Tasty meal prep doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. You can easily meal prep chicken for the week that doesn’t taste terrible and I’m about to show you how.
I’m a husband and father of 2 kids. I have a home, pets, and a demanding job. I need meal prep to be easy. I just want to hit my macros, get in my protein and call it a day AND i’d like to enjoy my food while i’m eating it.
This chicken recipe is one that I have perfected over the years to not only be as easy as possible but as tasty as possible.
You will end up with about 80 – 90 ounces of cooked chicken. I break this into 10 portions of 8-8.5 ounces each. This supplies me with 10 servings with around 50 grams of protein per serving. You can break it up differently if you would like less or more protein per serving.
Here is what you need:
- 5-6 lbs of chicken breast
- Garlic salt
- A jar of salsa or green chilies
That’s it! 3 ingredients! I told you it was going to be easy.
- Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
- Extra large cookie sheet (mine is 15×21)
- Extra wide Tin Foil. (I get the 18inch wide kind)
- Ziploc bags. (both freezer quart and sandwich)
- Disposable rubber gloves (optional)
- Food Scale
Cooking the Chicken
Put your 5 lbs of chicken into the slow cooker and turn it on low for 10 hours. I find that the longer you cook it the more tender the chicken is.
Since you aren’t necessarily going to be eating the chicken when it’s done, you can cook the chicken any time. Sometimes I cook mine overnight and take care of it in the morning and sometimes I turn on the slow cooker before I leave in the morning and cook it while i’m at work.
Putting the chicken into the slow cooker and turning it on literally takes 3 minutes. I like to buy my chicken at the meat counter. I just pour the chicken out of the plastic bag and right into the slow cooker. It’s super easy.
Preparing the Chicken
To begin, cover your cookie sheet in tin foil. This is optional, but I like to dirty as few dishes as possible. Washing a huge cookie sheet is not easy.
Once your chicken is cooked, take it all out of the slow cooker and put it on the tinfoil covered cookie sheet.
At this point I like to smash the chicken with a rubber spoon to spread it out so it can cool a bit. While it is cooling, I wash the slow cooker.
Meal Prep Chicken Seasoning
Sprinkle on some garlic salt. I don’t really know how much I put on but my guess is somewhere between a teaspoon and a table spoon. It’s a lot of chicken so it takes a lot of garlic salt.
Pour on your salsa or green chilies. This part is crucial for the tastiness. The salsa or green chilies not only provides flavor, but much needed moisture. To have tasty chicken, you need it to be flavorful and moist.
I have been buying this jar of Hatch Valley Flame Roasted Green Chilies from Costco. Click here to check it out on Amazon. It tastes awesome but it is a little spicy. If you don’t like spicy, go with a mild salsa instead.
A 16 ounce jar of salsa or green chilies is enough for 5-6 lbs of chicken. You don’t need it to be swampy, just moist.
Alternatively, you could add tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce instead of the salsa. Be mindful of the amount of carbs you are adding to your meals. Some spaghetti sauce is high in carbs. Yo Mama’s Keto Friendly Pasta sauce is good and its’s low in carbs. One jar will only add about 3 grams of carbs per serving. Click here to check it out on Amazon!
Shredding the Chicken for Meal Prep
You are going to mix in the ingredients and shred the chicken at the same time. For this, I prefer to use rubber gloves. I buy nitrile exam gloves. They go on easy and are food safe. For me, wearing gloves adds to the easiness. If you don’t want to use gloves it’s not an issue. You may need to let the chicken cool a little longer before shredding.
Just dig into it. Pick up the chicken and pull it apart. Grab it and smash it. The chicken should fall apart easy after being in the slow cooker for 10 hours, so this part won’t be difficult.
Once the chicken is all shredded, I like to pack it or shape it into a oval on the cookie sheet. It seems to make the packaging a little easier.
Packaging the Chicken
For this, you are going to need your food scale and Ziploc bags. You can use Tupperware or reusable plastic ware if you prefer, but to make it as easy as possible, I use disposable. This way, I don’t need to worry about washing the storage containers.
This is the food scale I have. It’s made by Escali and sells for $55 on Amazon. I have had this scale for over 10 years and have never had an issue with it. I like it because you can also use it to measure bulk supplements. You can measure grams or ounces and it will weight as low as .01 gram.
This recipe makes about 10 8 ounce servings of tasty meal prep chicken. I package 7 of the 10 in regular sandwich Ziploc bags and eat one per day. I package the other 3 servings in quart sized freezer bags, freeze them and eat them as needed. This might be during the same week or weeks down the road. I like to have plenty of protein on hand at all times.
Suggestion: After this read, you may want to check out another article on Pump Some Iron called, “How Much Protein Can Your Body Absorb at Once?” Click on this link to read it.
Just grab a handful of chicken and put it in the bag. I find that using utensils for scooping the chicken makes it more difficult. By hand is best. Set the bag of chicken on your kitchen scale and weight it. Add or remove chicken as needed to hit your required amount. I aim for 8-8.5 ounces which gives me about 50 grams of protein per serving.
Once you hit the mark on the scale, set the open bag to the side. I like to stack them up against the wall so they don’t fall over. Leaving the bag open gives the chicken a little extra time to cool.
Once you have made all 10 or so bags of chicken, carefully peel the tinfoil off of the cookie sheet. Throw the tinfoil away and put away the cookie sheet.
Now, your chicken should be cool enough for sealing. Press as much air out of the bag as possible and seal. Pressing the air out saves room and preserves flavor.
Easy Storing of the Chicken
I store the chicken in my garage fridge. To easily carry it, I place it in a plastic grocery bag. Put the chicken you will eat in a weeks time into the fridge and the rest into the freezer. The meal prep chicken is still good after being frozen so don’t worry about freezing too much. It’s better to freeze it then put it all in the fridge, not eat it in time, and have to throw it out.
There really isn’t much cleanup. You have to wash the slow cooker and wipe down the counter tops. You might have to wipe down your scale if you spilled chicken on it. Since you used your hands and covered your cookie sheet in tinfoil, cleanup is a snap.
That’s it! Now you have meal prep chicken for the week!
Reheating & Eating the Chicken
Take your chicken out of the refrigerator or freezer and pour it out of the plastic bag and onto a plate. I use paper plates to make eating as easy as cooking. Reheat the chicken in the microwave on high for 1.5 minutes or 3-4 minutes if frozen.
This tasty chicken is great as a stand alone food, but it pairs well with potatoes or corn chips. My favorite is to top it with low fat cottage cheese and eat it with a side of fresh bell peppers. The cottage cheese adds extra moisture and extra protein. This is my before bed meal almost every night.
If you aren’t too picky, this chicken actually tastes decent cold. I often pack a bag of chicken plastic fork and a paper plate into my lunch box and have it as part of my lunch for an easy no reheat meal prep.
Try this recipe for yourself and you will see how tasty and easy it is.
Then, go Pump Some Iron!
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