Meal Planning: 40 Recipes For Shredded Chicken

Meal Planning: 40 Recipes For Shredded Chicken

One way to make mealtime easier is to have a supply of cooked, shredded chicken frozen in meal size portions. Below are many of the recipes I use (or if I’m planning on making chicken stock I use THIS one). I mean who doesn’t love shredded chicken? It’s only on the rare occasion someone says they don’t like it which is why i created this meal planning with 40 recipes for shredded chicken. Once you have your chicken ready to go, you can use this list of my 40 favorite recipes to make dinner a snap. Here goes:

  1. Broccoli & Chicken Casserole
  2. Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole
  3. Country Farm Chicken Casserole
  4. Chicken Macaroni Casserole
  5. Chicken Tamale Casserole
  6. Chicken King Ranch Casserole
  7. Chicken Broccoli Cheesy Casserole
  8. Candaces Chicken Casserole
  9. Chicken Casserole
  10. Leftover Chicken Sandwiches
  11. Easy Chicken Pot Pie
  12. The Best Chicken Salad Club Sandwich
  13. A Famous Chicken Salad Sandwich
  14. Stuffed Chicken Sandwich
  15. Marshall Field’s Chicken Salad Sandwich
  16. Chicken Philly Sandwiches
  17. Thai Chicken Pizzas
  18. Chicken Wild Rice Soup
  19. Chicken Noodle Soup
  20. Salsa Chicken Soup
  21. Shredded Chicken Tacos
  22. Asian Shredded Chicken Coleslaw
  23. Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
  24. Chicken Enchiladas
  25. Shredded BBQ Chicken
  26. Cold Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken
  27. Shredded Chicken Enchiladas, Tostadas & Tacos
  28. BBQ Chicken and Chips
  29. Shredded Chicken Fajitas
  30. Stove Top Smoker Shredded Chicken With Peanut Sauce
  31. Mushroom & Shredded Chicken Salad
  32. Chicken Manicotti
  33. Chicken Potato Casserole
  34. Cheddar Chicken Spirals
  35. Chicken Broccoli Shells
  36. Baked Chicken Quesadillas
  37. Buffalo Chicken Pizza
  38. Chicken Salad Panini
  39. Chicken and Rice Casserole
  40. Favorite Chicken Casserole

Operation Dinner: How to Plan, Shop & Prep for Easy Family Meals. Available for $4.99 on Amazon. Includes over 75 recipes, free printables for creating your own Meal Planning Binder and more! Other posts you may like:

6 Things You Can Freeze (Instead of Throwing Away)!

six things you can freeze that you might not know about!

In my quest to eliminate food waste, I have come across six interesting things that can be frozen instead of pitched! Please share in the comments if you have other interesting freezer hacks!

Tomato Paste
I can’t remember a single time I have opened a can of tomato paste and used the whole thing. Luckily, now I know a little secret – you can freeze it! Yup, that’s right! Just place it in a small freezer bag, and freeze flat. The next time your recipe calls for it, just break off a piece and add it into the mix!

Homemade Pizza Sauce
I might be a little bias, but I think my pizza sauce recipe is the hands-down best! What I like most about it, is that it freezes up nicely in meal-size portions. When I need a batch, I just grab a bag, heat it up (or thaw in the refrigerator), and I’m good to go!  No more waste!

Italian Breadsticks
Okay, so this one rarely gets thrown away, but it is a nice item to have stashed away in your freezer for a late night case of the munchies! This recipe is a family favorite snack that is delicious and filling – even for my hungry teenagers!

Buttercream Frosting
Those of us who are crunched for time, but still love to indulge our sweet tooth have this at the top of our favorites list. Double the next batch of your favorite frosting recipe and freeze the extra. When you’re ready to use it, just thaw it overnight in the fridge. It’s just as good as the day you made it!

Lemon Juice & Zest
Here’s a clever use for your ice cube trays. Squeeze your extra lemons (or limes) into individual cubes and freeze for future use. You can do the same with the zest!

Fresh Herbs
Here’s one I just started doing this year. If you have an herb garden, you can enjoy the bounty all year long by freezing them in ice cube trays with a little water. Simply drop in a cube or two the next time your recipe calls for it.

