Set aside part of Sunday, or any day really, to meal prep my Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken that can be used in the four recipes that I share in this post — its an economical and convenient way to set yourself up for success on your health, fitness or weight-loss journey.
The slow-cooker chicken is spread divided up to make 4 different recipes covering breakfast, lunch and dinner — that means you can stock your fridge with 16 individually-portioned meals than can be enjoyed throughout the week or frozen for use later. Read on to get the shopping list, recipes and execution strategy.
In this meal prep, you’ll stock your fridge with 16 individually-portioned meals – you have to spend a bit of time on the front end, but you’ll enjoy the rewards. No expensive meals from a service, no caving in on busy nights to hit the drive through, and no worries about the quality of the ingredients in the dish — you put them in yourself!
The base protein recipe for Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken is super easy and hands-off, but you will need to allow about at least 6 to 8 hours for it to work its magic in the slow cooker. If you want to meal prep first thing in the morning, program your slow cooker to go off at night! After the chicken cooks and is shredded, these are the recipes you’ll be making in this prep:
- Skinny Chicken Breakfast Scramble with Spinach, Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Lemony Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup
- Balsamic Roasted Veggie & Chicken Jar Salad
- Maple Butternut Chicken & Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Portabella
You’ll also be roasting a rainbow array of veggies, making quinoa and scrambling some eggs among other cooking tasks. This meal prep also has a mind-blowing, time saving hack — hard boiling eggs in the slow cooker during the last hour that the chicken cooks. That’s right, gently place room-temperature eggs into the cooking liquid that surrounding chicken and when that timer dings 60 minutes later, you’ll have perfectly hard-boiled eggs.
- 4 to 6 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast*
- 16 large eggs
- 10 ounces pre-chopped butternut squash
- 16 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 2 lbs. sweet potato (orange or purple)
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large sweet yellow onion
- 16 oz. white button mushrooms
- 2 large portabella mushroom caps
- 1 lb. carrots
- 2 large lemons
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
- Bunch parsley
- 40 oz. chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 package rice vermicelli in “nests” (Asian aisle)
- 2 oz. sun-dried tomato
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbles
- 4 ounce blue cheese crumes
- Salad dressing of your choice, I used Organic Rosemary Balsamic
- Instantly Fresh Italian Blend
- Instantly Fresh Ginger
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
8 Hours Prior:
Start Chicken – Preferably used my recipe for Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Place 4 to 6 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 cup of water or stock and simple seasonings (salt, pepper, onion powder) in slow cooker with lid on high temperature.
2 Hours Prior:
Prep and Roast Vegetables – Wash and coarsely chop vegetables, toss with olive oil, and place on three foil-lined rimmed baking sheets according to produce density. For example, sweet potatoes and butternut squash on one sheet; mushrooms, peppers and onions on another; and Brussels sprouts and carrots on another. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in 400 F degree oven for 40 to 60 minutes, flipping with a spatula once or twice. Pans will likely be removed at different times; the sign for “doneness” is when vegetables have softened and are beginning to caramelize on edges. Err on slightly undercooking as ingredients will cook again when reheated before mealtime.
1 Hour Prior:
Hard-boiled Eggs – Place 4 eggs gently in slow cooker alongside chicken, submerging under liquid. Replace lid and keep on high heat for 1 more hour of cooking time. Use eggs that have been sitting at room-temperature for 30 minutes as super cold eggs will crack when placed in the hot liquid.
Prepare Quinoa: Place 1 cup rinsed quinoa in pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until water absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with fork and set aside for recipe use later.
Recipe Prep Time:
Hard-boiled Eggs – Use slotted spoon to remove from slow-cooker and place in bowl filled with cold ice water. When cooled, peel eggs, slice in half lengthwise and set aside.
Shred Chicken – Use slotted spoon to remove chicken from slow cooker into large bowl. Use the tines of serving fork to shred into small pieces. Toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons Instantly Fresh Italian Blend herbs. Reserve cooking liquid for use later.
Final Prep Vegetables –
- Slice portabellas in half.
- Chop other roasted vegetables down further (if needed) into bite-sized pieces. Try to keep separated as not every vegetable will be used in each recipe.
- Zest and juice 2 lemons.
- Chop ½ cup parsley.
- Chop 2 oz. sun dried tomatoes.
Prepare Egg Scramble – In medium bowl, whisk together 12 eggs (or 6 eggs and 1 cup of carton egg whites). Scramble in large skillet adding 2 cups of shredded, chopped chicken in last minute. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper.
Prepare Maple Butternut Quinoa – In large bowl, add 2 cups cooked quinoa and toss with 1/4 cup real maple syrup and ¼ cup Organic Rosemary Balsamic or dressing of choice. Stir in roasted butternut squash, ½ cup chopped pecans and ¾ cup golden raisins. Salt and pepper, as desired.
Prepare chicken broth: Fill large container with 40 ounces of chicken broth. I use about half cooking liquid from slow cooker (strained) and half prepared chicken stock, give or take.
Meal Assemble Time:
Note: Use freezable, microwavable plastic or glass storage containers with lids. Salads may be prepped in plastic containers or Mason jars.
Chicken Breakfast Scramble with Spinach, Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Add handful fresh, raw baby spinach to approximate 24-ounce container.
- Add 1/3 cup roasted sweet potatoes.
- Place ¼ egg-chicken scramble in each container.
- Sprinkle with 1/2 oz. sun dried tomatoes.
- Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
Lemony Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup
- Add handful spinach to bottom of minimum 16-ounce container.
- Place 2/3 cup shredded chicken on top of spinach.
- Add 1/3 cup chopped roasted vegetables (red pepper, onion, carrot blend).
- Add 2 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 teaspoons lemon zest.
- Add ¼ teaspoon garlic powder to each bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon Instantly Fresh Ginger to each bowl.
- Fill container with chicken broth, leaving 2” headroom in container.
- Place uncooked rice noodle (rice vermicelli) “nest” in center of each bowl. Do not pre-cook noodles, they will soften in the liquid and finish cooking when reheated at mealtime.
Balsamic Roasted Veggie & Chicken Jar Salad
- Add remaining red pepper, carrots, onions, button mushrooms and sweet potatoes to bowl.
- Toss with ½ cup Organic Rosemary Balsamic or dressing of choice.
- Place ¼ dressed veggies in bottom of 16-ounce mason jar.
- Pack jar ¾ full with fresh, baby spinach.
- Top each jar with 2/3 cup shredded chicken, pressing down if needed.
- Garnish as desired.
- This recipe not freezable.
Maple Butternut Chicken & Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Portabella
- Place ¼ quinoa-chicken mixture in approximate 24-ounce container.
- Add fresh spinach, Brussels sprouts and ½ portabella mushroom to each container.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and feta crumbles.
If you end up with extra chicken after prepping all the meals, just toss it in a zip-top bag and store in the freezer for quesadillas, tacos or BBQ sandwiches later — I like to top some chicken on baked potato.
Whew, now you’re done! Enjoy your hard work — this is not your ordinary plain brown rice, broccoli and chicken meal prep, it’s super, super delicious! Please share a picture and tag me @thefitfork on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter if you make. Also, I’m linking up with The Fit Foodie Mama today, check out those recipe ideas, too!
Are you a newbie meal prepper, or veteran? What is your best meal planning tip? What is your go-to meal to freeze? Do you prefer to prep complete meals, or big batch cook single ingredients for recipe inspiration later? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer