Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells (Fill the Freezer February)

First up in my Fill The Freezer February task, is these delicious Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells! (I sincerely hope my photography skills only improve with each meal I make…my apologies.) These are so delicious and are actually quite simple to put together! They were a hit with everyone in my family and I need to make another batch because I planned to make two for the freezer, but only one made it there! I served these with a caesar salad and some carrot sticks.

I also love my KitchenAid mixer so I try to do as much as I can with it in the kitchen and these proved that I can create the whole “stuffing” part with the mixer. Including shredding the chicken! That is a win in my books, especially when I’m working with a stiffer food thing. (Saves my wrists.)

These Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells could be quite versatile. I think they’d be great with spinach added, as much pesto as you’d like and I’m sure most variety of cheeses would be wonderful. You could even try adding a bit of tomato sauce.

Here’s how to make freezer friendly Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells:

Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells
This recipe makes enough for two pans of stuffed shells that will feed about four people each.
Ingredients
  • 1 box of jumbo pasta shells
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups fresh grated Parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese + extra for topping
  • 6 Tbsp prepared pesto homemade or store bought
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook pasta shells only until al dente. (The pasta will finish cooking when the dish is baked.)
  2. Drain the pasta shells and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except the extra cheese for the topping.
  4. Fill the pasta shells with the filling.
  5. Freezing and Serving Directions
  6. Place stuffed shells in an aluminum baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the extra cheese over shells.
  8. Cover well.
  9. To serve, defrost, then preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake shells uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until shells are bubbling hot and cheese melts.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

 

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

slow cooker spaghetti sauce

Nothing beats a good plate of spaghetti and meat sauce.  It’s a comfort food at it’s finest!  Making a big pot of spaghetti sauce is also a great way to feed a crowd.  Delicious and frugal! While this recipe for slow cooker spaghetti sauce calls for peppers, you could throw in any veggies that you’d like to use up.  Such as a lone carrot or mushrooms.  It’s really flexible.

This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe could be made in a big pot, but I prefer the set it and forget it feature of the slow cooker. 🙂 But, you’ll still want to cook up the garlic, onions, beef and sausage before you throw it into the slow cooker. I use this Cuisinart programmable slow cooker, but any slow cooker will do.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup minced Onion
  • 1 tbsp minced Garlic
  • Red and Yellow Peppers stems and seeds removed
  • 1 Carrot optional
  • Mushrooms optional
  • 45 oz Diced Tomatoes drained
  • 24 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium.
  2. Crumble and brown ground beef and sausage, along with onion and garlic.
  3. Drain excess fat.
  4. Place meat mixture into slow cooker.
  5. Add remaining ingredients.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

This recipe could possibly make enough for leftovers that you can freeze!  I love grabbing a “pre-made” meal out of the freezer on busy days.  Simply reheat on the stove.

Easy Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe

You’ve got to try this Easy Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe! Pizza night doesn’t get any easier than this!

Easy Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe! Pizza night doesn't get any easier than this!

Easy Thin Crust Pizza Dough

Have you got a pizza night coming up this week?  Do you need a fantastic pizza dough recipe? You’ve got to try this Thin Crust Pizza dough recipe!  This recipe is our go-to recipe when it’s pizza night around these parts.  It makes enough for four 10″ – 12″ pizzas so that means two dinners and two lunch leftovers.  Mmm, leftover pizza! Whip up the dough in no time then get to work personalizing your pizzas with your favourite toppings.

This dough can also be made by hand or in a KitchenAid mixer which is a big plus in my books.  I love putting my mixer to work for me!

5 from 2 votes
Thin Crust Pizza Dough recipe!
Thin Crust Pizza Dough
Ingredients
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 9 fl oz Warm Water
Instructions
BY HAND:
  1. Place flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Add yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and water and stir until combined.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5–10 minutes or until a smooth ball forms.
IN KITCHENAID:
  1. Place flour into a stand mixer bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Use dough hook.
  3. Add yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and water and turn on low until combined (about 3 minutes).
  4. Turn to medium and knead for 5–10 minutes or until a smooth ball forms.
BOTH:
  1. Place dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or clean cloth. Set in a warm place for 30 minutes or until dough has doubled.
  2. Turn dough out on a floured surface and punch the dough to remove excess air, knead lightly.
  3. Divide dough into 4.
  4. Makes enough dough for 4 10-12" thin pizzas.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough recipe!

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Just in case you have a bit of leftover turkey from the weekend :), I thought I would share this delicious slow cooker turkey chili recipe with you!  While it’s meant for ground turkey, I’m pretty confident that leftovers from your turkey dinner will work just as well!

This slow cooker turkey chili is perfect for chilly nights when all you want is some comfort food.  I've tried quite a few chili recipes and I think I've found my new favourite!

This slow cooker turkey chili is perfect for cold nights when all you want is some comfort food.  I’ve tried quite a few chili recipes and I think I’ve found my new favourite!  Actually, everyone enjoyed it.  We ate it two nights in a row, then I froze the rest to make for a super easy meal one night!

Adapted from The Nourishing Home.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Ingredients
  • 1-2 cans of black beans drained
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey or 2 cups shredded/chopped turkey or beef
  • Shredded cheese to garnish each bowl
Instructions
  1. Cook ground turkey (or beef) on the stove, set aside.
  2. In a slow cooker, add all of the above ingredients, except for the cheese. Mix thoroughly, until well combined.
  3. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
  4. Serve with shredded cheese, if desired.

Lorraine’s Baked Beans

lorraines baked beans

Lorraine sent along her delicious baked beans recipe that she thought you would enjoy eating with your Thanksgiving brunch this weekend!

Her family typically eats these with a green salad and gluten free bread or buns.  But, on occasion, they have this bean recipe for breakfast with toast or a bagel for a complete protein and some fruit. This provides a meal that contains many vitamins and minerals and has a good dose of fibre and it is a frugal way of feeding your family!

Lorraine’s Baked Beans

Lorraine’s Baked Beans
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. Navy beans washed and sorted – preferably organic
  • l cup maple syrup
  • 1 chopped onion – preferably organic
  • 1 tsp. Dry mustard
  • drizzle of 1st cold pressed olive oil preferably organic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Rinse and sort beans then cook for approximately 1 ½ hours in dutch oven.
  2. Then transfer to a slow cooker or an oven safe dish.
  3. Leave just enough water to cover beans.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and cook in crock pot on low for approximately 6 hrs or in oven at 250 degrees until cooked.
Recipe Notes

The recipe can be doubled and frozen for future use. Serve with whole grain buns and a salad for a complete nutritious meal.