Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Double-Duty Dinners, Featuring Buffalo Chicken Macaroni & Cheese and Pizza

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

As much as I love to cook, I don’t necessarily like to spend every night in the kitchen preparing dinner. When I’m hungry, I want to eat now. If you feel the same way, one of the best ways to make sure you have food available is by meal prepping. There are different forms of meal-prepping, but one of my favorite ways is making “double-duty dinners.”

The idea behind double-duty dinners is to prepare one big meal with plenty of food so you can transform the leftovers into an entirely new meal the following night. This is great for picky eaters who don’t like to eat the same thing for dinner every single night.

The Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese featured on this blog post is a great recipe to transform into a double-duty meal. Normally, if I was preparing this meal for just one night, I would only use about one pound of chicken. But since I plan to use the leftovers for another day, I should double the protein and add about two pounds of chicken (or more) to the slow cooker. When the chicken is done, I remove all of it, shred it, and return just half of it to the slow cooker.

I store the other half in the refrigerator for my dinner the following day, which I can use to make salad, pasta, or pizza (as you’ll see below)!

I chose to make pizza as the other half of this double-duty meal because it used a lot of the same ingredients as the Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese. The only new additions were pizza dough, tomato sauce, and butter. So not only did I save time, but I also saved money. Now I don't need to go out and buy ingredients for an entirely new meal!

Some other ideas for double-duty dinners that I featured in the segment on FOX59 are:
Pulled pork used to make sandwiches the first night and pork quesadillas on the second night.
Fish, specifically tilapia, use to make a rice dinner on night one and fish tacos on night two.

One thing I need to point out — it’s important to always use the best ingredients available. That’s why I used Challenge cream cheese in the macaroni and cheese and Challenge butter in the pizza. I choose Challenge over every other brand because I know there are no hormones, additives, or fillers in their products.The taste is also superior to other brands because they use real cream.

NOTE: In the recipes below, I’m posting the regular version, not the double-duty version, in case some people saw the picture of the pasta and scrolled straight to the recipe. But if you want to make the double-duty version, just double the amount of chicken as discussed earlier.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Yield: Makes about 8, 1-cup servings
  • 1 pound chicken
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound macaroni pasta, uncooked
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • Green onions and blue cheese for garnish, if desired
  1. Add chicken, chicken broth, buffalo sauce, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, and salt to slow cooker. Stir until combined and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours. (Could be more or less time depending on your slow cooker. My chicken was done right at 2 hours)
  2. Remove cooked chicken from slow cooker, shred, and return to slow cooker.
  3. Add pasta, cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, milk, and cream cheese to slow cooker.
  4. Mix and cook on high for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until pasta is cooked
  5. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles and green onions if desired and serve 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Yield: Makes 1 pizza
  • Pizza dough
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato sauce (depending on whether you like a lot of sauce or not)
  • 3 Tablespoons buffalo sauce
  • 1 tablespoons Challenge butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Green onions for garnish, if desired
  1. Preheat oven to the specified temperature for your pizza dough (I set my oven to 425)
  2. Combine tomato sauce, buffalo sauce, butter, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder and spread on uncooked pizza dough
  3. Add half the cheddar cheese on top of the sauce and layer it with the chicken, the rest of the cheddar cheese, and the blue cheese crumbles.
  4. Bake pizza for about 14 to 18 minutes — keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!
  5. Remove from oven, garnish with green onions, and serve
Recipe adapted from the Food Network

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