Chicken Nacho Mac & Cheese

I had this brainstorm at like midnight one night. Because that’s when you have your best recipe ideas…at midnight when the fridge starts calling your name. For the record, I didn’t get up and make this in the middle of the night, but I did grab my phone and add it to my notes for “recipe ideas.” Here’s how my thought process went: ‘What if two of my favorite foods, pasta & nachos, got married and had a baby? What would that be like???!!’ The answer is: AMAZING! I hopped on Pinterest to see if this already exists. Nope! Not that I could find. This is a one-of-a-kind original, people, and it’s everything I imagined. ~Erin

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta
  • 2 (10 oz. each) cans Mild Ro-tel tomatoes & green chilis, drained
  • 1 (10 oz.) can Campbell’s Healthy Request cheddar soup, undiluted
  • 1 c. Tostitos Salsa Con Queso (found I the chip isle)
  • ¼ c. whole milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)
  • 1 c. 2% shredded Mexican cheese
  • 2 – 4 T. chopped pickled jalapenos
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (one per person)
  • 1 tsp. of low sodium taco seasoning per chicken breast
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Cook pasta, in salted water, according to instructions, until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, coat each side of the chicken breasts with ½ tsp. of taco seasoning (1 tsp. per breast) and grill (or cook in a nonstick skillet with cooking spray) until cooked through; set aside.
  3. Drain pasta and immediately add Ro-tel, canned cheddar soup, Tostitos Salsa Con Queso, milk, seasoned salt, and shredded Mexican cheese; stir over low heat until melted and well combined.
  4. Stir in jalapenos to taste. (I used 4 T. and it was pretty spicy – if you are sensitive to heat, leave them out completely.)
  5. Plate your desired serving size of nacho mac & cheese; slice one chicken breast per person and serve on top of the mac & cheese!

WW Freestyle Info.: This mac & cheese recipe makes 12 servings of 5 ounces (about ¾ cup) each.  One serving is 6 points.  Two servings (about 1 ½ cups) comes to 11 points.


Poppy Seed Chicken – Lightened Up

This casserole is great when you don’t have a lot of time to prep a meal.  I made this over the weekend and spent very little time in the kitchen.  I mean, I’d rather be in the kitchen than doing what I was doing, which was dusting the wooden blinds.  (Fun! – not)  How those things gather so much dust so fast is beyond me.  Anywho, I was able to boil my chicken while I dusted away.  After shredding the chicken and quickly mixing up the other ingredients, it was back in the oven while I dusted some more.  Easy for busy days.

This casserole is good comfort food for post-dusting tiredness.  Buttery Ritz topping?  Sign me up!  That’s the best part so don’t skimp on it.  My husband likes it over rice but, in my opinion, that detracts from the flavor so try it on its own first.  Pair it with some roasted veggies or a salad and BAM, you’ve got a good meal on the table.  ~Erin


  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans (10.5 oz each) Campbell’s Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 ½ c. plain, fat free yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T. poppy seeds
  • 50 Ritz Crackers
  • 4 T. light butter, melted (I use Land O’ Lakes Light.)
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Boil or bake the chicken until cooked through; shred or chop and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. In a medium size bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, yogurt, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and poppy seeds. Add chicken & stir until well combined.
  4. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and spread chicken/soup mixture evenly in the pan.
  5. In a small bowl or a gallon zip lock baggie, crush the Ritz crackers and mix with the melted butter.
  6. Sprinkle the buttered cracker crumbs evenly over the top of the chicken & soup mixture.
  7. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until hot & bubbly and the crackers are golden brown.

WW Freestyle Info.: This makes 6 servings. Each serving is 8 points.

Curry Chicken Salad

I’ll be honest. It never would have occurred to me to make a chicken salad with curry. Then a couple of years ago the Sprouts near my office had a curry chicken salad when I was in for lunch.  The lovely golden color intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try. It was a surprisingly excellent choice, but theirs needed a little more heat, so I decided to give making my own recipe a go.  The first time I made it my middle schooler tried it with a lot of skepticism  — and loved it!

The celery and red bell pepper are both (as veggies go) a tiny bit sweet and crunchy, and they blend nicely with the warm flavors of the curry and turmeric.  Throw in cayenne pepper, or don’t depending on your spice preference, and you’ve got this beautiful curry chicken salad to share — or keep all to yourself.

