4mg

 



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Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

This Beef and Broccoli takes just minutes to throw in the slow cooker. My top five favorite recipes on the blog!
The beef melts in your mouth and the flavor is out of this world! If you don’t have all day but are in the mood for an excellent beef and broccoli dinner, try it with garlic or only 20 Minute dinner.
Beef and Broccoli in the slow cooker.
Beef and Broccoli
I made this recipe back when I first started my blog. It is still in my top five favorite recipes here on the blog. I love beef and broccoli and I always order it whenever we go out. Well, this recipe is better than takeout and only takes minutes to throw in the slow cooker!
This recipe was due for a much needed picture update. The first picture I took was just not doing this recipe justice. Luckily people still took my word for how amazing this recipe is and it gets countless rave reviews!  Hopefully these updated photos will convince you to try this recipe out for yourself.  You will not only see how easy it is to make, but also how insanely delicious it is!

What You Need to Make Chinese Beef and Broccoli

If you make only one recipe from my blog and are a fan of beef and broccoli… you have GOT to make this. Like go to the store and buy the ingredients and make it ASAP! It is so good that it will be the biggest hit at the dinner table. You will make it again and again, just like we do!

  • Beef chuck roast: Boneless and sliced into thin strips before adding to the crockpot.
  • Beef consomme or beef broth: Adds flavor and liquid and covers the meat while it cooks.
  • Low sodium soy sauce: Adds a great salty flavor.
  • Dark brown sugar: I love the sweetness from the rich molasses in the brown sugar.
  • Sesame oil: Combine with soy sauce and broth to make the liquid to cook the beef.
  • Garlic cloves: Minced garlic will add a pungent spice flavor.
  • Cornstarch: Thickens the sauce.
  • Frozen Broccoli Florets: About 3 cups (I used one 14 oz bag)
  • White or brown rice: This broccoli and beef is amazing served over cooked rice!

Quick and Easy Steps to Make Beef and Broccoli

Making this recipe again today reminded me of how BOMB it is. Wow! The flavor is incredible. There is something about cooking this meat all day in the slow cooker that makes it so tender and melt in your mouth. It cooks perfectly. And the flavor of the sauce is amazing. Just like you would expect in a restaurant.

  1. Whisk sauce: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the beef consume, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
  2. Add beef to Crockpot: Lay the beef strips in the crockpot and pour the sauce over, tossing the strips to coat.
  3. Cook: Turn the crockpot on low and cook for about 6 hours. Mine was ready at 5. You don’t want to cook the beef too long or it will start to shred.
  4. Make a slurry and add to crockpot: When it is just about done, take 4 Tbsp of the sauce and whisk it in a small bowl with the cornstarch. Slowly stir this into the crockpot.
  5. Add in broccoli and continue to cook: I added the broccoli right after the slurry so that it could get heated through. You want to let it cook an additional 30 minutes so that the sauce can thicken and frozen broccoli can cook. You don’t want to add the broccoli until the very end or it will be mushy.
  6. Serve:  It is great alone or over white rice.  Enjoy!!

Adding the sauces to the beef n the slow cooker and then adding the broccoli.

Do I Need To Thaw the Broccoli if I Am Using Frozen?

You do not need to thaw it. Add it directly to the crock pot after you add in the cornstarch mixture and allow it to heat up for about 30 minutes.

Can I Make This Recipe Ahead?

This recipe can be made ahead! Allow it to cool completely before storing and do not leave out at room temperature longer than 2 hours.  It will keep well if properly stored in an airtight container for 2-4 days in the refrigerator or 2-4 months in the freezer.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then use within 3-4 days of thawing.  If you thaw in the microwave, eat immediately then discard.

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli with rice in a bowl.

More Slow Cooker Beef Recipes

Slow cooking beef is one of the best ways to get incredibly tender beef every time. It allows the fibers to break down tenderizing the meat. Adding sauces and flavorings and then slow cooking them over time infuses the meat with flavor. Slow cooking beef is still one of the best ways to cook it. Give these tried and true favorites a try tonight!

