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Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Our 3-step Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe is incredibly flavorful and so easy! Serve over brown rice for a healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free dinner. Freezing instructions included.

multi image with instant pot jambalaya in a bowl, in a freezer bag and in the Instant Pot

This Instant Pot jambalaya recipe was inspired by one of my favorite people in the world–my dad! He’s been making and honing this Cajun specialty dish for some time now. In fact, his slow cooker version called “Curt’s Slow Cooker Jambalaya” made it into our first cookbook, From Freezer to Table. Let me tell you, he really knocked it out of the park!

So with dad’s original recipe as my basis and my Instant Pot know-how (Did you know Polly and I published a whole cookbook full of Instant Pot recipes, too?), this Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya came to life.

Why I Love Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

In case you need some convincing, let me tell you why it’s totally worth throwing this dish together.

Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage over rice in a bowl
  1. It’s super easy! This “dump and go” meal only requires three steps, a handful of ingredients, and about 30 minutes from start to finish.
  2. Delicious! The combo of all the vegetables, the andouille sausage, and seasonings create a complex flavor explosion in your mouth without much work.
  3. It makes a LOT. This can feed a large group or you can freeze half a batch for another meal later.
  4. Speaking of freezing, this makes a great freezer meal. I’ll teach you the best method for freezing below.
  5. Really healthy! It’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, full of vegetables, lean protein, and is served over fiber-rich brown rice.

What is Jambalaya and What’s in this Recipe?

Jambalaya was born in Louisiana and is filled with a combo of sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors that make it stand out from other one-pot dishes. The Spruce Eats says, “Although the exact origin of jambalaya is unknown, it is most likely the result of multiple ethnicities mingling in the port city of New Orleans centuries ago.” There are two versions of the dish:

  • Cajun – Called “brown jambalaya” that doesn’t contain tomatoes.
  • Creole – Known as “red jambalaya” that does have tomatoes.
Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage in a freezer bag

My recipe falls under the Creole category because I used tomatoes. I tried to keep it pretty lean and healthy while also packing in big taste! Here are the simple ingredients you’ll find in it:

Onions, Green Bell Peppers, and Celery – This combo of veggies is known as the “holy trinity” in Cajun cooking. It’s also known to make your house smell amazing while they cook.

Andouille Sausage – A Cajun sausage that infuses the other ingredients in the pot with spice and smoke. I opted to slice up some all-natural, fully-cooked andouille as a short-cut for this recipe.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – This lean cut gets infused with flavor and doesn’t dry out thanks to the Instant Pot. But, you can use boneless, skinless thighs instead to add in a little more fat (read: more flavor).

Fire-roasted diced tomatoes – If you can find canned fire-roasted tomatoes in the store, they add complexity to this dish and are my favorite. But, if you can’t, look for petite diced tomatoes instead.

Chicken broth – You can either make your own or buy some at the store. I really like the Swanson brand. It tastes homemade and doesn’t have all the yucky additives.

Cajun seasoning – My dad swears by Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning but use whatever kind you like. This seasoning adds in salt, black and red pepper, chili powder, and garlic.

Dried herbs – A combo of dried oregano and thyme round out the seasoning. Make sure you have these in your pantry.

A lot of jambalaya recipes also call for shrimp. You can easily stir in some pre-cooked shrimp at the end of the cook time, if you want. Or, you can use uncooked shrimp and boil the jambalaya for a few minutes using the “Saute” function, until the shrimp is just cooked through. I decided to keep things simple and exclude it myself.

How to Make Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage in the Instant Pot with a bowl of wild rice on the side
  1. Stir in the Ingredients: Add the chopped veggies, tomatoes, broth, chicken, sausage, Cajun seasoning, oregano, and thyme to the Instant Pot. Stir.
  2. Pressure Cook: Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, then quick release the pressure. (Note: It will take about 10-15 minutes for the IP to come to pressure before starting the cook cycle.)
  3. Serve: Stir and serve warm over cooked rice. Top with hot sauce, if desired.

How do you Freeze Jambalaya?

One of THE best qualities of the Instant Pot, in my humble opinion, is that you can cook frozen meals directly in it. That’s not the case with the slow cooker, according to the USDA! Seriously, don’t put frozen food in your crockpot.

We recommend freezing this jambalaya dish before pressure cooking it, so it turns out tasting just like a fresh meal. Since this is a big batch meal that feeds at least 8 people, one idea is to freeze half the batch and cook the rest for dinner. The cook time will NOT change if you do this.

How to Freeze For Later:

Add the veggies, tomatoes, broth, chicken, sausage, and seasonings to one or two gallon-sized freezer bags or round containers. Seal and freeze. (Tip: If using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen.)

How to Prepare From Frozen:

Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Cook at high pressure for 17-22 minutes. (I usually start at the lower time recommendation. Check to make sure the chicken registers 165°F internally or is no longer pink inside. If it’s not done, cook at high pressure another 2 minutes and check again.) Serve warm over rice.

Want More Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot?

We’ve got you covered. Hop over to this post highlighting 20+ Best of the Best Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot. It includes freezer meal instructions for EVERY recipe plus tons of pro tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years.

How to Serve Instant Pot Jambalaya

Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage over rice in a bowl with a spoon

Serve over brown rice or quinoa and you will have a delicious, nutritious dinner. If you want to go completely grain-free, try serving it over cauliflower rice. Top with a little hot sauce, if you want to kick up the heat.

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Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage over rice in a bowl

Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Cajun
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Our 3 step Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe is incredibly flavorful and so easy! Serve over brown rice for a healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free dinner. Freezing instructions included.


Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted, diced tomatoes (Sub: petite diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 11.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes (Sub: boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1214 ounces precooked, all-natural andouille sausage, thickly sliced (Sub: andouille chicken sausage)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (Recommended: Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed in hand
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed in hand
  • 8 cups cooked brown rice (Sub: cooked long-grain white rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice)
  • Hot sauce, optional for serving

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Into the Instant Pot, add the onion, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes, broth, diced chicken, sliced sausage, Cajun seasoning, oregano, and thyme. (Do not add the rice.) Stir to combine. 
  2. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, then quick release the pressure*. (Note: It will take about 10-15 minutes for the IP to come to pressure before starting the cook cycle.)
  3. Stir and serve the jambalaya mixture over rice. Top with hot sauce, if desired.

*This is a good time to make a quick-cooking rice on the stovetop, if you aren’t using the pre-cooked rice from the store.

Freeze For Later:

Add the veggies, tomatoes, broth, chicken, sausage, and seasonings to a gallon-sized freezer bag or round container. Seal and freeze. (Tip: If using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen.)

Prepare From Frozen:

Note: You will need to have cooked rice on hand to complete this meal. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 3, but cook for 17-22 minutes. (Check to make sure the chicken registers 165°F internally or is no longer pink inside. If it’s not done, cook at high pressure another 2 minutes and check again.) Follow step 4.


Notes

Chopping Tip: Be sure to chop the veggies all about the same size and fairly small, since we aren’t sautéing them at the beginning. That way they cook at the same rate and get cooked through. 

Freezing Tip: Since this is a big batch meal, you may want to freeze half the batch for later and make the rest now. Note: If you divide the batch in half, you will NOT have to adjust the cook time. It will cook at the same rate.

Heat Level: I would say this dish is moderately spicy. If you’re sensitive to heat (or are making this for kids), I suggest only using half of the Cajun seasoning. You can always add more hot sauce to individual servings later, if needed.

Can I cook the rice in the Instant Pot with everything else? I did not test it this way because I like the texture of rice cooked on the stove for the exact amount of time better. However, you could throw some Instant Brown Rice (not the long cooking rice!) in with the other ingredients before pressure cooking, and it will work out okay…just not perfectly. And I like perfectly. 🙂 

How to Add in Shrimp: You can easily stir in some precooked shrimp at the end of the cook time, if you want. Or, you can use uncooked shrimp and boil the jambalaya after pressure cooking for a few minutes. To do this, turn on the “Saute” function, stir, and cook until the shrimp is just cooked through. It won’t take long. P.S. I recommend using peeled, deveined shrimp to make your life much easier!

Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Instant Pot 4-Ingredient Chicken Drumsticks

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks couldn’t be easier or tastier with this 4 ingredient recipe. Make them fresh or from frozen. All ages love these!

seasoned chicken drumsticks in an Instant Pot with chicken broth

Some affiliate links are within this post.

Why Chicken Drumsticks in the Instant Pot are the Bomb

Like some of you, I’m a work-at-home mom with three kids who are schooling virtually right now. We are 8 months into this routine and I’m honestly so tired of cooking every meal. (Yes, even food bloggers/cookbook authors can say that!)

cooked chicken drumsticks on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes

That’s why I am obsessed with this super simple recipe that:

  • Requires only 4 pantry ingredients to season the drumsticks. (Boom!)
  • Can be doubled and a second batch frozen for later to save time. (See our freezing instructions below.)
  • Is gluten-free and dairy-free.
  • Leaves amazing homemade chicken broth in the cooker when you’re done, which you can freeze for later.
  • Everyone in the family enjoys! (This only happens every 30.3 meals, it feels like.)

Plus, making these chicken drumsticks in the Instant Pot, in particular, results in fall-apart tender and moist chicken on the bone. With a few minutes under the broiler at the end, you’ll have crispy and perfectly seasoned dinner ready to go in no time.

Ingredients You’ll Need

So…”what is the secret mix of 4 pantry seasonings you need to bring bland drumsticks to life?” you ask. I’ll tell ya…

raw chicken drumsticks and seasonings

We use a blend of seasonings that Polly’s mom (Janny) used regularly to prepare chicken-on-the-bone for her family while growing up. We had a hunch Janny’s salty-savory mix was the right blend for our chicken drumsticks. After several tests by us and our cookbook testing team–who still rave about this recipe–we were right!

Here is the 4-ingredient seasoning line-up:

  1. Garlic Salt
  2. Onion Salt
  3. Celery Salt
  4. Poultry Seasoning

Keep these on hand and use the same blend for all cuts of chicken or even pork, too. In addition, you’ll need a little chicken broth in the Instant Pot to help create the steam necessary to build pressure.

seasoned chicken drumsticks on a cutting board

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

Watch this 1 minute video to see how easy it is to make drumsticks in your electric pressure cooker…

cooked chicken drumsticks on a serving platter with broccoli

How to Make This Recipe Into a Freezer Meal

When you combine the magical powers of the Instant Pot AND freezer cooking, you practically set yourself up for hands-free cooking. That’s because you can dump your frozen meal directly in the Instant Pot and cook it from frozen!

chicken drumsticks in a freezer bag

Freeze for Later: Follow step 1. Place the seasoned chicken and the broth in a gallon-size freezer bag or round container (try not stack the drumsticks in the bag/container as much as possible; instead, place them side by side). Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen.

Prepare From Frozen: Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 2, but cook for 17 to 22 minutes. Follow steps 3 and 4.

