Spinach Chicken Noodle Slow Cooker Soup
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cups Chicken Stock
2 10oz cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 10oz package frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups short pasta (I like Farfalle , aka bowtie pasta)
Cheddar Cheese to garnish
Put first 5 ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
About 35 minutes before serving, remove lid and shred chicken in slow cooker.
Pour pasta into slow cooker. Cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes (or until pasta is tender). Do NOT lift the lid during these last 30 minutes or pasta won’t cook!
Garnish with cheddar cheese if desired.
Printable recipe here.
I love spinach. It’s truly my favorite veggie of all time. I’ll eat it in salads, on pizza, with pasta, over chicken or in ball form. But my favorite way to eat spinach is creamed.
Creamed spinach is quite rich and caloric though. And my svelte figure can’t take that kinda lovin’ too frequently. So I had to lighten it up a bit without losing any of the flavor or creaminess.
Creamed Spinach (Lite Version)
1 12 oz. pkg spinach, cooked according to package directions and drained slightly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 T butter
1 T cream cheese
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 c skim milk
1/4 c fat free half and half
2 T. sour cream
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Melt butter in large skillet. Add spinach and saute for 3-4 minutes over medium heat with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add garlic and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent garlic from burning. Add milk, half and half and cream cheese. Stir to incorporate and bring to a simmer. Add red pepper flakes (optional) and Parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream until incorporated. Enjoy!
Being a Catholic family, we observe Lent (the approximately 40 days leading up to Easter), and we don’t eat meat on the Fridays during Lent. Sure, there are the old standbys that many a Catholic child has grown to not-love like fish sticks, cheese pizza and tuna noodle casserole. I didn’t even grow up Catholic and I am firmly in the not-love camp on these Friday staples. Ahhh, nothing says penance like tuna noodle casserole.
I’ve thought seriously about reviving the meatless Friday discipline for my little domestic church. It’s not like a “moving our family into a yurt for the winter in northern Michigan” sacrifice, but a smaller scale sacrifice. No, we aren’t ravenous carnivores, intent on destroying the planet with our meat-loving ways. It’s just that on the rare occasion my darling husband and I get to go out for a meal sans enfants, it’s on a Friday. And I usually want to order a steak or a burger. I’m allergic to fish, seafood, and shellfish so a fancy fish dish is not a viable option for me. Those items are also off the menu for Javier – because there will be no smoochin’ if he’s eaten an allergen.
So this Lenten season, I was determined to get a little more creative with our veggie-lovin’ Fridays. We had some truly yummy meals and here’s one of our favorites.
Spinach Balls. Boom!
In the spirit of full disclosure, my kids do not eat them. They devour them. They stand at the stove watching them bake, dance for joy when the timer goes off, lick their fingers love ’em.
1 1/2 c spinach (thawed and squeezed)
2 large eggs
1/4 c melted butter
1 1/4 c dried herb stuffing
1/2 t garlic salt
1/3 c parmesan cheese
1/4 c chopped onion
1 1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray a baking sheet. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Form generous tablespoons of the mixture into individual balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.