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Chicken is one of the most commonly consumed proteins today, and for many good reasons.
Its downright deliciousness when cooked right, nutritional value, as well as its versatility are just some of the reasons we love it.
Some Tips For Meal Prepping Chicken
When done right, meal prepping can save you time, reduce food waste, and ensure you have tasty, nutritious meals readily available.
Here are some essential tips and tricks to help you conquer chicken meal prep like a pro.
1. Choose the Right Cut
When it comes to meal prepping with chicken, selecting the right cut is the foundational step. Each chicken cut offers distinct advantages, textures, and flavors, so your choice should align with your culinary preferences and intended use.
Chicken Breasts: These lean, white-meat cuts are low in fat and high in protein. They are the ideal choice when you’re looking for a lighter and more health-conscious meal prep option.
Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs, darker in color and slightly richer in flavor due to the increased fat content, offer a juicy and more robust taste. They are excellent for meal prepping if you desire a more indulgent experience.
Considering your intended use and personal preferences, choosing the appropriate chicken cut is the first step towards crafting satisfying and delicious prepped meals.
2. Proper Storage
Proper storage is the linchpin of successful chicken meal prep. It’s essential to invest in high-quality, airtight containers designed for meal prepping to ensure the freshness, flavor, and safety of your prepared chicken-based dishes.
High-quality containers keep your meals intact and well-preserved, preventing contamination and maintaining their original flavor.
Opt for containers with compartments if you plan to store your chicken alongside side dishes. This way, you can avoid any unwanted mingling of flavors and ensure that each component of your meal remains distinct.
3. Safe Handling and Thawing
Safety should be a top priority when dealing with chicken during meal prep. Ensuring that your chicken is handled and thawed properly is crucial to prevent contamination and foodborne illnesses.
Safe handling starts with thorough handwashing. This practice helps prevent the spread of harmful bacteria that may be present on raw chicken.
If you’re working with frozen chicken, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator. Avoid thawing chicken at room temperature or using hot water, as these methods can lead to unsafe temperature levels that encourage bacteria.
4. Batch Cooking
Efficient meal prep often involves batch cooking, which means preparing larger quantities of chicken at once. This approach can save you time and effort throughout the week while allowing you to enjoy a variety of chicken dishes.
Batch cooking provides you with a surplus of cooked chicken that can be used for multiple meals.
By diversifying your cooking methods, such as grilling, roasting, poaching, or slow-cooking, you can create a range of flavors and textures. For example, grilled chicken can be used in salads, roasted chicken for sandwiches, and slow-cooked chicken for soups or stews.
5. Seasoning and Marinades
Experiment with a variety of seasonings and marinades to add diversity to your chicken meals. Consider using citrus, herbs, spice blends, or even international flavors like teriyaki or curry to keep your meals exciting.
6. Slicing and Shredding
To make your prepped chicken versatile and easy to use in various dishes, consider slicing, dicing, or shredding it.
- Slicing: Perfect for salads, wraps, or sandwiches.
- Dicing: Great for stir-fries, casseroles, or grain bowls.
- Shredding: Ideal for soups, stews, tacos, or sandwich fillings.
7. Freeze for Future Use
Freezing a portion of your cooked chicken is a strategic move that extends the shelf life. By dividing it into individual servings and storing them in airtight containers, you can ensure that your chicken remains fresh and safe for an extended period.
Freezing comes in handy when you’re meal prepping for more than a week or simply want to have a reserve of prepped chicken available for future use.
Label your containers with the date of freezing to maintain proper rotation and ensure that your chicken remains of the highest quality when you’re ready to use it.
8. Portion Control
Portion control is a fundamental aspect of meal prep that ensures you enjoy the right amount of food while maintaining a balanced and health-conscious diet. Consider these strategies for effective portion control:
Individual Servings: Divide your cooked chicken into single-serving containers or packages, ensuring you have a clear idea of how much you’ll be consuming at each meal.
Nutrition Awareness: Calculate the protein, fat, and carbohydrate content based on your dietary requirements. This approach helps you stay on track with your nutritional goals and ensures that your portion sizes align with your needs.
Balanced Sides: Ensure that your vegetable, grain, or legume portions complement your chicken serving. Balanced sides not only make your meals more nutritious but also help you feel fuller for longer.
9. Creative Leftovers
Repurposing leftovers is an excellent way to minimize food waste and keep your meals exciting. When you have leftover prepped chicken, consider these creative ways to reuse it:
Shredded Chicken: You can use it to make hearty chicken soups, flavorful chicken tacos, or add it to grain bowls and salads for an extra protein boost.
Diced Chicken: this can be used in omelets, frittatas, or as a topping for homemade pizzas. You can also toss it into stir-fries, casseroles, or pasta dishes for a quick and satisfying meal.
Sliced Chicken: This works well as a sandwich or wrap filling. Layer it with your favorite veggies, spreads, and condiments for a convenient and delicious meal. You can also serve it as a main protein in cold pasta salads or atop a bed of greens for a healthy, protein-rich salad.
30 Delicious Chicken Meal Prep Recipes
1) Easy Teriyaki Chicken Meal Prep
2) Pulled Buffalo Chicken and Rice Meal Prep
3) Korean Inspired Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
4) Baked Sweet Chili Chicken & Veggies
5) Thai Peanut Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
6) Meal Prep Chipotle Chicken
7) Low Carb Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
8) Healthy Orange Chicken
9) Creamy Tuscan Chicken Meal Prep
10) Chicken Enchilada Meal Prep Bowls
11) Easy Parmesan Chicken & Vegetables Meal Prep
12) Skinny Bang Bang Chicken With Cauliflower Rice
13) Italian chicken meal prep casserole
14) Sheet Pan Chicken Tinga Bowls
15) Honey Lemon Chicken Bowls
16) Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
17) Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables
18) Tropical Jerk Chicken and Gingered Broccoli
19) Chicken Taco Poblano Rice Bowls
20) Chicken Souvlaki Meal Prep Bowls
21) Chicken Sausage Pasta Meal Prep
22) Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
23) Chicken Tikka Masala
24) Garlic Chicken & Veggies Pasta Meal Prep Recipe
25) Vietnamese Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
26) Meal Prep Margarita Chicken
27) Pizza Chicken Meal Prep
28) Cajun Chicken Thighs Meal Prep
29) Chicken Fajita Meal Prep Lunch Bowls
30) Easy Thai Chicken Meal Prep
31) Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs Meal Prep