We sound like a broken record, but doubling and freezing a batch is such a wise use of your time! Read more about how to make Instant Pot Freezer Meals here or see all of our Freezer Meal recipes here.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

Next up is figuring out what to serve with these crispy drumsticks. We recommend going simple and kid-friendly. Try some of these favorites…

Creamy Mashed Potatoes (in the Instant Pot)

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Sweet and Savory Roasted Carrots

sweet and savory roasted carrots in a bowl

Bottom Line: Whether you want a healthy, kid-friendly dinner or a freezer meal on hand for later, we think you’ll love the simplicity of these Instant Pot 4-Ingredient Chicken Drumsticks!

cooked chicken drumsticks on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes
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seasoned chicken drumsticks in instant pot

Instant Pot 4-Ingredient Chicken Drumsticks

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings (2 drumsticks per serving) 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Just 4 pantry seasonings plus a few minutes in the Instant Pot and and under the broiler turns out perfectly seasoned, crispy drumsticks that the whole family will love. Make them fresh or from frozen. 


Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (or water)

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt, and poultry seasoning. Rub the seasoning all over the drumsticks. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Transfer the seasoned drumsticks to the Instant Pot and pour in the broth. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 12 minutes, then quick release the pressure. (Check to make sure the chicken is done. It should register 165°F internally.)
  3. Position the top oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler. Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  4. Use tongs to place the drumsticks on the prepared baking sheet; discard any liquid remaining in the pot (or save it to use as homemade chicken broth later). Broil the chicken until the skin is browned and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Freeze for Later: Follow step 1. Place the seasoned chicken and the broth in a gallon-size freezer bag or round container (try not stack the drumsticks in the bag/container as much as possible; instead, place them side by side). Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen.

Prepare From Frozen: Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 2, but cook for 17 to 22 minutes. Follow steps 3 and 4.

 

Want More Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot?

We’ve got you covered. Hop over to this post highlighting 20+ Best of the Best Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot. It includes freezer meal instructions for EVERY recipe plus tons of pro tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years.


Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Grilled Balsamic Herb Chicken

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This grilled chicken recipe is moist, tender, and packed with flavor through and through. It can be turned into a freezer meal and is a great recipe for groups of people.

grilled chicken, rice, zucchini, and peaches on a gray plate with fork

Grilling season isn’t quite over yet in mid-Missouri thankfully. We’ve had 70 and 80 degree sunny days for what feels like months and our family is loving it! You’re going to love this grilled chicken recipe, especially the marinade.

Chicken on a grill

Ingredients in Grilled Balsamic Herb Chicken

Marinating chicken is THE key to infusing flavor into typically lean, bland poultry cuts. The simple Balsamic Herb marinade in this recipe requires only a few pantry staples to turn that lackluster cut into something super tasty!

ingredients for grilled balsamic herb chicken
  • Olive or avocado oil – To keep things moist.
  • Balsamic vinegar – Acid is a must in all marinades, yet this one brings a little sweetness along with it.
  • Honey – A bit more sweetness to balance out the acid.
  • Dijon mustard – Brings a complex tanginess.
  • Garlic cloves – Delicious pungent flavor.
  • Dried parsley, basil, and oregano – All the herbs add color and an herbaceous undertone.
  • Salt and Pepper – Basics that balance every marinade.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – Widely available and lean. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs will work, too.

1 Minute Video: How to Make Grilled Balsamic Herb Chicken

Check out just how quickly this marinade and recipe comes together using only pantry staples…

How to Make This Into a Freezer Meal

Freezer cooking is our jam! We’ve co-authored two popular freezer meal cookbooks and been blogging about it for 9 years now. It’s a way of life that makes getting dinner on the table SO much easier each night.

Here’s how to make this grilled chicken recipe into a freezer meal to have on hand when you need it…

1) First, you’ll pound out the chicken to about 3/4 inch thick (or cut it in half lengthwise) to help with fast and even grilling.

2) Then, to a large freezer bag, add the marinade ingredients. Seal and shake to combine.

chicken breasts in freezer bag with balsamic marinade

3) Add in the chicken, seal, and freeze. Be sure to label your bag with the recipe name, cooking instructions, and the date. You might find our Freezer Meal Labels helpful for that.

chicken breasts in freezer bag with balsamic marinade

4) When you’re ready to eat your freezer meal, defrost it using one of these safe thawing methods. Grill the chicken according to Step 3 in the recipe. Note: Be sure to cook the thawed chicken as soon as possible so it doesn’t get mushy or tough from over-marinating.

grilled balsamic herb chicken on the grill with zucchini and peaches

What to Serve with Grilled Balsamic Herb Chicken

This recipe can be served up a variety of ways. You could go simple, like I usually roll for our family dinners. I served my grilled chicken with some cooked quinoa, steamed green beans, and grapes for what ended in a filling, tasty, and quite healthy dinner.

Or, you could serve it alongside your favorite grilled produce, like:

grilled chicken, rice, zucchini, and peaches on a gray plate with fork

Another idea is to offer a colorful salad on the side like our Strawberry Avocado Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette, which mirrors the flavors in the marinade well.

Try All Our Chicken Marinades

I have to say, this is definitely one of my go-to marinades from our 7 Best Chicken Marinades. Oh, did I mention we have 7 delicious chicken marinades for you?? Try some of our other favorites to mix things up:

If you want to have all 7 of our simple marinade recipes on hand anytime, download our free cheat sheet. This handy one-page printable includes all the recipes and 4 options for cooking your marinated chicken breasts. Tape it up inside a cabinet or pantry door, so you can whip up these recipes anytime.

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grilled chicken, rice, zucchini, and peaches on a gray plate with fork

Grilled Balsamic Herb Chicken

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Grilled Balsamic Herb Chicken recipe is made with all pantry staples and turns out moist, tender, and packed with flavor through and through. 


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, crushed in hand
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed in hand
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in hand
  • 4 chicken breasts (about 1 1/22 lbs)

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Pound out the chicken to about 3/4 inch thick (or cut it in half lengthwise) to help with fast and even grilling.
  2. To a large zip-top bag, add the balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, and oregano. Seal and shake to combine. Add the chicken and seal. (Freezing instructions begin here.) Refrigerate for about 2 hours and up to 24 hours to allow chicken to marinate. 
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and clean the grates well. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, maybe longer depending on the thickness, until done. Chicken is done when it registers 165°F internally or has no more pink inside.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-2. Seal the bag tightly and freeze. 

