Crispy Chicken Sandwiches with Gouda & Apple

What do you get when you cross a dinner timesaver with all the fall flavors? Answer: crispy chicken sandwiches with gouda, apple, mustard, and arugula. These were so quick for dinner one night – then again for lunch another day annnnd they use some of the bajillion apples we have.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken & Apple Sandwiches

Crispy Chicken Sandwiches with Gouda & Apples

Ingredients: (for 4, serves 2-3 people)

4 pieces of breaded chicken (I used frozen chicken tenders, or make your own)
3 tablespoons dijon mustard or honey mustard
1 large apple
4 rolls (I used finger rolls, shoot for the same size as your chicken)
1-2 cups arugula
4 slices of smoked gouda

Directions:

Bake the chicken (until cooked through, or as the package instructs).
Slice the apple into thin slices.
Spread the mustard onto the rolls then add arugula, and apple slices.
Lay the gouda onto the chicken to melt the last minute of cooking.
Add the chicken onto the sandwiches.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken & Apple Sandwiches
I also like reminding the little ones that foods can be different all the time. We don’t just eat the apples off the core, here they are with other food!

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Winner winner, chicken dinner lunch! This was SO good and perfect if you’re packing lunches! Our pre-schooler loves honey mustard so he was my inspiration! I made a batch for a few servings – one decadently in a croissant, and some another time as a lettuce wrap.
The Three Bite Rule - Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
If you’re thinking you don’t do chicken salad, I urge you to try this one. The honey mustard and lettuce make it seem like a salad and it is such a great use of leftover chicken or to liven up lunch! It is a great use for dark meat if that’s not your fav- at our house, we seek leftover options for white meat since that’s often dried out & has less flavor.

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Ingredients: (for 3-4 servings)

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup yellow mustard
3 tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/2 roasted chicken, torn or forked apart (~2 cups of chicken)

Directions:

Whisk together the honey, mustard, mayo, and garlic- or shake together in a jar.
The Three Bite Rule - Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
(If using as a salad dressing – add a splash of olive oil whisked in. It’ll be too thick otherwise!)
The Three Bite Rule - Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
Add the chicken into the bowl and gently mix.
The Three Bite Rule - Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
Sprinkle in salt & pepper and mix.
Refrigerate until serving, or enjoy immediately on a sandwich, salad, open-faced on toast, or in a lettuce wrap!
The Three Bite Rule - Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
This is so easy, can be made in advance, and eat it all different ways. I packed some separately and spooned it onto romaine lettuce as a lettuce wrap at work. That worked out really well.

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Remember that part of This is Us with the nachos? Beth and Randall are sleep-deprived new parents eating nachos and Randall inadvertently eats all the best chips? I felt deeply for Beth – for her wanting to have somebody who will save a best bite for her- literally and metaphorically. The bottom of the plate of nachos can be such a letdown so, I’m here to tell you to make it in layers. LAY-ERS. Nacho unevenness can be cured. This is precisely why I like to make them at home and rarely order them out!

The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Ingredients (for 1 meal-2 appetizer servings)

2 breaded chicken tenders or popcorn chicken
~4 cups of chips (seriously, how do you measure chips? eyeball it)
1/4 cup salsa con queso sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup hot sauce
~2 green onions
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing

Directions:

Bake the chicken tenders until cooked through & crisp (according to the package, unless making your own).
While chicken is cooking, lay ~1/2 the chips onto a baking pan and drizzle half the salsa con queso sauce, half the shredded cheese, and half the tomatoes. Bake for ~5 minutes to melt the cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Nachos
Chop the chicken and toss with hot sauce. Add about half onto the first layer that baked.
Then top with remaining chips, remaining queso, shredded cheese, tomatoes, and chicken.
Bake for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with green onions.
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Nachos
Drizzle with blue cheese dressing.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Nachos
I love nachos fully loaded- lots of stuff on every bite. These were a fun twist with some favorite flavors and a great use for some leftover taco-night ingredients for something totally different!

The tomatoes are for juiciness and to get a little veg in there. I abhor celery but you could always add that. Add avocado, shredded lettuce, shredded carrots, or whatever you like on top at the end- just make sure every bite has a little something on it!

