My kids have been in school for a week now, and I’m already missing those relaxed, stress-free summer days. I mean, we could be swimming, having fun or shopping, and it wasn’t a problem if we ended up eating late. Now that we all have to be up early, we have to stick to a more organized routine. Otherwise, bedtime gets delayed, and that means grumpy kids and grumpy parents, which is never a good thing!
I’ve put together some easy meal ideas that all start out with a base of cooked chicken. We like to cut up some chicken breasts and cook them with a bit of olive oil, chopped garlic, onions and spices. Then, we use what we need for the first night and set aside the rest of the cooked chicken for future meals.
So, although we’re technically using leftover chicken, the kids don’t complain about having leftovers because each meal is different! Here are some examples of our easy and time-saving meals with cooked chicken.
Easy Chicken over Salad
I talked about this easy meal once before, and most of the time, we serve the Chicken over Salad for the first night. I provide different toppings, such as raisins, shredded cheese, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, nuts and fruit. Because of our hot weather, we can eat salad well into the fall months. If it’s too cool for salad, I’ll serve the chicken with macaroni and cheese, potatoes or some type of pasta.
Chicken with Black Beans
For the next dinner, I take some of the cooked chicken, and heat it up with black beans, diced jalapeno peppers and spices. It already has onions and garlic from the first time it was cooked. You could now spoon this mixture over cooked rice or enjoy it with some tortilla chips. But, this is also a great base for other Southwestern favorites!
My kids love nachos, and these are so easy to put together. Just top some tortilla chips with the warm chicken and bean mix, and add shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream or any of your favorite nacho toppings.
These wraps are lighter burritos. I use soft-taco sized tortillas and add the chicken and black bean mix. Then, I add some shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and any other toppings that people want.
Chicken and Black Bean Quesadillas
I wrote a more detailed post about Chicken and Black Bean Quesadillas before, and for those quesadillas, I used leftover rotisserie chicken. However, I usually make quesadillas with the pan-fried chicken, so I wanted to include them in this roundup. You can sneak veggies in these tasty triangles, and the kids will gobble them right up!
I hope this gives you some ideas for your own quick and easy dinners using leftover chicken. I know that if I have the right ingredients on hand, I can whip up my own healthy fast food and get my family fed on time.
If you have your own ideas, I would love to hear about them!
Thanks for dropping by — have a great day!
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