Prepare From Frozen: Defrost the freezer meal using one of these safe thawing methods. Cook the chicken according to Step 3. Note: Be sure to cook the thawed chicken as soon as possible so it doesn’t get mushy or tough from over-marinating.

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

Here are a few more grilled chicken recipes you might like. All of these can be turned into freezer meals, too!

Southwest Grilled Chicken Tenders

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches

Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.

Grilled Honey Garlic Chicken Kabobs

Honey Dijon Chicken Marinade

By Rachel Tiemeyer

You had me at 5 ingredients! That’s right. This Honey Dijon Chicken Marinade only requires 5 pantry staple ingredients for a delicious sweet and savory result.

*Disclaimer: We are an affiliate of ButcherBox and have included links in this post.

INGREDIENTS IN HONEY DIJON CHICKEN MARINADE

Marinating chicken is THE key to infusing flavor into typically lean, bland poultry cuts. This simple Honey Dijon Chicken Marinade requires only 5 pantry staples to turn that lackluster cut into something super tasty!

Let’s meet the key ingredients…

  • Olive oil – Keeps things moist.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Cider vinegar adds a delicious twist on the acid component of this marinade.
  • Dijon mustard – There isn’t too much in this recipe, but it’s enough to give it that signature Dijon flavor.
  • Honey – This all natural sweetener balances out the tartness from the vinegar and mustard.
  • Salt – A must in any chicken marinade.

HOW TO MAKE AND STORE THE MARINADE

You can mix up this marinade and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a jar to use when ready. Or, you can freeze it in a mason jar, too, but allow at least 1 inch of headspace at the top for expansion.

honey dijon marinade in mason jar

When ready to use the marinade, pour it over chicken in a zip-top bag or container with a lid. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours to infuse flavor. If you plan to freeze the chicken in the marinade, do not let it marinate first.

chicken breasts in honey dijon marinade in freezer bag

Then, grill, slow cook, pressure cook, or bake your marinated Honey Djion Chicken. You choose your method! We’ve included instructions for how to cook boneless chicken breasts any of these ways in the recipe below.

IDEAS FOR SERVING HONEY DIJON CHICKEN

Idea #1: A La Carte with Sides

Grill or bake and serve a la carte with Grilled Asparagus or Roasted Asparagus and Grilled Corn on the Cob (or try this microwave trick!).

Idea #2: Salad

Slice the cooked chicken and serve on salad with our Honey Dijon Vinaigrette.

Idea #3: Sandwich

Grill and serve on a whole grain bun with your favorite cheese, lettuce, tomato, and condiments. Add bacon to take it over the top!

MORE CHICKEN MARINADES YOU MUST TRY

Try some of other other favorite healthy chicken marinades to mix things up:

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chicken breasts in honey dijon marinade in freezer bag

Honey Dijon Chicken Marinade

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 45 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Any cooking method
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

With only 5 ingredients, you can create this deliciously simple Honey Dijon chicken marinade in no time.

This marinade amount works for 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of chicken breasts.


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Add the oil, vinegar, honey, Dijon Mustard, and salt to a gallon-sized freezer bag, seal, and shake. Either seal and refrigerate until ready to use, OR add 1.5-2 pounds chicken to the bag, seal, and squish around to make sure the chicken is covered in marinade. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. Cook the chicken however you’d like (grill, slow cook, pressure cook, or bake). See tips below in the Notes.

Freeze For Later: Follow step 1. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw, using one of these safe thawing methods, and follow Step 3. No additional marinating time needed once it is thawed!

COOKING NOTES:

How to Know If Chicken Is Done: Chicken is done when it reaches 165°F internal temperature. (A digital meat thermometer is a must to help cook chicken perfectly.)

How to Cook Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts:


NOTES

We get our meat from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves.

Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Balsamic Herb Chicken Marinade

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Fresh herbs and pantry staples combine to create this complex Balsamic Herb Chicken Marinade. Grill or bake the chicken, then enjoy on its own or atop a salad.

chicken breasts in freezer bag with balsamic marinade and marinade in a mason jar

Ingredients in Balsamic Herb Chicken Marinade

Marinating chicken is THE key to infusing flavor into typically lean, bland poultry cuts. This complex marinade requires mostly pantry staples to turn that lackluster cut into something that makes your tastebuds sing.

Let’s meet the key ingredients…

ingredients on a counter in individual bowls
  • Olive or avocado Oil – To keep things moist.
  • Balsamic vinegar – Acid is a must in all marinades.
  • Honey – Just a hint of sweetness.
  • Dijon mustard – Brings in a different kind of acidity.
  • Garlic cloves – Delicious pungent flavor.
  • Fresh parsley (or dried) – All the herbs add color and an herbaceous undertone.
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and Pepper – Basics that balance every marinade.

How to Make and Store the Marinade

balsamic herb marinade in a mason jar

You can mix up this marinade and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a jar to use when ready. Or, you can freeze it in a mason jar, too, but allow at least 1 inch of headspace at the top for expansion.

chicken breasts in freezer bag with marinade

When ready to use the marinade, pour it over chicken in a zip-top bag or container with a lid. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours to infuse flavor. If you plan to freeze the chicken in the marinade, do not let it marinate first.

chicken breasts in freezer bag with marinade

Then, grill, slow cook, pressure cook, or bake your marinated Balsamic Herb Chicken. You choose your method! We’ve included instructions for how to cook boneless chicken breasts any of these ways in the recipe below.

