170 healthy chicken recipes for your family meal plan
Family Meal Planning, Parenting, Recipes

170+ Family and Budget Friendly Chicken Recipes

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As a stay at home mom saving money is so important to me. I see saving money as money that I earn, and I find that I try to challenge myself each week to save more. What can I say I love a competition even if it is with myself.

Meals are a great way to save money! And I want to share with all of you some amazing family and budget friendly chicken recipes to add to your meal plan.

I will sort the recipes so you can easily do batch cooking and making dinner meals quick, cheap, and easy. Not to mention add a ton of different recipes to your meal plan list. Variety is great so you and your family don’t get bored and start eating out.

This post contains affiliate links which means with your purchase I receive a small commission at no cost to you. 

170+ Family and Budget Friendly Chicken Recipes

I don’t know about you, but I love to cook! I also love to have my girls help in the kitchen and see how we make the food we eat. I found this to be so helpful in getting them to try new things.

Related Post: The importance of cooking with your toddlers

Why chicken? It is the cheapest meat and easy to cook in 100’s of ways. Not to mention it is a great lean protein. It can also be very bland and an easy protein source to get your toddlers to eat and if you have picky kids it can be hard to get protein in their diet.

What kind of recipes are in this post

  • methods for cooking whole chicken
  • recipes using pre-cooked chicken
  • crockpot chicken recipes
  • instant pot chicken recipes
  • baked chicken recipes
  • one pot chicken meals
  • air fryer chicken recipes
  • stove top chicken recipes
  • grilled chicken recipes

And in this post you can find chicken freezer meals and freezer friendly chicken marinades. 

Batch cooking whole chicken

As a stay at home mom with two kids under 3 and another one the way batch cooking is a life and time saver. And I’ll be honest anything that saves me time is a win in my book! When you batch cook a whole chicken it means you cook the whole chicken without using the whole chicken in one meal.

Batch cooking a whole chicken saves you so much time and money. Chicken breast are usually $1.89 a pound here but a whole chicken is $.95! Sure you have to deal with the bones and cooking the whole chicken, but you can freeze the bones and make bone broth when you have a few carcasses.

So you may be wondering how do you batch cook a whole chicken? Lucky for you their are many methods to cook a whole chicken and it can work for everyone no matter what tools you have in your kitchen.

How to cook a whole chicken

Okay, so you have 5 or so pounds of chicken cooked now what do you do? Some times we just eat plain chicken or I pack plain chicken in Luke’s work lunch as an easy meal. But as I promised I have more meal ideas for you to make this whole cooking thing easy!

Favorite Recipes to use cooked chicken

When you take the extra time to batch cook chicken you are left with cooked chicken just ready to eat. But if you are new to batch cooking you may be wondering what to make with that cooked chicken.

Don’t worry I got you covered!

I also love to make chicken salad. From simple mayo, chicken and seasonings to a more filling meal with corn, black beans, lime, and cilantro. You can than put it on bread, tortillas, crackers, or just eat it!

Crock Pot Chicken Recipes

If you don’t have a crock pot you need to get one! They are so easy to use and you can make anything from roast to soup in it! Maybe you have one and you don’t use it, but that should change! It can be so easy to just throw food in the crock pot and let it cook for the day while you continue on your way or head to work.

The slow cooker can be perfect for when you know you will be gone all day and home late. You may not have time to make something tasty when you get home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat some healthy tasty chicken recipes.

Not only is it better, but you save money by not eating out because you need a last minute meal and you didn’t plan it.

Be sure to check out these chicken freezer meals to make using your crock pot even easier! Or for stocking up on meat when it is on sale and making dinner easy and faster!

20 crock pot chicken recipes perfect for weeknight family dinner. Slow cookers can be such a sanity saver for busy moms. #recipes

Chicken Instant Pot Recipes

When the Instant pot first became popular I was a skeptic and thought how much time could it really save? I mean I can just dump everything in to my crock pot and leave it for the day, right!

Yes of course I can and I still do but my sweet grandma got me an Instant pot for my birthday and I am in love.


Well you start with frozen chicken, or lets say you didn’t plan dinner and have to throw something together quick instant pot for the win. Throw everything in give it 40 minutes to get up to pressure, cook, and natural release and you have a healthy yummy recipe.

Another sell for me was the use of water. We don’t drink our water, which means we buy our water and using less water to cook just gives me relief.

Ok, on to some yummy chicken instant pot recipes!

Baked Chicken Recipes

One Pan Chicken Meal Recipes

One pan chicken recipes are great because they are easy and create a small mess. Less dishes after dinner is a huge win for any busy mom am I right?

Dishes are never ending and if you are anything like me and your house is a mess you will fall in love with these chicken recipes.

Oven baked one pan chicken recipes

These oven baked chicken recipes are sheet pan or casserole dishes that you can throw together and toss in the oven! You can even line your sheet pan to make clean up easier or use my favorite stoneware that makes for easy clean up.

Stove top one pot chicken recipes

Need an easy weeknight meal that won’t heat up the house or leaving you with a ton of dishes? Check out these 16 stove top one pot chicken recipes!

Cast iron skillets are a must have for easy one pot meals and easy clean up. Please don’t be scared to use one! They are easy to use and if cared for properly will last generations! Not to mention you can go from stove top to oven with out any worries!

Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

I don’t own an air fryer but we don’t eat much fried food, but these chicken air fryer recipes sound incredible. I’d love to hear your opinion if you own an air fryer in the comments below.


Stove Top Chicken Recipes

20 stove top chicken recipes that are still easy but require more than one skillet to make. Some are as simple as just cooking noodles and everything else is made in a single skillet. Or the recipe is only for chicken and you need to determine a side dish.

Related post: Side dish- Pea salad

Grilled Chicken Recipes

I love grilled everything so much so we grill when there is snow on the ground.

Gas or charcoal?

We use charcoal it just taste so much better. Sure you have to wait for it to get hot but that just gives you time to prepare everything.

Why you should start meal planning?

Meal planning not only takes the work out of trying to figure out what you want to eat each night but it saves you money. You can easily plan your meals for batch cooking to not only save money but also time. What do I mean?

Lets say on Monday you make chicken and serve it with brown rice and veggies. Instead of making a cup of rice you can double it up and save half of it for lets say Wednesday. Then on Wednesday you can make some chicken stir fry and you already have the rice made!

You can do the same with pasta, potatoes, homemade sauces (which last a week or two in the fridge), and of course batch cooking your protein.

Not only do you have some amazing week night meals, but you saved yourself so much time.

Meal planning does not have to be hard, you can always do a taco Tuesday or pizza Friday and then add in a new recipe a week and have a list of family favorites to add in. Don’t forget to have a left over or cold dinner night to give yourself a break and keep your passion burning.

Let the kids help choose a side or their favorite meal, because it is important to help them feel included and if you have a picky toddler keep them eating.

Over 170 easy chicken recipes perfect for your meal plan and for every cooking method. Perfect batch cooking and save some time as a busy mom with this list of budget friendly chicken recipes

Please share with me your favorite recipe

I’d love to hear what recipe you tried and your family loved! I am slowly making my way through the list to try them all out and add some to our meal plan!


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  1. What a great roundup! Thank you for including my grilled chicken and artichoke pesto! Pinned! Hugs, Holly

  2. Fantastic round up of chicken recipes. Love the variety of ways and ideas to prepare chicken. Thanks for including me. I am very honored to be included with all these great cooks.

    1. becomingschultz says:

      Thank you it took some work, but I love it!

  3. Wow, what an awesome and comprehensive collection of chicken recipes! Pinning for future use:-) Thanks for linking to my recipe:-)

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