Recipes- Chicken

Chicken Pot PieThis is part of a series on meals on a budget. In this post, I will share budget-friendly menu ideas and freezer tips, recipes, and time-savers all related to Chicken.

Chicken Recipes

We eat chicken twice a week and I prepare it different ways. I typically buy the split chicken breast, but will purchase a whole chicken if it’s on sale for a reasonable price.

How I prepare Split Chicken Breasts

Remove skin from chicken, rinse under cold water and pat dry. Rub seasoning salt on the meat and place in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add in 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stalk, and 1 sliced onion. Fill pot with water until chicken is covered. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce temperature to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.

When chicken is done, remove from pot to cool. Strain broth through cheese cloth to save. Once the broth is cool, place it in quart-size containers to use or freeze.

Debone the chicken and chop into bite-size pieces. The cooked chicken can be used in casseroles, soups, or other recipes calling for cooked chicken.

  • Pot Pie (serves 8)

2 c cooked chicken
2 cans Cream of Something soup (chicken, mushroom, celery-whatever you prefer)
1 can mixed vegetables, drained
1 package frozen pie dough
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine first three ingredients in a bowl. Thaw dough according to package directions. Place dough into pie plate. Spread chicken mixture onto pie crust. Cover with the second crust. Seal edges and cut 6 1” slits in the top. Brush the egg mixture over the top of the crust. Bake in preheated 350* oven for 1 hour, until center is hot and top is golden brown. Cover the crust with foil if it browns too quickly.

  • Broccoli, Chicken, & Rice Casserole

1 c cooked chicken
2 c cooked rice
1 can Cream of Something soup
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Combine first three ingredients and spread into a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake covered at 350* approximately 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove cover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes to brown cheese.

  • Chicken Enchiladas (serves 8)

2 c shredded cooked chicken
2 cans Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese soup
1 can Rotel
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
16 flour tortillas

Combine chicken and 1 can of soup in a bowl to make filling. In a separate bowl, mix the second can of soup and Rotel. Spoon filling into center of tortilla and roll tightly. Place tortillas seam-side down in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour the soup and Rotel sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350* oven for 30 minutes until heat through and cheese is bubbly. Serve with sour cream if desired.

  • Chicken Poppers

2 lbs boneless, skinless breasts
1 c Italian bread crumbs
¼ c parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 c milk

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese in a Ziploc bag. Dip chicken in egg and immediately place into bag of breadcrumbs. Toss to coat. Remove and dip in milk. Place in crumb mixture and coat again. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400* until outside is crispy and inside has reached 170*.


Recipes- Ground Beef

This is part of a series on meals on a budget. In this post, I will share budget-friendly menu ideas and freezer tips, recipes, and time-savers all related to Ground Beef.

Beef Recipes

I typically purchase 80/20 ground beef when it is on sale for $2.49/lb in 4-5 pound increments. This cut has a higher fat content, but I always rinse my ground beef after browning it. The extra fat is rinsed off without taking away from the flavor of the meat.

Some of our favorite ground beef recipes include:

  • Tacos

I brown, rinse, and drain the meat and put it back in the pan. I make my own taco seasoning (recipe). This is a great item to prepare a double batch for the freezer! I freeze it flat in a quart-size zipper freezer bag. To use, simply thaw in the refrigerator, heat over medium-low heat, and serve. Yum!

  • Meatballs (to eat with pasta or as sandwiches)

If I make my own meatballs, this is my recipe (makes 2 ½ – 3 dz meatballs depending on size)

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground Italian sausage (sweet or mild)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
½ c breadcrumbs
¼ c milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix all ingredients thoroughly by hand. Roll into balls, fry in 1 tbsp oil until browned on all sides. Drain on paper towel.

To freeze: place meatballs on a cookie sheet in a single layer in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer to a gallon-size freezer bag and place back in the freezer.

To use (from frozen or immediately): meatballs can be cooked slowly covered in sauce on medium-low heat for 3-4 hours. They also cook great in a crock pot on low for the same cooking time.

  • Meatloaf (serves 8)

This is the perfect recipe to freeze!

2 lbs ground beef (or can use a mix of ground meats, I prefer beef)
2 tbsp Seasoning salt
1 c breadcrumbs
¼ c Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
Mix all ingredients thoroughly by hand.

To freeze: Shape into a loaf and place in a gallon-size freezer bag.

To use: Thaw if frozen. Place in a covered dish and bake at 325* for 2 hours or until meat reaches internal temperature of 160*.

  • Beef Stroganoff (slow cooker recipe)

1.5 lb stew meat
1 medium onion, sliced
1 c beef broth
1 c sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Combine first three ingredients in slow cooker. Cook covered on low for 6 hours. Add sour cream or yogurt and stir to cover meat mixture. Serve over wide egg noodles.