Slow Cooker Crack Chicken

This Slow Cooker Crack Chicken is Creamy Cheesy Ranch and Bacon Shredded Chicken. It’s perfect on it’s own, on a sandwich, in a tortilla or as a dip!

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I know the name is a bit awkward but I promise, I didn’t come up with it.  My Mom found this recipe in one of her 100 cookbooks and if you’re a chicken lover, you’ll love this and it’s super easy.

I have looked up this recipe on the internet and the internet has deemed the combo of Cheese, Ranch seasoning and bacon as “crack”… Crack Bread,Crack Dip… It’s a thing.

Anyhow, the ingredients will transform into a creamy, tasty, shredded chicken that you can use in TONS of ways: Sandwiches, Nachos, Enchiladas (Hello..Crack Enchiladas…how FUN!)… so scoop it onto a bowl of crunchy lettuce and you have yourself Crack Salad. Whhhaattt?

Also, you can add 2 flavored blocks of cream cheese in place of 2 blocks of regular cream cheese.  I have found bacon flavored cream cheese that I will try next.  I haven’t done this just yet but I believe it will be a fun way to experiment with this recipe.  I will start out using one flavored cream cheese and one plain cream cheese so I can be safe and not over do the taste.

When I make sandwiches, I top it with a bit more cheddar and place it under the broiler for a beat. Because more cheese is more cheese and we like it like that.

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
  • 2 (1 oz) packets dry Ranch seasoning
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled

Directions:

  1. In a slow cooker combine  chicken, cream cheese, and Ranch seasoning.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until chicken shreds easily.
  3. Once chicken shreds stir with a large fork or spoon, so the chicken shreds and all the ingredients combine.
  4. Add in crumbled bacon and stir to incorporate. Add the bacon last so it stays crispy.
    Serve warm.

Crock Pot Sweet & Sour Chicken

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This is a simple recipe since it only takes 4 ingredients but you can also add bell peppers, onions, etc.

Crock Pot Sweet & Sour Chicken

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds chicken breast, boneless, skinless – cut into 1 inch bite size pieces
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2  cup crushed pineapple (liquid drained)
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
Directions:
  1. Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place chicken in a single layer in bottom of crock pot. Mix the remaining ingredients (apricot preserves, chili sauce and pineapple), pour over chicken.
  3. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Each crock-pot cooks differently, so cooking times may vary.
  4. Serve over rice and with your favorite vegetable, like steamed broccoli. Enjoy!

Note:  For more kick, you can add a little crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce.

Taco Ring

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This is such a great recipe and it’s very easy to make.  My family loves Mexican food and using crescent rolls instead of taco shells was a success.   And also, it makes the dish look creative and fun.

Taco Ring

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package (1.25 ounce) Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Water (as called for on seasoning packet)
  • 2-8 ounce tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 cups lettuce, shredded
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • Sour Cream

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Brown ground beef according to taco seasoning package. Add cheese, onions, peppers, etc…
  2. Unroll the crescent dough; separate into triangles. Spray pizza pan with cooking spray. Arrange triangles in a circle on a pizza pan with the wide ends toward the center of the pan, overlapping each other. It should look like a sun, with a large opening in the center. Spoon the meat mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough. (There should be gaps where filling is showing). Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Fill center with the optional toppings or, leave empty. A cute idea is to cut off the top of the pepper and hollow it out, then use the pepper as a salsa bowl.

Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole

CHICKEN SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE fixed

Squash is a vegetable that we eat year round but it also reminds me of the fall season, which will be here before we know it.  Serving Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole with homemade bread is a comfort meal when the fall season and cooler air moves in.  Enjoy!

Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ingredients:
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, roasted and pulp scraped and reserved
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 4 cups cubed cornbread, divided
  •  Garnish: chopped green onion
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon.  Let cool; crumble. Reserve 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat in pan.
  3. Add flour and garlic to pan.  Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in milk, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and cumin.  Cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, approximately 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes with green chiles, 1 cup Cheddar, and Parmesan until melted.  Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in spaghetti squash, chicken, cherry tomatoes, green onion, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt until combined.  Gently stir in 3 cups cornbread.  Pour mixture into prepared dish; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cornbread, remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar, and bacon.
  5. Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with green onion, if desired.

HOW TO ROAST SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut squash in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scoop out interior pulp and seeds.  Drizzle squash halves with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side down.  Bake at 400° until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.  Let cool 30 minutes.  Using a fork, scrape squash strands into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

 

Beer Can Chicken

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Beer Can Chicken is a delicious, juicy recipe that we love to cook in the summertime so since the weather is starting to warm up a bit, it’s the perfect time to add this recipe for everyone to try.  Personally, I had never heard of it until I married my husband 11 years ago and thought it was a strange way of cooking chicken.  You can use your own herbs and spices to this recipe but I’ll share how I make it, or should I say, how my husband makes it.

