Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I love enchiladas, and I’ll eat them with whatever protein is available: beef, chicken, beans, or cheese. I hadn’t made any at home for a while, so I decided to make chicken enchiladas. Of course, since I’ve been on a kick of using my pressure cooker, I decided to use my Instant Pot to cook the chicken ahead of time, and then it was simply a matter of throwing all the ingredients together and baking in the oven.

You can definitely use leftover chicken or other precooked chicken you may have. I wanted to infuse my chicken with taco seasoning, and the pressure cooker is great way to do that. Plus the chicken is done after 10 minutes of cooking time, so if you are using raw chicken, the pressure cooker is a terrific time saver.




This recipe made a bunch of enchiladas — I ended up with 15 of them and had to use 2 baking dishes, but since there are 4 of us, and the guys have big appetites, this worked out fine for us. Feel free to adjust to how many people you are cooking for.

I served a quick version of Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice and refried beans – this was a super easy dinner to make, and the kids said I can make this anytime.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

1 package of chicken breast tenders (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 package of taco seasoning

1 cup hot water

Salt and black pepper

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Tortilla shells

Enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar but use your favorite)

Shredded lettuce, optional

Sliced black olives, optional

Pico de gallo, optional

Sour cream, optional

 

Season your chicken with salt and black pepper, and place them in the pressure cooker. Whisk together the taco seasoning with the hot water, stirring until the seasoning has dissolved. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Place the lid on the pressure cooker, remembering to seal the vent, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

When the beeper goes off, turn off the pressure cooker, and do a quick release to release the built-up pressure. Remove the chicken to a bowl, and shred the pieces with 2 forks. Set aside for a few minutes until the chicken is cool enough to work with but still warm.

To the bowl with the shredded chicken, add the softened cream cheese, and stir to completely combine.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Add some of the chicken and cream cheese mixture to each tortilla shell, and roll up, placing the seam side down in the baking dish. Once you’ve filled your tortilla shells, spoon the enchilada sauce over each tortilla. Top everything with shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned.

To serve, top enchiladas with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sliced black olives, and sour cream if desired.

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Pressure Cooker Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

Chicken is probably one of the most fun proteins to cook with because you can do anything with it. Whatever cuisine you’re hungry for, there’s a recipe out there to satisfy your craving. Since I’m still in the honeymoon stage with my new Instant Pot, I’m on the lookout for different ways of making everything, and I was inspired by a couple of different recipes I’d seen on Pinterest about making chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. After looking through my pantry and refrigerator to see what ingredients I had on hand, I came up with the following recipe.

You can cook your chicken breasts in the Instant Pot if they are still frozen, but mine were thawed, so that helped speed up the process a little bit. Feel free to use whatever seasoning your family likes—Italian seasoning would be good, as would some herbs de Provence if you’re feeling a little bit French. I stuck to the basics—salt and freshly ground black pepper—to season my chicken breasts as I knew I’d be adding different flavors in the cream sauce.




You’re really simply poaching the chicken in some cooking liquid. After the chicken is cooked, you can top it with whatever sauce you wish. I had mushrooms, spinach, and heavy cream on hand, so that was my inspiration.

Again, the ingredient amounts are approximate, so feel free to experiment. I usually cook without recipes, so it’s a little of this and a little of that—taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients accordingly.

 

Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup good chicken stock

Salt and black pepper

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1/2 stick butter (not margarine)

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

2 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Liberally season the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place them in the Instant Pot. Add the cup of chicken stock and the smashed garlic cloves. Place the lid on the cooker, remembering to set the valve to seal, and select the Manual setting. Cook for 10 minutes on high pressure.

When the cooker beeps, turn off the Instant Pot, and do a quick release to bring down the pressure. Remove the chicken breasts from the cooking pot, and set aside, keeping them warm. Pour out the chicken stock and save for another use if desired.

Select the saute function, and melt the butter in the cooking pot. Add the sliced mushrooms, and saute for approximately 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the white wine, and scrape to remove any browned goodies at the bottom of the pot. Add the fresh spinach, and continue to saute for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream and the grated Parmesan cheese. Add this to the cooking pot, and cook for a few minutes more until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve sauce over poached chicken breasts.
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Pressure Cooker Sesame Honey Chicken

My family loves Chinese food, and my youngest son is always asking me to make Orange Chicken, probably his most favorite Chinese dish. While it’s one of my favorites too, I wanted to change things up a bit, as I hate always making the same thing for dinner. Variety is the spice of life, right? While looking through some pressure cooker recipes on Pinterest (that site is way to addictive!), I found a recipe for Sesame Honey Chicken on the Key Ingredient website that sounded quick and delicious. It really takes very little time to do in a pressure cooker, and I think it’s going to be a new family favorite.




