Meal prep seems overwhelming to me when I think about how many different types of foods I like to eat during the week. I don’t want to make a pot full of lentils on Sunday just to get tired of eating them on Tuesday.
Have you guys found any successful strategies for making meal prep easy? My one solution to meal prep has been making a plain version of a protein that I can spice up in different ways during the week, saving me time while still letting me be creative with flavor. This Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken is my new best friend: I walk away from my slow cooker for the day and then come back to take 5 minutes to shred it before putting it in the fridge for the week.
I have also made some recommendations at the end of this post for how I like to flavor this chicken- whether you’re craving Mexican Tacos, an Asian Rice Bowl, or a BBQ Chicken Salad, this shredded chicken will work for you. As always, I love seeing when you guys recreate my recipes so email me or tag me in your photos!
- 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and turn on high. Make sure that the chicken breasts are fully covered by liquid - if not, add additional chicken stock (you can substitute water + bouillon here if you'd like).
- Cook the chicken for ~4 hours on high or ~8-10 hours on low until you can easily pull the chicken apart with 2 forks. Cook time may vary depending on the heat maintained by your slow cooker, and how thick your chicken is (I had 3 very large & thick chicken breasts).
- While the chicken is still warm, use one fork to hold the chicken breast and another fork to shred the meat, pulling at the skin in small sections.
- If you are not using all the chicken at once, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and add ½ cup of the liquid from the crockpot into the container so the chicken stays nice and moist. Dispose of the rest of the slow cooker liquid.
- See flavor variations below.
For BBQ Shredded Chicken: Mix 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce into each serving of chicken. Serve warm over salad.
For Asian Shredded Chicken: Mix 1 tablespoon soy sauce into each serving of chicken. Serve with white rice and sautéed veggies and top with sesame seeds or green onions.
For Mexican Shredded Chicken: Mix 1 tablespoon of chunky salsa into each serving of chicken. Serve in tacos with beans, corn, lettuce, and avocado.
What’s your favorite meal prep strategy? Are you a fan of slow cooker cooking?