My favorite way to use this marinade is for grilled chicken on a Surf and Turf night. Try our Mediterranean Shrimp Kabobs with it!

MORE CHICKEN MARINADES YOU MUST TRY

Try some of other other favorite healthy chicken marinades to mix things up:

Download our Free Chicken Marinades Cheat Sheet Printable!

If you want to have these simple marinade combos on hand anytime, download our quick cheat sheet. This handy one-page printable includes all the recipes and 4 options for cooking your marinated chicken breasts. Tape it up inside a cabinet or pantry door, so you can whip up these recipes anytime.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in below are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.

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chicken breasts in freezer bag with balsamic marinade

Balsamic Herb Chicken Marinade

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 45 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Any cooking method
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Fresh herbs and pantry staples combine to create this complex chicken marinade. Grill or bake the chicken, then enjoy on its own or atop a salad. Marinade works for 1.5-2 pounds of chicken breast, tenders, or thighs.


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup oil (recommend: avocado or olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (sub: 2 tsp dried parsley, crushed in hand)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed in hand
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in hand
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Add the oil, vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to a gallon-sized freezer bag, seal, and shake. Either seal and refrigerate until ready to use, OR add 1.5-2 pounds chicken to the bag, seal, and squish around to make sure the chicken is covered in marinade. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. Cook the chicken however you’d like (grill, slow cook, pressure cook, or bake). See tips below in the Notes.

Freeze For Later: Follow step 1. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw, using one of these safe thawing methods, and follow Step 3. No additional marinating time needed once it is thawed!

 

COOKING NOTES:

How to Know If Chicken Is Done: Chicken is done when it reaches 165°F internal temperature. (A digital meat thermometer is a must to help cook chicken perfectly.)

How to Cook Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts:

  • Bake in Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, until done.
  • Slow Cooker: Place chicken and marinade in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Really! That’s all it takes to get it done, otherwise you’ll overcook and dry it out.
  • Instant Pot: Place chicken and marinade in Instant Pot. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and use a quick release of the pressure when the cook time is up. (Note: It will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts.)
  • Grill: Pound out the chicken to about 3/4 inch thick (or cut it in half lengthwise) to help with fast and even cooking. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and clean the grates well. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, maybe longer depending on the thickness, until done.
ingredients for balsamic herb marinade

Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Cilantro, lime, garlic and more marry together to create this fresh, citrusy Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade.

marinade in a mason jar and marinade and chicken in freezer bag

According to Epicurious (and our readers’ comments over the years), “cilantro’s flavor is described by some as bright and citrusy, and as soapy by others.” If you’re a cilantro lover, this marinade is WHAT YOU WANT.

Ingredients in Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade

ingredients for cilantro lime chicken marinade on a table

Everyone has their part to play in this fresh, bold marinade.

  • Cilantro and lime bring the bright, citrusy notes.
  • Garlic brings on the palate-pleasing pungent part (#alliterationbomb).
  • Cumin adds a little smokiness.
  • Red pepper flakes lend a little heat in the background.
  • Salt, well, is good ole salt.
lemon garlic marinade in small mason jar

How to Make and Store the Marinade

You can mix up this marinade and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a jar to use when ready. Or, you can freeze it in a mason jar, too, but allow at least 1 inch of headspace at the top for expansion.

cilantro lime marinade over chicken breasts in an open freezer bag

When ready to use the marinade, pour it over chicken in a zip-top bag or container with a lid. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours to infuse flavor.

cilantro lime marinade and chicken breasts in a sealed freezer bag

Then, grill, slow cook, pressure cook, or bake your marinated Cilantro Lime Chicken–your choice! We’ve included instructions for how to cook boneless chicken breasts any of these ways in the recipe below. Enjoy your final product on its own or use as a salad topper, taco filling, or burrito bowl ingredient.

Southwest Chicken Burrito Bowls - A healthy and filling dinner idea for everyone!

MORE CHICKEN MARINADES YOU MUST TRY

Try some of other other favorite healthy chicken marinades to mix things up:

Download our Free Chicken Marinades Cheat Sheet Printable!

If you want to have these simple marinade combos on hand anytime, download our quick cheat sheet. This handy one-page printable includes all the recipes and 4 options for cooking your marinated chicken breasts. Tape it up inside a cabinet or pantry door, so you can whip up these recipes anytime.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in below are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.

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cilantro lime marinade and chicken breasts in a sealed freezer bag

Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade

  • Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 45 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Any cooking method
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Cilantro, lime, garlic and more marry together to create this fresh, citrusy Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade.


Ingredients

  • ½ cup oil (recommended: avocado or olive oil) 
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Add the oil, lime juice and zest, cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes to a gallon-sized freezer bag, seal, and shake. Either seal and refrigerate until ready to use, OR add 1.5-2 pounds chicken to the bag, seal, and squish around to make sure the chicken is covered in marinade. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. Cook the chicken however you’d like (grill, slow cook, pressure cook, or bake). See tips below in the Notes.

Freeze For Later: Follow step 1. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw, using one of these safe thawing methods, and follow Step 3. No additional marinating time needed once it is thawed!

 

COOKING NOTES:

How to Know If Chicken Is Done: Chicken is done when it reaches 165°F internal temperature. (A digital meat thermometer is a must to help cook chicken perfectly.)

How to Cook Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts:

  • Bake in Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, until done.
  • Slow Cooker: Place chicken and marinade in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Really! That’s all it takes to get it done, otherwise you’ll overcook and dry it out.
  • Instant Pot: Place chicken, marinade, and 1/3 cup chicken broth in a 6 quart Instant Pot. (Note: If using an 8 quart, add an additional 1/2 cup of broth.) Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and use a quick release of the pressure when the cook time is up. (Note: It will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts.)
  • Grill: Pound out the chicken to about 3/4 inch thick (or cut it in half lengthwise) to help with fast and even cooking. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and clean the grates well. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, maybe longer depending on the thickness, until done.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken

By Rachel Tiemeyer

A little sweet and a little spicy, this easy chicken recipe is BIG on flavor and takes just minutes to throw in the slow cooker.

