WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni February 2, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Pasta — WannaBe Chef @ 11:40 am

If you like pasta, you will love this dish!  It uses pre-made pasta sauce, but add some extra spices and a little simmer time and you have a gourmet tasting week night meal!  The next day, I added some sauteed zucchini and roasted tomatoes to the leftovers, and it was equally delicious.

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni
Adapted slightly to make less quantity… I didn’t really measure anything, so my measurements are approximate as usual 🙂


  • 1-2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t end up using any pepper)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-fat alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 pound rigatoni noodles


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. While noodles are cooking, heat oil in a high-sided skillet.  Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and a little salt to the oil and let saute just until garlic starts to brown slightly and pepper flakes release their flavor.  Add the chicken and cook about 3/4 of the way through.
  3. Stir in the marinara and alfredo sauces.  Reduce heat and let sauce simmer / gently bubble until slightly thickened and chicken is cooked through.  You might need to cover the pan halfway with the lid to avoid spattering.
  4. Stir in the cooked pasta, toss to coat, and serve.  Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken January 3, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Crockpot — WannaBe Chef @ 4:12 pm

Happy 2012!  I hope everyone had a great holiday; we did!  Macy did great on the plane, and we had a nice visit with family and friends.  Anyway, this is going to be a quick post since Macy is waking up.  I made this easy chicken recipe a few nights ago.  I found it on Pinterest, of course!

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken


4-6 boneless chicken breasts (still frozen, I used 4 large breasts)
1 bottle BBQ sauce – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s
1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, drained


Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray for an easy cleanup!  Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce.  Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top.  Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.  Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce.  Serve over rice.


Time for some thyme November 8, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Potato,Side dish,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 9:28 am

Sunday was the end of Daylight Savings time, so I thought it would be appropriate to make Lemon Thyme Chicken…. hardy har har.  Or maybe I just had some leftover thyme I wanted to use, and I found a recipe.  I’m really liking fresh thyme.  It’s so flavorful, and the smell of it reminds me of Thanksgiving and cozy comfort food.  I also made two yummy side dishes: hashbrown casserole and roasted asparagus.  It was a pretty darn good Sunday dinner, if I do say so myself!

Lemon Thyme Chicken

I only made two chicken breasts, not four, but I did make the entire amount of sauce.  I just like having lots of sauce 🙂  There was a lot leftover, so cut the whole recipe in half if you desire.  However, I think if you served this with mashed potatoes or noodles, you’d want the extra sauce.  A couple adjustments I made: used ~2 tsp fresh thyme instead of dried, used about 1/2 an onion instead of a whole one.  

Hashbrown Casserole

I’ve made this before, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever blogged it.  Everyone seems to have their own version of this cheesy hashbrown dish, and you can’t really mess it up.  I used this recipe as a guideline.  I only made half of the recipe, and it’s enough for a 9×9″ pan.  I omit the corn flakes, use finely chopped fresh onion instead of dried, add some garlic powder, and probably use more cheese than the recipe calls for (I don’t measure it). 

Roasted Asparagus

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, spray the foil with cooking spray
  • Trim bottom portion off a bunch of asparagus, rinse under cold water, shake excess water off
  • Line up asparagus on baking sheet
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • Bake at 375-400 until tender and slightly browned/crispy

Smells like Thanksgiving November 1, 2011

Filed under: Chicken — WannaBe Chef @ 9:52 am

Happy November!  So I totally forgot to say Happy Halloween yesterday.  Apparently I was still deep in thought about the sticky toffee pudding.  Anywho, I made a yummy, very fall-appropriate dinner last night…. Chicken and Apple Pot Pie.  It smelled a lot like Thanksgiving thanks to the sauteed onions and celery and fresh thyme.  Mmmm, it got me all excited for the real thing!  Especially because my mommy is flying out!  It will be my first Thanksgiving not in Michigan with my whole family 😦  But at least I’ll get to spend it with mom, and it will be my first time cooking the meal!!  Ok, back to last night….

This is a Rachael Ray recipe.  I’ve said it before… she is annoying, but she knows how to combine flavors and make a good meal!  The filling of this “pot pie” was so flavorful.  The sweetness of the apples and cider (I actually used Simply Apple because I didn’t want to buy a whole gallon of cider) combined with the savory chicken and fresh thyme was so good!

