Ranch Chicken Meal Prep

This simple chicken meal prep features garlic herb chicken, roasted potatoes and broccoli, and a little ranch dressing to drizzle over top!

The post Ranch Chicken Meal Prep appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Meal prepping is supposed to make life easier, so when I meal prep I make sure to keep it SIMPLE. I use the same simple formula (protein + 2 vegetables + sauce) and change up the seasonings and sauces each time to make it new. Today’s Ranch Chicken Meal Prep is the perfect example of this formula in action. It has simple pan-fried chicken breast, roasted potatoes and broccoli, and a little ranch dressing on top. Simple to prepare and delicious to eat! 🙌

Overhead view of a ranch chicken meal prep container with ranch dressing being drizzled over top.

What’s in This Meal Prep

This meal prep starts with humble chicken breasts seasoned with garlic herb seasoning (you can use homemade or store-bought), with Parmesan roasted potatoes and roasted frozen broccoli on the side, plus a little ranch dressing to drizzle over top of everything. It’s simple, satisfying, and super flexible, so you can make it meet your needs.

Substitutions and Add-ins

As I mentioned above, this meal prep is super flexible. Maybe you want to add a little more to make it extra fancy, or maybe you want to swap out one of the ingredients for something you like better. Here are some ideas for substitutions and add-ins if you want to take this recipe and run with it!

  • Add shredded cheddar cheese and bacon bits for a little more flavor.
  • Double up on the chicken or add a scoop of cottage cheese for extra protein.
  • Swap out the roasted potatoes for rice or couscous cooked in chicken broth.
  • Turn it into a salad: use fresh broccoli and swap the roasted potatoes for a bed of greens. Add any other fresh vegetables of your choosing.
  • Use boneless chicken thighs in place of the breasts for extra tender meat.
  • Add a dollop of hummus and a couple of sliced grape tomatoes.
  • Swap the roasted broccoli for creamed spinach or creamed kale.

How to Store and Reheat Ranch Chicken Meal Preps

For the best flavor and texture, consume your ranch chicken meal preps within four days of preparing and make sure to store the ranch dressing separately. Keep the meal preps refrigerated until ready to eat, then reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high, or until heated through. Pour the ranch dressing over top, then enjoy.

What Containers do You Use?

For this meal prep, I used my favorite 3-cup rectangular Pyrex containers and small metal dipping cups for the ranch dressing. The dipping cups are taller than the depth of the glass container, so I do carry them separately. The cups are shown in the containers in the photos here just to make them all fit in the frame!

Four meal prep containers full of chicken, potatoes, and broccoli.
Three glass meal prep containers lined up in a row full of chicken, potatoes, and broccoli.
Print

Ranch Chicken Meal Prep

This simple chicken meal prep features garlic herb chicken, roasted potatoes and broccoli, and a little ranch dressing to drizzle over top!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $11.58 recipe / $2.90 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 486kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes $1.42
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan $0.48
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp paprika $0.03
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.05
  • 1 lb. broccoli florets* $3.49
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast $4.99
  • 1 Tbsp garlic herb seasoning $0.30

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Clean and dice the potatoes into ¾" pieces.
  • In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, garlic powder, paprika, and ¼ tsp salt. Place the diced potatoes in a bowl, drizzle with 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the seasoned Parmesan, then toss until evenly coated.
  • Spread the potatoes out over a parchment-lined baking sheet then transfer to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy, stirring once halfway through.
  • Place the broccoli florets in a bowl and drizzle with 1 Tbsp cooking, and add a ¼ tsp salt and pepper. Toss until the broccoli is evenly coated.
  • Spread the broccoli out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until browned on the edges, stirring once halfway through.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the chicken. Fillet the chicken breast into two thinner pieces to help them cook faster and more evenly. Season both sides of the chicken with garlic herb seasoning.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side or until well browned and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for five minutes. Sliced the chicken breast into strips.
  • Divide the roasted potatoes, broccoli, and sliced chicken between four meal prep containers. Fill four small dressing containers with 2 Tbsp ranch dressing each. Refrigerate the meal preps until ready to eat!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can use fresh or frozen broccoli florets. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 meal prep | Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 618mg | Fiber: 8g
Three glass meal prep containers lined up in a row full of chicken, potatoes, and broccoli.

