Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cheesy chicken spaghetti

Like so many young women, my daughter has become fascinated with Pinterest. It’s an online source of many things from fashion and home decor to technology and food. Users of Pinterest post their ideas and share them with others.

Anna has a good eye and has led me to several wonderful ideas and many recipes.

For a few months now, she’s wanted to make an easy slow cooker recipe for cheesy chicken spaghetti that she saw on Pinterest. We finally got around to it, and she loved it. So did everyone else who tried it.

The recipe is simple enough: just add the ingredients and let the slow cooker do the work. Cooking time is just two to three hours.

We played around with the ingredients, of course.

For one, I have this rule about soups. I try to never use more than one can of soup (usually cream of chicken or cream of mushroom) in any one recipe, mostly because I worry about sodium, even though I purchase the low-sodium versions. So I changed the part of the recipe that called for both cream of chicken and cream of mushroom and used just the mushroom soup. But just before the end of cooking time, I mixed in 8 ounces of low-fat sour cream as a substitute.

I also cut the Velvetta in half and instead of using canned chicken, I used diced meat from chicken breasts I cooked.

To make this recipe even more simple, I cooked the chicken breasts in the slow cooker the day before I planned to serve the new dish. I also cooked the spaghetti ahead of time. That way I could assemble the recipe during my lunch hour, and Anna could turn it off when she got home from school.

And then, supper was ready!

This is a great, easy recipe for someone who’s just learning to cook or for those of us who have been cooking for a long time but enjoy the easy recipes, too.

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
  • 8 oz. spaghetti, cooked
  • 1/2 pound Velveeta 2 percent, cut into chunks to melt easily
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies (I used Rotel mild)
  • 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces low-fat sour cream
Use a slow cooker liner in your crock or use non-stick cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients except the spaghetti and sour cream. Cook on low for 2 to 3 hours.

At the end of cooking time, mix in spaghetti and sour cream and cook briefly until heated through.

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