Buffalo Ranch Chicken Chili

This recipe was inspired by my husband. When I created my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili, he suggested that Buffalo style might be another tasty variation. He was right! Even if you don’t love Buffalo wings, I am confident you will love this chili. It’s packed with flavor & has just the right amount of kick! ~Erin

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Ingredients:

4 oz. reduced fat or Greek cream cheese, softened

1 (10 ¾ oz.) can Campbell’s Healthy Request Condensed Cheddar Soup

32 oz. unsalted chicken stock

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts – individually frozen

½ c. finely chopped carrots

½ c. finely chopped celery

3 cans (15.8 oz. each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 package (about 8 tsp.) Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix

1/3 c. Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce

Optional garnishes: real bacon bits, green onions, extra buffalo sauce

Instructions:

In the pot of your slow cooker, whisk together softened cream cheese and condensed cheddar soup until well combined.

Whisk in chicken stock, dry ranch dressing mix, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and wing sauce. Stir in celery and carrots.

Add frozen chicken breasts (you can use thawed chicken if you prefer; just keep in mind it will cook faster).

Add beans but do not stir them in — leave them on top.

Cook 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. When 1 hours of cook time is left, remove the chicken breasts, shred, and return to pot to finish cooking.

Garnish with a drizzle of Buffalo sauce, bacon bits, and green onions, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: Each 10 oz. serving (about 1 ¼ cups) is 2 SmartPoints on the FreeStyle plan. Serves 10. Optional garnishes should be calculated separately.

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Chili Dog Bake

Recently, I was hit by a strong craving for chili dogs. Do you ever get a random food craving and you just can’t forget about it until you have it?! No? Just me, then. Ha! Anyway, this particular day, I had beef franks in my fridge and canned chili in my pantry but NO hotdog buns. Ugh! No worries; I can improvise! Canned biscuits saved the day and this Chili Dog Bake was born.

This dish is perfect for a football game watch party or just any day of the week when you literally only have minutes to throw together some dinner. It’s a quick and easy meal that will please the whole family, kids included. Who doesn’t love a chili dog?! ~Erin

Ingredients:

4 Lean beef franks or any 2 SmartPoint frank (I used Ball Park Lean Beef Franks), cut into ½ in. pieces

1 can (2 cups) turkey chili with no beans

1 (7.5 oz.) package buttermilk biscuits, cut into quarters

¾ c. shredded fat free cheddar cheese

1/3 cup finely diced onion, optional

2 T. chopped pickled jalapenos, optional

Mustard, optional

Nonstick cooking spray

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spray an 8”x8” square casserole dish with cooking spray.

Layer ingredients into the pan in this order: half the biscuit pieces, half the hot dog pieces, half the chili, half the cheese; repeat, ending with cheese.

Sprinkle the top evenly with chopped onion and jalapeno, if desired.

Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes, or until biscuits are cooked through.

Serve with mustard, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 8 servings for 5 Freestyle points each. Or you can have 2 servings (which is a quarter of the entire pan) for only 9 Freestyle points!

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Pimento Chile Chicken

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This Mexican flavored dish is rich and flavorful without being heavy. Mom snagged this recipe from her good friend (and my Godmother) Joyce, and it’s been one of the few things I’ve made regularly since I left for college – so good and so easy! The chiles aren’t too spicy so it can serve a crowd with varied spice tolerances. I like this piled up with pickled jalapeños and my favorite salsa. ~Robin

Ingredients:

2 ½ c. cooked, chopped chicken breast (chopped into about 1/2” cubes

½ c. fat free chicken broth

1 ½ c. 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup (I use Campbell’s)

1 ½ c. Healthy Request Condensed cream of chicken soup

1 4-oz. jar pimentos, drained (1/2 c.)

2 4-oz. cans Hatch green chiles, chopped and drained (You can add a 3rd can if you’re just crazy about chiles like I am.)