How to Make Ranch Chicken Meal Prep – Step by Step Photos

Seasoning being sprinkled over diced potatoes in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Clean and dice 2 lbs. russet potatoes into ¾” pieces. In a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup grated Parmesan, ½ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt. Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil over the potatoes, then add the seasoned Parmesan, and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.

Potatoes on a sheet pan ready to be roasted.

Spread the seasoned potatoes out over a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer.

Roasted potatoes on a sheet pan.

Roast the potatoes in the preheated 400ºF oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender, stirring halfway through.

Frozen broccoli in a bowl with oil being drizzled over top.

Once the potatoes are in the oven, start preparing the broccoli. You can use fresh or frozen broccoli here. Place 1 lb. broccoli florets in a bowl (no need to thaw if using frozen). Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil over top and add ¼ tsp salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

Roasted Broccoli on a sheet pan.

Roast the broccoli in the preheated 400ºF oven for about 20 minutes, or until brown and crispy on the edges, stirring once halfway through.

Seasoned chicken breast on an orange cutting board.

While the vegetables are in the oven, prepare the chicken breast. Fillet one pound of boneless-skinless chicken breast into two thinner pieces (this helps them cook quickly and evenly). Season the chicken on both sides with about 1 Tbsp garlic herb seasoning (store-bought or homemade).

Cooked chicken breast in a skillet.

Heat a skillet over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the seasoned chicken breast and cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through.

Sliced chicken breast on a cutting board.

Remove the chicken to a clean cutting board and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Chicken, potatoes, and broccoli divided into glass meal prep containers.

Divide the potatoes, broccoli, and sliced chicken between four containers. Fill four small dressing containers with about 2 Tbsp ranch dressing each. Refrigerate until ready to eat!

Ranch dressing being drizzled over the meal prep.

When ready to eat, reheat your meal prep in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high, or until heated through. Drizzle the ranch dressing over top and enjoy!

The post Ranch Chicken Meal Prep appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Craving BBQ, but don’t have a pit? These Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches only take about 30 minutes to make and cost only a couple of bucks a piece, making them a really fast, inexpensive, and tasty way to kill that BBQ craving. Keep this recipe in your back pocket because you’ll be pulling it out […]

The post Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Craving BBQ, but don’t have a pit? These Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches only take about 30 minutes to make and cost only a couple of bucks a piece, making them a really fast, inexpensive, and tasty way to kill that BBQ craving. Keep this recipe in your back pocket because you’ll be pulling it out often for quick weeknight dinners!

Two Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, one on a wooden cutting board

This recipe utilizes my Quick BBQ Chicken recipe, which I created as a sort of “à la carte” meat option for households who are trying to feed both meat-eaters and vegetarians. In addition to adding this super simple BBQ chicken to other recipes, it can also be used to make sandwiches and wraps, like this one! 

Coleslaw Options

I really like the combination of BBQ and ranch dressing, so I made a quick “ranch slaw” for this sandwich using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) and a thick ranch dressing as the dressing. If you’re not into ranch (many people aren’t), try my classic creamy coleslaw recipe instead. It also goes great with BBQ!

Other BBQ Chicken Sandwich Topping Ideas

I kept my BBQ Chicken Sandwiches simple, because that’s how I roll, but if you like to get fancy, here are some other things you can add on top of your sandwich:

  • Pickles
  • French Fried Onions
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh red onions
  • Sliced avocado
  • Bacon
  • Pineapple slices

What Kind of BBQ Sauce is Best?

You can use pretty much any type of BBQ sauce for this recipe, so I suggest going with whatever brand or flavor that you like the best. I’m not too picky about BBQ sauce, so I used what I had on hand, which was a Kroger brand hickory smoke flavored BBQ sauce. I also tend to like Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauces, so that’s another affordable option. Or, you can even try making your own Homemade BBQ Sauce.