Some notes:  I did not use as much oil and butter as the recipe called for.  I only used 1 large honeycrisp apple, and I didn’t peel it.  It’s hard enough trying to chop everything when your baby is fussy and wants all of your attention, all the time!  Also, my puff pastry did not bake all the way.  I’m not sure if maybe it wasn’t defrosted all the way or what, but it got super brown on top and stayed doughy on the bottom.  Next time, I would probably put biscuits or something else on top because undercooked puff pastry is not good.  We ended up peeling off the top layer and trashing the rest of the dough.

Chicken and Apple Pot Pies

Click link for recipe 🙂


Chicken sammies October 24, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Sandwiches — WannaBe Chef @ 9:41 am

I really dislike the word “sammie,” because all I ever think of is Rachael Ray saying it in her annoying voice haha.  However, I’m too tired to come up with another post title.  Wayne was gone this weekend to be in his best friend’s wedding in Michigan.  Macy and I didn’t go, and I was pretty bummed that we had to miss it, but that’s life.  He got back yesterday afternoon, so my grocery-getting happened later in the day than usual.  I usually make something that requires more time on Sundays, because I can, but I just wanted something quick this week.  Avocadoes and chicken were on sale, and I was in the mood for a big sandwich, so this is what I came up with….

Crispy Chicken and Avocado Subs

I really wanted these on french baguettes, but apparently if you go shopping after 3 pm, no baguette for you!  I did find these pretzel rolls, though, and they were pretty tasty.


  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterflied and halved, pounded thin
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Panko bread crumbs, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, thinly sliced
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Chipotle mayo (just combine mayo and chipotle and adobo in food processor to taste)
  • 2 pretzel rolls or french bread


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Dredge in egg, then bread crumbs.  Place in hot skillet with extra-virgin olive oil.  Saute until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.  Add a little more oil to the pan when you flip the chicken so it gets crispy on both sides.
  2. Place chicken on pretzel rolls with toppings.

Chicken with mushrooms October 18, 2011

Filed under: Chicken — WannaBe Chef @ 10:52 am

Hello, peeps!  I’m trying to sneak this post in before Macy starts fighting her nap again, uuuggghhhh.  Anyway, I love mushrooms and so does Wayne, so this recipe seemed like a winner.  It turned out really well.  The chicken was moist, and the swiss cheese somehow made the whole dish taste like chicken marsala, but no wine was involved. 

A couple tips: if your chicken breasts are ginormous like mine, slice them in half width-wise to make thinner chicken cutlets.  They cook a lot faster that way.  I only used two large breasts to make four thinner ones.  Also, be sure to season your mushrooms and chicken well with salt and pepper.  Even though you’re using seasoned bread crumbs, it needs salt, trust me.  I served this with egg noodles, but rice would be good, too.  According to some of the reviews on the original recipe, you could try mixing the mushrooms with a can of cream of mushroom soup if you wanted a more “saucey” dish.

Chicken with Mushrooms
Another allrecipes.com recipe, slightly modified


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 – 8 oz packages sliced mushrooms
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 4 slices swiss cheese
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth


  1. Spray an 8×13″ baking dish with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil.  Season well with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Spread the cooked mushrooms in the bottom of your baking dish and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in the skillet you cooked the mushrooms in. 
  4. Dredge the chicken in the beaten eggs, then the bread crumbs, and place into hot skillet with butter.  Saute both sides until browned.
  5. Place chicken on top of mushrooms, then top each breast with a slice of cheese.
  6. Pour the chicken broth evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.
  7. Bake until chicken is cooked through.  Mine took about 20 minutes because my chicken was pretty thin, but yours may take longer. 

Teriyaki something-or-other October 14, 2011

Filed under: Chicken — WannaBe Chef @ 11:03 am

Hola!  So I’ve been MIA this week, sorry.  Wayne was out of town most of the week, so I didn’t do much cooking while he was gone.  Last night, I was excited to actually eat something that wasn’t a baked potato or sandwich.  I found this recipe on the allrecipes app on my new iPhone.  Honestly, it sounded a little weird…. cream cheese and teriyaki… casserole?  Hmm.  Well, the reviews were mostly good, so I decided to try it.  Well…. it was a little weird.  Definitely edible, and Wayne actually liked it a lot.  If you decide to try it, make sure your chicken is completely thawed.  I used partially frozen chicken, and it made the whole dish kind of watery.  It did set up once it cooled down, though.  Also, the chow mein noodles are a must!

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole  <—-Click link for recipe… the child is waking up, and I don’t feel like typing it out 🙂