10 oz. 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

6 oz. of Doritos (by weight) toasted corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed

Pickled jalapeños, green onions, and/or cherry tomatoes for serving (optional)

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Instructions:

Mix all ingredients except Doritos and cheese. In a large casserole dish (I use 9” x 13”), layer ½ of chicken mixture, then ½ of cheese, then ½ of the Doritos.  Repeat the same layers once more, ending with Doritos on top.  Bake at 350° for about 40-45 minutes.  Cover top with foil if Doritos begin to brown too much.  Serve with pickled jalapeños and/or your favorite salsa.

Weight Watchers Info.:  6 points per serving in the new Freestyle plan; makes 8 servings.

Crockpot Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

I love anything I can put in the crockpot and basically forget about all day. This is one of those recipes. It’s beyond simple. The only real prep work is chopping the jalapenos. You know the appetizer where jalapenos are hollowed out, stuffed with creamy cheeses, wrapped in bacon, and cooked until hot and bubbly? This has all that flavor — but in soup form! It’s not overly spicy since you remove all the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos (that’s where the heat is) but it’s infused with that delicious peppery flavor. Topped with some bacon bits and shredded cheese, I’ve turned the popular popper into a warm bowl of comfort food. So easy, cheesy, and bacon-y.  Yes, that’s a word… at least in my vocabulary. Bacon makes everything better!  ~Erin

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Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (frozen in single pieces)

4 oz. Greek or Reduced Fat cream cheese, softened

1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cheddar cheese soup

4-5 large fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

32 oz. fat free chicken stock

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 T. salt

3 (15.5 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. black pepper

For serving:  real bacon bits (I like to cook mine for a few minutes in a small skillet to crisp them up.), reduced fat shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, chopped pickled jalapenos, chopped green onions

 

Instructions:

In the pot of your slow cooker, whisk together softened cream cheese and condensed cheddar cheese soup until well combined.

Whisk chicken stock, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder into cream cheese/soup mixture.

Add jalapenos and frozen chicken breast. (You can use thawed chicken breast as well but keep in mind, it will cook faster.)

Cook 4-5 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low. When 1 hour of cook time is left, remove the chicken breasts from the pot, shred, and return to pot. Add cannellini beans and continue to cook for the last hour of cook time.

To serve, top each bowl with 1 tablespoon real bacon bits, ¼ cup reduced fat cheese, and, if desired, pickled jalapenos and green onions.

 

Weight Watchers info.:   

This recipe makes 8 servings.  Each serving is 13 ounces (weight) or about 1 ½ cups.

Old SmartPoints plan:  7 SmartPoints per serving

Freestyle plan:  3 SmartPoints per serving

By adding the suggested amount of bacon bits (1 SmartPoint) and reduced fat cheese (3 SmartPoints), the total value of each serving would be 7 Freestyle SmartPoints (11 on old plan) per serving.

White Chicken Chili

I couldn’t ever find a white chicken chili I liked, so after trying several “meh” recipes, I decided to make my own.  Threw this together on a whim thinking it would at least be a quick, easy weekend prep to weekday meal kind of item.  But it turns out that Barry declared this his favorite thing I’ve ever made, so I figured I better share.  I make this pretty spicy but you can adjust (or eliminate) the heat easily. ~Robin 

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Ingredients: 

2 T. olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, diced*

4 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded, diced (reduce for lessened spice)

4 4-oz. cans (2 c.) chopped Hatch** green chiles; don’t drain (I use mild on these – more for flavor than heat)

4 cloves minced fresh garlic (or about 2 tsp. minced jarred garlic)

13 c. low-sodium chicken broth (can always add more if you need it, but you don’t want it too soupy)

4 c. cooked shredded chicken breast

3 cans cannellini beans, drained well

3 T. fresh lime juice (I just juice one small lime)

1 T. cumin

1 – 3 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I do the whole tablespoon because I like it spicy!)  

23 c. cilantro (about 1/2 a bunch) chopped; reserve some for garnish

12 tsp. garlic salt

Optional garnishes/accompaniments (not figured in WW points): sliced avocado, shredded Monterey jack cheese, tortilla chips, and/or a cilantro sprig.

