This is going to be a week of Cassie’s freezer meals and today will be Chicken Pot Pie Pockets, Chicken Parmesan Meatball Casserole, and Cheesy Spinach Dip Chicken Pasta.
During school time Matt and I are so busy we never have time to make food so we always end up going out to eat. Which is super expensive and not as good and probably not as good for you! I have found through making freezer meals that I struggle doing slow cooker meals because they are usually 4 to 8 hours to cook. My problem is I work full time and have to be able to come home during lunch to put it in the crock pot and if I don’t have time then dinner is not ready until 7:30 or 8 pm. If I put the meal in first thing in the morning then it cooks too long and is overcooked by dinner time. My new solution is casseroles or tin dinners! We still did a few slow cooker meals but all of these recipes have been the best! We made 16 meals for three families: ours, Amber and Ben, and my Grandma Bev! It took all day and I will give you all the recipes this week with the shopping list on Saturday! Stayed tuned! Give them a try!
Chicken Pot Pie Pockets (makes 8)
- 16 oz. cream cheese
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 1/2 cups shredded/cut pre-cooked rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup diced potatoes
- 1 cup peeled, and chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup cooked and chopped celery
- 2 boxes refrigerated Pillsbury Pie Crust
- In a large pot heat to medium high heat put a teaspoon olive oil. Put in the potatoes, celery and carrots and cook until they are soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Don’t over cook you do not want the veggies mushy. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Microwave in 15 second intervals until slightly melted and able to stir until smooth. Add onion powder and garlic salt to cream cheese/butter mixture and stir well.
- Add the chopped chicken, cooked potato mixture cream cheese mixture. Stir until well combined.
- Unroll both sheets of refrigerated pie crust dough. Cut each of the round pie crusts into quarters. On one quarter of pie crust dough, put about ¾-1 cup cream cheese mixture on the quarter. Place a second quarter of pie crust dough over the top (make sure it lines up with bottom quarter) and pinch seams to seal off.
- Repeat until you have 8 pie pockets. Cut about three small slits on the tops of each pie pocket for breathing. Place on a cookie sheet to freeze, when frozen pull out and place in a gallon freezer bag. Label and write baking directions on bag with a sharpie.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for about 25 to 35 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Chicken Parmesan Meatball Casserole (makes 3 – 8×8 tins)
For the meatballs:
- 2 pounds lean ground chicken
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the casserole:
- 1 1/2 pounds Ziti pasta
- 2 jars (24 ounces) marinara sauce
- 4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to directions until they are al dente.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the meatballs. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and use your hands to mix them together well. Form into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside and cool.
- Once pasta is cooked drain and run cold water over the top to stop the cooking practice.
- Add the pasta sauce to a large bowl and stir in the cooked pasta and meatballs. Stir gently to coat everything in sauce.
- Spread half of the pasta and meatballs into a 8×8 baking dish. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
- Label and Freeze! When you are ready to eat pull out the evening before to defrost in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.
- If you forget to pull out of the freezer to defrost bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Cheesy Spinach Dip Chicken Pasta
- 1 1/2 pounds Penne
- 4 chicken breasts
- 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 2 pkg dry Ranch mix
- 10 oz. frozen spinach or half of a batch of fresh
- 2 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packaging. Drain and run cool water over the top of the noodles to stop the cooking.
- Dice chicken, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over chicken and toss to coat. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Do not over cook chicken or it will be dry in your pasta.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, cream cheese, ranch mix, half and half, and spinach.
- Add cooked pasta and chicken to the spinach mixture and stir all together. Transfer the mixture into the prepared dish (the 3 – 8×8 dishes). Top with mozzarella.
- Cover with heavy duty tinfoil, label, write baking directions, and Freeze!
- Pull out the night before and place in the fridge to defrost. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 25 minutes or until the middle is warm. The cheese should be melted. You can then turn the oven to broiler and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese bubbles up and gets golden brown spots.
- Let stand in room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
- If you forget to pull it out of the freezer in advance bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the casserole is hot!
Here’s The Shopping List!