Like this post? Head over HERE for a list of 13 Foods You Can Prep Ahead (To Save Your Time & Sanity).

Top 10 Ingredients for Making Frugal Family Meals

Top 10 Ingredients for making frugal (& delicious!) meals

Saving money on groceries can be as easy as choosing the right ingredients. Here is my list of top ten go-to frugal foods that keep our budget in check (without resorting to processed foods).

Chicken
Whole chicken is still one of the most affordable proteins on the market. If you’re a strictly-organic shopper, head over to Costco where you will find two whole chickens for around the same price as one from Whole Foods. My favorite stress-free way to prepare one is straight in the slow cooker, covered in water, carrots, onion and celery. It goes overnight, and I awaken to a rich, flavorful broth, and easy-to-shred meat. I have a collection of 40 Shredded Chicken Recipes if you’re looking for meal ideas.

Potatoes
Bake ’em, mash ’em or roast ’em. No matter how you prepare them, you’re bound to have a crowd pleaser. This vegetable is good for you in moderation, is inexpensive and has a long shelf life.  I love that they help fill up my hungry teenagers.  Head over to Huffington Post for the top 18 ways to prepare them.

Carrots
Even on a budget, carrots are an affordable vegetable to buy in organic form. I love to slice them up and serve them as a mid-day snack. I have even been known to sneak them into soups and stews, and occasionally shred them into meatballs!  The Whole Foods Newsletter contains 10 ideas for adding more carrots to your diet.

Beans
If you’ve never used dried beans, head over to The Kitchn for an easy how-to. They’re one of the most affordable ingredients you can find, and super easy to make once you know how. Mix them in with ground beef to stretch your servings, make a sauce, or delicious side. The folks over at Food.com have hundreds of recipes for using them in a slow cooker.

Rice
For just a few cents more per pound, go for brown rice over white whenever you can. It has a nuttier flavor, and three times the fiber. Makes a perfect side dish, or add it to meatballs or meatloaf to make it stretch.  You can get the perfect brown rice recipe from Saveur.com.

In Season Fruits & Vegetables
Hit up your local farmers market each week to peruse the freshest (and often cheapest) produce available. I like knowing my money is supporting a local family, and I love feeding my family food that was grown with love!  You can search for a farmers market in your area HERE.

Pasta
You can often find pasta on sale for under $1. We love it in cold salads, as well as Italian casseroles.  For the super adventurous, you can save even more by making your own.

Canned Tomatoes
This is another of my go-to pantry staples, and something I buy in bulk when it’s on sale. I can use it to whip up a sauce, or make a killer homemade salsa.  Visit The Kitchn to find her top five favorite recipes using canned tomatoes.

Pork Shoulder
This makes our meal rotation at least once a month. I love it, because I can find a roast big enough for my family of 7 for around $10. Of all the recipes I’ve tried, we love THIS one because it has just four ingredients, and comes out of the Crock Pot cooked perfectly every time.

Eggs
We enjoy a good brinner (breakfast for dinner) at least once a week. It’s a filling crowd pleaser that can be served for under $1 per person.  Martha Stewart has a list of 40 affordable eggs-for-dinner recipes.

How about YOU?  What are your favorite frugal ingredients?

It’s Time For A Grocery Budget Makeover!

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I am so excited about this, I could just burst!

How many of you have heard folks brag about how they are feeding their families for far less than the average person? Ever want to follow them around the store and see how they’re doing it? Well here’s a bit of good news! My friend Erin Chase from $5 Dollar Dinners has formulated an amazing 13-week e-course that gives us the entire tour of how she manages to save big bucks, while still serving delicious and healthful meals.  She has put all of her amazing information together in one place, and called it: The Grocery Budget Makeover.

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In this course, you’ll learn:

  • The best grocery planning processes
  • Spending pitfalls and marketing traps
  • The importance of sale cycles, and shopping multiple stores
  • How to create a meal plan
  • Couponing and stockpiling for normal people
  • Time saving kitchen (and cooking) hacks

In addition, you’ll be invited to join the private GBM Facebook group, where you can share experiences and encourage each other through the journey of transformation.

