What’s For Dinner? Slow Cooked Creamy Italian Chicken

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This is one of our family’s favorite recipes for the slow cooker, because it’s quick, yummy and e-a-s-y! We’re actually traveling a little this week on Spring Break, and brought Mrs. Potts along for the ride. (I know, how nerdy is it that I brought my crockpot with me on vacation?  Seriously!  Who does this stuff?)

 

Our family left Alabama earlier this week to ski in Colorado (yes, a twenty four hour DRIVE with three kids, a road-trip-lovin’-hubby, and of course Mrs. Potts in the back seat), and are enjoying some amazing days in what has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. We’re heading home shortly, but in the meantime wanted to share one of our favorite ways to penny pinch on a not-so-penny-pinched vacation:  cook simple meals on the road!

 

Since skiing is probably one of the least frugal vacations out there, we’re trying to squeeze at least a few pennies by cooking a few of our own meals while traveling.    We ate out twice during the two-day drive here, and are eating our breakfasts as well as many of our dinners in our condo. (Somehow it’s just more fun to cook in someone else’s kitchen. . . and after a full day of skiing my kids are would rather head to the pool or back outside to play in the snow than sit and wait food at a restaurant!)  I’ll share more tips later this week on how we save towards vacation, but for us, it’s one of those amazing things that we’re able to do because we live frugally most of the time.  So, while I feel a little guilty splurging on such a frivolous trip (really, it’s very hard for me not to feel like it’s so wasteful!), well, it’s something our family loves and one of the reasons that we choose to pinch those pennies.

 

Okie dokie, enough chatting, right? On to the recipe. . . Slow Cooked Italian Chicken.  I’m betting you’ve seen this recipe before, but if you haven’t, it’s one of those no fuss kind of meals totally worth pulling out the crock pot for on a busy day.  And, if you happen to be heading out on vacation, you can always take your crockpot along for the ride too. (And be a slow cookin’ nerd, like me.) :)

 

Slow Cooked Italian Chicken

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb. chicken breast, refrigerated or frozen
  2. 1 packet dry Italian Dressing Mix (or try out this Italian Dressing MixSeasoning at home)
  3. 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened We just used the light Kroger brand cream cheese
  4. 1 can cream of chicken soup Use $0.30/4 Campbell’s Condensed “Great for Cooking” Soup, exp. 5/31/12 (SS 03/04/12 R)
    cooked pasta for serving Mueller’s Pasta BOGO $1.58, use $0.55/1 Mueller’s Whole Wheat Pasta printable (if included in sale)
    1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Place chicken in crock pot. Combine water and Italian salad dressing mix together and pour over chicken.
  2. Cook on low for 3 hours. Shred chicken.
  3. Use hand mixer to combine soup and cream cheese. Mix until creamy, then add to chicken and cook one hour longer.
  4. Serve over cooked pasta, along with a side salad and garlic bread.  Yummm!

Does it get any easier than that? We were in such a hurry yesterday that I threw all the ingredients in Mrs. Potts in the morning and cooked it all on low for five hours.  Our new favorite roast recipe is also on the menu plan this week!

 

On a completely silly side note, I have to share this with you guys!  We went to the City Market in Aspen, Colorado (a Kroger affiliate store) to pick up the chicken and cream cheese, and it was a hoot watching a whole other crowd at the grocery store.  The store was packed, without a single coupon binder in site.  I’m pretty sure every single car in the parking lot was a BMW, Lexus, or Volvo, and I couldn’t believe how much folks pay for even margarine. ($2.99 for Land O Lakes Spread that’s $.10 this week at Publix? Yikes!) 

 

City Market did have their whole chicken on sale for $.99/lb. though, so I guess there might just be a bit of a penny-pinched-deal in this not-at-all-penny-pinched town. Think I’m the only girl in this city who lugged along her crockpot on vacation but left the BMW at home? Yup, I’m thinkin’ so too. ;)

 

Do you have any tips on how to save money while traveling or easy recipes to take with you on the road?  Please leave a comment to share!