Honey Bourbon Chicken and Stir Fry Vegetables on a large white platter
Photo credit: Hélène Dujardin

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken is one of only two recipes we’ve been given permission to share with you from our newest cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker (released January 14). And, I’m so glad because it is perhaps my favorite chicken dish in the whole book!

Actually, this recipe is only a partial recipe from the book. That’s because every single recipe in our latest cookbook includes:

  • Slow cooker instructions AND
  • Instant Pot and pressure cooker instructions AND
  • freezer meal instructions.

There is truly nothing else like our cookbook on the market! Like our first cookbook, we rigorously tested every dish, used (mostly) whole food ingredients, and only included ones that our families and recipe testers enjoyed. I think you’ll find it to be incredibly useful no matter what cooker you own.

Why This is My Favorite Chicken Dish

With all of these perks, what’s not to love about easy Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken?

1. It’s super simple to throw together. Simply dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook on low for a few hours. After it’s done, you can quickly thicken up the sauce using what’s called a cornstarch slurry but that’s optional yet quite easy.

2. It’s complex in flavor thanks to ingredients like fresh ginger (just keep some in my freezer to have on hand), soy sauce (or substitute coconut aminos), honey, green onions, and, of course, bourbon. (More on the bourbon in a minute.)

3. My kids love it! It’s a little spicy, but you can always pull back on the spice if your family has a sensitive palate.

4. It’s been very well-tested by Polly and me, as well as, our 500 person recipe-testing team for this cookbook! In fact, we spent nearly two years developing and refining the recipes in From Freezer to Cooker. It was quite a feat because every single recipe works in the slow cooker, the Instant Pot, and includes freezer meal instructions!

How to Serve Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken

I like to round out this spicy-sweet chicken and sauce by serving it on top of some brown rice (or quinoa or cauliflower rice) and stir-fried veggies. There’s a lot of sauce to spare, so whip up a big pot of rice and a pan of stir-fried veggies to help soak up all that delicious sauce. To save time, buy pre-made brown rice at the store and use the frozen stir-fry vegetable mix.

What Should I Know About Cooking with Bourbon?

I personally don’t drink or enjoy the taste of bourbon. However, when used in cooking, I’ve found that the bourbon lends a smoky caramel-like sweetness that’s hard to replicate with another ingredient. If you have kids, don’t worry, the alcohol will almost entirely evaporate when the sauce is simmered at the end. Look for small bottles by the liquor counter, if you don’t have some at home in your cabinet. Update: One of our readers said she used chicken stock as a replacement with decent results.

How to Make Ahead and Freeze This Recipe

Like most of our recipes, this freezer-friendly chicken dish is one you can easily double, eat one for dinner tonight, and freeze the other for later. Here’s how easy it is to make ahead and freeze…

inside freezer

To freeze a batch for later, you’ll combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Pour the sauce and chicken into a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze. When you’re ready to eat it, simply thaw the meal using one of these safe thawing methods and then cook according to directions.

Every recipe in From Freezer to Cooker has “make ahead and freeze” instructions, saving you time in the kitchen. Plus, when you’ve got a freezer full of healthy, delicious family meals, you’ll spend less money and eat healthier.

How to Make Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken

You’ll love this healthy, delicious chicken meal that goes from slow cooker to table with ease!

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gluten-free Honey Bourbon Chicken and Stir Fry Vegetables on a large white platter

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Total Time: 3 1/2 hours
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Asian

Description

A little sweet and a little spicy, this chicken dish is big on flavor and takes just minutes to throw in the slow cooker.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (For Gluten-Free: use coconut aminos or GF tamari soy sauce.)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup organic or all-natural ketchup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or other whiskey (For Gluten-Free: Omit or use chicken stock/broth instead.)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (decrease to 1/8 teaspoon, if sensitive to heat)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/22 pounds boneless, skinless medium chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Cooked basmati rice or brown rice, for serving
  • Stir-fried vegetables, for serving

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, ketchup, bourbon, oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and green onions. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the sauce. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Place the chicken and sauce in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or until cooked through. (The chicken is done when it is no longer pink inside and/or registers 165°F internally.) Carefully transfer the chicken to a wooden cutting board, dice or shred the meat, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Carefully pour the juices from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan. Add in the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken and sauce to the slow cooker. Stir gently to combine. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and serve with stir-fried vegetables, if desired.

Freeze For Later:  Follow step 1. Pour the sauce and chicken into a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen:  Note: Have cooked rice, cornstarch, and (optional) stir-fried veggies on hand to complete this meal. Thaw. Follow steps 2 through 4.


Notes

One of our readers tested this recipe without the bourbon and reported that their family thought it was still delicious. 

Our Cookbooks

Click here to learn more about how both of our cookbooks can save you time and money and help feed your family healthy, delicious meals.

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

One of our easiest freezer meals: Chicken Parmesan Sliders. Just put a few ingredients into the crockpot and you’ll have one of your favorite meals for a busy night. Great meal idea for large groups too!

Slow cooker chicken parmesan sliders on a cutting board

“I need more recipes like this in my life,” I told my husband, as he and the kids scarfed down slider after slider. When I don’t have to touch raw meat (can I get an amen?), I can just dump a few ingredients in a slow cooker, and a healthy and kid-friendly meal magically appears at dinner time…I’M IN!

Why are Chicken Parmesan Sliders SO Easy?