This can be served on its own, but my favorite way to serve it is on a Hawaiian sweet roll as a sandwich.  It’s good on Flat Out Bread too for a healthier option, or, hey, my pre-schooler insists upon eating his chicken salads on crackers! My philosophy there as long as this picky kid is eating? “You do you, buddy!”   ~Robin

  • 2 c. shredded rotisserie chicken breast (about 7.5 oz.)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c. light mayo
  • ⅓ c. diced red bell pepper
  • ⅓ c. diced celery
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ⅛ – ¼ of cayenne pepper, optional (depending on spice preference)


  1. Put 2 eggs on to boil (be sure to set a timer so you don’t forget about them as you prep other items).
  2. Wash, then dice the bell pepper and celery; set aside.
  3. Shred 2 cups of rotisserie chicken breast into a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add light mayo to chicken and mix thoroughly.
  5. Once eggs are boiled, peeled, and cooled, chop and add them to the mixture.
  6. Add curry and turmeric.
  7. Add cayenne pepper if you wish.
  8. Stir spices in well.
  9. Gently mix in celery and bell pepper

WW Freestyle Info: This recipe makes about four filling half-cup servings at 3 points each. Point total does not include bread — or crackers.

Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wraps

I love Thai food; peanut sauce is one of my favorite flavors. I mixed this Thai-style sauce up at home for a lighter version of the restaurant favorite. Served in a wrap with a slaw blend and grilled chicken, this makes a great lunch or summer supper! ~Erin


First, mix the lime juice, honey, powdered peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger & sriracha in a small bowl.

Arrange each wrap with ½ of a sliced grilled chicken breast and about ½ a cup of slaw blend. This is the slaw mix I use but any broccoli slaw will work.


Drizzle each with 1 T. peanut sauce and top with 5 grams (about a teaspoon) of chopped peanuts.

Wrap it up and enjoy!

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

Sometimes a change from the classics is a good thing.  Variety is the spice of life, right?  I LOVE a good, classic, tomato-y lasagna!  Well this is an upgraded, creamy, flavorful chicken version of lasagna.  Low-cal it is not, but it is comfort food at its finest.  I used rotisserie chicken, so this goes together in a flash.  Everyone at the table will be asking for seconds of this one!   ~Kathy


Preheat oven to 375˚F.

In a bowl, season shredded chicken with cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper.  Stir in onion, green chilies, salsa verde and ¾ c. pepper jack cheese.  Combine well.


In the bottom of a baking dish, spread a small amount of the chicken mixture.

Top with layer of lasagna noodles which have been pre-moistened with water (I just run them under a slightly running faucet).  Spread with another layer of the chicken mixture.  Spoon or pour Crema Mexicana over the entire layer, paying close attention not to skimp around the edges.  Drizzle about 1 ½ T. of chicken broth on each layer.  Top with a layer of shredded Mozzarella and pepper jack.


Continue building casserole alternating between layers of dampened noodles, green chili-chicken mixture, Crema Mexicana, chicken broth and shredded cheeses.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking another 5-10 minutes until cheese on top has melted and the entire casserole is bubbling and hot.  Allow the casserole to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Marinated Chicken Tacos

Fire up the grill for this recipe! If you are familiar with fresh Mexican grill Costa Vida restaurant chain, this is a copycat recipe for their grilled chicken.  It is used in all their chicken entrees from burritos to salads. I absolutely LOVE their grilled chicken! This recipe is wonderful for anything you would use grilled chicken in, but my family’s favorite is tacos.  And it’s great because it is really quick to mix together; score one for me! You might even want to make a double batch, grilling and freezing some for a quick heat-up option another day!  ~Kathy


  • 3 lbs. chicken breast
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • 1 heaping T. fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 3 T. all purpose seasoning (I used a combo of original Mrs. Dash & Emeril’s Original Essence.)
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika, optional
  • Juice of 2 lemons


  1. Pat chicken dry. Trim all fat and cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise.
  2. Add all other ingredients in a large Ziplock freezer bag. Mix to combine well. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat chicken pieces completely.
  3. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 30-45 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade; place on pre-heated, oiled grill. Grill on medium-low heat until cooked completely through. Chicken should reach 165 F. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and serve warm in a soft tortilla with your favorite taco toppings.

