Wednesday, August 22, 2018

50+ Side Dishes For Easy Weeknight Chicken Dinners

I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #StuffedForDinner campaign, sponsored by Barber Foods. Although I have been compensated for my time & creative effort, all opinions are 100% my own.

Need an easy weeknight dinner when you're busy? (Who doesn't?) If you or your family love chicken, one of my favorite fuss-free solutions is to pop some frozen stuffed chicken breasts in the oven and fix two simple side dishes to make it a well-rounded meal with very little prep. Keep reading to learn more about my favorite stuffed chicken breasts + check out my round-up of quick & easy side dishes that pair well with all types of chicken entrees!

50+ Side Dishes For Easy Weeknight Chicken Dinners
What's your favorite thing to eat when you're super duper busy or stressed? I gravitate toward pizza delivery, potato chips, Chinese takeout (beef lo mein), and big ol' bottles of dry white wine. Priorities.

The past two months I've been on auto-pilot, mostly eating out or fixing dead simple dinners with leftovers (like creamy tomato basil soup). That's what happens when I go into uber stressed or anxious mode. Can you relate? My motivation to cook just shrinks away. 

It happened this time because my father suffered a stroke in late spring and then another one in mid-summer. (I wrote a little bit about it here on Instagram.) Thankfully,  my dad is home now and starting rehab again to get healthier & build back his strength (phew).

And I'm back home in Texas now, inching back to where I was at before this happened. When I was cooking and exercising on a regular basis, looking for stuff to decorate our new place, working ahead on blog tasks, planning projects & daydreaming about trips to the mountains & ocean. That kind of stuff.

Thankfully, I'm spending more time in the kitchen again, but I am still 100% in the market for convenient, quick-prep foods that help me get a tasty, non-takeout dinner on the table with little work.

Easy Weeknight Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sides

You know what fits all that criteria and makes my belly happier + life easier? 

These Barber Foods® Signature Recipe Stuffed Chicken Breasts.

Why are these particular frozen stuffed chicken breasts so awesome? Let me count the ways.
  • juicy (not dry & overcooked)
  • Barber Foods Signature Recipe Stuffed Chicken Breasts features chicken that is raised with no antibiotics ever
  • lots of protein (which makes them filling)
  • stuffed with all the cheese (Hello, comfort food)
  • the easiest prep ever (which is pretty much nothing, as you just pop 'em in the oven)
  • they come in different options (Broccoli & Cheese (pictured)Cordon BleuCrème Brie & Apple and Kiev) so picky eaters have choices.

And it just so happens that my better half's favorite food is chicken. He could eat it for every single meal. I'm being 100% serious. It's practically a food group to him. Well, fried chicken tenders, at least.

But, I can only fix him homemade chicken dishes for so long before I start craving pork, beef, and soup, and then he gets sick of all my favorite foods. It's a cycle. 

Luckily, I can satisfy his craving for a comforting chicken meal--with hardly any work--by fixing these stuffed chicken breasts! :D

Barber Foods Signature Recipe Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
And to keep things simple for an easy weeknight or weekend meal, all you have to do is pop these stuffed chicken breasts (seen above in wrapper) onto a sheet tray & into the oven. Then you have about 30-40 minutes to throw together a few simple sides and you'll have a well-rounded meal (for two or more) with minimal work. 

Bonus: You don't have to worry about prepping or babysitting the main dish so you have more time to focus on the other stuff. OR NOT. You can just sip on your drink of choice and zone out. No judgment.

My easy, fuss-free sides of choice are a leafy salad with homemade apple cider vinaigrette (only minutes of prep to chop the veggies and shake up the dressing) and either a roasted or sauteed vegetable that is quick cooking (so not root veggies). 

Good choices for quick cooking veggies would be broccoli, broccolini, green beans, snap peas, zucchini, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes (yes, technically a fruit). 

This time around I chose one of my favorites: asparagus

I often fix sautéed asparagus with garlic, butter & parmesan (linked below) but I wanted something even more hands-off (just let the oven do the work) so I tossed my asparagus with olive oil, sea salt + cracked black pepper and spread it on the sheet tray along with the Barber Foods stuffed chicken breast with only 20 minutes left to go before the chicken finished.

Barber Foods Signature Recipe Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Once I pulled the chicken breasts out of the oven, (cheese oozing and all) I sliced up a loaf of sourdough bread to slather with grass-fed butter and serve alongside the meat + veggies. Then brought out my salad + toppings in the same clamshell I bought the lettuce in (easy peasy & fewer dishes), grabbed the homemade vinaigrette, poured us each a glass of sparkling water and got ready to feast!

50+ Side Dishes For Easy Weeknight Chicken Dinners
This whole meal took probably 10 minutes to prep. Makes sitting in a drive-thru or driving 30 minutes round-trip for takeout seem kinda time-consuming in comparison, right? Which it is. Not to mention expensive on the pocketbook. 

For this particular meal, I opted for super quick/hands-off sides, but if you're feeling energetic or ambitious, you could switch things up and fix all kinds of sides that take 20-30 minutes instead. 

In fact, if you keep scrolling, I share 50+ ideas for simple sides that pair well with chicken down below. They're very pin-worthy, especially if you're in a side dishes rut. You're welcome. 

Easy Weeknight Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sides

Where to Find Barber Foods Signature Recipe Stuffed Chicken Breasts

By now I hope you're sitting there on your phone, tablet, or computer, feeling kinda hungry, half drooling and wishing screens were edible. I mean, I always am when I'm reading food blogs. You're probably wondering where you can find this chicken so you can bake some up for an easy dinner that everyone will love. 

I'll help you out. 

You can find Barber Foods® Signature Recipe Stuffed Chicken Breasts at your local Whole Foods Market in the freezers by the butcher -- near the frozen fish and raw meat. In fact, they'll be on sale for $5.99 a box from 9/12/18 through 9/18/18, so make sure to stop during that week to stock up for fall meals. 

So far, I've eaten the Broccoli & Cheese (the beau described it as "bomb"), but am jazzed to try the Cordon Bleu (classic), Crème Brie & Apple, and Kiev (perfect if you love butter) and others. 

Barber Foods Signature Recipe Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
As promised above, I've rounded up a list of 50+ side dishes that pair well with chicken entrees, most of which can be made in 10-30 minutes start to finish, while the chicken is baking in the oven. 

Pretty glorious, right? It' so easy to get in a rut when you're trying to figure out what to serve with the main dish, but I promise you'll find something good below. I'm getting hungry just looking at them. :)  

P.S. Even if you're making a chicken entree completely from scratch, keep this list handy for easy side dish ideas you can pair with chicken dishes all year long.

50+ Side Dishes For Easy Weeknight Chicken Dinners

50+ Side Dishes For Easy Weeknight Chicken Dinners

Saucepan & Stockpot Side Dishes

Skillet Side Dishes

50+ Side Dishes For Easy Weeknight Chicken Dinners

Oven-Roasted Side Dishes

(Bake These On The Same Sheet As The Chicken or On The Bottom Rack At The Same Time)

No-Cook Side Dishes

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barber Foods at Whole Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.

I'd like to hear from YOU! What are your favorite side dishes to serve with chicken dinners? Do you go for comfort food or healthy sides? Leave a comment below!

50+ Side Dishes For Easy Weeknight Chicken Dinners

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