My best friend during the busy work week is a rotisserie chicken. Cheap and tasty, they're great for soups or just on their own. But they're even better to use for meal-prepping. Spend some time on a Sunday night tearing one down and, with a few extra ingredients, you can have a week's worth of healthy and flavorful lunches!
1. Rotisserie Chicken Fajita Bowls with Cilantro Lime Quinoa
Like, Chipotle, but better, cause you made it yo'self.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water (or broth)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 red pepper, sliced thin
- 1 green pepper, sliced thin
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 tbsp. taco seasoning (storebought or homemade)
- 3 cups cooked boneless skinless chicken breast (I used rotisserie chicken breast and removed the skin)
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 4 tbsp guacamole
1. Add the quinoa, water, and garlic to a pot. Bring to a boil and stir. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes and turn off the heat. Let sit covered for 5 minutes. Open and fluff and a fork. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, add the water, peppers, red onion, mushrooms, and taco seasoning to a small pan. Cook over medium high heat for 6-10 minutes until tender and cooked to your liking. If desired, you could add the chicken during this step as well and some extra taco seasoning to kick up the flavor of the chicken as well.
3. Heat the black beans in the microwave or on the stove top.
4. Assemble the bowls by starting with the quinoa. Add the black beans, chicken, veggies, tomatoes, and guacamole. Drizzle salsa over top if desired. If prepping these ahead of time for lunches, pack the guacamole separately if you are planning on eating it warm.
2. Chicken Alfredo and Rice Casserole
This is so easy to throw together and reheats beautifully. It'll definitely make it into the lunch standards rotation.
- 1 10 ounce container refrigerated light Alfredo pasta sauce
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 1/2 cups cooked white rice or wild rice
- 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/3 cup chopped bottled roasted red sweet peppers
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl combine pasta sauce and milk. Stir in rice, chicken, peas, sweet peppers, nuts, and basil. Transfer to 1-1/2-quart baking dish.
2. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover and stir. Combine bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle atop. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes more or until heated through and crumbs are golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.
Check out the full chicken alfredo and rice casserole recipe here.
3. Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
Because everything's fancier with pecans and craisins.
- 3 c. cooked chicken breast or rotisserie, pulled
- 2 celery stalks, cut down the middle and sliced
- 3 tbsp. red onion, minced
- ½ apple, chopped
- ⅓ c. dried cranberries, chopped
- ¼ c. plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream (more or less depending on personal preference)
- ½ c. light mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ c. toasted or candied pecans, chopped
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, celery, red onion, apple and cranberries.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt (or sour cream), mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the bowl and toss to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then fold in the nuts before serving.
Grab the full cranberry, pecan chicken salad recipe here.
4. Easy Chicken Greek Salad Wrap
All the things you love about a Greek salad--made mobile in wrap form!
- 1/2 cup precooked chicken chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh tomato chopped
- 1/4 cup cucumber chopped
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon red onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt & pepper if desired
- 1 flat bread or tortilla
1. In a small bowl, combine the chicken, tomato, cucumber, feta, and red onion. Mix in the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt/pepper if desired until well combined.
2. Spoon salad down center of bread, and wrap tightly.
Pro tip: Package the filling and wrap separately to avoid soggyness. Assemble right before you eat.
Get the full easy chicken greek salad wrap recipe here.
5. Buffalo Chicken Mason Jar Salad
Because I try to have buffalo chicken at every available opportunity.
- 5 wide mouth quart size mason jars
- 10 tablespoons blue cheese yogurt dressing
- 10 teaspoons hot sauce (preferably Frank's hot sauce)
- 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 5 large carrots, halved and chopped
- 5 large celery stalks, halved and chopped
- 3-4 cups shredded chicken
- 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1. Divide ingredients among mason jars starting with dressing then following with hot sauce, tomatoes, onion, carrots, celery, chicken, and ending with romaine.
2. When ready to eat shake salad in jar then pour into a bowl.
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