Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs Close Up

Making grilled, sweet, and sticky Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs at home, just like those found at your favorite restaurant, is simple and totally doable!

Let’s just get this out there. Why is teriyaki so hard to spell?! No matter how hard I try, the spell checker is correcting me. Please tell me it’s not just me! Even though I struggle spelling it, teriyaki sauce tastes so delicious! So, I’m pushing through this for you!

Nothing quite compares to the taste of authentic Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs! As it grills, the sticky and sweet marinade caramelizes and intensifies in flavor. You would never guess how simple it is to make at home.

At least, the toughest part of this recipe is waiting for the chicken to marinate. Though, once that’s done, dinner can be on the table in about 15 minutes! This recipe for Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Thighs is bound to be your new family favorite!

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Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken

Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken with Tonkatsu Sauce - Clean Fingers Laynie

BONUS Recipe Included: Togarashi-Style Seasoning

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Hawaiian Mixed Plate with Katsu Chicken, Tonkatsu Sauce, Macaroni Salad, Rice

Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken is a healthier version of the popular Japanese-style fried chicken that is delicious served with homemade Tonkatsu sauce.

At Hawaiian restaurants, my mom loves ordering Katsu chicken. Since it is usually made to order, she expects to wait longer for her entree. But, it is always worth the wait!

Katsu, or “cutlet” in Japanese, refers to meat pounded thin prior to cooking. Traditionally, chicken Katsu is made by dredging thin chicken breasts in flour, egg, and panko. Then, the chicken is either deep fried or pan fried.

Rather than coating the chicken in all purpose flour and panko, this low-carb baked katsu chicken is breaded in almond flour and pork rinds. By baking the chicken, the chicken will still be crispy without frying. Because the chicken is baked, it will have fewer calories that if it is fried.

Many people like to serve Katsu chicken with white rice and Tonkatsu sauce. To pay homage to the original, we’ll serve ours with a homemade, quick, low-carb Tonkatsu sauce. For a full meal, serve with a side of cauliflower rice.

As a bonus, I’m including a recipe for Togarashi-style seasoning. If you want to spice up your Katsu chicken, add this seasoning on the chicken before it bakes. If you don’t use it, the classic seasonings will be just as delicious.

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Slow Cooker Kalua Pork and Cabbage

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork & Cabbage - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Close Up

Easy 4-ingredient, Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork and Cabbage tastes just as delicious without cooking it in the ground! You don’t need a whole pig either!

Kalua Pork is always my family’s go-to recipe for easy and inexpensive entertaining. More specifically, it’s great for mixed plates, or for potlucks, or luaus. Since it only requires 4 ingredients and cooks in the slow cooker, it comes together quickly! Plus, pork is a great protein to feed a crowd on a budget.

Translated, Kalua literally means “to cook in an underground oven”. Traditional Hawaiian Kalua pork is made by cooking a whole pig in an underground pit oven called an Imu. Although, no underground oven or whole pig needed for this recipe! Instead, we’ll use pork butt (or pork shoulder) and a slow cooker.

When cooked in an Imu, Kalua Pork get’s its characteristic flavor from smoked hardwood and banana leaves wrapped around the meat. To mimic this cooking flavor, we’ll use liquid smoke and cabbage leaves!

This is such a great summer recipe because it cooks in one pot, and you don’t have to heat up the whole house. Although, it’s absolutely delicious any time of the year too!

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Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese Top View

This yummy Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese is an inexpensive one pot meal that elevates an ordinary box of macaroni and cheese in about 30 minutes!

Several years ago, a friend taught me how to make this recipe for Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese. Subsequently, it quickly became one of my favorite ways to spice up an ordinary box of macaroni and cheese!

The recipe starts with a store-bought box of macaroni and cheese. Next, add several Tex-Mex ingredients (like taco seasoning, salsa, corn, beans, ground beef, and sour cream) to give the mac and cheese an amazing flavor boost! It almost tastes like a taco in a bowl.

Originally, the recipe is cooked in the microwave. Recently, I found the recipe again and decided to convert it for the Instant Pot. And it couldn’t be simpler! One of the best things about this recipe is that every thing cooks in one pot.

Additionally, this Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese is very inexpensive meal. Plus, it can be stretched to feed the whole family. It’s also great for meal prepping on the weekends for an easy lunch during the week!

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Copycat Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta

Copycat Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Copycat Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta Table Spread

Copycat Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta is made by combining penne pasta and Cajun chicken in a rich and flavorful cream sauce and topped with fresh tomatoes!

Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered something so delicious, you knew you had to create it at home? That is the way I feel about Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta. The first time I ever had it, I was addicted. I knew I would never be able to rest until I learned how to make it at home.

I don’t remember where I found the starting recipe, but I have refined it over the years. Once I made it for my family, they also fell in love with it. To this day, they often request it for dinner!

Even though, I have given the recipe to my family, they claim it never tastes the same unless I make it. So, in an effort to set the record straight, I am sharing all my “secrets” to make my yummy, signature dish.

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Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake (Chicken Harris)

Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake -- Clean Fingers Laynie
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Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake Pan and Plate

What’s my favorite food? Chicken Harris (a.k.a. Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake) — a creamy cheesy chicken sauce over rice and topped with crescent rolls.