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Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

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This Beef and Broccoli takes just minutes to throw in the slow cooker. The beef melts in your mouth and the flavor is out of this world! My top five favorite recipes on the blog!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian American, Chinese
Keyword slow cooker beef and broccoli, slow cooker recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 People
Calories 299kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound beef chuck roast boneless, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup beef consomme or beef broth
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Frozen Broccoli Florets about 3 cups (I used one 14 oz bag)
  • White or brown rice cooked

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the beef consume, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
  • Lay the beef strips in the crockpot and pour the sauce over, tossing the strips to coat.
  • Turn the crockpot on low and cook for about 6 hours. Mine was ready at 5. You don't want to cook the beef too long or it will start to shred.
  • About an hour before it is done, take ¼ cup of the sauce and whisk it in a small bowl with the cornstarch. Slowly stir this into the crockpot. Add in the broccoli the last 30 minutes and let the broccoli cook through. You don't want to add the broccoli until the very end or it will be mushy.
  • Serve over white rice and enjoy!!

Video

Notes

Updated on March 7, 2021

Originally Posted on November 21, 2012

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 953mg | Potassium: 459mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg
Beef and broccoli over rice in a white bowl.



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Cashew Chicken (Way Better than Takeout!)

This homemade Cashew Chicken is way better than takeout!  Tender chicken is stir-fried and tossed with a luscious garlic sauce and cashews.

Better than take out in the comfort of your own home is the best! Combine this dish with Egg Rolls, Fried Rice and some Wontons for a complete dinner.

Cashew chicken on bed of rice with broccoli

Homemade Cashew Chicken

Chinese take out is one of America’s favorites with good reason. It is a comfort food that is jam packed with flavor and diversity. The chicken is tender, the cashews are crunchy and the sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and zing. You have to try this tried and true recipe!

Coating the chicken in the cornstarch creates a nice crisp crust and will also thicken the sauce. The sauce has the perfect balance of sweetness with saltiness and  bit of zing from the garlic. If you want more kick you can add red pepper flakes to the sauce. The different combinations of textures will more than satisfy. The chicken is tender with a light crust. The cashews add a bit of crunch and the sauce is creamy smooth. We like to serve it with rice and vegetables.

Ingredients in Easy Chicken Cashew

Simple ingredients come together to make this tangy, with a hint of spicy cashew chicken. Everything is easy to find in your local grocery store. No need to go to a specialty store.

  • Chicken: Skinless boneless chicken breasts.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste
  • Cornstarch: This acts as a coating and thickener for the sauce.
  • Olive Oil: To stir fry the chicken in.
  • Soy Sauce: You can either use low sodium or regular.
  • Chicken Broth: For the sauce.
  • Garlic Cloves: Adds a bit of a kick and a ton of flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: Provides a bit of sweetness to the sauce.
  • Hoisin Sauce: Classic sauce used in many asian dishes.
  • Sesame Oil: Helps with the flavor and cooking.
  • Whole Cashews: Unsalted are best, you can use pieces if those are easier to find.

Making Better than Takeout Cashew Chicken

This better than take out is actually quite easy to make.  All it takes is a bit of time and you’ve got cashew chicken that will taste amazing.

  1. Cut: Dice your chicken breast into one inch pieces. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Mix: Toss the chicken with the cornstarch mixture in a ziplock bag.
  3. Stir Fry: Add olive oil to wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil gets to the smoking point then add the chicken in a single layer in batches. Cook each side until golden brown.
  4. Sauce: In a small bowl whisk the soy sauce, chicken broth, garlic, brown sugar, hoisin and sesame oil.
  5. Combine: Add to the pan with the cashews.Toss until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Serve: Serve over rice with vegetables if desired.

 

Cut up chicken, breading and sauteing the chicken for Cashew chicken.

Tips for The Best Cashew Chicken

This will come together fast so make sure you have everything ready to go. The extra time to prep everything before you start cooking will make all the difference.

  • Wok: If you don’t have a wok, no worries. You can use a large fry pan with the same success.
  • Chicken: Cut the chicken into the same sized pieces so they cook evenly. It is important that you do not overcook the chicken. It will turn rubbery instead of juicy and tender. Just brown each side and then begin adding the other ingredients. It will finish cooking in the sauce. You can also use chicken thighs cut up, use boneless skinless for easy preparation.
  • Roast the Cashews:  If you bought your cashews raw, you will want to roast them to bring out their flavor. Place them on a sheet pan and put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. They will crisp up as they cool.
  • Garnish: I like to cut up some green onions and add at the very end for a bit of flavor and color.
  • Serve: We love this over rice and some stir fried vegetables for a complete meal that is so scrumptious. You can also try cauliflower rice, quinoa or noodles to serve this cashew chicken over.
  • Vegetables: You can also stir fry bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and broccoli right in the wok after the chicken is done. Remove the chicken, stir fry the vegetables. When tender add the chicken back in and the sauce.