The first thing to do is to set up your grill, which we have a charcoil grill.  You want indirect heat so I have a picture of what your grill should look like.  After your chicken is prepared for grilling, place it over the pan on your grill to catch the drippings.

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Beer can chicken is nothing more than opening a can of beer and putting it into the chicken so when the beer boils as it cooks, it infuses into the chicken. It makes for a more juicy chicken and it’s a fun summertime meal.

Beer Can Chicken

 Ingredients:

  • 1 – 3 pound chicken
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 24 ounce tall boy (beer, Bud Light Lime is our preference), half full
  1. Rinse chicken under cold running water. Discard giblets and neck from chicken; drain and pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, salt, and ground black pepper.
  3. Put the chicken on a platter and carefully use your fingers to loosen the skin on the breast area and pull it gently away from the meat.
  4. Rub the  mixture underneath the skin and on to the meat, being careful not to tear the skin.
  5. Fit whole chicken over the can of beer with the legs on the bottom; keep upright. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix into the top cavity of the chicken. The beer may foam up when the seasonings fall inside the can. Rub the remaining seasoning mix over the entire surface of the chicken.
  6. Place the chicken, standing on the can, directly on the preheated grill. Close the lid and grill the chicken until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the chicken from the grill and discard the beer can. Cover the chicken with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.

Cook’s Notes:  The other half of the can of beer is for the cook to enjoy while preparing dinner. You can also purchase a Beer Can Stand at almost any store but my husband prefers to balance the chicken on the beer can itself.  Another note, my husband’s family calls this recipe “Dancing Chicken” because they say that the chicken dances while it’s being cook.  Too many beers, possibly.

Oven Roasted Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

Oven Roasted Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

Smoked Sausage and Potatoes is a family favorite and is a meal that my family loves to have with green beans and squash. Several months ago when making this meal, I would fry the sausage and potatoes in olive oil, which is also delicious.  Since I serve this meal with fried squash, I didn’t want to serve two food items in the same meal that are fried so I found this recipe tucked away in a recipe book.

Oven Roasted Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients:

  • 1 package of smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Dried Thyme
  • A handful of grated Cheddar Cheese
    1. Preheat the oven to 400*F. Line a large baking tray (with sides) with several sheets of foil, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
    2. Put the sausage rounds, onions, and potatoes into a large bowl. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika and dried thyme. Toss together with your hands until everything is evenly distributed. Pour this out onto the baking tray, and spread it out as much as you can.
    3. Place into the preheated oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender. Turn off the oven.
    4. Spread the cheese over top of the cooked meat and potatoes and put back in oven until cheese has melted.

Turkey Pot Pie

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This recipe came from my Mom, who found it in a church cookbook that she has kept for many years.  This is a great way to use leftover turkey from our Thanksgiving meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe pastry for a (10 inch) double crust pie
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll out bottom pie crust, press into a 10 inch pie pan, and set aside.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bouillon and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the turkey and flour. Add the milk, and heat through. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust, and place on top of filling. Flute edges, and make 4 slits in the top crust to let out steam.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Herbed Skillet Chicken

ghk-0214-herbed-skillet-chicken-lgnIngredients:

  • 1 lb. white mushrooms, halved
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  1. Add the ingredients in a cast-iron or heavy skillet and top with 4 chicken-leg quarters.
  2. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
  3. Roast at 450 F for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through (165 F).  Serves 4.

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

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I’ve tried more than one meatloaf recipe in my lifetime and I have found one that my family absolutely loves.   Personally, I give this a 5 star rating but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 c. finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a 5×9-inch loaf pan.
  3. Press the brown sugar in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan and spread the ketchup over the sugar.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf.
  5. Place on top of ketchup.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until juices are clear.

Optional:  I use diced green bell peppers and instead of using a small onion, I use
McCormick’s onion flakes.  I have a habit of not measuring so use as
much as desired.

Meatball Casserole

Who loves Italian?  I do! I do!  Well, actually the whole family does so I have been searching the internet for some recipes that I’ve never made before and found this one.  I have bought a bag of frozen meatballs but you can also use ground beef and make your own.  And you will also need a garlic spread, which I bought mine already made up but if you would like to try your own, make a blend of 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans crescent roll dough
  • 1 block (8 oz.) of light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon garlic spread seasoning
  • 1-1/2 to 2 lbs. meatballs (depending on size, cut in half or quartered)
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Unroll the crescent roll dough and press into baking dish, covering bottom of dish and pressing it halfway up the sides of the dish.
  2. Place the cream cheese in a small bowl and mash it with a fork.  Add in the garlic spread seasoning and thoroughly blend it in the cream cheese.  Spread the cream cheese in a thin layer over the crescent roll dough.  It may be easier to spread it out with your fingers instead of using a spatula.
  3. Combine the meatballs and spaghetti sauce in a large bowl and then carefully pour or spoon it over the cream cheese and dough.
  4. Sprinkle the shredded Mozzarella cheese over the top and place it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until is melted and the sauce is bubbly.