Look no further for a slow cooker, chicken dump-and-go meal idea. The simplicity of getting dinner done will have you doing victory laps around your house. There isn’t any prep before placing the very few ingredients in the slow cooker either.

Here’s all you really need from the store:

  • chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
  • a jar of your favorite marinara (or make your own)
  • some mini whole wheat buns or rolls (or make your own)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella or Provolone cheese slices

Just dump in your chicken, marinara sauce and a few choice seasonings and press a button. Gotta love that!

Ingredients for slow cooker chicken parmesan sliders

How Long do I Cook Chicken Parmesan Sliders in the Slow Cooker?

After you dump all of your ingredients into the slow cooker, how long do you have to wait until dinner? You might be surprised at the answer. In fact, we wrote an entire post about how long to cook chicken in the slow cooker because so many people are doing it wrong! After loads of recipe testing, we have found that chicken breast is done after 3-4 hours in the slow cooker. This will vary on the type of slow cooker but it’s done quicker than you think!

Chicken parmesan sliders in slow cooker

Can I Make Chicken Parmesan Sliders in the Instant Pot?

Let’s say you aren’t home around the time these Chicken Parmesan Sliders need to go into the slow cooker. You can have Chicken Parmesan Sliders done in minutes using your Instant Pot! In fact, we have done the work and converted the recipe for you. Hop over to our Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Sliders recipe here.

Slow cooker parmesan sliders on a white plate

How do I make Chicken Parmesan Sliders a Freezer Meal?

As with so many of our recipes, Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders freeze well. (Find all our Freezer Meal recipes here.) You have some options on how to make this a freezer meal too.

Option One: Prepare and freeze it before cooking

To Freeze:

Place raw chicken and marinara (and any optional seasonings) into a freezer-safe container or zip top bag and freeze. You can also wrap up the cheese slices and rolls tightly and freeze. Keep all ingredients in a grocery sack in the freezer, so the meal components are together.

To Prepare:

When ready to cook, thaw everything in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Place chicken & marinara into the slow cooker and follow steps 2-3.

Option Two: Freeze after cooking

To Freeze:

Fully cook and cool the chicken. Place in a freezer-safe container or zip top bag. You can also wrap up the cheese slices and rolls tightly and freeze. Keep all ingredients in a grocery sack in the freezer, so the meal components are together.


To Prepare:

When ready to cook, thaw everything in the fridge for 24-48 hours. If chicken is still partially frozen, use the defrost setting on the microwave. Warm chicken mixture over medium-low on the stove stirring occasionally, in a slow cooker on low setting, or in the microwave. Serve according to the instructions in Step 3 above.

Slow cooker parmesan sliders on a wooden cutting board

Video Tutorial for Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders

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Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Just put a few ingredients (like chicken and marinara ) in to the crockpot and you’ll have one of your favorite meals for a busy night!


Ingredients

  • 34 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 jar (24 ounce) or 3 cups all-natural marinara sauce (or make your own)
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed in hand
  • 12 mini whole wheat buns or 6 large whole wheat buns (or make your own)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 slices of Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, cut into fourths

Instructions

  1. Lightly season all sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts, sauce, garlic, and seasoning to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on LOW for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Chicken is done when it shreds easily and is white all the way through (or registers 165°F internally). Shred with two forks.
  3. To build a sandwich place some hot shredded chicken on a bun, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, top with two little pieces of Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, and pop the top of the bun in place.* Enjoy!

*If you’d like, place the sliders (open faced) on a sheet pan and broil for a 1 minute to melt the cheese.


Notes

Freeze For Later: Fully cook and cool the chicken. Place in a freezer-safe container or zip top bag. You can also wrap up the cheese slices and rolls tightly and freeze. Keep all ingredients in a grocery sack in the freezer, so the meal components are together.

Prepare From Frozen: When ready to cook, thaw everything in the fridge for 24-48 hours. If chicken is still partially frozen, use the defrost setting on the microwave. Warm chicken mixture over medium-low on the stove stirring occasionally, in a slow cooker on low setting, or in the microwave. Serve according to the instructions in Step 3 above.

A hand holding a Slow cooker parmesan slider

What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Here are some recipe ideas that would go well with this dish:

Want More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes?

Check out our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker! Every recipe is easy, drool-worthy, and made with recognizable, whole food ingredients, and what makes the book even more family friendly is its unique two-in-one style. Each recipe provides instructions on how to cook the same meal for both the slow cooker and the Instant Pot!

This is essentially giving home cooks double the recipes. From Freezer to Cooker is the first book of its kind to combine the ease and effectiveness of freezer cooking and hands-free appliances with healthy and delicious recipes.

From Freezer to Cooker Cookbook

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Chicken Parmesan Casserole is a family-favorite freezer meal that is super easy to make. This real food, healthy dinner recipe is a staple in our home.

Chicken parmesan casserole

(Looking for healthy freezer meal recipes? We have 70+ of our favorites HERE!)

Whenever I make my Roasted Whole Chicken and Vegetables (one my very favorite recipes) or Slow Cooker Whole Chicken, I sometimes have chicken leftover. So, I throw it in the freezer. When I’ve got a few cups of cooked chicken in the freezer, I’m ready to make this delicious chicken freezer meal: Chicken Parmesan Casserole.

Chicken parmesan casserole in a 8x8 glass dish

My family loves this simple chicken freezer meal recipe because it’s an old family favorite in a comfort-food form.

I bet you have most of these ingredients on hand:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Panko or whole wheat bread crumbs
  • A few fresh herbs.

That’s it. You can eat it by itself or serve it over pasta. It might be nice over a bed of rice, too.

Chicken parmesan casserole with a side salad

Here’s How Easy Chicken Parmesan Casserole Comes Together!

