While tooling around on Pinterest, I found a recipe for slow cooker cilantro lime chicken, originally from the Pip & Ebby Web site. It sounded like an easy, flavorful recipe, and so I decided to try it out.
But I realized I didn’t have lime juice or cilantro, so I remixed the recipe as follows:
- 6 chicken breast halves
- 24-oz jar of salsa
- 1 small onion, sliced
- Chili powder to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- Cumin to taste
I placed the chicken and the salsa in the slow cooker and added the onion and spices after the fact, but next time I think I’ll add the chicken and onion first and mix the spices into the salsa before pouring it on top of the chicken. In any event, I cooked it on low for 7 hours.
Once the chicken was ready, I deviated from the recipe again by shredding the chicken, taking the breasts out of the sauce and storing the sauce separately.
And this is where the fun starts. I have 10 ideas for using up the savory chicken you get from this recipe:
- Eat it over rice, mixed with some of the sauce.
- Add it to a fat-free tortilla for a burrito. With the chicken you could add rice, fat-free refried beans, or veggies. You could also smear the tortilla with a tablespoon or 2 of guacamole (or reduced fat guacamole, made with avocado and green peas), queso or fat-free sour cream (or fat-free Greek yogurt) as a condiment.
- Use it for tacos. Hard shell or soft, with or without reduced fat cheese and/or lettuce and tomato.
- As a salad. Eat 3 oz. of the chicken with 1 oz. of reduced fat cheddar and additional salsa and guacamole/sour cream. Top with baked tortilla chips, or eat them on the side.
- Tortilla soup. Pour a cup of chicken broth into a bowl, add a bit of the reserved sauce from the chicken (approximately 1/8 of a cup). Add 2-3 ounces of chicken, and some finely diced red onion (optional). Crumble in baked tortilla chips (about 1/2 ounce) . Heat through in the microwave. Mix in reduced fat cheddar if you’d like.
- Nachos. Top baked tortillas with 3 oz. of the chicken, and top that combination with queso sauce and guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa.
- Quesadillas. Add the chicken and some reduced-fat cheddar (1/2 to 1 oz.) to one half of a fat-free tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half, and heat both sides on a grill or in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray until crisp. Cut into wedges.
- Baked flautas. Roll the chicken up in small tortillas (I think flour would probably work best, but go with corn if you have them), and place them in a baking dish. Spray with cooking spray. Heat in a 400-degree oven until crisp.
- Enchiladas. Heat the reserved sauce, and dip corn tortillas in it. Add some of the chicken to each tortilla; roll up the tortillas and place them in a baking dish. Top with any remaining sauce, and reduced fat cheddar. Bake in a 350 oven until everything is heated through and the cheese is melted.
- Lasagna. Spread half a 24-oz jar of salsa in the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan. Mix a container of fat-free ricotta cheese with taco seasoning (or salt, garlic, cumin and chili powders to taste) and 4 ounces of cheddar cheese. Top the sauce in the pan with 3 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles. Add half of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles; top with the chicken. Add another layer of 3 lasagna noodles, then cheese mixture and chicken. Top with three more noodles, the remaining sauce, and them 4 more ounces of cheddar. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the noodles are tender, approximately 35-40 minutes.
If you’ve read through my blog, you probably notice that I talk about Mexican food a lot. There’s just something about the spices that I love! And it doesn’t hurt that I’m a big fan of cilantro, either. I will enjoy these recipes; I hope you do, too!
Did I miss any of your favorites? What do you do with Mexican-spiced chicken? Thanks for sharing!