I rarely share recipes on my blog, because, quite frankly, I hate to cook. Like seriously hate to cook. I have a couple friends that I joke around with sometimes about having our own little commune. I would teach everybody’s children, one mom would do all the cooking, and the other would do all the cleaning, hah. Seriously, that sounds more amazing to me than anything.
Cooking is a necessity when you’re a wife/mom and sometimes you hit the jackpot. Now, one friend who tasted this recipe ended up adding some of her own dressing to it to spice it up – but I liked it totally as is. I had seen a similar recipe on Pinterest but since I rarely follow a recipe to a T (read: never have the same ingredients so I substitute what I think will work) this really became my own recipe. I drive people crazy when I tell them “I found this amazing recipe but I didn’t have this so I used this, and I didn’t have this, so I used this,…” You get the idea. And I rarely have all the ingredients for something because I’m a terrible cook and never buy things that cooks/chefs would have normally have on hand.
I love the idea of one pan for making a meal (although, I have to admit, I boiled my chicken first, so that would make two pans/pots) as I also hate doing dishes, hah. I found aluminum throw-away pans at Costco for super cheap (cheaper than the dollar store) and they’re great for making meals in, especially if you double the recipe and put half in the freezer. And this can be a super cheap recipe if you use vegetables that are on sale (or on the clearance rack at your grocery store).
I made one for our meal and one for the freezer the night I made this. And it made enough for about 6 servings (for those with somewhat large families). My kids eat very little at supper but my husband took a good portion for his lunch and I shared another container with a friend and her husband for lunch…so it stretched pretty far.
One Pan Fall Casserole
4-6 Chicken breasts (thawed; or boiled if frozen)
1-2 large sweet potatoes OR 4-6 medium white potatoes – the more potatoes you add the larger the cassarole will be
2 small peppers (or 1 large)
2 carrots, chopped in circles
1/2 squash (I actually used 1/4 of a squash in each pan I made as I only had half a squash in my fridge – it was plenty)
3 small apples (or as much as you want for added sweetness)
!/2 cup of cranberries (option for added sweetness)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup oil
Apple cider vinegar
- Boil chicken in water with 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar (gives the chicken a nice flavour) for about 10 minutes. Combine 2 TBSP of oil with a splash or two of apple cider vinegar, the Italian seasoning, and garlic. Place chicken in a plastic bag and pour oil mixture over chicken, rubbing it in. Let sit while you do the rest.
- Chop veggies and place in a pan. I have written in the vegetables that I used because those are what I had in my fridge, but you could sub in any veggies that are in season in your area (ie, green beans, peas, corn, brussel sprouts, etc). Add the apples, diced, with skin on (or you can choose to peel but it’s a little more work and who needs that?)
- Pour remaining oil over vegetables and stir to coat (this is so the veggies don’t stick and burn while they are roasting).
- Place chicken breasts on top of vegetables (alternatively, you could cut the chicken into cubes and mix right into the casserole if you only have so much chicken to work with – this can make it stretch farther).
- Sprinkle with uncooked, chopped bacon
- Bake at 450 for 30 minutes (or until vegetables/potatoes are soft when poked with a fork).
If you didn’t want to make a huge pan of this, I could also see it over rice – also making it stretch farther. Or if you made a big pan, you could serve up to 10 people with this casserole by putting rice under it. I’m all about stretching a meal. My rule of thumb is to keep my meat servings to about $5 per meal, which I know doesn’t sound like much. Sometimes it’s more but not very often. When I make a roast (costs about $10-$13 at the local meat store we buy from) we always have some for lunches the next day. I serve a family of 4 (two of whom are children who don’t eat much). When the kids are older and eating more I will, obviously, have to adjust this number accordingly.
I did make this in two pans and put one in my freezer. I kept the chicken off and will do that part of it when I pull the pan out of the freezer. I’m a freak about meat and food poisoning so I didn’t like the idea of half cooking the chicken and then re-freezing (which is a huge no-no in my house). I suppose you could cook this in its entirety and then freeze but, since I made this on a church night, I didn’t have time to cook the second one before we had to leave.
The only thing I regret is not taking a picture. So I’ll update this post next time I make it and post a picture of the meal. Or you can do a search for similar meals on google and see what they “look” like.
My husband loved this meal and even my kids gave it a thumbs up (which is huge in my house). If you try it, let me know what you think, or if you would tweak anything. =)