Greek Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

One little box of orzo pasta seems to have about 10 lives. Soup felt like a good idea to make in advance and to pack for lunch. This one was ohh-so-amazing despite seeming ordinary so I might need to whip it up again. At first I thought about a small batch but then I added in the remainder of my box of orzo and kept adding broth to keep it soupy. I absolutely loved the lemon and found it really comforting.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup

Greek Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Ingredients: (for ~5 servings)

~1 1/2 cups roasted chicken (~1/3 of a roasted chicken)
4 cups water (to make chicken broth from the roasted chicken bones, or 4 cups broth)
1/2 onion
2 large carrots, chopped (or 2 cups baby carrots)
1 lemon
1 cup orzo
2 tablespoons (~8 sprigs) of fresh oregano

Directions:

Remove the roasted chicken from the bone and reserve 1/3 of the chicken for this soup. (I froze the rest & used some in enchiladas and some became chicken salad.)
Place the chicken bones, chicken skin, the carrot ends, onion peal, and oregano sprigs into a large pot with 4-5 cups of water. Heat to medium high heat and cook for 15 minutes.
While making the broth (homemade broth is really good and so worth it), in a heavy pot saute the onion in olive oil for 10 minutes over medium heat, then add the carrots when the onion is getting clear.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup
Strain the bones and veggie remains and put the chicken broth into the pot with the onions and carrots.
Add in the chicken and juice from the lemon and cook for about 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup
Pour the orzo into the pot and cover the pot to cook for 10 minutes.
Add in the oregano, stir well, and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup

The lemon makessss this soup. It is so flavorful from the lemon and the oregano to instantly transport you to the Mediterranean. I made mine super thick so I added water just before heating come lunchtime at work. Baby carrots are a little bit funny but they’re so perfectly all the same size!

It feels very Barefoot-Contessa to say “if you don’t make your own, pre-made broth is OK too”. This is just an easy time to use a roasted chicken and make some broth with the bones, carrot tops, onion peal, and oregano sprigs. I froze some and it tasted great but some of the orzo broke down a bit in the freezing/defrosting/warming and stirring. I can deal with that though.

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

Happy new year! I’m the only chicken salad eater at home but it is so great to make for 1 or 2! Make as little or as much as you like! I made this for a weekend lunch but I’ll definitely repeat this one for packing my lunch too. I poached chicken which is the trick for chicken salad and added in dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. It has good mix of crunch- without celery, which is my nemesis.

The Three Bite Rule - Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad (for 2)

Ingredients:

3 chicken tenders
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon Italian dressing
2 tablespoons walnuts
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
salt & pepper

Directions:

Poach the chicken in a medium pot, just with the chicken covered with water and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes. Let cool completely before chopping/shredding.
The Three Bite Rule - Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
Mix together the chicken, mayo, dressing, walnuts and cranberries.
Refrigerate until serving, or serve immediately.
Mix together the chicken, mayo, dressing, walnuts and cranberries.
Assemble sandwiches and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
I loved this! I made a sandwich with arugula on wheat toast or it would be good on salad too. The add-ins are great to bulk it up with less chicken. I was wishing I had pecans around…that would have been a fun twist from the walnuts!
Mix together the chicken, mayo, dressing, walnuts and cranberries.

Thanksgiving Meatballs

Here are all the fall flavors! These meatballs were so fun and I was so happy with them! I made this pork/pear/sage burger into meatballs for the annual pear-picking party my friends have and it got me thinking about how easy it is to make meatballs! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I stock frozen meatballs for super speedy dinners, but special occasion meatballs are really worth it!

My little family loved these Thanksgiving flavors of poultry, cranberries, sage, and stuffing! Our toddler isn’t always 100% into meat but he doesn’t pass on gravy (or anything that can be dipped), so these were a hit with him! I’m glad to have another serving in the freezer to repeat again. I served them over mashed potatoes with a little gravy. It may have been super warm the night I made these, but we loved them nonetheless.

Thanksgiving Meatballs - The Three Bite Rule

Thanksgiving Meatballs

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

1 cup stuffing (~1/3 of a box of stuffing)
1 pound ground chicken/pork/turkey
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
salt & pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Prepare the stuffing according to the package, or make your own. (It is a great use for leftovers since you only need about 1 cup prepared).
Mix up the ground meat, stuffing, eggs, stuffing, cranberries, sage, and salt & pepper.
Thanksgiving Meatballs - The Three Bite RuleHeat a large frying pan with vegetable oil to medium heat.
Form the mixture into balls and pan fry them. Gently turn them to brown on each side and then drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil. (I pan fried mine just to brown them since I was making them in advance and then finished them in the oven just before serving.)
Thanksgiving Meatballs - The Three Bite Rule
Enjoy!

