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Cooking on a Shoestring Meal Planning tip: Grill & freeze chicken

Cooking on a Shoestring Meal Planning tip: Grill & freeze chicken

Here’s a meal prep tip that it took me way too long to figure out.  It might come in handy this week while boneless skinless chicken breasts are on sale at Giant Eagle Buy 1 Get 1 Free.

When you grill chicken for dinner, go ahead and grill a bunch of extra chicken breasts.  It won’t take you any longer than just cooking your dinner, and you’ll have enough extra for 2-3 more meals.  Let it cool while you eat dinner, then take 10 minutes after dinner to cut it into strips or bite-sized pieces and throw it into a zip-top freezer bag.  Then you’ll have flavorful pre-cooked protein stashed in your freezer to make meal prep quicker on busy nights (I’m going to do a few batches before we get into soccer season in August!).

A few of my favorite ways to use my pre-grilled chicken:

  • Throw on top of a nice romaine salad and serve with bread or rolls
  • Chop into small pieces and sandwich between 2 tortillas with a little sour cream, shredded cheese, and taco seasoning for chicken quesadillas (I make these on my big pancake griddle)
  • Use in soups or casseroles (like this Chicken broccoli rice casserole).  Grilling adds a nice flavor!
  • Store-bought pie crust  + bag of frozen mixed veggies + simple white sauce + chicken = yummy (but pretty quick & easy) chicken pot pie
  • Mix a can of cream of chicken soup with a scoop of sour cream, pour over chicken & frozen mixed veggies in a 9 x 13 pan, then top with prepared stuffing mix and bake—an easy 1-dish dinner
  • Spread pesto on some italian bread, add chicken & cheese, and make a panini
  • Crack open a jar of gravy and a tube of cheap Pillsbury and have chicken gravy & biscuits—not gourmet, but it’s a hot meal that’s cheaper and probably better than takeout.

Tons of options, and nice to have on hand when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry.  Any other suggestions for using pre-cooked chicken?  We’d love to hear them and share them with our fellow Sisters and Misters!

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