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!

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. 

Chicken Chorizo Paella Sheet Pan Dinner

chicken and vegetables over rice
Paella sheet pan dinner served over rice.

One of my favorite Paella recipes is from Curtis Stone’s book, What’s for Dinner. (See his recipe here.) I started making it when my parents brought me a box of Paella spice mix from Mexico. I loved the flavors of paella, but I didn’t love the gooey rice texture that always seemed to occur when I made it.

After travelling to Spain and trying authentic Paella, I realized that I was actually preparing it correctly (which made me feel super good about myself) but still, wasn’t sold on the rice texture.

I’ll admit, I’m a little late to this sheet pan dinner game, however, now that I’ve made a few, I’m not turning back! They are too easy and low-maintenance to not include them in my weekly menu.

Now, I don’t even know if Paella spice mix is even a thing here. I’ve never shopped for it because my parents always bring me some from their travels. The ingredients listed are saffron, paprika, cayenne and salt. Pretty doable if you don’t have a pre-made mix. The spice blend itself is not terribly spicy, so I’d go light on the cayenne. (I’m going to mix myself up a batch, once I run out of these packages.) The heat in the dish actually comes from the chorizo. I also added garlic and onion powders because I basically add those to every recipe I make. You could also use fresh garlic, of course.

Paella spice mix

My favorite part about sheet pan dinners is that you don’t have to measure anything. Chop is up, toss it on a tray and that’s it! When writing the recipe out, I provided a close estimate of what I used, but if you add more or less of something, nobody will notice!

I used Minute Rice because it reminds me of my childhood and I love that the end result is dry, separated grains. I know that instant rice is not for everyone, but guess what, you can use whatever kind of rice you like! If you want it to be similar to traditional Paella, I’d use an arborio rice, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter.

I cooked the rice in Simple Slow Cooker Vegetable broth with two teaspoons of chicken bouillon concentrate to get that broth flavor that you’d get in a traditional Paella. I also added a healthy amount of chopped fresh parsley once the rice was cooked.

TIP: I never buy chicken broth! I make my own veggie broth in the slow cooker, basically for free, and then I add chicken or beef bouillon concentrate if I want to have beef or chicken broth. Super cost-effective!

The juiciness of the tomatoes, combined with the spicy chorizo and warm paella flavors makes for a great combo and the simplicity of the recipe itself, makes it that much better!

Chicken Chorizo Paella Sheet Pan Dinner

All the delicious flavors of paella, minus the effort. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword chicken, chorizo, paella, sheet pan dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts (boneless skinless)
  • 2+ tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 pkg. Paella spice mix
  • 2 cups chorizo sliced
  • 1 450g pkg. mushrooms halved
  • 2 red/yellow/orange bell peppers cut in strips
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes whole
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 lemon cut in 8
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups Minute rice
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Slice chicken breasts into 4-5 pieces each and place in a resealable bag. 

  2. Add olive oil and one package Paella spice mix to the bag. Seal the bag, and move around until chicken is coated. 

  3. Halve mushrooms, slice chorizo, peppers and lemons.  Add to a large bowl with whole tomatoes.  Chop parsley and set aside. 

  4. Drizzle with olive oil, then add the second package of paella spice mix, along with the garlic and onion powders. 

  5. Spread out on two rimmed baking sheets.  Divide chicken among both baking sheets, 

  6. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.  

  7. In the meantime, bring two cups chicken broth to a boil and cook Minute Rice according to package directions. 

  8. At 25 minutes, add frozen peas to the sheet pans and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. 

  9. Squeeze lemons from the tray over the chicken. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with a generous amount of fresh parsley. 

Recipe Notes

Paella spice mix is a combination of saffron, paprika and cayenne, but is surprisingly mild.