Chicken Parm Sliders

I have been a burger-like mood lately. I mean way more than usual. The delicious burger I shared last week is great – but obviously, like I said, more of a “cheat day” type meal.

Lucky for you, this week’s post is still a between-the-buns offering, but is more on the healthy side. Best news? Perfect for a game day gathering – which is majorly important now that football is upon us (Woo hoo!). These savory sliders are easy to prep ahead of time, pop in the oven and during a time out, dress them up and plate them!

Sliders_cookingonthebrightside

I had some ground chicken to use and I can only imagine your surprise that it didn’t go towards buffalo something or other. Instead, I added some sautéed onions and marinara sauce that keep the patties from drying out while cooking. I’ve done this as a dinner for two with some crispy zucchini chips as a side, and have also done a big batch for a larger gathering – easy to customize for any size group!

Chicken Parm Sliders (Makes 8 sliders / 5 WW points per slider)

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 cup yellow onion, chopped.

2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 pound ground chicken (I usually opt for ground chicken breast – leaner)

1/2 cup reduced-fat grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp. bread crumbs (I use whole wheat crumbs if possible)

1 cup Prego Light Smart sauce, divided

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

8 whole wheat slider buns

1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella, shredded

Fresh basil leaves for topping

Spray butter (I use “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray)

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onions and Italian seasoning and saute for 3-5 minutes until onions are softened.

In a medium bowl, add ground chicken, half of the Prego sauce, grated parmesan, sautéed onions, bread crumbs, salt and peppers. Mix together by hand until ingredients are dispersed evenly. Form into 8 small patties. Line a plate with wax paper and add patties. Cover and chill at least 20 minutes to ensure binding.

When you’re ready to cook, remove patties. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cook at 375 for 15 minutes. Flip and cook another 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Remove patties from the oven.

Add a cooked patty to the bottom half of each slider bun. (I also spray the top halves and put them in next to the patties to let them toast a little.)Top with about 1 Tbsp. of shredded mozzarella. Add 1 Tbsp. Prego sauce from the remaining 1/2 cup. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted slightly. Top with a basil leaf and bun.

Then, well, you know what to do…

Chicken Parm Sliders_cookingonthebrightside

Have a great weekend y’all!

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Chipotle Chicken Croquettes

Okay, I am officially running around like a crazy person this week getting ready for one of my best friend’s bachelorette parties this weekend! I’m so excited to get a weekend with my girls – and I’m sure I’ll have some fun things to share with y’all when I return!

So when I find myself super stressed out, for some reason, I turn to the kitchen. I recall one time in college I gave up sweets and caffeine around Valentine’s Day. Not to cut back on calories, but to prepare my body for a 48-hour dance marathon! Well, I got super stressed out and turned to baking. Yes, that thing I have a love/hate relationship with. I made a ton of cookies, peanut butter and chocolate rice crispy treats, brownies and another type of cookie. Luckily we had male neighbors in our apartment building…so home-baked treats were easy to pawn off on them!

The other day, I went for something more practical and good for me so I wouldn’t be extra stressed trying to shed pounds from eating a bucket of baked goods! I had written down a recipe a while back that I ran across on a fabulous website (she also does WW recipes!) and so with a big ole chicken breast thawed, I decided to try a new recipe for dinner.

Chipotle Chicken Croquettes (Serves 2 – slightly modified from “Eat Yourself Skinny“)

1 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

2 1/2 Tbsp. minced orange bell pepper

2 1/2 Tbsp. minced green bell pepper

2 1/2 Tbsp. minced onion

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (I just used 1 big chicken breast I had, about 8-10oz.)

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 Tbsp. Chipotle mustard

1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. chipotle powder

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

Spicy Mustard Sauce

1/2 clove minced garlic

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1/4 fat-free sour cream

1/2 Tbsp. Chipotle mustard

1/2 Tbsp. lime juice

1/2 tsp. chipotle powder

About 1-2 hours before you’re ready to eat, whisk together garlic, mayo, sour cream, mustard, lime juice and chipotle powder until smooth. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the chicken. Reduce to medium-high and cook 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. While chicken is cooking, go ahead and chop your veggies. Saute them in 1/2 Tbsp. margarine.

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, egg, mustard, Worcestershire, chipotle seasoning and salt.

Once your chicken has cooked and cooled, chop and shred. Add to a medium bowl with bread crumbs and add your sautéed veggies and combine.

Take the small bowl with the mayo/mustard mixture and add to the chicken. Combine with hands until blended and form into 5 patties.

Heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp. margarine in a skillet and cook the patties over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side. Serve with a dollop (or more if you desire!) of the spicy mustard sauce and dig in!

Note that this is probably a great appetizer, but I tested it for dinner and 2 1/2 patties was a great portion…