Make one meal and using the leftovers to make a tasty snack is not only good for your grocery budget but also a great time saver! Simple Chicken with Penne can be made as a midweek meal and Chicken Bacon Muffin Bites are perfect for family night Fridays!
It took a while for me to realize my family was spending a fortune on groceries a month. We like to eat healthily and we prefer fresh over frozen, we do our best to eat locally and seasonally, however, the bills were getting outrageous. I had to do something.
So I figured I would bring us back to our roots when my husband and I first moved in together, back in our college days, when we had nothing. That is when I really starting using my use what you got, off the cuff cooking skills. I really had to do my best to make one meal and to transform the leftovers into a completely different meal.
Leftovers can be boring and to be honest I do not like our basic leftover nights. you know those nights you just dump the meal on the plate and warm up. I tend to stand in front of the fridge (which is pack full) and say nothing sounds good. So we don’t have too many typical leftover nights they always turn into a get creative, transform those leftovers into their own dishes challenge.
Simple Chicken and Penne is a simple throw together of veggies and chicken that is tossed in pasta. It is made in a Dutch oven which makes clean up a breeze. You prep it then put it in the oven for 30 minutes, giving you time to help with homework, clean, or watch your favorite show. Once the 30 minutes are up you take the pasta and mix and then you serve.
I always make a few extra chicken thighs, either my husband will take them for lunch or I use them in another dish. It’s always nice to have cooked chicken on hand it is one of the most versatile proteins out there, sandwiches, pasta’s, rice casseroles, the possibilities are endless!
Now keep in mind cooked chicken needs to be used or eaten within 3-4 days of you making it or it will go bad. Therefore if you make a dish and decided to use the leftovers do it before the end of day 4. Once day 4 hits the main dish and the leftover dish are considered bad, you don’t get an extra 4 days because you cooked it again.
Like many families, we are doing our best to implement more family time without digital or electronic distractions. Family game nights are one of the many fun ways we spend time together, we ditch the whole traditional family dinner, make munchy finger foods, play games, do puzzles, and we always finish the night with popcorn and a movie oh and ice cream Sundays!
That’s what makes this Chicken Bacon Muffin Bite recipe a perfect use for the leftover chicken. Yes, the leftovers are perfect for a casserole, or soup, which is what happens 70 percent of the time, so change is a good thing.
They are great by themselves or served with a quick marinara sauce or dipped in ranch. Kids love things they can dip, the messier the better….Right?!?
So next time you are meal planning for your crazy busy week ahead make a two for one dinner like Simple Chicken with Penne and transform the leftovers into the perfect Friday night snack, Chicken Bacon Muffin Bites.
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Simple Chicken with Penne
- 6 chicken thighs skin on and bone in
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz penne pasta noodles cooked
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 6 baby portabella mushrooms sliced
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
- Salt and pepper both sides of chicken. Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge chicken in flour.
- In Dutch oven warm oil over medium heat. Gently lay chicken in the oil (making sure you don’t splash) and allow to cook until side is slightly brown. Then flip over and do the same to the other side. Once browned remove and set aside for later
- In same pan and oil, you cooked the chicken in, cook the onions and mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Allow them to cook for 5 minutes over medium/low heat. Add white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove all the baked on goods. Add garlic, oregano, basil, thyme and red pepper flakes to Dutch oven with veggies and wine and give it a stir. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring up to a simmer. Place chicken back into the Dutch oven so it is lying flat. Cover and place in pre heated oven. Cook for 30 minutes.
- While chicken and veggies are cooking make your penne pasta according to the package directions.
- When chicken is done remove from oven, take the chicken out and allow to rest. Add the penne to the veggies and liquid. Stir to combine.
- Dinner is complete…enjoy!
Chicken Bacon Muffin Bites
- 1 1/2 cup Biscuit Mix
- 1 cup butter milk
- 3 strips Thick Cut Bacon Cooked and Crumbled
- 1/2 cup leftover chicken shredded
- 1 whole green onion chopped
- 1/8 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese finely shredded
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese finely shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a mini muffin pan
- In a large bowl combine the biscuit mix and the butter milk. The mixture should be stickier and runnier than if you were making biscuits, it should not form a ball if it does add another splash of milk.Add bacon, chicken, onion, parsley, garlic, thyme, smoked paprika parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese to the biscuit mix, stir until well combined.
- Fill the mini muffin tins until they are ¾ full. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until tops are a golden brown.
- Remove from oven allow to cool slightly, remove from tins, serve and enjoy!