 

Visit I Heart Publix for more coupon matchups, and check out $5 Dinner Mom for more bargain meal deals. If you need a little more menu inspiration, check out the Recipe Gallery.

 

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Comments

  1. Jessica Dodd says:

    Dont think your the only vacation nerd out there. We go on vacations with our cooler full of frozen meals that I have prepared ahead if time. Having prepared foods making forking out money for gas and hotel rooms not seem so bad.

    • Love that Jessica! We were SHOCKED at the price of gas as we came out….. it was crazy (I’m almost wondering if we could have flown for less because it was so bad.) But, the meals definitely help, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who plans her food for the road! (We got one of those plug ins that works off our car battery, and I told my hubby we could cook a meal in Mrs. Potts as we drove!) ;)

  2. Hope you had a great vacation! I can not wait to read the tips you have about saving for vacation. We are planning a trip for August and I am trying to plan ahead and save now! Whenever we travel we always take a cooler full of food and snacks because it is so much cheaper than eating on the road! Have a safe trip home!

    • The snacks definitely help Dawn! Saving year round is my best tip, but I’ll add more ideas shortly. We love vacationing, so any way that we can save more extra moo-lah definitely is worth it!

  3. Jennifer B. says:

    Laurie:

    First, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic vacation and have safe travels home.

    Second, I had a question about your statement that you threw everything in Mrs. Potts. Does that mean you put the cream cheese and soup in from the beginning this time, instead of adding it at the end? Sounds more my speed, so if that’s what you did, I’d love to know if it still worked out well.

    Thanks!

    • Thanks Jennifer! Okay… I did put it in all together this time, by just adding chicken and seasoning first, then softening the cream cheese and mixing it with the soup before pouring it over the chicken. (That’s not my normal recipe, but I was in a hurry and wanted dinner to be done when we got home). I like it a *little* better when I wait to add the other ingredients, but it was still good and we ate up every bite! :)

      • Jennifer B. says:

        I made this today and it was GREAT! I followed the original recipe (instead of adding everything in at the beginning like you did for your vacation version) except I didn’t shred the chicken. I have a very picky eater and I figured it would be too difficult to remove edible chicken for him (plus he doesn’t eat pasta). Well, imagine my surprise when he agreed to have some of the sauce for dipping his chicken!

        YUM! Another winning recipe. Thank you, Laurie!!!!

  4. We always pack a cooler with drinks plus take our favorite traveling cups so that we can refill them with water from the soda fountain when we do eat out. The best thing I have discovered to keep things cheap for our family is to put snacks in baggies. Most snacks have more than a serving in them and this keeps the kids from just continuing to eat mindlessly. I will measure out whatever the serving size is and bag it. I throw it all in the center console in our vehicle and when the kids are hungry they can choose whatever we had in the stockpile that I bagged. Last week it happened to be gold fish, fruit snacks, oreos or nutter butters, sunflower seeds and granola bars. Typically, we will make sandwiches to put in the cooler to cover one meal. Also we have found it cheaper to eat lunch out then if we need dinner out we will order a pizza instead.

    • Love those tips Jacque! We definitely find that eating lunch out is the way to go, and pizza is such an inexpensive option compared to just about anything else. We splurged this time and brought quite a few pre-packaged snacks that were already serving sizes (that Rice Krispies sale at Target a few weeks ago really helped!), but giving our kids a whole bag of goldfish is asking for trouble! :)

  5. Do you know how many tbsp of italian seasoning mix come in a package? I prefer to make my own mix, but I would like to know the quantity I need to use.

    Thanks!

  6. One of our FAVORITE recipes! I also add frozen peas at the end and serve it over rice.

  7. How much water do you add? Thank you so much for your recipes! I shared your recipe for italian beef with a friend who loved it as well! :-)

    • Jennifer B. says:

      It’s a 1/4 cup. It is written in at the very end of the recipe, not a numbered ingredient. Hope that helps! I’ve made this twice and it is very good.

  8. Thank you so much Jennifer!!!

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