Menu planner: Slow cooker chicken chili won’t take up too much time or money

Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.

SHARE Menu planner: Slow cooker chicken chili won’t take up too much time or money
Slow cooker chili is simple and inexpensive. Consider wrapping a few spoonfuls of the chili in warmed flour tortillas and serving it with lime wedges.

Slow cooker chili is simple and inexpensive. Consider wrapping a few spoonfuls of the chili in warmed flour tortillas and serving it with lime wedges.

SwirlsofFlavor.com

Slow cooker chicken chili

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours on low, or 3 to 4 hours on high

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into chunks

1 (1.25-ounce) packet reduced-sodium chili seasoning mix

1 (16-ounce) jar salsa

1 (14.75-ounce) can shoepeg corn, rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed

1 cup shredded 50% light cheddar cheese

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Toss chicken and chili seasoning until evenly coated; arrange in a slow cooker. Combine salsa, corn and black beans; pour over chicken. Cook 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high. Top with cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions and chopped cilantro.

Per serving: 398 calories, 45 grams protein, 10 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 30 grams carbohydrate, 131 milligrams cholesterol, 798 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Rosemary spaghetti with roasted asparagus

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 25 minutes, plus pasta

INGREDIENTS

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1 1/2 cups unsalted vegetable broth

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

1 pound uncooked spaghetti

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread asparagus on a rimmed baking pan in a single layer; brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast 7 to 12 minutes or until fork-tender. Shake pan halfway through cooking to redistribute stalks. Cut stalks into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside. In a large deep skillet, melt butter on medium-low. Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add broth and chopped rosemary; increase heat to medium-high and reduce liquid by half. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Add pasta to butter mixture. Add cheese and asparagus; gently toss. Garnish each serving with a rosemary sprig and pass additional Parmesan to sprinkle.

Per serving: 291 calories, 10 grams protein, 6 grams fat (19% calories from fat), 2.6 grams saturated fat, 49 grams carbohydrate, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 171 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

Italian chicken with noodles

Makes about 9 1/2 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 7 to 8 hours, plus 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds well-trimmed boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 4 or 6 pieces

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 3/4 cups unsalted chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added or regular diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning, with liquid

1 1/2 cups sliced carrots

1 large onion, halved and sliced

3 cups uncooked egg noodles

3/4 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed

Sprinkle chicken with thyme and oregano; set aside. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine broth, undrained tomatoes, carrots and onion. Place chicken on top of all. Cover; cook on low 7 to 8 hours. Stir in noodles and peas. Cover; cook 15 minutes on high or just until the noodles are tender.

Per cup: 180 calories, 17 grams protein, 3 grams fat (17% calories from fat), 0.8 gram saturated fat, 19 grams carbohydrate, 67 milligrams cholesterol, 128 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Cod with fennel and olives

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, combine 1 large thinly sliced fennel bulb and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast 15 minutes. Stir in 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes with liquid. In the dish, arrange 4 (5-ounce) cod fillets in a single layer. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Top with 1/4 cup seeded Kalamata olives. Spoon fennel mixture over fish. Roast 10 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout.

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