How to prep chicken for quick meals featuring One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

It’s no secret that I make chicken ALL. THE. TIME. It is a protein that the whole family loves and no matter what cut you use, it’s versatile and easy to prepare. I use a few simple prep strategies that can help get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

Last year, I talked about how to cook, portion and shred chicken for quick meals. Today I’m showing you how to portion and prep a family pack of chicken breasts. 

We don’t realize how much time we spend taking out ingredients and doing dishes when we prep meals. 

Meal Prep Tip: To save time, it’s best to tackle as much prep as you can in one session. This is especially helpful when prepping on the weekend for busy weeknights. 

60-Second Meals

Manitobachicken.ca has some great 60-Second Meal Videos that show you step-by-step how to make each recipe.  This week I’m trying the One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki.  I prepped my chicken as soon as I brought it home from the store. 

Meal Prep Tip: Slice, portion and freeze boneless skinless chicken breasts as soon as you bring them home from the store.

I had a family pack of 11 chicken breasts.  I divided them and sliced them in three different ways:

  • Three chicken breasts, sliced in medium pieces for the One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki
  • Four chicken breasts, sliced in strips for Chicken Strips
  • Four chicken breasts, sliced thinly for a sheet pan or stir-fry (portioned in two bags)

That makes four meals that are ready to cook.

Meal Prep Tip: You can even go one step further and marinate the chicken before you freeze it.  Depending on your recipe, you can also marinate whole chicken breasts. 

Before you freeze the chicken, flatten the bags as much as you can.  They will stack neatly in your freezer and will also take less time to defrost. 

Food Safety Tip: The best way to defrost frozen chicken in overnight in the fridge. Never thaw chicken at room temperature on the counter, as it may promote bacteria growth.  Thawed chicken should be cooked within 48 hours.  

Check out the Storing Chicken section on manitobachicken.ca for a chart on safe thawing methods, as well as other food safety tips.

How to cook One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki

There are two ways that you can cook the One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki, depending on how much time you have. 

If you are pressed for time, cook it in the skillet, as directed in the 60 Second Meal Video.

If you are not pressed for time, but you have other tasks you want to do while you wait for it to be ready, you can bake it on a sheet pan at 425°F for 20-25 minutes.

Food Safety Tip: Always use a thermometer to check if your chicken is ready. Cooked chicken breast should read 165°F on a digital thermometer when inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat.

How to serve One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki

There are a variety of ways you can serve One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki.  I like to set out all the components and let everyone decide how they want to eat it.  Deconstructing is a great strategy to use for picky eaters or for people who have dietary restrictions.  Everyone can serve themselves the components they would like to have.  I talk more about deconstructing in this blog post.

Here are some of the components that you could put out on the table for serving:

  • Warmed naan, pitas or mini pitas
  • Chunky Greek Salad
  • Tzatziki
  • Hummus
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive tapenade
  • Tabouleh
  • Lemon roasted potatoes
  • Rice

My partner likes his as a wrap in naan with all the fixings. I like mine deconstructed, using the tzatziki and hummus as a dip for the chicken and the naan.  The kids will most likely just have chicken, naan, lettuce, and tomatoes, all separate and not touching on the plate! If we have leftovers to take for lunch, a great side is a tabouleh salad, made with bulgur, fresh herbs, lemon juice, olive oil and tomatoes, as this can be made and dressed ahead of time.

This meal is so versatile that you can try it over and over it again with different sides.   Head to manitobachicken.ca to check out the 60-second video, as well as more 60-second meal ideas!

Four seasonings to gift

There are three more days until Christmas, and since we can only head into stores for essential items, why not make a few spice blends that you can make from ingredients you most likely have in your pantry or can grab on a quick grocery run.

Jars & tags

You can make your blends and gift them in any type of packaging you’d like. I prefer mini 125 ml mason jars, because they are reusable and they also stack nicely if you want to gift a few different ones to the same person.

A cute handwritten tag with a list of ingredients and a few uses for the spice is also helpful for the recipient. Tie them on the jars with some jute, hemp or baker’s twine and you’re good to go!

Measuring out your blends

The first three blends are super easy to measure (equal parts of all ingredients) so I recommend using the amount of jars you want to make as a guideline. (I’ve included the exact measurements to make one jar.)

Everything Seasoning

You’ve seen it before. You’ve tried it before. The best thing about Everything Seasoning is that it literally goes on everything!