While I usually brown chicken and beef in a cast iron skillet before I add it to a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, I cooked everything in the Instant Pot for this recipe. Talk about a time saver—saving time doing dishes, that is. I only had one dish to clean, instead of my huge cast iron skillet, which is a big plus in my book.

The recipe calls for soy sauce, but since I’m trying to follow a Paleo-style diet, I substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce. You could also substitute tamarind sauce. Both of these are gluten-free, and you can’t tell the difference taste-wise when you are adding them to a sauce.

Sesame Honey Chicken

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil)

1/2 cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

1/2 cup soy sauce (I used coconut aminos)

1/4 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 cup honey

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

Toasted sesame seeds

Chopped green onions, for garnishing (optional)

 

Salt and pepper the chicken pieces to taste.

Preheat the pressure cooker pot by selecting the sauté function. When the cooking pot is hot, add the olive oil, the chicken pieces, the onion, and the garlic to the pot, and sauté until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes or so. Add the soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes to the pot, and stir to combine the ingredients.

Lock on the lid, and cook at high pressure for 3 minutes. When the cooker beeps, do a quick pressure release.

Add the honey to the pot, and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and the water. Add this to the pressure cooker pot.

Select the sauté function, and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, roughly 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve chicken and sauce over cooked rice, and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, if using.

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Pressure Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings

I had originally purchased some chicken wings thinking I would make some chicken stock in the Instant Pot, but when the snowstorm hit last weekend, I needed something quick to fix for my son and husband, who spent the weekend plowing snow. I came across a recipe on This Old Gal’s website, and it sounded yummy and delicious. I didn’t have any bourbon in the house, but I had some whiskey, which substituted just fine. I also discovered that the broiler on my stove wasn’t working (I rarely use it), so after pressure cooking the wings, I turned the oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and cooked the wings for 15 minutes (10 minutes without the glaze and an additional 5 minutes after I glazed the wings). The result was good, but the wings didn’t have the crispy texture that using the broiler would give. My youngest son had the suggestion to deep fry the wings first and then put them in the oven with the sauce for a few minutes. This would give the crispy texture we love on our wings, so I’ll try that next time. All in all, the sauce was delicious, and I’ll definitely make this again.




Pressure Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings

3/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup onion, finely minced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

4 to 5 pounds chicken wings

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup bourbon or whiskey

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 

Using the sauté function on your pressure cooker, sauté the ketchup, liquid smoke, brown sugar, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the water and remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Add the chicken wings, and stir to coat them with the sauce. Lock on the lid, making sure to close the pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, do a quick release to release the pressure.

Turn on the oven to broil.

Line a baking sheet with foil, and carefully remove the wings from the pressure cooker, and place them on the baking sheet. Place wings in the oven, and broil for 5 minutes on each side.

While the wings are in the oven, turn the pressure cooker back to sauté, and stir the sauce until it thickens.

After the wings have been under the broiler for 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet, and coat the wings with the thickened sauce. Place the wings back in the oven, and broil for an additional 5 minutes per side, or until the sauce and wings start to look crispy and brown.

Use any extra sauce for dipping.

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Pressure Cooker Jambalaya

I absolutely love jambalaya and any other Cajun-inspired dish. My family traveled to New Orleans after my senior year of high school, and I fell in love with the cuisine, so I’ve tried to recreate those flavors in my recipes.

My youngest son requested that I make jambalaya, so since I’d recently bought an Instant Pot, I decided it was high time I made this for dinner. The pressure cooker makes it super easy to pull this recipe together quickly, and in no time I had a delicious meal on the table.




You can certainly brown the meats in the pressure cooker using the sauté function, but I prefer to use my large cast iron skillet to brown the meat. I then added the meat to the recipe after the rice had finished pressure cooking.