What to Serve with BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes with BBQ, so I love Spicy Sweet Potato Fries as a side for these BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. Thick cut Steak Fries (and maybe some Comeback Sauce) would also be awesome on the side. If you’re looking for something a little more fresh and vibrant to lighten up the plate, try Cowboy Caviar!

Front view of a single Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a wooden cutting board

 

 

Front view of a single Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a wooden cutting board

Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

These Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are a fast, easy, and delicious way to satisfy your BBQ craving. No grill needed! Perfect for busy weeknights.
Total Cost $7.04 recipe / $1.76 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 415.23kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs $2.99
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce $0.11
  • 7 oz. coleslaw mix* $0.65
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing $0.37
  • 4 buns $2.49

Instructions

  • Combine the smoked paprika, garlic, powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken thighs in half to make them more sandwich-sized (you'll want four pieces total). Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the prepared spice mix.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the seasoned chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the chicken thighs are well browned and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the heat and brush BBQ sauce over both sides of each piece.
  • Add the coleslaw mix, sliced green onions, and ranch dressing to a bowl. Stir until everything is combined and evenly coated in dressing.
  • To build the sandwiches, place one piece of BBQ chicken on each bun and top with a heaping scoop of the ranch slaw. Serve immediately.

Notes

* This is a bagged mix of pre-shredded cabbage and carrots. I used half of a 14oz. bag.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 415.23kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.28g | Protein: 28.18g | Fat: 18.73g | Sodium: 1552.98mg | Fiber: 2.3g

Looking for a vegetarian option? Try my BBQ Tofu Sliders.

How to Make Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos

Seasoned chicken thighs on an orange cutting board

In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Cut any large chicken thighs in half to make them more sandwich-sized. You’ll need about 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the prepared spices.

Cooked chicken thighs in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, swirl the oil in the skillet to coat the surface, then add the seasoned thighs. Cook on each side for 5-7 minutes, or until they are well browned and cooked through.

BBQ sauce being brushed onto chicken thighs in the skillet

Turn off the heat and brush BBQ sauce over both sides of the chicken pieces (about ¼ cup in total).

Ranch slaw ingredients in a mixing bowl

To make the ranch slaw, combine 7 oz. (half of a 14 oz. bag) of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots), 2 sliced green onions, and ¼ cup ranch dressing.

Finished ranch slaw in a mixing bowl

Stir until everything is combined and coated in dressing.

BBQ chicken sandwich being built on a wooden cutting board

To build the BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, place one piece of chicken on a bun and top with a heaping scoop of the ranch slaw.

Two BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, one on a cutting board, the other in the background.

The post Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

BLT Salad

Inspired by everyone’s favorite sandwich, the BLT Salad is a fresh take on a classic flavor combination. It would make a delicious lunch or side dish! BLT sandwiches are a hit in our house, my boys love them! The classic combo of bacon, lettuce, and to…

Inspired by everyone’s favorite sandwich, the BLT Salad is a fresh take on a classic flavor combination. It would make a delicious lunch or side dish! BLT sandwiches are a hit in our house, my boys love them! The classic combo of bacon, lettuce, and tomato is a winner every time. I decided to turn…

The post BLT Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

I was lucky enough to get a bunch of fresh broccoli last week, so I wanted to share this super simple salad that I made with it, along with some ideas for variations to use some other things that you might have on hand. There are several ways you can eat this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken […]

The post Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I was lucky enough to get a bunch of fresh broccoli last week, so I wanted to share this super simple salad that I made with it, along with some ideas for variations to use some other things that you might have on hand. There are several ways you can eat this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad, so make sure to scroll down to the “How to Serve” section to see how I ate mine! I seriously gobbled this stuff up in record time, and was immediately wanting more, so I know this is going to be a new regular for me!

Chopped Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

Overhead view of a large white bowl full of broccoli cheddar chicken salad with a fork

What Kind of “Cooked Chicken” Should I use?

This recipe is pretty flexible and can use just about any type of precooked chicken like rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or canned chicken breast. If you have raw chicken breast on hand, simply season your chicken with a pinch of salt and cook in a skillet with a touch of oil until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through (internal temperature of 165ºF). Let the chicken cool before chopping and adding to the salad.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

This recipe works best with fresh broccoli. Frozen broccoli florets will probably be too wet and soft to achieve the proper texture in this salad.

