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5 Great Uses for Grilled Chicken

Posted on June 13, 2014

When it comes to summertime cooking, less is more. Or should I say more is better? Well, what I really mean is that when you happen to be in front of your oven, stove or (preferably) your grill if you cook more than one night’s worth of your main ingredient, the easier it will be to prepare subsequent meals later that week.

When I’m cooking on the grill, I use every square inch in preparation for a couple of meals to come. And why not? Totally versatile and family friendly, having extra grilled chicken breast makes simple weeknight meals a snap. Here are five of my favorite grilled chicken ideas to get you through the warmest workweek nights.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad: Slice up grilled chicken and combine with chopped romaine, Caesar dressing and grated Parmesan cheese. Add a little flair by grilling sliced sourdough baguette slices, rubbed with olive oil and garlic, until lightly charred and crisp. Dice into croutons and toss with salad just before serving.

Quick Chicken Chile Quesadillas: Dice Grilled chicken and layer between two large flour tortillas with refried beans, canned diced Hatch chilies, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and chopped green onions. Heat on a lightly greased griddle (or grill) over medium until cheese is melted, then flip and cook on remaining side until crisp and brown.

Cherry Tomato Chicken Orzo: Avoid a long wait in the kitchen and cook a quick batch of Orzo pasta in less than 10 minutes. While orzo is cooking, cut cherry tomatoes in half and marinate with olive oil, garlic, chopped basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Once it’s fully cooked, drain the orzo, then mix with cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, crumbled feta cheese and chopped green olives. Season with salt and red pepper flakes and finish with more olive oil if you’d like.

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Pizza: Roll out your favorite prepared pizza dough and toss onto a pizza stone or onto a baking sheet. Top with pesto, shredded mozzarella cheese, roasted red bell peppers and chopped grilled chicken. Bake in a hot oven (450-500ºF) or better yet, toss onto your grill if it’s big enough. In about 10-12 minutes it should be bubbling, golden and crisp.

Chopped Chicken and Veggie Salad: Pull grilled chicken breast apart into bite-sized pieces. Chop celery, red bell peppers, cucumbers and carrots into thin strips. Toss together with chicken in your favorite ranch-style dressing adding some crunchy bacon bits and crushed toasted walnuts on top. Serve with toasted pita wedges.