Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Sandwiches

I’ve been working nights so slow cooker suppers have been a life saver when it comes to making sure my boys get a good meal. Needless to say I’ve been scouring the net for new crock pot ideas. I came across this idea and fell in love with it. Anything I can throw into the slow cooker and know that the boys are going to like it, works for me. All they had to do was assemble their sandwiches when they were ready to eat.

chixparmsammy

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Sandwiches

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cans (15 oz. ea.) tomato sauce

1 can  (15 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice

12 oz. tomato paste

2 cups sweet, yellow onion, finely diced

1 T (or 2 cloves) garlic, minced

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp oregano

2 bay leaves

4 T fresh basil, chopped fine, or 1 tsp dried

salt & pepper, to taste

sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese

grated Parmesan cheese

6 hard rolls

1. Start slow cooker on low heat and spray with cooking spray. Place chicken inside.

2. Mix together tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, paste, garlic, onions, and herbs. Stir until well combined. Pour over chicken and turn to coat.

3. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low 6 hours.

4. Shred the chicken using two forks. Replace back into slow cooker and stir everything well.

5. Slice hard rolls and lightly toast, if desired. *They’re awesome with a little bit of butter. Use tongs or slotted spoon to portion out the chicken onto the rolls, tapping off excess sauce. Top with cheeses.

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Pizza Buns

Clearly I have a thing for versions of pizza, but who doesn’t love pizza?? As long as I continue to find different ways to put the same ingredients together the boys will not get bored with their lunches, and so today I have yet another pizza idea for you.

pizzabuns

Pizza Buns

1 package pizza crust*

pizza sauce

mozzarella cheese**

turkey pepperoni

1. Roll out the pizza dough on a heavily-floured surface. *I found some awesome pre-made pizza dough balls at Trader Joe’s in the meat and cheese section. This is way better than the canned stuff if you can’t make homemade dough.

2. Spoon some pizza sauce over the surface of the dough, then place pepperoni all over- as much or as little as you like. (Too much will make it hard to roll up the dough. Mini pepperoni seem to work best but turkey pepperoni only comes in regular size that I’ve found.)

3. Place about a 1-inch squared piece of mozzarella near the bottom of the dough, **or sprinkle shredded cheese over the bottom 3/4 of the dough.

4. Carefully roll up the dough and seal the ends over.

5. Cut into 1-inch slices and place in greased muffin tins.

6. Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes, or until browned. Makes a dozen buns.

7. Serve with extra pizza sauce on the side.

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Buffalo Chicken Burgers

I made these into sliders, but they obviously can be regular sized burgers.  Plus, the kids always seem to enjoy the mini versions better, too.

The buns I used for these were actually hand-sized rolls, which I cut in half length-wise.  They were the perfect size for my 2 oz. patties.  This recipe makes 10 sliders or 4 regular burgers.  Also, I am not big on bleu cheese so we used crumbled feta.   It was delish!

buffalo1

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

1 lb. ground chicken (*I used turkey)

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Salt & pepper

1/2 tsp dill weed

1 tsp fresh parsley

2 Tbs EVOO

Burger buns

Buffalo sauce

ranch dressing

bleu cheese or feta crumbles

tomato, sliced

slices mozzarella cheese

buffalo2

1.  Combine meat, chopped onion, panko, garlic, egg, salt & pepper, and herbs.  Form into patties and set aside as you preheat the skillet and EVOO over medium heat.

2. Cook about 10 minutes on each side (for regular sized patties).  After they are fully cooked, add some buffalo sauce to the pan and cook the burgers an additional minute on each side.

3. On the bottom half of the bun spread some ranch dressing, topping with cheese crumbles and tomato slices.

4. Place chicken burger on the tomato and add a slice of mozzarella cheese.   Put on the top half of the bun.

5. Serve with extra buffalo sauce, with carrot and celery sticks on the side.

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Caprese Style Quinoa Bake

This was soooooo yummy.  Hubby and I like to eat meatless so this was actually great by itself for a meal, but it makes an awesome side dish as well for those who want a more rounded-out dinner.  The boys liked it, too, though they aren’t crazy about chunks of tomato.  A regular caprese uses fresh, delicious mozzarella, so by all means use it if you’ve got it.  However, I didn’t have any so I used goat cheese instead.  It was awesome!  This dish came out tasting like warm, comforting, creamy tomato soup with some chew.  Delicious.

caprese quinoa

Caprese Style Quinoa Bake

3 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup pasta sauce

2 T tomato paste

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup Mozzarella (or 4 oz. goat cheese)

2/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved*

1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons

salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Cook the quinoa- 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups chicken broth.

2. In a saucepan heat up the pasta sauce and tomato paste. Once warm, stir in the cream, parmesan, salt & pepper, half the tomatoes, half the basil, and half the mozzarella or goat cheese. Stir until heated through and everything is melted and smooth. *I didn’t have grape tomatoes so I diced up a large one.

3. Spray a baking dish (I used a 4×7 but you can go up to an 8×8 or 9×9). Pour in quinoa mixture and top with remaining tomato and mozz/goat cheese.

4. Bake for 15 minutes, then broil for an additional 2 or 3, until cheese is gold and bubbly.

5. Remove from oven and top with the remaining basil ribbons.  Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

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