“Cook Once, Make Two” Easy Chicken Meals

Enjoy Sheet Pan Chicken and Parmesan Roasted New Potatoes, plus other make-ahead meals
Sheet Pan Chicken Breasts and Broccolini, Red Onions and Parmesan Roasted New Potatoes with Parmesan Crust (top) and Chicken, Cauliflower, Spinach and Quinoa Bowls with Lemon-Tahini Sauce (bottom)


Help yourself out any night of the week or the weekend with an easy-to-make dinner and look ahead to having lunch or dinner ready to go another day. You’ll thank yourself for thinking ahead, and Twin Cities chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell for planning it out for you in these recipes she created for Real Food.

Chicken, veggies and the oven get together to make these two hearty meals. The first night, a platter of colorful broccolini, tomato and red onion serves as a bed for tangy marinated chicken pieces, and a side of crispy roasted potatoes coated in golden Parmesan completes the comforting meal. On the second day, you will pack a bowl with the remaining chicken over quinoa that will brighten up lunch hour or make dinner a breeze. We can all use a little help with meals as life is getting busy again.


Sheet Pan Chicken Breasts and Broccolini, Red Onions and Parmesan Roasted New Potatoes with Parmesan Crust

Makes 4 Servings
Makes 8 Cups Chicken and Veggies, 3½ Cups Shredded Chicken, 6 Cups Potatoes

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, divided
12 ounces broccolini
1 large red onion, sliced
1 large Roma tomato
½ cup chopped parsley

For the Potatoes
2 pounds new potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Prep for Meal Two: Chicken, Cauliflower, Spinach and Quinoa Bowls
1½ cups quinoa
2½ cups water

  1. For the Chicken: In a storage container large enough for all the chicken, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Cut the chicken breasts across the grain into 3-inch wide pieces. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large roasting pan, spread the vegetables. Drain the marinade from the chicken into the pan and toss with the vegetables. Place half of the chicken on top and put in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Place the potatoes on a second sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Spread evenly on the pan and roast along with the chicken for 15 minutes. After, take out, sprinkle with Parmesan, and roast for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and the potatoes are tender. Serve hot.
  4. When the chicken is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a large piece reads 160°F, scrape the chicken and veggies onto a platter and top with the parsley.
  5. Place the reserved half of the chicken on a small oiled baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until it reaches 160°F on an instant read thermometer and is cooked through. Then cool, shred and transfer to a storage tub and refrigerate, reserving for the quinoa bowls. It will keep 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  6. While the chicken is in the oven, cook the quinoa for the bowls. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot, then add the quinoa. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. When all the water is absorbed, remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then transfer to a storage tub to cool. When cool, cover and refrigerate.

Cook’s Note: You can make the Lemon-Tahini Sauce (see step 1 in recipe below) and refrigerate or make the next day.


Chicken, Cauliflower, Spinach and Quinoa Bowls with Lemon-Tahini Sauce

Makes 4 Servings

4 cups cooked quinoa (See Sheet Pan Chicken recipe above, step 6)
2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
2 cups cauliflower, raw
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3 cups cooked shredded chicken, reserved from Sheet Pan Chicken recipe

For the Lemon-Tahini Sauce
¼ cup tahini
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Make the Lemon-Tahini Sauce: In a cup or small storage container, stir the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. You can make the night before and refrigerate. This will keep for 1 week.
  2. In each (of 4) 3- to 4-cup storage containers, place 1 cup cooked quinoa, half of a tomato, ½ cup raw cauliflower and ½ cup spinach, then about ¾ cup shredded chicken. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons Lemon-Tahini Sauce, or pack sauce in a separate small container. Keep cold until time to eat.

Nutrition info (per serving):
• Chicken Breasts & Roasted Potatoes: Calories 496; Fat 16g (Sat. 5g); Chol 80mg; Sodium 637mg; Carb 50g; Fiber 7g; Added Sugars 0g; Protein 39g
• Chicken, Cauliflower, Spinach &Quinoa Bowls: Calories 609; Fat 28g (Sat. 4g); Chol 70mg; Sodium 536mg; Carb 52g; Fiber 9g; Added Sugars 0g; Protein 40g

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her school-age son, who used to eat beets and Indian food, will one day again think of real food as more than a means to a treat—and later share this with his younger brother.