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Playing Freezer Meal Prep: Chicken + Veggies With 3 Marinades

"I'm at the stage of my life with busy kid and work schedules that I need to be able to utilize my freezer to pull a quick meal out and have a nice healthy option for my family," says Kelsey Nixon (who also shows us how to unpack + organize your kitchen after a move). Her "best hack" for this is something she calls "freezer pack" meals. She meal preps quart-size resealable plastic bags with cut-up meat (here, she uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts) and veggies, adds a marinade and freezes the combo. To serve, she simply defrosts the pack, sautés or bakes the contents and pairs it with pasta, rice, tortillas, etc. So quick and easy! 

Note: If you only want to make one type of marinade, make three times as much and divide that among the three bags. 


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch-thick slices, divided
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, divided
  • 1 large zucchini or yellow squash, sliced
  • 3 bell peppers, cut into ½-inch-thick slices or strips
  • 1 red or yellow onion, halved and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • ½ cup of your favorite store-bought marinade or use one of the recipes below
For the Italian/Sauté Marinade (serve tossed with pasta):
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Teriyaki/Stir-Fry Marinade (serve tossed with noodles or over rice):
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon water
For the Mexican/Fajitas Marinade (serve chicken, peppers and onions wrapped in tortillas):
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


Serves: Yields 3 dinner packets, each serving 4


Divide chicken and veggies into 3 quart-size resealable plastic bags. (For the Mexican/Fajitas, use only the chicken, peppers and onions.) 

For each marinade, in a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients, then transfer each to one of the quart-size freezer bags, seal and shake to fully coat the chicken and veggies. Label and date the bags and freeze for up to 2 months. 

Before cooking, thaw a packet. (For the best results, thaw overnight in the fridge.) If cooking on the stove, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour the contents of 1 bag into skillet and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. If baking, preheat oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment. Pour the contents of 1 bag into the pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.