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What’s For Dinner? Five Simple Recipes Your Family Will Love

What’s for dinner? Whether the answer is carry-out, leftovers, fine dining, or a home cooked meal — it’s a question that demands an answer. Seven days a week. 365 days a year. What’s for dinner? 

It’s actually the first question my daughter asks when she gets home from school. Every. Day. She walks in the door, drops her bag, and yells, “Hey mom! What’s for dinner?” Even though I have it written on a chalkboard menu in our kitchen. That doesn’t stop her from asking the question. 

To help you with your meal-making endeavors, I’m sharing five of my family’s fave recipes. They are simple. They are delicious. And they may just help you answer the never-ending question of “What’s for dinner?” Need I say more? 

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Burritos

Ingredients: 1 package chicken breasts, can of corn, can of black beans (rinsed and drained), 1 package taco seasoning, jar of salsa, tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Place chicken breasts, corn (not drained), black beans, taco seasoning and salsa in crockpot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for three hours. Thirty minutes prior to chicken being finished, shred chicken, and allow to cook remaining 30 minutes in black bean and corn mixture. When finished cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon chicken mixture in center of tortillas and roll into burritos. Place in 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients: 1 package chicken breasts, box of creamy tomato soup, jar of salsa verde, 8 oz. cream cheese

Toppings: tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake chicken. Pour salsa into pan and add cream cheese. Whisk until cream cheese is mixed into salsa. Add tomato soup. Shred chicken and add to soup. Serve with tortilla chips and garnish of choice. 

*Time Saver Option – Short on time? Purchase a rotisserie chicken instead.

*Bonus Meal Option – I don’t use the entire package of chicken in the soup. Place however much you like in the soup and use whatever is left to make chicken salad the next day!

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Ingredients: l lb. ground beef, 1 package taco seasoning, 8 oz. cream cheese, 16 jumbo pasta shells,
1 1/2 cups salsa, 1 cup taco sauce, 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
Toppings:  green onions, sour cream
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown the ground beef, add taco seasoning, and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Mix well, set aside and cool. Cook pasta shells according to directions, drain. Set shells on baking sheet and allow to cool. Pour salsa on bottom of 13 x 9 pan. Stuff each shell with 1-2 Tbsp of meat mixture. Place shells on top of salsa open side up and evenly cover shells with taco sauce. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove foil, sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 10-15 minutes more. Serve with chopped green onions and sour cream.

Cuban Picadillo

Ingredients: 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 medium yellow or white onion finely chopped, 1 small red bell pepper finely chopped, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 4 garlic cloves finely chopped, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 cup dry white wine, 2 bay leaves, 1 1/2 lb. ground beef, can of diced tomatoes, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup pimento stuffed olives plus 2 Tbsp of brine, 2 Tbsp capers (optional), 1/3 cup raisins (optional), yellow rice, 2 cans black beans
Directions: Heat oil on medium/high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook 5-7 minutes until softened. Add tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and bay leaves. Cook 2 minutes until tomato paste begins to darken in color. Add wine and cook 5 minutes until reduced to approximately 1/4 cup. Add meat and break up into small chunks. Cook until no longer pink. Add tomatoes, olives, brine, Worcestershire sauce, capers and raisins. (I leave the capers and raisins out.) Let simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over yellow rice and black beans. 

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Ingredients: package chicken breasts, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 8 oz. cream cheese (softened), 6 jalapeño peppers, bacon (cooked and crumbled), shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken on bottom of 9 by 13 baking dish. Season with garlic powder and spread cream cheese evenly over chicken breasts. Slice jalapeños into strips and remove seeds. Lay peppers on chicken and cover with cheese. Bake 40-45 min, or until chicken is cooked through. Five minutes prior to when chicken is finished baking, remove from oven and cover with crumbled bacon. Return to oven and cook remaining five minutes. Serve with potatoes, rice or cornbread.

Bon appetite!

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