Meal Prepping with a $5 Rotisserie Chicken

9:54 AM


Chicken is one of the most versatile of proteins out there: you can bake it, fry it, turn it into a soup or stew, steam it, stir fry it - it's pretty much endless. And at 38 gram of protein per cup, very low saturated fat, and is naturally low in sodium, you can't beat this lean meat.

But chicken can also (strangely) be expensive. Considering how mass "produced" the bird is, buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts can easily cost well over $2 a lb. Eat enough of it and it can cost a single person $10-$12 a week. A quicker and easier bang for your buck is the rotisserie chicken. They are cheap ($4 - $5 at your local supermarket, Walmart super center, or BJ's/Costso), they are already prepared, and they are perfect for meal prepping for the week (as well a great alternative to a pit stop at McDonalds on the way home)!

As much as exercise is essential to weight loss and health, nutrition really is the key to longevity, health, weight maintenance, and just overall wellness. Diet controls our moods, our energy, and when you fill yourself with bad things you're not going to get anything positive in return. One of the easiest ways to ensure that you stay on the right track with your eating habits is to meal prep. Taking a few hours every week to stock your fridge with healthy meals and snacks that are ready to go will help you shy away from ordering that pizza or grabbing some chips both at home and at work. It will also save you a lot of money in the long run as well ($10 for a lunch a day really adds up).

Fridge ready and prepped for the first half of the week! --- and that's only the top two shelves!

Meal prepping with a rotisserie chicken is super easy and super quick. Literally taken the meat off of the bones and check out these EASY IDEAS for your healthy meal planning:


1. SALAD: Salad is a given for healthy eating. It is probably the first thing you think of when trying to eat cleaner and healthier overall. Grab some greens from your local grocer, or better yet, try to find a nice market and save some money. (We like to go to the Italian Market here in Philadelphia or hit up a Produce Junction for lots of our vegetables). After grabbing our chicken the other night from BJ's, I tore off all of the white meat and made almost a week's worth of salads for our lunches with a bag of $2 spinach from product junction and topped them off with a little grated Parmesan cheese. Add a little olive oil or dressing in the am and you have yourself a healthy little lunch.

2. SOUP: One of the best things about using a whole chicken is that you get to use the WHOLE CHICKEN. When you're done picking off all that good meat, don't throw away those bones! Fill up a small stock pot with some water, toss in a few dried herbs, and simmer them to make yourself some homemade stock or bone broth. The broth is chocked full protein and other minerals such as glycine and gelatin, which both support digestive health.

the most out of them. Add some veggies and bits of chicken for some homemade soup. You can even cook some rice or noodles and add them in if you'd like. Portion your soup out in some mason jars and heat it up for lunch or dinner. You can also freeze your broth and/or soup and defrost when you're in the mood for some homemade chicken soup.

3. TACOS, BURRITOS & WRAPS. Since I'm not doing gluten for lent this year we haven't been making wraps the way we usually do, even though they are one of my favorite things in the world. There's nothing better than taking your proteins, your fats, adding some healthy greens and veggies in there and rolling them up into a convenient tortilla wrap that you can eat on the go if you need to, doesn't take up much space in your bag if you're taking it for lunch, and can be customized to give you all of the essential macro (and some micro) nutrients you need in a meal.

Wrap, tacos, burritos - they can be tricky though because it is easy to get carried away and stuff them with lots of cheeses (which are great, but in moderation) and top them with heavy sauces that pack on calories and saturated fats. Be cautious, too, if you're calorie counting, as wraps are an easy way to kill several hundred calories in just a few bites.

Since I haven't been making wraps lately, I don't have any photos to share, but I found this great recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen you can try out!

Some other great ideas for using up that meat:

  • Chicken Salad: add a little mayo (or, as I like to make mine, with dijon mustard), some pepper, and herbs and toss it on some greens, a slice of whole grain toast, or eat it plain.

  • With roasted veggies: roast some potatoes, carrots, or whatever you have around in some olive oil for a hearty, filling meal.
  • Chicken with your pasta: I'm not a pasta girl anymore, but I used to eat my fair share. Pasta is, however, a great meal to help stretch your money. Shred some of that chicken and toss in some veggies like chopped peppers, red onions, or even pea a drizzle a light sauce or, as I preferred, olive oil on top.
  • BBQ Chicken: Toss on some of your favorite BBQ sauce or whip up some from scratch and serve on a bun / slider with a side of your choice.

Have any more ideas you don't see listed here? Pop them in the comments section! I'd love to hear them! 

This blog was also published at MomBloggersClub and BlogLovin'.
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