When it comes to planning, I am more of the obsessive-get-up-and-write-it-down-to-feel-better type than the sit-down-and-make-a-plan-and-stick-to-it type. So, in the past when I tried meal planning for the week, it would inevitably fail. I would make a plan, change my mind about said plan and eat completely different meals each day.
My well-meaning intentions ended up creating a lot of food waste for my home. If I planned a simple chicken recipe for Monday, I would decide to have pasta instead, leaving the perishable ingredients for the chicken meal to rot. Sure, sometimes I would use them anyway, but not always.
Needless to say, I didn't have the most high hopes when I started meal planning again about a month ago. With a shoddy track record, I wasn't sure that I could make a go of it this time - even though it was absolutely necessary that I start.
But when I say that this time is different, I really mean it. Meal planning wasn't a whim or a fun experiment for me - it's a necessity since my time (and my family's time) has been so filled lately with important things. And I have approached it smarter this time: planning quick, easy recipes for days when I know we'll be stretched thin, using leftovers wisely to create new and exciting meals and truly saving the more complicated recipes for days when I have time to spend creating in the kitchen.
When it comes to those stretched-thin days, quick, easy chicken recipes are a favorite. Some chicken dishes can be made with so much wonderful flavor in so little time ... it's perfect for my family.
One of my very favorite simple chicken dinners is my Quick Chicken Parmesan
recipe. Ready in just 30 minutes, it makes our favorite Italian dish totally easy and accessible (and we never, ever end up with leftovers - it's just too tasty!).
Another favorite is my 10-Minute Salsa Chicken
(to be fair, it takes about 10 minutes to cook, but also about 10 minutes to prep ... but it's still ready in 20 minutes). Depending on how much heat the salsa you use has, this can be a great spicy dish or a really fun and tasty mild one. Serve it with the avocado puree and it's heaven.
When we're looking for comfort food from a quick recipe for chicken, Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli
and Ragu and Chicken Florentine Skillet
are both great options as well.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out these delicious, simple chicken recipes:
What's your favorite quick, easy chicken recipe? Share!
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger. Find her online at Sarah's Cucina Bella.