How to Freeze Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Chicken parmesan casserole in a freezer container

Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read our full disclosure policy here.

The easy-to-print Chicken Parmesan Casserole recipe is below, but I wanted to mention that, as with so many of our freezer-friendly recipes, this Chicken Parmesan Casserole freezes wonderfully. Simply assemble the casserole (with cooked chicken) and freeze it in an airtight container before baking.

When you want to make it, thaw it safely and bake it according to the recipe instructions.

We recommend using a BPA-free container or dish. While it may be easier to buy the disposable Glad ovenware containers, it really makes sense to stock up on some quality, safe dishes that you can bake AND store in.

The Ultimate Chicken Freezer Meal: Chicken Parmesan Casserole

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Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This family favorite is super easy to make, made with real food ingredients, and also freezer friendly.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups (about 1.5 pounds) fully-cooked chicken, shredded or cubed (where to find meat you can trust)
  • 1 jar (28 ounces) of marinara sauce (or make your own)
  • 1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Panko or whole wheat bread crumbs (Here is how to make your own) (Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond meal instead.)
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 24 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease an 8×8 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. Layer the fully-cooked chicken in the bottom. Dump in the marinara sauce and mix with the chicken. Next, top with both cheeses until all the chicken is covered.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, fresh herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper together.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over the top. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the sides.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-5. Cover the casserole tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap and/or foil, squeezing out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw in the fridge over night and follow Step 6. Note: If it’s still slightly frozen in the middle, you’ll just have to cook it longer than the recipe calls for or defrost it a bit in the microwave before baking. Cover it with foil if the top gets too brown in the oven.


Notes

We get our meat from ButcherBox*. Their chicken is organic, curated from small, trusted farms, and absolutely delicious. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves. *Disclaimer: We are an affiliate of ButcherBox.

Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Chicken parmesan casserole being scooped out of a dish.

Baked Chicken Fajitas {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner
Baked Chicken fajitas

Confession: Rachel and I had the hardest time figuring out what to call this recipe.

Chicken and Veggie Burritos? Baked Enchiladas? Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas? Chicken Fajitas?

We just couldn’t quite capture what these were because they are a wonderful combination of all things Mexican.

We ended up landing on Baked Chicken Fajitas. It’s by far one of my family’s favorite Mexican dishes. In fact, the night before my husband’s knee surgery, I told him I’d make any dinner he wanted. His request? You’re reading about it right now.

Baked Chicken and Veggie Fajitas-freezer friendly10

This recipe was born out of our cheesy chicken and black bean enchilada recipe. Since I’m not a bean lover, I dabbled with the recipe. It evolved into a delicious combination of Mexican flavored chicken and veggies wrapped up in cheesy tortilla that is baked to make a flavorful dinner that our whole family loves. 

It’s so darn good. AND this recipe is freezer friendly. Just follow all of the instructions up until you bake it.

Here is how to make Baked Chicken Fajitas.

Read more

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner

Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile, grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwich

Disclaimer: We are an affiliate of ButcherBox and have included links in this post.

It’s amazing what a great marinade can do to plain ole chicken.

For instance, this chicken sandwich would be ho-hum without the flavor-packed marinade the chicken sat in for a few hours. However, now it is restaurant quality. Seriously. It was SO good.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches are the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight! Just prep and freeze all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads. #freezermeal #realfood #thrivinghome

Everyone in my family liked it and I even used the leftover grilled chicken to put on some pasta for lunch the next day. Don’t box yourself in to just using this delicious, gourmet chicken for sandwiches. It is very versatile!

Also, in case you didn’t know, marinated chicken makes a GREAT freezer meal. Just double the marinade, throw half of it in a zip-top bag along with the uncooked chicken and freeze it that way. You can also throw the bun and toppings in a separate freezer bag. When you thaw the chicken in the fridge, the meat will soak up the flavor from the marinade. Result: a super easy and delicious chicken dinner.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches are the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight! Just prep and freeze all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads. #freezermeal #realfood #thrivinghome
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Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.


Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound uncured bacon, cooked and broken in half (try our No Fail Way to Cook Bacon)
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns (or make your own Homemade Hamburger Buns)
  • Optional toppings: BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard

*Updated ingredient on 8/3/20: This used to be 1 Tablespoon salt, but we found the marinade to be too salty.


Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Make the Marinade: In a gallon-sized freezer bag, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, ginger and paprika. Gently shake the bag to mix. Then set aside.
  2. Slice the Chicken: (Note: This step is essential for even cooking.) Carefully cut the chicken breasts lengthwise through the center to create two thin halves out of each breast. If needed, pound down the thicker parts to create cutlets that are the same thickness. 
  3. Marinate (or Freeze) the Chicken: Place the 6 chicken cutlets in the bag with the marinade, seal the bag, and shake to ensure the breasts are coated. (Freezing instructions begin here.) Set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours to marinate.
  4. Cook the Chicken: Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade using tongs and add to grill. Discard remaining marinade. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side or until done. (Chicken is done when juices run clear or the internal temperature is 165° F.)
  5. Assemble the Sandwiches: On top of a bun, place 1 chicken breast, 1 slice cheese, some bacon, and optional toppings.

Freeze For Later: Follow steps 1-3 (do not marinate in refrigerator). Package the bacon and cheese slices separately in small freezer bags (or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil). To make a freezer meal kit, freeze the chicken in marinade alongside the bacon, cheese, and buns.

Prepare From Frozen: You’ll need the optional toppings on hand to complete this meal. Thaw the meal kit in the refrigerator. Follow the recipe beginning with Step 4.


Notes

We get our meat from ButcherBox. The bacon is uncured, contains no sugar, and is absolutely delicious! The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat and have used it for years ourselves.