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Meal Planning for Family: 3 Chicken Recipes for Busy Moms

It was the first faculty meeting of the year when my teacher bestie proclaimed “I don’t mind making dinner and I’ll even clean up the mess if someone will just tell me what to make for dinner please.” It was then that it occurred to me that maybe figuring out WHAT to make was an essential task I’ve taken for granted. Here are three ways to make chicken with the shopping lists to help.

I prefer to buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs but each of these will work with boneless skinless chicken breasts as well. Although buying the boneless and skinless is a bit more costly, the time-saving measure it creates is worth its weight in gold. Here’s the straightforward skinny without a long story about how I first discovered chicken or how my life as a child was changed by a chicken…hope this helps make meal planning easier for you!

Shopping list:

  • Boneless Skinless chicken thighs
  • Bacon
  • Colby Jack Cheese (block or shredded)
  • Butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Minced Garlic

Week 1: Chicken Bacon Ranch

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay your bacon out on a flat layer on the baking sheet. Consider twisting the bacon to fit the entire package on a single baking sheet. Bake the bacon at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until desired crispness.
  2. While bacon bakes or browns, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of EVOO and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to your melted butter and allow to warm on medium heat. 
  4. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and brown in the skillet.
  5. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked (temp of 165 degrees F or absent of all pink.) place bacon over the chicken and then top with Colby jack cheese. 
  6. Cover for approximately 5-10 minutes until cheese melts.
  7. Drizzle with a bit of ranch dressing


Serve with Birdseye-loaded cauliflower bites for a meal everyone will love!

Week 2 - {Low Carb/Keto} Breaded Chicken

Shopping list:

Boneless skinless chicken thighs

Pork Rind Panko Breadcrumbs (Keto/gluten-free version) or Panko Breadcrumbs

2 eggs

Spices: garlic powder, onion salt, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire sauce

Cooking instructions:

  1. In a shallow dish, crack 2 eggs and whisk to break the yolks; season with all spices listed above
  2. In another shallow dish, pour out 2 C pork rind panko or breadcrumbs and season with all spices above except Worcestershire sauce
  3. Dredge chicken through the egg and then coat with the panko mixture
  4. If time permits, chill the breaded chicken in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to help keep breading from falling off 
  5. Lay your breaded chicken in a single layer and air fry on 390 degrees for 20 minutes. Temp with a meat thermometer and be sure the chicken has reached 165 degrees.


Serve with Ken’s Steakhouse Honey Mustard or Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and Birdseye Mashed Cauliflower

Step it up with this creamy cheese sauce

Shopping list:

  • Heavy Cream
  • Butter
  • Asiago cheese (shredded)
  • Cooper Sharp or American Cheese (shredded)

Cooking instructions:

  1. In a double boiler, melt 2 tablespoons of butter
  2. Combine 2 C heavy cream and allow to simmer; stir and watch constantly
  3. When the heavy cream has warmed, add 1 C asiago cheese and 1 C Cooper Sharp American Cheese/American Cheese
  4. Allow cheese to melt thoroughly and serve on your breaded chicken – ALWAYS a fan favorite in our house (my step dad’s FAVORITE meal:-)

Week 3 - Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Shopping list:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Lettuce
  • Marie’s Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Texas Pete’s Hot/ Buffalo Sauce
  • Butter
  • Mission Carb Balance Soft Flour Tortillas

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cut boneless, skinless chicken thighs into ½ strips before cooking OR if you have an aversion to raw chicken (many do) then you can shred the chicken after cooking as well.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet
  3. Place chicken in skillet and season with salt and pepper
  4. Allow the chicken to cook for about 5-10 minutes until most of the pink is cooked off
  5. Add ⅓ C of Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce and allow to cook down as chicken finishes (temp at 165 degrees F.)
  6. While chicken finishes, shred lettuce and warm your tortillas in the microwave or oven (10 seconds on high tend to take the chill off nicely.)
  7. Add the desired amount of lettuce and chicken to your wrap and top with a drizzle of Marie’s Creamy Blue Cheese dressing


Serve with a side of berries for sweet treat to temper the spicy kick!


Meal planning has become much easier for me when I focus on the protein first. Each week I tend to buy boneless, skinless chicken, pork in one form or another, ground beef, and fish. By having my protein set, I can swap out each of these recipes to keep my family fed and keep some variety each week. Hope you find these quick recipes helpful. Come on back for more recipes for pork, beef, and fish.

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Hey Moms...

I see you…

I hope I can share some tips, tricks, and highlights to make your life a bit easier as I make my way through being “Mom!”

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