Meal Prep Grilled chicken (No Marinade!)
Shortly after I discovered meal prepping shredded chicken I started to become obsessed with creating convenience foods to store in my freezer for from-scratch meals any time I want them. Enter this meal prep grilled chicken (with no marinade!)
While it’s not quite as hands-off as my slow cooker shredded chicken, it’s still pretty quick and easy and you can make it any time without making the time to marinade it. The cooking method is super flavorful and I promise it will leave you guessing if you actually had marinated it, it’s that good.
Learn more about why I think that pre-cooking chicken is one of the best things you can do for your productivity in the kitchen on the podcast
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How to meal prep grilled chicken
This recipe has only a few ingredients and comes together super super quickly, but I do have a few tips to make it the best ever.
- Slice the chicken super thin. I’m talking as thin as you can. Instead of just butterflying the chicken, I usually slice each chicken breast into 4-5 pieces. Slicing the chicken thin helps it to cook faster and more evenly so it’s less likely to be dry. Since we will be freezing and reheating this chicken, it’s extra important that it’s nice and juicy the first time as it will only get drier as time goes on.
- Pound it out- I don’t always do this, but you can tenderize the chicken even more by pounding it after slicing it super thin.
- Use a meat thermometer. Chicken is cooked at 165 degrees F, but I will usually take it off around 160 and it will reach 165 through carryover cooking. Taking the meat off at just the right temperature will ensure it’s nice and tender, not tough and overcooked.
- Use a George Foreman grill (affiliate link) if it’s too cold to grill outside (or if you’re just not feeling like cleaning that bad boy!)-This method is a bit more time consuming, as you can’t throw all the pieces on at once, but it’s great for multitasking something else like cleaning your kitchen while you take switch out chicken on george (we affectionately call him George at our house ;))
How to freeze meal prep grilled chicken
Once your chicken is grilled and rested it’s time to freeze it for later use (after you’ve snagged a few pieces…it really is super tasty!)
You can freeze the grilled pieces whole, but I am trying to make things as easy as possible for my dinnertime self (I know that dinnertime me is looking for the first excuse to not make dinner) so I chop it up ahead of time so I can easily throw it in my favorite salad, pasta, quesadilla, you name it!
The best way to freeze grilled chicken is to spread it over a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan and freeze it overnight. In the morning, move it to a gallon ziploc bag and the chicken pieces will stay separated since you froze it separately.
How to thaw meal prep chicken
The easiest way to thaw meal prep grilled chicken is to take out how much you’re going to use in the morning and let it thaw in the refrigerator. But you can also thaw on the stovetop over medium low heat or in the microwave if you prefer.
If you’re making a soup or pasta you can also just throw it straight into the sauce and simmer until it’s warmed through! It couldn’t be easier!
How to use meal prep grilled chicken.
- 3 lbs chicken breasts
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 2 tbsp homemade seasoning salt (alternatively use 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder)
- Slice the chicken very thinly, try to slice each chicken breast into 4-5 thin slices
- Put in large bowl and pour olive oil and seasonings over it, mix well
- Grill until it reaches 160 degrees, remove from heat and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing
To Freeze: Slice and lay in a single layer on a sheet pan or plate lined with parchment paper
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