Cashew chicken in a wok with garnish.

Storing Chinese Cashew Chicken

While cashew chicken is amazing the leftovers can be a little soggy. Especially the cashews! The flavor, however, intensifies as it melds together overnight.

  • Store: Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days in a well sealed container.
  • Reheat: To reheat you can use the microwave or add back to a pan and flash fry in the pan on medium high till heated through. This will help crisp up the chicken and nuts a bit.

Picking up Cashew Chicken with chopsticks.

More Better Than Takeout Favorites to Try

It is always a culinary success when I can make my favorite takeout meals at home. More often than not, they also taste better than the restaurants too. Save money and know exactly what is going into your favorite dishes by making them at home. When you are looking for a favorite, you have to try these first. They are all so good! You may never go out again!

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Cashew Chicken

This homemade Cashew Chicken is way better than takeout!  Tender chicken is stir-fried and tossed with a luscious garlic sauce and cashews.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian American
Keyword Cashew Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 329kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup Soy Sauce low sodium if preferred
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Hoisen Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 cup whole unsalted cashews

Instructions

  • Cut your chicken breast into one inch pieces. Salt and pepper.
  • Toss the chicken with the cornstarch mixture in a ziplock bag.
  • Add olive oil to a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil gets to the smoking point then add the chicken in a single layer in batches. Cook each side until golden brown.
  • In a small bowl whisk the soy sauce, chicken broth, garlic, brown sugar, hoisin and sesame oil. Add to the pan with the cashews. Toss until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice and with veggies if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1181mg | Potassium: 702mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg



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Air Fryer Lobster Jalapeño Empanadas

These spicy Air Fryer Lobster Jalapeño Empanadas are crispy and golden perfection without all the oil used in deep frying.


Air Fryer Lobster Jalapeño Empanadas

Empanadas bring me back to my summers as a kid spent in Puerto Rico. I ate empanadas (also known as pastelillos) every chance I could from street vendors. My favorites were the ones filled with lobster, shrimp, or pizza. You can fill empanadas with just about anything you can dream up, from leftover taco meat and pizza to buffalo chicken and pie filling – you name it. These Lobster Jalapeno Empanadas couldn’t be easier. Make sure to try some of my other empanada recipes like these Air Fryer Beef Empanadas, Chilean Caramelized Onion Empanadas and my Taco Empanadas.

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The post Air Fryer Lobster Jalapeño Empanadas appeared first on Skinnytaste.



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Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is a quick cheesy dish that’s sure to hit the spot. This is a comfort food that’s easy and insanely delicious!

Serve Cacio e Pepe with Caesar Salad or Broccoli and some Cheesy Bread and dinner is served! Your family is going to love this quick Italian dish!

Plated Caico de pepe.

Cacio e Pepe Recipe

In Italian cacio e pepe literally means “cheese and pepper.” It is also pronounced “kah-cheeoh eh peh-peh,” So you can sound as authentic as this dish is. This highly addictive dish first popped up in the Roman frontier of cooking and is now a staple all over Italy. This stripped down version of mac and cheese combines the finest and simplest of ingredients to create a restaurant worthy meal right at home. The flavors are simple, authentic and highly addictive.

Your family is going to want you to make this cacio e pepe over and over again. And because it is so easy, you won’t mind doing it. Cacio e pepe is creamy and cheesy but without using heavy cream and lots of fat to do it. Another plus for making this, it is a healthier version of your go to adult version of macaroni and cheese. Perfect! With only 4 ingredients it is an awesome choice for busy weekdays or even a quick romantic dinner for two.

Ingredients for Decadent Cacio e Pepe

This dish is so authentic but so easy. Your going to love the flavor, texture and ease of this dish. With only 4 ingredients you can make this tonight!

  • Thick Spaghetti Noodles: If you can’t find a thick spaghetti type noodle, regular spaghetti will work.
  • Butter: Adds a bit of richness and flavor to the dish.
  • Coarse Ground Pepper: For the best flavor you want it to be coarse ground pepper. It will be worth it.
  • Pecorino Romano Cheese: Look for this where your grocery store sells its specialty cheeses. Often with the blocks of parmesan.