Cotija and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breast

It was the famous Oklahoman, Will Rogers, who said “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change.”  As I type this, Oklahoma is one of those weeks during which the weather has fluctuated from near 90 to freeze warnings in the span of 7 days.  Somewhere I imagine our favorite native son is now saying, “See. Told ya!”   Around here, as we wait for a true spring to finally set in, we are grabbing the rare nice day to fire up our grill and at least pretend the weather will stay warmer!  And seriously folks, when you’re eating chicken stuffed with melted cheese and bacon, and covered with more cheese, the weather really doesn’t matter!  ~Tracy



  • 4, 4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. seasoned salt (I use Lawry’s.)
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 oz. part skim Cotija cheese (I use Cacique brand.)
  • 3 T. Hormel Real Bacon Bits (no imitation)
  • 2 slices reduced fat pepper jack cheese
  • 8 toothpicks soaked in water for a few minutes


Trim any excess fat from chicken breasts.  Place chicken breasts on paper towels and pat dry (seasonings stick better to dry meat).

Combine garlic powder, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper; set aside.


Using a very sharp knife, split open each chicken breast leaving the edge attached to create a sort of envelope for the cheese and bacon.


Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over what will be the outside of each chicken breast.

Crumble 4 oz. of Cotija cheese and put ¼ of the cheese inside each chicken breast.

Sprinkle the bacon bits equally inside each breast with the cheese.


Use toothpicks to pin each chicken breast closed to keep the cheese and bacon from falling out.  (Soaking toothpicks in water keeps them from burning on your grill.)

Carefully place each chicken breast on your pre-heated grill to cook, turning occasionally being careful not to spill out cheese and bacon.

Grill each stuffed chicken breast until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.  Juices should be clear.

Just before each chicken breast is done, place ½ slice of pepper jack cheese on each piece of chicken.  Remove from heat when chicken is done and cheese is melted.  Cheese will melt within about a minute on a hot grill.

Remove toothpicks before serving.


Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

My daughter turns 11 this week. She’s just like I was as a kid in that she starts planning her next birthday celebration the minute her previous birthday ends. I have to put the kibosh on some of her wild hair ideas but I try to always allow one or two. This year we are taking her and a few of her friends to the zoo and she wants to go dressed as unicorns. Yes, unicorns. I ordered unicorn horns as party favors and she’s created unicorn shirts, complete with rainbow colored tails attached. Good thing she’s crafty.

She also wants a 3 layer cookie cake. Not a plain cookie cake. A sugar cookie cake with 3 layers, frosting between, and sprinkles. It’s a little unexpected (as usual) but honestly it sounds divine so, challenge accepted. (I’m sure you’ll be seeing that soft sugar cookie recipe here on the blog soon. I got it from Kathy and it’s THE BEST. Keep your eyes open for it.)

She also requested this Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry for her birthday. Just kidding, that’s a lie. Hahaha, she’s 11, she wants pizza. Surprisingly though, as my more picky child, she actually will eat this stir fry. I know that doesn’t sound like a glowing recommendation but I promise it is. She usually turns up her nose at vegetables mixed in with meat. Not this one. She mostly eats the broccoli and chicken out, but I ain’t complaining if she eats it at all! My son likes it but he eats like a grown up. Anybody else out there have a picky eater? (All the moms raise their hands.) There’s one in every family.

This stir fry is one of our mom’s creations. Mom has always liked to create new recipes, and this is one she came up with not long ago and shared with us at one of our visits to her house. I immediately asked for the recipe. Thanks, Momma! It’s made with basic ingredients but is packed with flavor… spicy without being hot, and has a hint of salty sweetness as well. What can I say, our mom knows how to cook! ~Erin



