Meal Planning Monday ~ Grilled Chicken 5 Ways

This week’s post is by Amy Desrosiers of Savvy Saving Couple.

When it comes to meal planning in my home, chicken is a main staple for us. We love the reasonably inexpensive cost, and the fact that it is just so versatile and healthy. Plus, there are literally thousands of ways to prepare chicken which keeps meal time interesting. I love chicken in all ways, shapes, and forms, but I think grilled chicken breast proves to be the healthiest option.

To save my family money on boneless, skinless chicken breasts we wait until they go on sale. Around here, anything under $1.79 per pound is a steal! You can really maximize your money by buying chicken breasts in bulk. A trick that I have been recently doing myself is to buy 4-6 pounds at a time while it is a great price.

I then will bring it home and mass batch grill it for the week. Some of the breasts will go into the fridge, and others will go into the freezer either cubed, or cut into strips. This makes chicken salads, chicken wraps, and chicken soups a breeze. You not only save money by buying in bulk, but you also save hours in the kitchen by batch grilling!  To prepare your previously grilled chicken, you just have to heat it up and voila–an instant meal maker!

Grilled Chicken Topped with Homemade Pico de Gallo and Cheese: I love this recipe because it can be prepared in advance, so it’s perfect for busy days. You can grill the chicken ahead of time and pop it into the oven for 10 minutes and  then  garnish it with some fresh pico de gallo!

Grilled Chicken Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican Blend Cheese *reserved*

Homemade Pico de Gallo recipe:

  • 6 medium sized vine ripened tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of fresh cilantro-chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped finely
  • 2 small jalapenos (remove seeds) finely chopped
  • half a lime juiced–1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • pinch of salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Gut, and finely chop your tomatoes into little cubes; add to a large bowl.
  • Chop cilantro and add it to your bowl.
  • Finely diced your red onion, and de-seeded jalapenos and mix it in with your tomato and cilantro.
  • Squeeze your lime over the top and add your spices.
  • Mix everything thoroughly, and return it to the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  • After your pico de gallo has had time to marinate, season your chicken with the above dry spices, and grill until clear juices run freely from the chicken breasts.
  • Add chicken to a baking sheet and then top with cheese; bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  • Top with your homemade pico de gallo and enjoy!

Since this week’s meal planning Monday is all about chicken, here are four additional tried and true chicken meals for your family. They are each very easy to prepare and provide a healthy meal option.

Deconstructed Grilled Chicken Fajitas: When my husband and daughter had to start eating gluten free, we started to cook a lot of meals without the carb component. Sure, you can always add a corn tortilla, but these deconstructed chicken fajitas are delicious alone as well!

Grilled Chicken Tenders Wrapped in Bacon: Doesn’t bacon just seem to make everything a bit tastier? We recently tried our hand at wrapping chicken tenders with bacon and the results were delicious; need we say more?

Grilled Chicken Bacon and Goat Cheese Salad: By now we all know that bacon, grilled chicken, and cheese is so good! This low carb trio is not only delicious, but it will keep you feeling fuller longer!

Buffalo Bourbon Chicken Wings: If you are in a mood to splurge and slightly stray from grilled chicken breast, you can go the wing route. Chicken wings, or “wingettes” are usually relatively inexpensive and provide loads of flavor. We recently created a delicious recipe for buffalo bourbon chicken and the results were finger licking good! You could also use the marinade for chicken breasts, and bake or grill them!