These are the epitome of fall! I loved the balance of these flavors and the comfort of the format. Meatballs are suddenly seeming like my new favorite format for special occasion flavors. I’ll stick to pre-made for every-day meatballs I can zap and have dinner ready in no time. I’m very into them as ways to enjoy unique flavors. Whip these up after Thanksgiving to use up the last of your leftover stuffing, sage, and gravy when nobody wants to see another turkey meal! They could be a fun appetizer too for a holiday get together or a friendsgiving if you’re not making a whole turkey!
Thanksgiving Meatballs - The Three Bite Rule

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Turnovers

These little buggers are so cute and delicious. Crescent rolls are getting stuffed with, yup, you’ve guessed it, chicken, bacon, ranch, and cheddar. They became an instant dinner with the help of pre-cooked bacon and some rotisserie chicken. Serve these with some salad and they’re dinner like a hot sandwich, or on a big platter with ranch as an app! They are an ideal weeknight dinner or a fun one for kids to help assemble.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Turnovers

Ingredients:

1 can crescent rolls (8)
4 strips of cooked bacon
1 cup roasted chicken, shredded
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons ranch dressing
1 teaspoon ranch dressing powder mix

Directions:

Preheat the oven according to the crescent roll instructions, then shred the chicken and chop the bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers
Mix the chicken with the dressing.
Unroll the crescent dough into the perforated triangles. Top the wide part of the triangle with chicken, bacon, and cheddar. Then carefully roll towards the point.
Sprinkle ranch powder on top and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment, a baking mat, or sprayed generously with non-stick spray.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers
Bake 10-15 minutes, as directed by the crescent packaging.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers

These are a great use for leftover chicken if there isn’t a lot of it and they reheat well in the oven or toaster oven. Pop any leftovers into the freezer for another day’s  quick lunch or game-time snack….though, I don’t think you’ll have any leftovers!

Kielbasa Grain Bowls

Ohh you know I love a good grain/rice bowl! I wasn’t planning on blogging this one but it is too good not to add to the repertoire…and it is always helpful for me to remember my own ideas! I used turkey kielbasa with fresh pineapple, raw green bell peppers, and brown rice which were so great together with the easiest sauce drizzled over the top.
Kielbasa Grain Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
The rice went into the pressure cooker, because it does magical things to brown rice. The turkey kielbasa is already cooked, but just got a little caramelization in a cast-iron skillet when it was too hot to even turn on the grill. The sauce is just a few quick ingredients. The little one loved everything about this combo. He’d be glad to live on rice.

Kielbasa Grain Bowls (for 4)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups brown rice
13 oz turkey kielbasa (or Polish sausage or chicken sausage)
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup fresh pineapple
3 tablespoons bbq sauce
1 teaspoon teriyaki sauce
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions:

Prepare the rice and set aside.
Slice the kielbasa into 1/2 inch disks and sear in a medium skillet with a drizzle of oil, over medium heat, until warmed through and it begins to caramelize around the edges a bit.
While the kielbasa cooks, chop the pepper and pineapple.
Whisk (or shake in a jar) the bbq sauce, teriyaki sauce, and maple syrup.
Assemble the bowls with rice, kielbasa, pepper, and pineapple. Then drizzle the sauce over the top.
Enjoy!
Kielbasa Grain Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Kielbasa isn’t an ingredient we have all the time but it was fun for something different and I loved the flavor. It already being fully cooked was also a perk! The little guy is not always into meat lately but he ate a bit of this. I want him to keep being exposed to everything and we’ll see what happens.

I thought of mixing a little dijon into the rice just after finishing eating. You do it and tell me how it is!

What I Ate: Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowls

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I love a build-your-own rice bowl and have adapted many times. The little one can eat his weight in brown rice so this one came together easily in the spirit of a weeknight dinner to be prepped in advance. Those mad rushes between daycare pick up, arriving home with a sweet request for playtime outside, and dogs who have missed humans mean that once 6ish strikes dinner neeeeeds to be well underway.
The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Bowls

I made the brown rice in the pressure cooker that morning, roasted the broccoli most of the way that morning, AND cooked the ground turkey the night before. #winning Photowise, I wish I had tons more add ins, but this was quick & easy so it won’t win an instagram prize, but it is real-life!

Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowls (for 3-4)

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice (& liquid as rice instructs)
3/4 pound ground turkey (or sub ground chicken/pork/beef)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 small heads of broccoli
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Directions:

Cook the rice according to the package. (If cooking it in advance, add a splash of water when reheating.)
Brown the ground turkey in a large pan. When it has cooked for about 3-5 minutes, drain off any moisture. Then add in half of the teriyaki sauce (1 tablespoon) and the garlic to cook another 3-5 minutes. (If prepping in advance, cook less and ensure to cook through before serving.)
Roast the broccoli with a drizzle of oil, salt, and pepper for ~10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Whisk together the remaining teriyaki sauce (1 tablespoon) with sesame oil and rice vinegar.
Assemble with rice on the bottom, broccoli, ground turkey, a small drizzle of sauce (careful, it is strong flavored), and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Enjoy!

I loved this. It was super flavorful and a nice balance. I would also love other add ins, like: edemame; lightly sauteed purple cabbage; and bean sprouts.
The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Bowls

I tend to grab ground chicken since it is 99% of the time priced lower than ground turkey but this time the turkey was on sale. These bowls would be an easy use for any leftovers, or could be reduced for a single serving. The little one was most into the rice and the crunchies (sesame seeds).

Chicken Parmesan Turnovers

This could also be called, how else to not serve pasta for every meal. I’d be totally ok with nightly pasta but I really truly strive for variation. My little one would gladly eat pasta daily but I love to feel the surprise when it is choice-night/”anything goes” night and I offer 2 choices of easy things (pasta/quesadilla/eggs/etc). If he picks anything besides pasta I’m shocked! I guess I do appreciate being kept on my toes! This was a fun way and super easy way to eat some of the flavors I was thinking about, in another format.
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite Rule

I whipped up these chicken parm turnovers on a weekend in preparation for a mid-week dinner. What’s better than scooting something into the oven on a busy night and just waiting for the oven timer ding? Answer: not much! These are perfect to make ahead of time and par-bake, or make & freeze, or as a use for leftover ricotta or a seemingly small amount of chicken strips/popcorn chicken! I didn’t have a plan for the rest of the block of mozzarella so I shredded it and popped it into the freezer for a future pizza or calzone.

Chicken Parmesan Turnovers

Ingredients: (for 4 servings)

4 crispy chicken strips
1 roll of crescent rolls (mine had 8 crescent triangles)
1/2 cup ricotta (optional)
1/4 cup tomato sauce (of course I used my fav Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes)
1/2 cup mozzarella/parmesan/provalone

Directions:

Preheat the oven and prepare frozen chicken strips according to the package. Mine are fully cooked ones I keep around so I just warmed them through. Then chop into bite-size pieces.
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite Rule
Unroll the crescent rolls into squares, so keep the 2 triangles connected (or make tiny tiny ones using 1 triangle to make as appetizers!). Use a fork to press the seam together and use your hands to flatten the whole square out a little, keeping it even in thickness.
Assemble on one triangle end with a smear of ricotta on the bottom, chicken, a teaspoon of tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of mozzarella or Parmesan.
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite Rule
Gently fold the opposite triangle over the filled side and press to close. A few of mine busted open but I closed the seams as best as possible.
Move to a baking sheet and use the fork to make a few holes in the top of each one.
Bake according to the crescent roll package instructions. (If serving later: My package of crescent rolls had baking instructions of 12-15 minutes so I did about 10 minutes, let them cool, and refrigerated. When serving, I baked for 10 minutes with a sprinkle of shredded cheese & sprinkle of Italian seasoning on top.)
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite RuleEnjoy!

Crescent rolls are cheap, delicious, and easy to work with but puff pastry sheets might be even easier without any seams, or pizza dough would work too. I often have ricotta so that was a no-brainer for me, but skip it if you don’t have a use for the rest.
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite Rule

You could lighten this up using other chicken or breaded eggplant, forming the dough into a muffin tin to only use 1 crescent roll, adding a veggie in there, but I wasn’t making these for health. The crescent rolls have such a great buttery flavor and were a fun change from our norm. I used a pretty small amount of chicken per serving.

Insert soapbox here: Jarred tomato sauce has lots of sugar and salt added. I stand by our fav Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes (#notsponsored). I served some on the side for dipping and my toddler, no lie, spooned it up. The rest of the can of tomatoes went into tomato soup the next night.

These Chicken Parm Pockets may not be healthy, but they are definitely a crowd pleaser, definitely a use for what might not be enough chicken in another setting, and definitely an easy meal to prep in advance. Win, win, win!