For $39 and 30 minutes per week of your time, you’ll get this 13-week e-course, along with free printable worksheets and a fun, budget-changing experience to share with like-minded individuals. Head over to the Grocery Budget Makeover page to learn more.

13 Foods You Can Prep Ahead (To Simplify Your Life, & Save Your Sanity)

13 foods that are easy to prep ahead

In the world of food, I have found a few shortcuts that have worked their way into our meal rotation because they are easy, cheap and well-loved by all.  When I take a couple of hours at the beginning of the week to do some prep work, I am rewarded with days worth of stress-free meals.

Here are my favorite, tried-and-true prep-ahead foods that have helped me save dinner time and feed my hungry crowd without making me a slave to the kitchen.

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Meatballs
Meatballs freeze nicely, without the loss of flavor or texture that comes with some frozen foods. We especially love them slow cooked with pasta sauce, or thrown in our favorite soup. For more ideas, check out my post: 30 Ways to Use Meatballs.

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Shredded Chicken and Chicken Stock
Grab a whole chicken from Whole Foods, throw it in the slow cooker with some veggies & purified water, and let it go on low overnight. In the morning, you’ll awaken to a deep, rich stock, and a delicious fall-off-the-bone chicken. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

I love that shredded chicken is so versatile. We use it in soups, stews, casseroles, sandwiches, wraps & nachos. You can find my 40 Favorite Shredded Chicken Recipes HERE.

Hard Boiled Eggs
Easy to prepare, and useful in salads, sandwiches and as snacks.  Boil up a few, store in the refrigerator, then peel and eat as needed.

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Diced Onion, Green Pepper and Ham
Having diced onions, green peppers and ham in the freezer saves me a little extra time and mess in the morning. If you’re a breakfast lover, you’ll love this shortcut!  Chop them up on grocery day, then pull them from the freezer and use as needed.

Homemade Sausage
Making your own sausage takes literally seconds, and allows you to skip the preservatives. Love that.  As an added bonus, it is far more tasty than the brand names. We love to whip up a batch of THIS recipe, then freeze it raw in meal size portions. Thaw and cook as needed for instant smiles. **Works great with ground turkey too.**

Hamburger Patties
I form the patties as soon as I arrive home from the grocery store.  Then freeze them in one flat layer, to ensure a quick thaw!

Homemade Popcorn
Who needs microwave popcorn, when the homemade version is so quick and delicious!  You can make it a little healthier by popping kernels in olive oil, then drizzling them with coconut oil instead of butter. Keeps nicely for a few days in a storage bag.

Waffles
So far, I haven’t found a make-ahead pancake or french toast recipe I’m crazy about.  But waffles are another story. This recipe freezes beautifully, and satisfies even my pickiest eater.  Best of all, there is no thawing required – they go directly from freezer to toaster (or oven)!

Cookies or Cookie Dough
We all know homemade cookies are so much better than their preservative-ridden counterparts. But who has the time?  Am I right?

My solution is to whip up a triple-batch of dough, freeze it into individual cookie-sized balls, then pull them out and bake a dozen at a time.  I have home baked goodness at my fingertips whenever we have a hankering.

Breads
I only get around to making homemade bread about once a month, but when I do, I am greeted with applause and smiles from my entire peanut gallery.  As long as I’m at it, I generally make at least two loaves and throw the extras in the freezer for future praise.  The folks over at The Kitchn have some good tips for getting the best results from frozen bread.

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Par Baked Pizza Crust
THIS is our #1 family favorite freezer food. I am drooling right now just looking at the picture.  Best crust.  Best sauce.  Best.  Pizza.  Ever.

Muffins & Quick Breads
My kids devour all baked goods. But on the rare occasion when I have had some leftovers, I just pop them in the freezer and pull out a few every now and then for a special treat. Our favorite freezer-friendly recipes: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip and Banana Nut.  They come out even more moist and delicious than the day they came out of the oven.

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Frozen Grapes
A kid-friendly refreshing treat for the summer that you can feel good about.  Wash, dry and freeze, then pull them out and eat them straight from the bag!

What are your favorite foods to prep ahead for the week?  Please share in the comments!