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jambalya-2

Pressure Cooker Jambalaya

1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces

12 ounces Andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided

1 teaspoon chipotle powder, divided

2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 small onion, diced

2 cups diced tomatoes, drained (I used 1 quart of home-canned tomatoes)

2 cups Jasmine rice

2 cups chicken stock

Fresh parsley

 

In a cast iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, and brown the chicken and sausage pieces. Sprinkle the meat with half of the Cajun and chipotle seasonings and half the dried thyme. When just about browned, add the raw shrimp, and cook until the shrimp just turns pink. Set aside.

In the cooking pot of the pressure cooker, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Select the sauté function, and sauté the garlic, onion, and green pepper with the remaining Cajun and chipotle seasonings and half the dried thyme just until tender. Add the tomatoes, rice, and chicken stock, and stir to combine.

Lock the pressure cooker lid in place, and cook at high pressure for 8 minutes.

Use the quick-release setting to release the pressure. Remove the lid, and add in the cooked meats and the parsley to taste (I used about 3 tablespoons). Replace the lid, and let the jambalaya sit for 6 minutes on the warm function. Serve.

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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for recipes that are quick to throw together at the last minute and yet still be nutritious and delicious for your family. Well, this recipe is all of that. With just a few ingredients, you can have a one-dish meal that is ready in less than an hour. Easy peasy 🙂




 

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or use chicken thighs if you prefer)

1 jar Alfredo sauce

1 package frozen broccoli florets

Salt

Black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add a little of the Alfredo sauce to the bottom of the baking dish, spreading it around to evenly coat the bottom. Place the chicken breasts on top of the Alfredo sauce. Season with salt and black pepper.

 

Chicken broccoli alfredo - chicken breasts

 

Add the broccoli florets to the baking dish in and around the chicken pieces in an even layer. Pour the rest of the Alfredo sauce over the top of the broccoli layer.

 

chicken broccoli alfredo - chicken with broccoli

 

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 45 minutes until bubbly and juices run clear, or until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

chicken broccoli alfredo baked 2

 

chicken broccoli alfredo baked

 

chicken broccoli alfredo plated

 

Note: Cooking times will definitely depend on how much frozen broccoli you use. If you use a small package, start checking the internal temperature of the chicken breasts at about 30 to 35 minutes. I used a large package of frozen broccoli, and my chicken took a good 45 minutes to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally.

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Chicken Stuffed With Spinach, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I’ve been on the hunt for good-tasting stuffed chicken breast recipes. I tried one a few weeks back that was good, but it needed a little “something” to take the taste over the top. It also had spinach and cheese in the stuffing, and that recipe also had white wine. It was good, but the boys were only okay with it.



Tonight I decided to jazz up the spices just a bit. I went back to the spinach and cheese theme from before, but this time I added in some feta along with the mozzarella, and I added some sun-dried tomatoes for extra earthy flavor. I replaced the wine with a red pepper Italian dressing, and I used this as a marinade/sauce over the top of the chicken. All in all, I like this flavor profile much better than the other one, even though I’ll probably make that one again someday.

 

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This really is quick and easy to throw together, and you can halve or double the recipe as needed. Just use one boneless, skinless chicken breast per serving. My chicken took about 45 minutes to bake, but your time may vary according to your oven. Just make sure the chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. ETA: Next time I’m going to stuff in as much cheese as I possibly can. I was being overly cautious because I wanted to make sure I could “close” the pocket. Next time, I won’t care if everything runs over and out – this was really good 🙂

 

chicken stuffed with spinach, feta and tomatoes

 

chicken stuffed with spinach, feta and tomatoes 2-cut

 

Chicken Stuffed With Spinach, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup washed fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

8 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 bottle red pepper-flavored Italian salad dressing

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with baking spray.

