Juicy Shredded Chicken for Quick Weeknight Meals

Juicy shredded chicken for easy weeknight meals

This winter has been busy! I’ve been running my son back and forth to classes (hopefully he’ll get his license this spring!) and my daughter back and forth to after school activities. I want to have a nice meal on the table for the kids and my hubby when they get home from school and work — but I do not want to face the “What’s for dinner doldrums” every night. 

This Oven Baked Chicken is the perfect solution for our family. I buy a large package of boneless skinless chicken breasts, bake them up with the perfect seasonings and store the cooked chicken in the fridge, for quick weeknight meals. I have been doing this once a week for the past month and it has really helped out! 

baked-juicy-chicken

5 large chicken breasts ends up being about 2 main dish meals for our family of four, plus lunch for my daughter and I for 3 days. Here are some super easy meals that I make with the shredded chicken:

Shredded Chicken Meal Ideas

  • Chicken Alfredo: Half a breast with hot pasta and Alfredo sauce. We like Prego Alfredo Sauce with about 1/2 cup of the chicken drippings stirred in.
  • BBQ Chicken Subs: Shred up 1 1/2 of the chicken breasts and heat it in a small pot, with 1/2 cup of the drippings and a small bottle of honey barbecue sauce. We serve it on toasted deli rolls with a frozen veggie side.
  • Balsamic Chicken Pasta: Shredded chicken with linguine noodles and warmed balsamic vinaigrette dressing, served with a side salad or garlic toast (very good). 
  • Loaded Chicken Salad: Bagged salad, chopped chicken, shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon and chopped green peppers with seasoned croutons and a side of ranch dressing.
  • Chicken and Vegetable Alfredo Pizza 
  • Chicken Quesadillas: top one flour tortilla with shredded chicken, shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and chopped green peppers. Add another tortilla and spray both sides with non-stick spray. Cook in a hot skillet until browned, flip and cook the other side until cheese is melted. Serve in wedges with a dollop of sour cream. (This is my daughter’s favorite weekend lunch and she often makes them herself.)

grilled-chicken-sandwich

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich: Shredded Chicken and Muenster Cheese grilled between two slices of Italian bread. (lunch today) Yum!

I usually pack the salad for daughter’s school lunch and then have the same thing myself at home. 

I do not like dry chicken though, so here is how I bake up my chicken breasts to keep them juicy and moist!

oven baked Juicy shredded chicken breasts

5.0 from 4 reviews
Juicy Shredded Chicken for Quick Weeknight Meals
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Bake ahead boneless skinless chicken breasts for easy weeknight meals!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8 - 10
Ingredients
  • 5-6 lbs boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts (about 5 large)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 large orange
  • ¼ c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt, freshly ground
  • 1 Tbs Parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 13"x9" glass baking dish with non-stick baking spray. Place chicken in pan.
  3. Evenly sprinkle onion powder, salt, pepper and parsley over chicken.
  4. Juice the lemon and orange into a glass measure. Slowly, add olive oil and whisk until well combined.
  5. Pour juice mixture over chicken.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 1½ hours, or until chicken is no longer pink and tops are golden brown.
  7. Cool slightly, place in an airtight container (with the drippings) and store in fridge up to 4 days.
Notes
You can also shred or chop the chicken and store in freezer bags in the freezer for up to a month. I would add ¼ - ½ cup of the drippings to keep the chicken moist.

You can use any sea salt you like, the Himalayan salt is easily found in your spice aisle at Walmart.

 

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About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a a tech lovin’, video game playin’, backyard chicken raisin’, dirt road livin’, pr friendly blogger who writes about life with her hubby, teen daughter, college-age son and granddaughter. Subscribe to A Hen's Nest for giveaways, delicious family recipes, reviews and more!

Comments

  1. 1

    Yum! We love using shredded chicken to make chicken salad & quesidillas. Chicken is the one meat in our house that everyone eats.

    Robin (Masshole Mommy) recently posted…Filming a “Does it Work” Segment for New England Cable NewsMy Profile

  2. 3

    Your chicken looks amazing! I always cook chicken up on Sunday’s but it never looks this good. I love the looks of that grilled chicken sandwich, yum!
    Nichol recently posted…Cleaning My Home with Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle #MrCleanMorePowerMy Profile

    • 4

      Thank you, Nichol! I had been buying those bags of precooked frozen chicken — and spending way too much on them, when I thought — why the heck am I not cooking this chicken myself! This tastes so much better and I’m sure it is better for us as well!

  3. 5

    I have to admit when I first saw the picture I thought that would be just one meal. Thank you for telling us all the variations. That helps me stretch my meals and my dollars :).
    Katy recently posted…Ragú® #NewTraDish Sausage & Peppers HoggieMy Profile

    • 6

      For larger families or appetites, this amount may work for one meal, but our family eats about half a breast or 8oz of chicken per person, so it really stretches it out for us! I’m glad you like it!

  4. 7

    That chicken looks delicious, and so moist! Yum!

    Jennifer recently posted…I’m Going to #SeasTheDay with Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas!My Profile

    • 8

      Thanks! I was so surprised by how moist it turned out when I made it for the first time. I was just trying to throw something together with minimal effort and happened upon the perfect combination for our tastes!

  5. 9

    That’s pretty darn smart and I bet it saves a lot of money (and perservatives) too!! I like the Balsamic Chicken Pasta idea. I’ve got a house full of pasta nuts!

  6. 10

    Chicken is my favorite product. It is very tasty and can be cooked together with different products. I guess that this chicken should be really tasty and really juicy thanks to the marinade. I guess that this dish can be cooked really fast.

    Maria G. recently posted…How to cook roast snakeMy Profile

  7. 11

    MMM yum! My whole family will like the sandwich. Thanks for sharing this great idea! :)

  8. 12

    This looks and sounds amazing!

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