Dinner Plans: Roast Chicken

Prep 3 Delicious Meals from 1 Easy Roast Chicken Recipe

iron skillet chicken

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

A succulent roast chicken makes a delicious Sunday meal, but it also makes fantastic leftovers. The next time you make a weekend family dinner, roast two chickens instead of one and use the leftovers to make two more dishes. You'll save lots of time and effort during the week when your schedule is tight while still serving three unique meals.

Game Plan

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  1. Roast two chickens at the same time. Serve one and cool the other for leftovers.
  2. Remove the meat from the second chicken. Cube the breast meat and store in one container. Cube the remaining meat and store in another container. Stash in the fridge.

Prep Day Roast Chicken and Potatoes

Make this tender and juicy skillet-roasted chicken recipe, doubling the recipe to make two. Once the chickens are in the oven, prep baby potatoes and add them to the oven in the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. Serve with a simple salad.

Iron skillet roasted chicken.
The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Arrange your oven racks so that you can fit both chickens on one and the potatoes on another.
  • When doubling the chicken recipe, use two skillets if you have them. Or, if needed, roast the chickens side by side on a preheated sheet pan and increase the cook time a bit.
  • Save the bones in the freezer to make chicken bone broth.
  • For an extreme shortcut, skip roasting the chickens and use two rotisserie chickens.

Garlic Chicken Primavera Pasta Night

Time: 20 minutes

Use your leftover cubed white meat to make garlic chicken primavera. This hearty pasta dish is packed with fresh veggies making it a complete meal, so there's no need to prepare side dishes.

Garlic Chicken Primavera Pasta
 The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Skip cooking the chicken in the recipe and simply add the breast meat before adding the cooked pasta and heat through.
  • Get ahead on prep day: Cut the broccoli into florets. Cut up the onions. Par cook the pasta to al dente, chill, and store until you are ready to assemble the dish.

Chicken Taco Night

Time: 10 minutes

Chicken tacos are the perfect family-friendly way to use up any remaining leftovers. Simply reheat the cooked chicken in a pan with a splash of chicken broth or water and the Tex-Mex spices called for in the recipe. Serve with warmed tortillas and lots of toppings like salsa, avocado, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream.

Pulled Chicken Tacos
The Spruce / Laurel Randolph

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • White or dark meat chicken work great for this recipe. A mix is fine, too.
  • Use store-bought salsa and/or guacamole to save time, or make homemade salsa on your prep day.
  • While the chicken heats up with the spices, warm your tortillas and prep your toppings. You'll have dinner on the table in 10 minutes flat.

Essential Info

Here's some helpful information about roast chicken:

About Dinner Plans

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.