For the longest time, when someone would ask me what my favorite food was, I would respond, “Chicken Harris!” That was followed by a confused look and the follow-up question, “What’s Chicken Harris?”

It was until years later, I learned Chicken Harris is a made up name! When I asked my dad where the name came from, he gave me the real story:

My uncle’ neighbors, the Harris’, made this dish for my uncle and his family. When my uncle asked his neighbors what this was called, they replied, “Why, it’s Chicken Harris, of course!” Thus, began my confusing history of describing my favorite food.

So, for the sake of this blog post, I’ll be referring to this dish as “Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake” instead of “Chicken Harris”.

Although, if you are the Harris family that created this dish, please, send me a message! You created my brother’s and my favorite food! We’d love to meet it’s namesake!

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Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese - Clean Fingers Laynie
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Bowl of Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese is super creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy! It comes together in 5 minutes, and it’s perfect for meal prep!

You know, when people ask you if you were stuck on an island, but you could have any food, what would it be? Mine is definitely macaroni and cheese. I once at it for 3 days straight. No joke!

This Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese is one of my all time favorite varieties of mac and cheese! It is super rich, creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy. It’s even easier than the boxed kind since you don’t even have to boil the pasta! Plus, it doesn’t require evaporated milk or a roux.

Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese is amazing as a full meal or as a side dish. Additionally, it’s great for meal prep. Since, all the ingredients are added to the slow cooker and forgotten, your hands (and pans) are free to work on other components for your meal prep.

It’d also be awesome to take to a pot luck, tailgate, or other gathering! Can you ever go wrong with macaroni and cheese?

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Low-Carb Copycat Wingers Wings

Low-Carb Copycat Wingers Wings - CleanFingersLaynie
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Low-Carb Copycat Wingers Wings

Family favorite, crave-worthy, finger-licking, sweet and spicy, Copycat Wingers Wings can be made low-carb at home with only 3-5 ingredients! Try ’em today!

Wingers is a restaurant franchise located in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon. They are most famous for their Wingers Original Amazing Sauce and their Asphalt Pie.

Winger’s covers their hand-battered wings, naked wings, and sticky fingers in their Winger’s Original Amazing Sauce. If you’ve never tried them, they are similar to sweetened buffalo wings. They are absolutely addicting! If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself craving the sweet and spicy sticky fingers often!

Just because you may be eating a low-carb diet doesn’t mean you still can’t indulge in your favorite foods. Thankfully, the original Wingers recipe is easy to make low-carb!

In this post, I am providing three different low-carb cooking methods to replicate the hand-battered wings, the naked wings, and the sticky fingers.

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(Better Than) Del Taco Carnitas Loaded Fries

Del Taco Loaded Carnitas Fries (Copycat) - CleanFingersLaynie - Copycat Del Taco Carnitas Loaded Fries taste even better homemade and can be made whenever the craving hits! Don't forget the secret sauce!
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Better Than Del Taco Loaded Carnitas Fries (Copycat) - Top View

Copycat Del Taco Carnitas Loaded Fries tastes better homemade and can be made whenever the craving hits! Don’t forget the secret sauce!

To this day, my husband fondly describes the summer when he discovered Del Taco’s Carnitas Loaded Fries. For him, it was one of the worst summers he ever had. However, those fries were one of the things that helped him get through the hard times.

My husband also still remembers the devastation when he went to Del Taco after the summer was over, and Del Taco no longer carried his beloved fries. He learned Del Taco only carries Carnitas Loaded Fries for a limited time!

The following summer he anxiously looked forward to the return of the Carnitas Loaded Fries, but they never returned. They didn’t return the summer after that, and the summer after that, and the summer after that! My husband began to wonder if the fries would ever come back. He even reached out to Del Taco on Twitter asking about when they would return, and he received a response that they might never come back.

That’s where I come in. My husband related his history with Del Taco’s Carnitas Loaded Fries to me, and I set out to find what was in them and how to make them.

So, without ever trying Del Taco’s Loaded Carnitas Fries, I developed this recipe my husband and I can make whenever the craving hits!

In the summer of 2018, Del Taco brought back their Loaded Carnitas Fries, and I was finally able to try them. I have to say my version is better than theirs, and my husband agrees!

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Easy Pork Carnitas Tacos

Easy Pork Carnitas Tacos Made in the Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, or Dutch Oven - CleanFingersLaynie
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Slow Cooker Easy Pork Carnitas Tacos

Easy pork carnitas tacos (Mexican pulled pork) cooks slowly in orange and lime juice and then is broiled or fried to create crispy and juicy flavorful bites!

So far during Mexican March, we’ve made a slow cooker meatless dish, a chicken dish, and a beef dish. To round out our slow cooker meat preparation, we have a pork dish: tacos filled with Easy Pork Carnitas!

Pork Carnitas is the Mexican version of Pulled Pork. Traditional Carnitas are made by braising pork in lard or oil. Many Americanized recipes have been adapted for the home cook and do not use large amounts of lard or oil. In fact, the only oil used in this recipe is about a tablespoon or two used at the end to fry and crisp up the meat.

To make this recipe, liberally season a pork roast with a flavorful spice rub. Then, cook the meat slowly in orange and lime juices until the meat is tender and flakes easily. Finally, broil or fry the meat to create crispy and juicy flavorful bites!

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