Winner, winner, chicken dinner: cook once, eat thrice.

winner winner ch icken dinner

Click this image to purchase your own chicken from Diane Hoffman.

My family does not eat leftovers.  Nope.

Except for greasy take-out pizza.

My most efficient way to deal with the family’s high standards is to cook a big quantity of one item and use it to make completely different dinners.

Last week, for example, it was chicken.

winner winner chicken dinner

Click this image to purchase the print from TheMattButler.

I tossed chicken breasts in the crock pot and dumped in the last two inches of FIVE different salsas.  Haha.

One full jar of salsa works, too.

That night we had cheese and chicken quesadillas — cooked like a grilled cheese sandwich in a buttery frying pan.

Cut into triangles with a bowl of steaming salsa in the middle, add a side of beans, done!

Winner winner, chicken dinner

Click this image to purchase this felt toy chicken dinner from TheHomespunMarket.

The next night, that chicken was scraped of salsa and shredded for BBQ chicken hoagies, with white corn and apple wedges.

The third night we had pizza!  Chicken an onion pizza for three of us, while our fourth had cheese pizza with slices of cold chicken on the side.

We added a salad with carrots, apples and sunflower kernels, but you could also use cole slaw or carrot and celery sticks with a dippable salad dressing — give them three dressings and try them all!

winner winner, chicken dinner

Click this image to purchase hand screened dinner napkins from OhLittleRabbit

If you’re overwhelmed by picky, bored, or plain old hungry kids, let’s talk.  I have a short course on Feeding the Finicky that works on building a happy food culture, and I have a more intense Kitchen Coaching Program that works to streamline meal planning and prep to accommodate food allergies, a new vegetarian in the family, msg sensitivity, or whatever else is happening.

Or pop on over to find me on Facebook for tips and quips!





11 thoughts on “Winner, winner, chicken dinner: cook once, eat thrice.

  1. Wow, I love your idea of making one “staple” in a large quantity and then creating a variety of meals from that source over the rest of the week! Brilliant indeed both as a time-saver, good to the palette and fun too!


    • Thanks, Gabrielle! It has taken us a long time (and some dumb purchases) to realize that once something hits the freezer, we never see it again! 🙂 Haha. Thanks for chiming in. xx Angela


  2. I love batch cooking and I’m not sure what I would do without it! We make muffins in double batches and gluten free waffles in 4x batches (easy to heat the toaster). I make huge pots of chill to decant into containers for lunches that store in the freezer too. I love how you used one chicken recipe for 3 things with different tastes too. That helps kids with variety and still keeps the prep time down. Thank you!


  3. Aly — our problem actually is the freezer. It’s like a black hole in there! Haha. We even had a big chest freezer at one point, and it just didn’t work for us. Also, the changing palates would trip us up — they’d suddenly be “off” something. I do love the idea of the waffles, though. Hmmmm, I’m going to think about that. Thanks for reading and commenting, you also have great ideas! xx Angela


  4. Thanks for sharing your tips. I really like the idea of using one main ingredient for various meals. Saves time and money as the meals are more “focused”. Do you plan your meals weekly?


    • Thanks for your question, Ivette. Actually, we are very poor planners, and have kids that suddenly don’t like dishes they used to like. So the cook once, eat thrice allows us to focus (great word, thanks!) but not actually be tied to a menu that might not work at the last minute. Thanks for reading! xx Angela


  5. I buy my proteins in large quantities as well, and cook them up for multiple meals. I also pre-slice my peppers, celery, veggies and onions at the beginning of the week and repackage them in stackable tupperware so that when I cook during the busy week I can just pull out whatever portion I need without having to dice, slice or chop. Besides, I learned that pretty containers of sliced up, colorful veggies on the eye-level shelf of the fridge often get snacked on. Just because they are there. 🙂 So I slice extra.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW! I’m impressed with your planning and prep, Wendi. 🙂 I am going to steal your idea and keep a little box of carrot sticks next to our little tub of hummus. Thanks for the tip! xx Angela


  6. I threw a whole chicken in the crockpot last week! I’ll eat the end of it today! But instead of washing the crock, I picked the carcass clean and returned it to the slow cooker with water, an onion, and some celery and turned it into chicken stock. That was then bagged into “1 can” equivalents and frozen!


  7. Pingback: Rice served thrice: batch cooking for easy meals | Funnermother™: let's get fun!

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