Category Archives: Food

Recipe Review: VELVEETA One-Pan Chicken & Spinach Pasta

Disclaimer: I am a paid brand ambassador for Velveeta Mini Blocks. All opinions expressed are my own.

“What a fantastic idea!”  That was my first thought when I learned about Velveeta Mini Blocks… individually wrapped 4oz. packages of Velveeta .

They’re the perfect size for most recipes and perfect for using fresh Velveeta every time you cook.

After getting my hands on some Velveeta Mini Blocks I went to to get some “Endless Gold” recipe ideas.  There were plenty of delicious looking recipes but the Velveeta One-Pan Chicken and Spinach Pasta recipe really caught my eye.

Probably for three reasons.  First, it’s a great looking dish.  Second, I knew there were plenty of grape tomatoes in my garden that I could use.  Lastly, my family loves spinach and this would be another way to cook with it.

I decided I’d try the Velveeta One-Pan Chicken and Spinach Pasta recipe the first time I used the Velveeta Mini Blocks and save the remaining blocks to use later in my own kitchen creations.

I followed the recipe as written but made a double batch… so there would be plenty for dinner with some leftovers to warm up for lunch this week at work.

VELVEETA One-Pan Chicken & Spinach Pasta ingredients

This is a really easy recipe that even an inexperienced cook could make in less than a half hour.

The time while the pasta is cooking is the perfect amount to wash and cut the tomatoes and to also cube the Velveeta Mini Block.

If you have young kids there are several places you could get them involved in making this dish. They could help stir the chicken in the pan and they could also open and cube the Velveeta.

Opening VELVEETA Miniblocks

The easy open tear strip really is easy.  It’s perfect for little hands to open and the Velveeta is soft enough that budding chefs can easily cut and cube it with a butter knife.

You may need to add the spinach a little bit at a time.  It might seem like a lot at first but it really cooks down.  The red of the tomatoes and the green of the spinach combine to make this a great looking and nutritious dish.

Cooking VELVEETA One-Pan Chicken & Spinach Pasta My family agreed that that it tasted as great as it looks!

Plated VELVEETA One-Pan Chicken & Spinach Pasta

One thing I’d do different for next time is to serve it with bread sticks.  They’d be great for dipping in and wiping the delicious sauce off the plate.

As we ate we started talking about how we could take the idea of the Velveeta One-Pan Chicken and Spinach Pasta recipe and tweak it to make a different recipe.

One idea was to swap out the garlic, tomatoes, and spinach with green onions, chopped broccoli, mushrooms, and bacon crumbles.

This was a great first recipe for trying out Velveeta Mini Blocks! They really are very convenient to use… especially when you’re short on time and only need just a little bit of Velveeta.

The good news is I still have 3 more Mini Blocks in the cupboard.  I’m not sure what they’ll be used for but the possibilities are endless… Endless gold, that is.

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Easy Cooked Chicken Hindquarters

Every week I scan the grocery ads for good deals.  Every week there are usually a few deals that really stand out.  This past week one of those deals was at our local Fareway.

They had 10 pound bags of chicken hindquarters for only 59¢ a pound.  That’s a great price and I instantly new what I wanted to do; get a bag, cook it all, and freeze the cooked meat for later.

10 pound bag of chicken hindquarters from Fareway

It’s really easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time.  To start, I put the entire 10 pounds of chicken in a large pot.  I use our big canning pot. It easily holds 10 pounds of chicken.  In fact, I’ve cooked 20 pounds in it.

Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken, place on the stove, and bring to a boil.

Chicken hindquarters in a pot

Then cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.

Let the chicken simmer until the internal temperature in the thigh reaches 165 degrees.  I’ve never really timed it to be exact.  It’s usually 30 – 45 minutes.  I use the time to multitask and do other things.

Tonight while the chicken was cooking we made a big pot of rice to freeze for later, cleaned the sink, and hand washed all the dishes that had been piling up on the counter.

Once the chicken is cooked, use tongs to remove it from the water and place on a cookie sheet to cool.

Pan of cooked chicken hindquarters

You may be tempted to dive right in and start pulling the chicken off but trust me… I know from experience (and minor burns) that you need to let it cool a bit.

When it’s cool, remove the fat from each hindquarter, pull the chicken off, and cut into bite size pieces.

Cutting up cooked chicken hindquarters

You’ll end up with a big pile of cooked chicken that you can bag up in whatever amounts you want.

Pan of cut up cooked chicken hindquarters

We usually put 3 cups of cooked chicken per quart freezer bag. Tonight’s effort yielded 4 bags… each with 3 cups of chicken.  At the 59¢ per pound that we paid it ended up being $1.50 a bag.  Quite the bargain for minimal effort.

Bagged cooked chicken hindquarters

30-45 minute cook time.  15 minutes to cool.  30 minutes to cut up and bag.

These freezer bags full of cooked chicken are easy to thaw out and use in:

  • Stir-fry
  • BBQ chicken sandwiches
  • Quesadillas
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Enchiladas
  • Chicken Nachos

A few quick notes:

You can add aromatics, herbs, and root vegetables to the pot when boiling the chicken for added flavor.  This water then makes a great broth for soup.

Make sure you discard the leftover chicken bones and fat in your outside garbage can.  It can really stink up your house if left in the inside trash for a day or two. Don’t ask me how I know. 😉

Have you done this before? What dishes do you use the cooked chicken in?

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