Dinner Plans: Grilled Chicken

Prep 3 Delicious Meals From 1 Grilled Chicken Recipe

Grilled Chicken

The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 

A few cooked chicken breasts stored in the refrigerator is like money in the bank, affording you lots of possibilities for fast, tasty dinners. Grill a dozen or so all at once (from 2 value packs), then serve a few hot off the grill and store the rest away for two more easy dinners.

Game Plan

Prep Time: 1 hour (plus 2 hours dry brining)

  1. Triple all ingredients to grill 12 chicken breasts. If the breasts are especially large, cook less (you'll need enough for 3 chicken dinners).
  2. Serve 4 grilled breasts with the broccoli and cauliflower and let the remaining chicken sit until cool enough to handle.
  3. While still warm, remove the skin from the remaining chicken breasts and separate them from the bone. Discard or save the bones for chicken broth.
  4. Store the extra chicken in an airtight container in the fridge.
  5. Organize the ingredients for dinners 2 and 3.

Prep Day Grilled Chicken and Braised Vegetables

Time: 40 minutes (plus 3 hours slow cooking and brining)

When cooking chicken to incorporate into a few dishes, it makes sense to keep the flavors highly adaptable. Here, grilled breasts are cooked until smoky and juicy. Leaving the skin on ensures moist, tender meat, even if it's removed after cooking. Serve with cheesy, slow-cooked vegetables on the side.

Grilled Chicken
The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Begin by preparing the vegetables in the slow cooker about 3-4 hours before dinner.
  • Let the chicken dry brine in the fridge for at least 2 hours before grilling. 
  • If you don't have a grill, bake the chicken breasts instead.
  • Grate cheese for the cheese sauce from a whole block rather than using pre-shredded cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts into the sauce better.

Panini Night

Time: 20 minutes

There’s nothing run of the mill about chicken sandwiches for dinner when they’re this flavorful and filling. Green beans make a bright, simple, room-temperature side salad.

Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella Panini
The Spruce 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 4 cooked chicken breasts; skip the first 6 steps of the panini recipe and begin at step 7. 
  • Grill the sandwiches on a cast-iron stovetop grill pan or outdoor gas or electric grill if you don’t have a panini press. Be sure to weight them while they cook.   
  • Make the green bean salad before the sandwiches to give the flavors time to meld.
  • Place red onion slices in an ice water bath or run under cool water to mellow their flavor before adding to the salad.

Pasta Night

Time: 30 minutes

Use the remaining leftover grilled chicken to make healthy spinach pasta. The tasty one-dish dinner is quick and easy to put together. If you're feeding three or a light meal for four, make the recipe as written. If you're feeding four or more hungry family members, double the recipe and stash any leftovers for lunch.

Healthy Chicken With Spinach and Pasta
The Spruce / Diana Rattray 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 2 cups cubed cooked chicken (from 2 to 4 grilled breasts).
  • Double the recipe for a filling dinner for 5-6. The leftovers also make a delicious lunch.
  • If desired, add other veggies like sautéed mushrooms, broccoli, or cherry tomatoes.

Essential Info

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you achieve that goal, by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

Show everyone how together you are: Instagram your meal prep photos and tag them #thespruceeats.

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