I love it on eggs, avocado toast, pizza pretzels and of course the traditional bagel. I typically like a salty Everything Seasoning but the salt affects the quality of the spice when mixed in, so I leave it out and just add salt whenever I use the seasoning. The recipe is equal parts of:

  • Dried minced onion
  • Dried minced garlic
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds

To make one 125 ml jar, you will need 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of each ingredient.

Dilly Italian Seasoning

This is a great one to use as a marinade for chicken or pork, as a salad dressing or mixed with butter to make an herby garlic cheese toast.

You need to make sure when you’re jarring this one, that you fill each jar one scoop at a time, alternating jars, as the dill tends to fall to the bottom of the bowl when you mix it. It’s also important to use the dried minced onion and garlic, as the powder equivalents fall to the bottom of the jar. Doing this ensures you have equal distribution of all the herbs. The recipe is equal parts of:

  • Dried minced onion
  • Dried minced garlic
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Dill

To make one 125 ml jar, you will need one tablespoon of each ingredient.

Simple Seasoning Salt

In our house, the kids refer to this as “Fry Spice”. This is a great basic seasoning to use on fries, hash browns, meat, fish, and a great multipurpose spice for a sheet pan meal. The recipe is equal parts of:

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika

To make one 125 ml jar, you will need one tablespoon of each ingredient.

Taco Seasoning

This taco seasoning requires some more precise measurements, to get the flavour just right. This blend tastes almost exactly like the store-bought version, minus the excess salt & preservatives. Three heaping tablespoons is approximately the same as one package of store-bought taco seasoning. This is a great cost-effective option if your family eats tacos as much as mine do. Blending this seasoning with some lime juice , white vinegar and olive oil, also makes a great dressing for a fiesta salad.

  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried chilies

I also gifted another seasoning for shawarma that is very flavourful. You can find the recipe on my Tried & True Pinterest Board.

Gift yourself

Even if you don’t have anyone to gift these to, why not make a few batches for yourself?

Perogy & Farmer Sausage Sheet Pan w/ Mushrooms

I’m always looking for low-maintenance weeknight meals, so that I can get them in the oven, and tend to other tasks, like prepping for the next day’s meal, making lunches, emptying the dishwasher or sitting down for a break at the end of a long day. This perogy sheet pan does just that.

Use ingredients from your freezer

This is a great back-up plan if your intended meal doesn’t come to fruition. Frozen perogies, smoked sausage and vegetables (fresh or frozen) are all tossed on one tray so that you can pop it in the oven and do something else while you wait for it to be ready. You can also try to find local perogies (especially here in Winnipeg) like these ones from Sevalas, which we love.

Choose your veggies

I used mushrooms when I made this, because that’s what I had, but you could use any combination of vegetables that you like or have on hand. Onions, peppers, cauliflower and brussels sprouts will all work well in this dish.

Butter is better

I usually use oil for most sheet pan recipes but for this one, you really have to go with butter. It adds so much flavor to the perogies and the mushrooms. You’re going to want to drizzle some butter over it once it’s cooked too.

One sheet pan or two?

Typically, I like to use two pans when making sheet pan meals so that the veggies can crisp up. If the ingredients are too crowded on one pan, they will steam and be soft. For this recipe, I like to stick to one pan, because the perogies tend to dry out. Make sure the perogies are the bottom layer, so they can soak up the moisture from the veggies and the sausage.

Feeling adventurous?

You can take this to the next level and add some fun condiments to this like Three Herb Pesto or Big Batch Freezer Friendly Chimichurri. This Everything Spice, would also add interesting texture and flavor to this dish. Make a side salad with this Poppy Seed Vinaigrette to complete this meal.

Perogy & Farmer Sausage Sheet Pan w/Mushrooms

A quick and easy weeknight meal using ingredients from your freezer.

Course Main Course
Keyword dill, farmer sausage, mushrooms, perogies, sheet pan, sheet pan dinner, sheet pan meal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Author SL

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen perogies
  • 530 g farmer sausage (two links)
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 425 F.

  2. Combine perogies & mushrooms in a large bowl.

  3. Melt butter and pour over perogies and mushrooms. Toss to coat.

  4. Sprinkle with dill, garlic powder, salt & pepper.

  5. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  6. Spread perogies and mushrooms evenly on the pan. Top with sliced farmer sausage.

  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

  8. Toss with another 1/4 cup melted butter before serving if desired.

Recipe Notes

Any vegetable can be used here. Some good options are: onions, bell peppers, cauliflower (fresh or frozen), broccoli, brussels sprouts. 

*If using brussels sprouts, cook them on a separate pan so they crisp up nicely.