Making Authentic Cacio e Pepe

Yes, this is super easy and fast, but you do need to work the sauce just right. Using the pasta water is key to getting that velvety creamy sauce texture without cream or milk.

  1. Pasta: In a large pot bring the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente.
  2. Keep Pasta Water: Reserve one cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
  3. Melt: Add the butter to the pot and melt over medium high heat. Add the pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Cheese: Add 2 cups cheese and pasta back to the pot and toss until cheese has melted and coated. Garnish with additional pepper and cheese.

Noodles in boiling water, making the sauce and adding the cheese for Caico de Pepe.

What Kind of Noodles and Cheese Work Best

The creamy cheesy sauce does best with noodles that can be swaddled in the sauce and hold on to it. You want a noodle that is tender but toothy and doesn’t disappear in your mouth, like angel hair. Make sure to cook your pasta al dente for best results.

  • Tonnarelli: This is the pasta traditionally used in this dish if you were to order it in Italy. It is thick and toothy , and holds on to the cheesy sauce in the best way possible. It can also be difficult to find.
  • Bucatini: This hollow thick spaghetti is the next best thing and easier to find. It also has a bit of chew and the hollowness fills up with the cheesy sauce, yum!
  • Linguine: A bit smaller than fettuccine noodles, it is a great back up choice if you can not find bucatini.
  • Spaghetti: Spaghetti works just perfectly, especially when you do not have any of the others on hand. Cooked al dente and you have the perfect noodle for this amazing cheesy dish.
  • Cheese: If you are going to make this Cacio e Pepe splurge and make it with the right cheese. You will not regret it. It is has a stronger, saltier flavor than parmesan that combines perfectly with the fresh ground pepper.

A pot full of Cacio de Pepe.

Tips for Perfect Cacio e Pepe

There are a few tips you will want to follow to make sure your sauce does not end up clumpy and your pasta a greasy mess. All it takes is a bit of technique and your cacio e pepe will be perfect every single time.

  1. Not too much water:  You want your pasta water to be very stachy, so cook your noodles in the smallest amount of water that will still cook your noodles. About 2 quarts of water is all you need and collect your pasta water after it is done cooking to get the most starch. I also like to reserve a bit more water than I think I will need.
  2. Add the Pasta Water before the Cheese and Noodles: Once the butter and pepper have cooked, remove from heat and slowly add in the pasta water whisking to combine.  Once it has combined let it sit for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the Cheese a little at a time: Allowing the water to sit for a few minutes will make sure the water is not too hot, which can cause the cheese to seize and clump. Whisk constantly as you add the cheese and place on a burner on low heat. Stir constantly till melted.
  4. Add Noodles half at a time: Stir in the first half of the noodles and stir to coat. Then add the rest adding more pasta water as needed to thin sauce.
  5. Finely Grate your own cheese: For the best cheese results you need to grate your own and use the smallest holes on your grater. Pre grated usually has anti caking agents that prevent melting.  Also grate your cheese before you start the cooking process. You only have a few minutes before it needs to be added to the butter and water, you want to be ready ahead of time.
  6. Pepper: For the best flavor use coarse ground pepper. It gives the best bite and flavor. It is totally worth the grinding!

Hot noodles with Pecorino Romano Cheese and seasoning being lifted out of the pot with tongs.

More Italian Inspired Dishes to Make

Italian food is synonymous with comfort food. Italian includes pots of pasta, comforting soups, hearty dishes, and don’t forget the breads! Oh and of course there is the pizza. Although you many not find our pizza in Italy the flavor profile is the same.  Italian food is high on my list of some of  my all time favorites. Not only that but they are often super easy to make. They use simple ingredients and combine them into fantastic flavors. And Italian food is usually easy to make. So when the cravings for something Italian inspired hits, reach for these tried and true favorites.

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Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is a quick cheesy dish that's sure to hit the spot. This is a comfort food that's easy and insanely delicious!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian, Italian American
Keyword cacio e pepe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 738kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thick spaghetti or fettuccine or linguine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground coarse black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups Pecorino Romano Cheese divided

Instructions

  • In a large pot bring the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente.
  • Reserve one cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
  • Add the butter to the pot and melt over medium high heat. Add the pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Add 2 cups cheese and pasta back to the pot and toss until cheese has melted and coated. Garnish with additional pepper and cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 738kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 832mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 522IU | Calcium: 691mg | Iron: 2mg



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