Despite how often we talk about meal planning as a strategy for stress-free weeknight dinners, we don't want that to overshadow the smaller strategies that really make that happen in our kitchens. For instance, in order to really benefit from roasting a whole chicken on Sunday for meals throughout the week, you've got to still have a plan to make it worth your while.
This week I have an abundance of whole chickens for reasons that only make sense if recipe testing is part of your work life. But you can follow this same meal plan, either grabbing a two-pack of Costco chickens (if you're feeding two adults, plus two kids as I am) or grab a single rotisserie if you're meal planning for one. Here's how to turn a roast chicken into dinner for the week.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
I believe meal planning is the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
- Welcome to Meal Plan Club: The Answer to Stress-Free Weeknight Dinners
- The Beginner's Guide to Meal Planning: What to Know, How to Succeed, and What to Skip
- The Best Way to Use a Weekend for Meal Planning Success
Read more meal plans here: Next Week's Meal Plan
Monday night I'm roasting not one but two whole chickens. The first will be this Dutch oven beauty that will serve as dinner; the second is just a classic roasted chicken for dinner Tuesday through Friday. Here I'm making the most of having my oven heated to make the rest of the week faster and easier.
After dinner, I'll carve the two chickens, chopping up the meat for the rest of the week and bagging the bones for making stock later in the week.
Tuesday: White Chicken Chili Skillet Dip
Have you tried dip for dinner? This revolutionary concept delights my children to no end and is a super-casual way for us to all eat dinner before we have to jet off to a PTA meeting at our elementary school.
Wednesday: Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Grab a jar of pesto and some pita pockets for this incredibly easy weeknight meal. The pesto will make pizza Friday even tastier too! You can make extra chicken salad for eating as lunch the rest of the week. Our leftovers will be tomorrow's school lunch.
Thursday: Greek Egg and Lemon Soup (Avgolemono)
What would a week of chicken dinners be without chicken soup? This is no ordinary chicken soup, though — it's a luxe, velvety soup that's incredibly thrifty from both a time and ingredient standpoint. I'm going to turn my chicken bones from Monday into stock using the slow cooker, but you can always use store-bought broth here.
Friday: French Bread Pesto Chicken Pizza
Three cheers for a shortcut pizza Friday! There is no pizza dough in my freezer this week and no time for making it either. Grab some demi-baguettes during grocery shopping and freeze them right away. (This helps keep them fresh, so don't forget the foil!) Come Friday morning, grab the bread from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature. That chicken you roasted on Monday and the pesto and tomatoes you used Wednesday will get used up in this delicious end to the week.