Do you have trouble getting your kids to eat anything besides candy on Halloween? I always did. No matter how delicious a meal I cooked, the excitement and distractions of Halloween made it difficult to get even hot dogs into their little tummies. Never mind anything about anything healthy!
So I finally realized that making food look like Halloween helped to get a little nutrition into their systems on that day. My kids loved carving pumpkins every year, so I fashioned some individual chicken pot pies into pumpkin shapes. They are filled with black and orange Halloween color and each one contains all of the food groups to make a complete meal. My little goblins gobbled them right down. I successfully used this recipe so many times over the years that it became a Halloween tradition in our family. A gluten-free version is available here for those with gluten sensitivities.
Pumpkin-Shaped Mini Pot Pies
Speed up this recipe by using leftover cooked chicken or pre-packaged cubed cooked chicken breast.
· 1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed (or 1 C Cubed cooked Chicken Breast Meat)
· 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
· 1 Green Bell Pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2”-thick and 2”-long strips
· 1 Box Jiffy® Corn Muffin Mix
· 1 Egg
· 1/3 C Milk
· 1 Tbs Chicken Broth
· 1 tsp Paprika
· 1/2 C Black Beans, cooked freshly or from the can
· 1/2 C Cubed Carrots, steamed or frozen
· 1/2 tsp Salt
· 1/4 tsp Pepper
· 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or cheese substitute)
· Heat oven to 400° F.
· Spray 12 regular-size muffin pan cups with cooking spray.
· (Skip this step if using cubed leftover chicken, or pre-packaged chicken breast cubes.) In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center.
· Blend corn muffin mix, egg, and milk according to package directions to make baking mixture.
· In a separate bowl, mix chicken cubes, chicken broth, paprika, carrots, beans, salt, pepper, and 1/4 C cheese to make chicken mixture.
· Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup.
· Top with about 1/4 cup chicken mixture.
· Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto chicken mixture in each muffin cup.
· Put filled muffin pan into oven and bake10 minutes, until muffins just begin to set. Remove pan from oven.
· Quickly insert 1 green pepper strip into the middle of each muffin to make a pumpkin stem.
· Sprinkle each muffin top with remaining cheddar cheese and return pan to the oven to cook 5 minutes more.
· Test to ensure that muffins are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of one. When it comes out clean, and with no damp batter on it, muffins are done.
· Remove them from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and place them, top sides up, on cooling rack.
· Cool 10 minutes and serve muffins, or refrigerate and serve cold.
Let your kids participate in the baking and they’ll be excited to enjoy one or more individual chicken pot pie muffins before heading out on their spooky ways.
Have a nutritious and happy Halloween the Easy way.
Don’t let the hectic holiday season scare you out of the kitchen. Find easy holiday recipes here.
Photos Courtesy of Easy Weekly Meals