Making A 5-Ingredient Chicken Dish

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Finding the time to cook a well-balanced meal isn't as difficult as it sounds, even for busy families constantly on the go. Keeping chicken in the fridge or freezer, and using ingredients typically on hand in the pantry opens up a variety of meal options that are quick, easy, and tasty.

In addition to chicken, ingredients such as cream soups, salsa, rice, pasta, tomato sauce, and vegetables can be mixed, matched, and tossed to create an assortment of culinary delights.

One-dish chicken casseroles are simple to make, and can be thrown together with very little planning. Using a pound of chicken thighs, or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a can of creamy soup (mushroom, chicken, or celery), a can of milk, and a cup of rice, a hearty dinner can be ready in less than 45 minutes. Top with shredded cheddar cheese for a tangy treat. Add some Mexican flavor by adding a can of diced green chilies.

For a "fix it and forget it" dinner, place a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a slow cooker, add one half of a small diced onion, one diced green or red bell pepper, a cup of salsa, and a packet of onion soup mix. Let cook on low for 6-8 hours, and serve the dish over rice.

The chicken is so tender that it falls apart with a fork, and the taste is divine. Any leftover chicken can be used for chicken tacos the following night. For a change of flavor, substitute the salsa for spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce, and the dish is transformed from a taste of the southwest to a taste of Italy. Serve with angel hair pasta instead of rice.