One of my most helpful time saving routines is to marinade or pre-season chicken breasts and freeze them. I have a few favorite freezer friendly chicken marinades that are easy to assemble and really infuse flavor into chicken breasts.
When I get home from Costco, I open all of my chicken breast packages and drain them into a bowl. One by one, I butterfly them in half through the center all the way through. This makes very thin chicken cutlets.
After the chicken breasts are prepped, I mix up the marinades and portion them in Food Saver bags. Some pouches will get 4 cutlets and some will get 6 depending on my meal plan for the week. To vacuum seal a Food Saver bag with liquid, I use the pulse feature to slowly pull out the air without making a mess of the marinade. You can watch my step-by-step video to see how it's done.
I do also like to use a few dry rubs or seasonings. Penzeys have some great mixes! I really like their Bavarian and Tuscan Sunset blends. This time I used their BBQ rub. One other pouch of chicken got salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder in case I need a simple seasoning to go into a pasta or sandwich. All of my chicken pouches get some oil, even the dry rubs. Since there is basically no fat in a boneless-skinless chicken breast, you need the moisture.
Why I love freezer friendly chicken marinades
When chicken breasts are cut thin, they absorb whatever marinade or seasoning all the way through. I also like how quickly they cook on the grill or skillet. These cutlets cooked on a the grill at 400F in 10 minutes total. So by organizing these freezer bags on a day when I have shopped at Costco, I have 5 weeknight dinners that I can make in 30 minutes. And that's a real 30 minutes. Not a pretend 30 minutes for a magician that takes normal people and hour to pull off.
Tequila Chili Lime Marinade
- 2 tbsp tequila
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ cup veg oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Measure all marinade ingredients and combine in a bowl.
- Prepare boneless skinless chicken breasts by cutting through the center into thin cutlets.
- Pour marinade over chicken breasts and marinade for 2-4 hours. Or pour into a freezer bag with chicken and freeze for future use.
- When you're ready to cook the chicken, grill on high for 5-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165F on a meat thermometer.
- Serve with rice and veggies.
I especially like this chicken with my saffron and roasted pepper rice, but it is also very good for fajitas. If I'm in a hurry, a side dish of black beans and avocado is also delish.
Herb and Lemon Marinade
- ¼ cup veg oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Measure and combine all ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup.
- Cut boneless skinless chicken breasts through the center to make thin cutlets.
- Marinade chicken in a bowl and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Or save marinated chicken in freezer safe bags in the freezer for future use.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken, grill on high for 5-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reads 165F on a meat thermometer.
- Serve grilled chicken with parmesan butter noddles and asparagus or over a crisp salad with Italian dressing and garlic bread.
This chicken can go with roasted herby potatoes (the air fryer is super quick for that). Or on a big salad with a vinaigrette. It's also perfect for a quick pasta with butter and parmesan.
Garlic Teriyaki Marinade
- ¼ cup gluten free low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp ginger
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- Measure and combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Add thin chicken breast cutlets. Marinade in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or save marinading chicken in a freezer safe bag until you are ready to use.
- When you are ready to cook, grill chicken breast cutlets on high for 5-6 minutes per side. Pull chicken off of the grill when the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165F.
- Serve with steamed rice, broccoli, and your favorite bottled teriyaki sauce.
This meal is so good. I serve the teriyaki chicken with steamed rice and throw a sheet pan of veggies in the oven for a complete meal. I like roasted mushrooms, but they have to play on their own side of the pan. Dan doesn't like mushrooms in the house, let alone near his food, haha!