Slit each chicken breast to make a pocket in the middle, making sure not to cut completely through the chicken breast. Add spinach, feta cheese, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese to each chicken pocket. Use toothpicks to hold the chicken breasts together, and place chicken in the prepared baking dish. Pour the Italian dressing over top of the chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Maple Dijon Chicken

It was another night for chicken in the Wood house, and when I’m busy at work, I like to bake chicken breasts. You can do a variety of tasty dishes just by varying the sauce you bake them in. Tonight’s designated recipe featured pure maple syrup and Dijon mustard along with a few herbs to jazz things up a bit. It’s super simple and takes only a few minutes to put the sauce together. You can marinade the chicken for a bit if you have the time, or simply pop the chicken into the oven to get dinner on the table quick. The boys loved this and said I can make this again – add another recipe to the taste-tested and approved list 🙂

 

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maple dijon chicken 2

 

maple dijon chicken

 

maple dijon chicken plated

 

Maple Dijon Chicken

3 to 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup good Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or can use a few sprigs of fresh)

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or use a few sprigs of fresh)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a small baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients, mixing well to combine. Brush the sauce over both sides of the chicken breasts, and place the chicken in the prepared baking dish. Pour any extra sauce over the tops of the chicken. You can refrigerate this for a few hours if you desire before baking.

Bake chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve with the extra sauce spooned over top of the chicken.




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Herb Chicken With Lemon Cream Sauce

Chicken thighs are often on sale at my local grocery store, so I tend to stock up when it’s a good deal. That said, I’m always on the lookout for new and different ways of making chicken because the kids get tired of the same-old-same-old. I always turn to Pinterest for new recipe ideas, and I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of recipes on different boards that I’ve pinned to try down the road. If you’re looking for a good source on Pinterest, feel free to follow me there because I’m always adding something new that I’ve found.


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Anyway, I found this delicious-sounding chicken recipe that uses lemons, lots of herbs and cream. What’s not to like? I found the recipe at Damn Delicious, and this is a great blog with tons of wonderful recipes that I can’t wait to try, especially in her Quick & Easy Category.

This recipe is super easy to pull together, and the chicken tastes divine. You can, of course, use fresh herbs instead of the dried if you have them. Just increase the amounts if you do, as you always use fewer dried herbs than fresh. The original recipe called for skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, but I used skinless, boneless and baked mine, making the sauce separately. I’d planned on using my cast iron skillet to sear the chicken first and then finish the chicken off in the oven while cooking in the sauce, but I’ll be darned if I can find that dang cast iron skillet after we moved 🙂 Oh well, it turned out just as delicious baked in a glass 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sometimes you just have to improvise. Feel free to prepare this whichever way is easiest for you. It’s perfect for just your family or if you’re having guests over for dinner. Just don’t tell them how easy it was to prepare—they’ll think you slaved over this to get these flavors 🙂

 

herbed chicken with lemon cream sauce

 

Herb Chicken With Lemon Cream Sauce

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can use bone-in, with skin if you prefer)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

For the Lemon Cream Sauce:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, mustard, lemon zest, thyme and rosemary. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, work the mixture onto both sides of the chicken. Place chicken pieces in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and the red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, heavy cream, lemon juice and basil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces in the baking dish. Bake chicken until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 25 to 30 minutes.

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Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta

I was reading through some magazines while at the laundromat, and I came across a chicken recipe in an old issue of Cooking Light. I love to use chicken breast in my dinner recipes because it’s easy to make a quick dinner, and you can do a variety of things with it. This one is a riff on chicken cordon bleu, as my youngest son pointed out to me, where instead of ham and Swiss cheese you use spinach and ricotta cheese. And add wine. Good white wine – get a big enough bottle to use some in the recipe and have the rest of the bottle with dinner 🙂 If you don’t like to cook with wine, or you’ve got young children and don’t want to use it, feel free to substitute apple juice for the white wine – it will still turn out delicious.




This dish can easily be doubled or halved depending how many you’re cooking for and how hungry your diners are. Serve this with a nice side salad and some crusty bread, and you’ve got an easy, great-tasting meal. I decided to serve our stuffed chicken with some home-canned green beans cooked with bacon – yum!

 

stuffed chicken breast - plated

 

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry

1 large egg

6 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/2 cup dry white wine

 

To prepare the filling, combine the first 7 ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To prepare the chicken, place each chicken breast half between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Pound each chicken breast to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Divide the filling and spread it evenly over the chicken breast halves.

stuffed chicken breast with spinach filling

Roll the chicken up jelly roll style. Tuck in the sides, and place the chicken, seam side down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

stuffed chicken breast in pan

Pour the wine over the chicken, and cover the dish with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, basting the chicken a couple of times with the wine. Uncover and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done. Remove the chicken from the pan; keep warm. Strain the wine mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard any solids. Serve the wine mixture over the chicken.

stuffed chicken breast - baked

 

Yield: Serves 6

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