Monday, June 10, 2013

A new recipe post! Slow Cooked Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Ziti

It's been a bit of a while since I shared a recipe and this one is certainly a good one. Plus this is a crockpot/slow cooker recipe and we all know how very much a adore my crockpots! Another positive is this is another great recipe for using zucchini!
I came up with the recipe after thinking what would happen if I made my Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore and thought: What if I add more veggies and some cheese and made it a noodle dish from the start? I reduced the amount of chicken and upped the amount of veggies to make this a great frugal meat stretching dish.
I think next time I make this I'll toss in some fresh sliced mushroom and a bit of minced garlic. Also, I like to use a small sweet onion, such as Vidalia, which I think harmonizes real well with zucchini and squash. For salt, I favor Himalayan pink crystal salt (more great flavor and much better for you than iodized salt).

When I went to grab the chicken breasts out of the freezer this morning, I saw that I only had four breasts left, rather than put two breasts back in the freezer, I put them in my smaller crockpot, added some special seasoning (a mixture created for chicken that we bought at a farmer's market Up North... needless to say, in hindsight we wish we'd bought at least 2 of every seasoning they were offering) and cooked the seasoned (frozen) breasts on high for 3 hours. After checking to make sure they were fully cooked, I put them in my Kitchenaid stand mixer with the paddle attachment on the lowest setting for just under a minute.... and Voila! Shredded chicken! This chicken will come in handy this week for lunches.... such as chicken quesadillas, chicken nachos, and BBQ chicken sandwiches. I absolutely love how neatly and quickly I can shred chicken-- a dreaded chore no more!

Just stirring in the sauce... look at those yummy veggies!

Slow Cooked Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Ziti

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 zucchini, chunked
2 yellow squash, chunked
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1 16 oz. box ziti

Mix together, chicken, peppers, onion, zucchini, squash, and seasonings right in your slowcooker. Add olive oil and toss to coat. Stir in spaghetti sauce and cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in shredded cheddar, turn off slowcooker and let set for 2-5 minutes, until cheese is melted. While the cheese is melting in the slow cooker, cook the ziti. Add cooked ziti to the slowcooker and stir to combine.

Serve with homemade garlic bread and a crisp green salad.

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