Have you got a bag of frozen breaded chicken in the freezer? Here are 5 easy and creative ways to turn breaded chicken into dinner!
As we round the corner on our third month of social distancing, quick and easy meals are becoming more and more necessary. Some of you are still making Cottage Cheese Lasagna, and for that, I applaud you.
But if you’re in the “If I have to wash one more dish, I’ll cry” camp, this post is for you.
You guys, I’m a FOOD blogger. I cook FOR A LIVING. And even I’m getting sick of being in the kitchen.
This can only mean one thing. It’s time to Phone It In, friends.
No, I don’t mean calling for takeout. (Though we’ve certainly done some of that too).
What I mean by “Phoning It In” is using a pre-made ingredient as a short cut for an easy dinner. Maybe it’s a rotisserie chicken. Maybe it’s a bagged salad. Maybe it’s frozen meatballs.
Today, it’s frozen breaded chicken, and we’re going to make 5 fast and delicious recipes with it, so you can phone it in like a BOSS.
All of these recipes:
- Are quick and easy.
- Use limited ingredients (in most cases 5 or less!).
- Use common ingredients you’re likely to have on hand.
So, let’s get to it. Phone it in HARD, relax HARD. That’s what I just started saying.
Frozen Breaded Chicken: What Kind and Where to Buy?
Before we get started, a note about the chicken. You can find frozen breaded chicken breasts at almost any grocery store. We’ve tried a few, and we’re partial to the ones pictured below, which you can find at Aldi. This chicken has a bit of a cult following among Aldi shoppers and has earned the nickname “Aldi Red Bag Chicken” among its fans.
That said, almost any breaded chicken breast will work. Frozen breaded chicken tenders are also a great option for a few of the recipes, including the wraps, salad, and chicken and waffles.
How to Cook Frozen Breaded Chicken
Most packages of store bought frozen chicken breast provide instructions for baking right on the package. Baking the chicken works great, but will usually take 30-40 minutes with a flip halfway through.
Our preferred cooking method is in the air fryer! (More about why we love it so much in this Air Fryer Chicken Thighs post). Pre-cooked chicken only takes about 15 minutes in the air fryer and the crispiness really can’t be beat!
Spray the chicken with a little cooking spray, then air fry at 375 for 7 minutes. Flip the chicken over and air fry for another 7-8 minutes or until crisp and cooked through.
Now, on to the recipes!
Crispy Chicken Ranch Wraps
Who doesn’t love a good crispy chicken wrap for a quick lunch or dinner?
Cook the chicken, grab your favorite wrap, and then load it up with lettuce, tomato, and Ranch dressing.
Larger sized wraps work best for this so you can actually wrap it around all the fillings.
You can also add shredded cheese or switch up the sauce with Italian dressing or honey mustard. And of course, you could add bacon and turn these into a Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap. That decision is very much approved.
Short Cut Chicken and Waffles
With a couple of short cuts, you can make really great Chicken and Waffles at home in no time!
While you cook the frozen breaded chicken, whip up your favorite waffle mix OR make your own waffles from scratch. I’m partial to these Vanilla Bean Waffles, though I would omit the vanilla bean and lower the extract to 1/2 teaspoon for Chicken and Waffles.
Serve the airy, crispy waffles with the chicken on top and plenty of real maple syrup and hot sauce on the side.
Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad
One of my favorite fast food orders is Wendy’s Caesar Salad, though I always substitute the grilled chicken for their spicy breaded chicken.
Now, I can recreate the same salad at home in a FLASH. Seriously guys, this one is almost too easy to count.
Grab you favorite Caesar salad kit and top it with the cooked chicken. I always feel like the kits skimp on the Parmesan cheese, so it never hurts to add a few extra shavings on top if you’ve got ’em.
You can also get different salad kits to change up the flavors. Grab a basic salad blend and add tomatoes, an Air Fryer Hard Boiled Egg, and cheddar for a Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad. We also love turning That Good Salad or a classic Garden Salad into a full meal by adding a crispy chicken breast on top!
Copy Cat Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwiches
You know how the craving for Chick-fil-A always hits on Sundays? What is that, anyway?
Well, you no longer have to feel guilty for wishing Chick-fil-A would be open on the Sabbath, because these chicken sandwiches are a darn good substitute.
Perfectly crisp chicken + melty cheese + pickles + mayo + brioche bun = PERFECTION.
If you’re baking the chicken, add the cheese for the last 5 or so minutes so it gets nice and melty. In the air fryer, I add the cheese after it’s done cooking, but then slide the basket in and let the cheese melt in the residual heat for a few minutes.
The Mr. prefers dill pickles, but I’m partial to bread and butter. Aldi actually has AMAZING brioche buns for a great price. And if you really want the full experience, you can even make your own Chick-fil-A sauce and waffle fries.
Quick Chicken Parmesan
This Chicken Parmesan is the only recipe where I recommend baking the chicken instead of air frying.
You can put as many breaded chicken breasts as you want in a baking dish and bake according to the package directions.
When there’s about 10 minutes left, take the chicken out and spoon a few Tablespoons of marinara sauce on top followed by a slice of fresh mozzarella (or shredded mozzarella) and shredded Parmesan cheese. Put back in the oven until the cheese is nice and melty.
We like to serve this Quick Chicken Parmesan with cooked spaghetti, additional Parmesan, and a sprinkling of parsley.