  • 8 T. red pepper jelly (found in the jelly isle)
  • 4 T. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • ½ tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • Seasoning of your choice for chicken (I used a prepackaged Asian seasoning but salt, pepper, and garlic powder would be fine too.)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 T. garlic, minced or pressed (I use pre-minced jarred garlic)
  • 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 red, and 1 green bell pepper, deseeded sliced into strips
  • 2 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups), cut into small florets; discard stems
  • 2 ½ T. sesame oil or olive oil, divided
  • Prepared rice, red pepper flakes, chopped green onions, and/or more soy sauce for serving (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together red pepper jelly, soy sauce, and ginger; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 T. oil over medium high heat. Cook the seasoned chicken a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through; remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onions are tender and becoming translucent (about 5-6 minutes, stirring often).
  4. Increase heat to medium and add ½ T. more oil. Add all the bell peppers and cook until they start to get tender.
  5. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not overly soft.
  6. Add the cooked chicken & sauce to the pan with the veggies; cook & stir until evenly coated & heated throughout.
  7. Serve over rice with more soy sauce if desired.

WW Freestyle Info.:  This recipe makes 8 servings. Each 1 ½ cups serving is 4 points, not including rice.


Greek Chicken Nachos

A few years ago, a new restaurant opened in my small town in Oklahoma. A Greek restaurant, to be more precise. I’m embarrassed to say, up until visiting this restaurant, I had never tried Greek food. Not even shopping mall gyros! I’m not sure why, but maybe because I was the pickiest kid in the universe and didn’t get brave enough to start trying new foods until adulthood. Now I eat pretty much everything. Anyway, I fell in love with Greek food immediately; unfortunately, the restaurant didn’t last long but my love for the cuisine persists. Since I don’t have a Greek restaurant nearby anymore, I make it myself at home! Mine would probably qualify as Americanized Greek food but either way, it’s delicious! ~Erin


  • 6 whole wheat pitas (I use Joseph’s Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Flour Pita bread.)
  • 4 medium chicken breasts
  • Greek seasoning, to taste (I prefer Cavender’s brand.)
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 c. low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 oz. (about 1/3 c.) crumbled feta
  • 1 T. finely chopped olives (I used black olives but Kalamata would be great too.)
  • ½ a medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • fresh chopped parsley, optional
Instructions for Pita Chips:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray both sides of the pitas lightly with olive oil spray.
  3. Cut into wedges like you would cut a pizza.
  4. Bake in a single layer on a cookie sheet for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through cook time, or until brown.
  5. OR if you have an air fryer, you can cook them on 370°F for 4 minutes.
  6. Set aside.
Instructions for Nachos:
  1. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken breast lightly with Greek seasoning and cook about 4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked throughout.
  3. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes and then slice against the grain; set aside.
  4. In a large oven safe skillet or pan, layer pita chips, onion, bell pepper, mozzarella, feta, olives, & sliced chicken.
  5. Return the pan to the oven and bake about 5-8 minutes, or until cheeses are melted.
  6. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

WW Freestyle Info: This makes 4 servings at 6 points each.

Crock Pot Chicken Verde – 3 Ways

This recipe was born of necessity.  I needed lunch for the week and this is what I had in the pantry and freezer.  Well, let me tell you, it was a happy accident because, in just about 5 minutes of prep work, I had this going in the crockpot.  The result is 3 recipes in one! Throughout the week, I ate this as a dip (my favorite way), a soup with the addition of a little chicken broth, and a rice bowl…so versatile, so delicious!  ~Erin


  • 1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use the individually frozen kind)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can (16 oz.) fat free refried beans
  • 1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn
  • 1 c. fat free salsa verde
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • 2 – 3 T. ground cumin (I used 3 because I love cumin)
  • 1 ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • Corn chips, for dipping (I use Good Thins The Corn One – found in the cracker aisle), optional
  • Cooked rice, optional for serving
  • Fat free chicken broth, optional
  • Chopped cilantro, optional
  • Cheese, optional


  1. Place frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. (You can use thawed breasts too but keep in mind it may cook faster.)
  2. Pour in beans, refried bean, corn, green chiles, & spices.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  4. Within the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken, shred, and add back to the slow cooker.
  5. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  6. Three ways to serve: 1. As a dip, serve with chips. 2. Add broth for a soup. Top with cheese, green onions, or chopped cilantro if desired. 3. Over rice; add cheese, green onions or cilantro if desired.

WW Freestyle Info: This is ZERO points. Be sure to calculate your added points if you serve with rice, cheese, or chips.