What Else Can I Add to This Salad?

I kept this salad pretty simple because I’m working with what I have during this lock down, but if you have some of these other ingredients on hand they would be awesome in this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad:

  • Cooked bacon or bacon bits
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Finely diced red onion in place of the green onion
  • Shredded Parmesan in place of the cheddar for more of a Caesar salad vibe
  • Diced hard boiled egg
  • Small shaped cooked pasta like mini shells or orecchiette

When adding additional ingredients, you may need to increase the amount of dressing used to make sure everything is covered.

How to Serve Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

Okay, here’s where it gets fun. I could barely stop forking it into my mouth right out of the bowl, but I also ate it a couple other ways. It’s really good rolled into a tortilla (or pita) as a wrap sandwich, especially with the tomato flavored wraps that I happened to get from Aldi. That tangy flavor was the perfect juxtaposition for the salad. The next day I also made it into a quesadilla by stuffing it inside a regular tortilla and toasting it in a skillet until the inside got warm and the cheese melted. That was so insanely good that I immediately made a second one after I finished the first! And of course you could mix this with some cooked and cooled pasta for a really good pasta salad, as mentioned above.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad in a wrap sandwich, open and facing the camera close up

Love hearty salads? Check out my round up of 19 Refrigerator Salads for Eating Healthy on the Go!

 
Close up side view of a bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad
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Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

This chunky chopped Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad is a great fresh salad that can be eaten on its own or turned into several different easy lunch ideas!
Total Cost $4.84 recipe / $1.61 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3 about 1 cup each
Calories 360.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli (about 2 cups chopped) $1.89
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken* $1.16
  • 2 oz. cheddar, shredded (about ½ cup) $1.00
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.25
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing $0.49
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste $0.05

Instructions

  • Finely chop the broccoli. It's important that the broccoli pieces be very small. Chop the chicken into small pieces as well.
  • Add the broccoli, chopped chicken, shredded cheddar, sliced green onions, and ranch dressing to a large bowl. Stir well until everything is evenly coated in dressing. Add freshly cracked pepper to your liking.
  • Serve as is, stuff into a tortilla or pita for a sandwich, or stuff into a tortilla and toast in a skillet until the inside is melted for a quesadilla. Keep any remaining salad refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.

Notes

*Use any type of pre-cooked chicken, like rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or canned chicken breast.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 360.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.1g | Protein: 30.4g | Fat: 22.23g | Sodium: 610.43mg | Fiber: 4.17g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up side view of a bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board

Finely chop one pound of fresh broccoli. It’s really important that the broccoli be in tiny pieces, so once you think you’ve chopped it enough, just go ahead and chop it a little more. ;)

Chopped chicken on a cutting board

You’ll also need about 1 cup chopped cooked chicken. This can be any type of cooked chicken, like rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, canned chicken breast, or a piece of chicken that you just cook up in a skillet real quick (that’s what I did). Just make sure you let your chicken cool a bit before adding it to the salad. Again, you want the pieces to be pretty small.

Shredded cheddar and sliced green onion on a cutting board

You also need two ounces shredded cheddar (about ½ cup) and two sliced green onions.

Ranch dressing being drizzled over the salad ingredients in the bowl

Add the chopped broccoli, chopped chicken, shredded cheddar, and sliced green onions to a large bowl, then add ⅓ cup ranch dressing.

Ranch dressing bottle from Aldi

I used this ranch dressing that I got from Aldi. Another brand that I really like is Ken’s Steakhouse buttermilk ranch. Or you can make your own ranch dressing using my Homemade Ranch Dressing recipe!

Finished broccoli cheddar chicken salad in the bowl with a spatula

Stir until everything is coated really well with the ranch dressing. I also added some freshly cracked black pepper just for an extra kick!

Close up side view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar chicken salad with freshly cracked pepper on top

So good as is, or made into a wrap sandwich, quesadilla, or even a pasta salad!

The post Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.