Mini Broccoli & Ham Cups

This recipe from Kraft (original here) replaces the typical crust of a biscuit or roll with a ham cup (see the photo). Mini Broccoli & Ham Cups is the twenty-fourth of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, well drained
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup (½ of 8 oz tub) PHILADELPHIA ⅓ Less Fat than Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 24 slices OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Smoked Ham
  • ⅓ cup chopped PLANTERS Smoked Almonds

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine broccoli, tomatoes, cream cheese, Parmesan and garlic powder.
  3. Flatten ham slices.
  4. Press 1 ham slice onto bottom and up side of each of 24 miniature muffin pan cups.
  5. Fill with broccoli mixture; sprinkle with nuts.
  6. Bake 15 min or until heated through.

Variations

  • To make ahead, assemble appetizers several hours in advance; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Then, uncover and bake as directed.
  • Some recipe reviewers commented that they left out the tomatoes and still found the appetizer a hit with family or party-attendees.

Paula Deen’s Broccoli Casserole

Here’s another recipe I discovered during the Food Network Thanksgiving shows a few years ago. During the show where Paula makes this casserole, she says it’s not Thanksgiving unless it’s on the table (original here).

Ingredients

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs.
  4. Mix well with a metal spoon.
  5. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  6. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Variations

  • We’ve also tried this recipe with Cream of Chicken & Mushroom soup and with Cheddar Cheese soup to vary the taste.
  • Add some chopped chicken or turkey for a main dish.

Stir-Fry Your Way

So many of the stir fry recipes that I see tell you to use a bottle of “stir fry sauce.” Where’s the technique in that? So I was pleased when I found this recipe from the April 2011 issue of All You (original here), that includes a sauce you make yourself. The recipe was developed by dietician Heidi McIndoo.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups of your favorite vegetables (broccoli cut into bite-size pieces, shredded carrots, thinly sliced red bell peppers, chopped onion or thin green beans)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 8-oz. can pineapple chunks, canned in juice, drained, optional
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice or whole-grain noodles

Directions

  1. Preheat a wok or large skillet on low.
  2. In a bowl, combine chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar.
  3. Turn heat up to high.
  4. Pour in 1 Tbsp. canola oil and, once hot, add half of chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove to a plate.
  6. Repeat with 1/2 Tbsp. oil and remaining chicken.
  7. Add vegetables and 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil to wok; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  9. Return chicken to wok; add pineapple, if desired.
  10. Pour in chicken broth mixture and stir well.
  11. Add cornstarch and stir until sauce thickens and becomes shiny.
  12. Serve over brown rice or whole-grain noodles. (Obviously white rice will also work.)

Slow Cooker Chicken, Broccoli & Rice

I love everything about this recipe. I often buy similar frozen meals, ready for the microwave. This recipe from Campbell’s (original online) makes a satisfying, homemade version that is even better than those microwave meals.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant white rice
  • 1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 bag (about 16 ounces) frozen broccoli cuts, thawed
  • 3 large carrots, sliced (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken and Mushroom Soup
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Directions

  1. Spray a 5-quart slow cooker with the cooking spray.
  2. Place the rice in the slow cooker. 
  3. Layer the chicken, 1 cup cheese, broccoli, carrots, soups and the remaining cheese on top of the rice.
  4. Pour the water around the edges of the slow cooker and do not stir.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Stir the rice and vegetables before serving.

Variations

  • Speed up the meal by using canned chicken breast. The casserole only needs to cook long enough to warm all the ingredients and cook the rice.
  • If I use chicken breasts, I cut them into chunks before adding to the crockpot to make serving the meal simpler.

Orecchiette with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Sausage

A recipe from the February 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains that “Orecchiette ("little ears" in Italian) works well in this dish, but you can substitute penne if you’d like.”

Ingredientsfrom All You

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • Salt
  • 1 pound orecchiette or pasta shells
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets (from one head)
  • Shredded Parmesan, optional

Directions

  1. Warm oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until it loses its pink color, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes with their juice and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of juice has evaporated and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  6. Stir in pasta and cook according to package label directions.
  7. In last 2 minutes of cooking time, stir in broccoli and continue to cook until pasta is al dente and broccoli is tender.
  8. Drain, return to pot and toss with sauce.
  9. Serve immediately, with shredded Parmesan on the side, if desired.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Divan

Looking for an easy, go-to comfort food? This casserole will do the trick. Easily prepared from ingredients I usually have in the pantry, this satisfying dish always sees family going back for seconds.

Ingredients

  • 2 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
  • 2 16 oz. cans chicken breast, drained
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pkg. (12.5 oz.) frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 cup frozen sliced carrots
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Spray 13 x 9″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Combine broccoli and carrots in a bowl, and microwave 6 minutes (until thawed and slightly warm).
  4. Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Saute onion on medium heat till tender.
  6. Add drained chicken to the skillet.
  7. Stir in cream of chicken soup, and allow to simmer.
  8. Prepare stuffing according to directions on the package.
  9. Add cooked broccoli and carrots to chicken mixture in skillet. Stir together.
  10. Spoon prepared stuffing to the skillet and stir together until well mixed.
  11. Transfer to 13 x 9″ baking dish.
  12. Bake 40 min.
  13. Remove from oven and top with shredded Cheddar cheese.
  14. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.

Variations

  • Substitute cream of chicken and mushroom soup or cream of mushroom soup, if desired.
  • If you have no broccoli, try cauliflower. The end result will not be quite as colorful, but still makes everyone happy.
  • After Thanksgiving, create your own variation with leftover turkey and stuffing.

Time Required: 60 mins

Servings: 6–8

Rating: 5 stars (★★★★★)