If you spend time meal prepping, you deserve to get the maximum reward for the effort you put in. This is just one reason why chicken is a mainstay in my meal prep routine, and why it should have a place in yours, too. This mild-mannered meat is hugely versatile, both in the way you cook it (take your pick of the stove, oven, slow cooker, or Instant Pot), and in all the ways you can turn it into meals during the week.
To get the most bang for your buck, these are the chicken recipes to reach for when meal prepping.
Whether you prefer firm but juicy chicken for cubing, or tender shredded chicken, your Instant Pot not only tackles the task in record time, but you can also start with frozen chicken.
The trickiest part about roasting a chicken is carving out the time during the week. Slot it into your meal prep session, and while it roasts in the oven you can tackle everything else on your list.
While this method doesn't yield the same crispy skin as oven-roasted chicken, it does reward you with super-tender, juicy meat. Turn it into dinners or pack it for lunch.
Grilled chicken breast is a versatile staple that can be turned into so many different meals. Soak the chicken pieces in a citrus and garlic yogurt marinade and you'll have meat that's more tender and flavorful.
Poaching is one of my go-to meal prep methods because of its ease and versatility. Add aromatics, herbs stems, or citrus peels to the water for extra flavor. And after cooking, slice or shred the chicken to be used for salads, sandwiches, bowls, tacos, casseroles, and more.
This method gives you the same result as poaching chicken on the stovetop, but comes in handy when you need something a little more hands-off.
Get this recipe going as soon as you start your meal prep session, and about 90 minutes later you'll have saucy shredded chicken for tacos, burritos, bowls, quesadillas, and wraps.
This recipe starts with a simple homemade pesto, but you can use your favorite store-bought stuff to save some time. Adding this herb-kissed chicken to your meal prep session means starting the week with the making for pesto chicken rice bowls, sandwiches, salads, and pizza.
This has become one of my favorite big-batch meal prep recipes. It works with breasts, boneless thighs, or a combination of the two, and leaves you with extras to stash in the freezer. Eat it paired with your favorite sides, layered on a pillowy roll, stuffed in a taco, mixed into a casserole, or topped on pizza.
Don't forget ground chicken! Just like your favorite classic meatballs, this leaner version has a crisp brown exterior and tender interior with plenty of herbs and garlic, plus a super-juicy bite.