Instructions:

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil on med-high heat. Then add onion, jalapeño, chiles, garlic, and sauté for 5-7 minutes (until veggies soften).

Reduce to medium heat. Add drained beans, chicken, broth, cumin, lime juice, garlic salt (sounds like a lot of garlic, but it’s a whole lot of food too — trust me), cilantro, & red pepper flakes. Cook for 12-15 min.

Serve and garnish as desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This makes a whopping 11 one-cup servings.

Old SmartPoints:  4 SmartPoints per cup

Freestyle SmartPoints:  1 SmartPoint per cup

*For easy onion dicing, using a gator chopper will save you some tears, literally. They have varied dicing sizes, so be sure to check on that before purchasing – I used one with a ¼ inch dicing size, but you could use a larger one as well. I used to hate chopping onions before my folks got me this for Christmas one year. Now I can chop without tears and much more quickly.  (We’re not paid or compensated in any way to advertise for the Alligator company; I just really love mine since I’m a big cryer with onions!) 

**You can use any chopped green chile, but I prefer Hatch chiles.  

Chili Mac

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I have a house full of boys. They all help Grandpa on the ranch all summer. After a long, hot day of moving irrigation pipe, a hearty dish is always a favorite of my hard working ranch hands. This is a quick, simple, stick to your ribs kind of recipe (my favorite kind!). It’s full of flavor and won’t disappoint.    ~Kathy

Ingredients:

16 oz. cellentani or elbow macaroni (I use whole wheat.)

1 ½ lb. lean ground beef (I use 93% lean)

1 c. finely chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

¼ c. kale or spinach, finely chopped (I prefer kale)

1 (15 oz.) can chili beans in chili sauce

1 (10 oz.) can mild Ro-tel tomatoes, undrained

1 ½ c. beef broth

1 c. low sodium V8 or tomato juice

1 medium bell pepper, chopped, optional

2 ½ tsp. chili powder

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. salt

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Instructions:

Cook pasta in salted water, according to directions. Drain and return to pot.

In a large skillet cook ground beef, onion and bell pepper. About 5 minutes before beef is finished cooking, add garlic. Remove from pan and drain. Return beef mixture to large skillet or pot. Add remaining ingredients, stir gently over medium heat to combine. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Spoon the meat mixture carefully into pot with cooked noodles. Stir to combine and heat through over low heat.

Serve with cornbread (our favorite) and grated cheddar cheese if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.:  This recipe makes 10 servings.  Each serving is 10 ounces (weight) or about 1 1/3 cups.  Each serving is 9 SmartPoints.

Hearty Beef Chili

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Hello all!  Tracy here.  It was unseasonably cold and rainy here in our neck of the woods recently.  On days where I find myself putting my warm clothes on, I start to look for comfort food – preferably something that I know my family of meat loving boys will eat.  Even the pickiest of eaters in your family will love this chili recipe – especially if you top it with cheese and serve it with a pile of Fritos.  If you like things a little spicy, like we do, you can also add some diced jalapenos to the top.  If you follow Weight Watchers (or attempt to, like me), this comes to 2 Freestyle Points for a one cup serving!  With the new Freestyle program I’ve added extra beans so it’s extra filling with lower points! Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs 95% lean ground beef (You can also use half ground beef, half ground venison, as we often do).

1 c. chopped onion

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ T. chili powder

¾ tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

1 ¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves

¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper

2 cans (16 oz. each) petite diced tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (16 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained

1 can (16 oz.) light red kidney beans, drained

1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans, drained

Instructions:

Cook beef, onions, and garlic in a large sauce pan until beef is browned; drain away any excess fat.

Stir in all remaining ingredients except the beans.

Gently stir as mixture heats to boiling, breaking up tomatoes.

Once mixture boils reduce heat to simmer; cover and simmer on low heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cans of beans, heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer on low, uncovered, for about 20 minutes longer.

Serve topped with cheese, over Fritos, or with your favorite southern cornbread.

Weight Watchers Info.:  Figured with 95% lean ground beef this recipe comes to 2 Freestyle Points for a 1 cup serving.