3 Chicken Nugget Hacks = 3 Awesome Dinners
Sponsored by Meal Mart
Let’s face it, you don’t have to be a kid to love chicken nuggets. As an adult, you’ll truly appreciate these family-friendly, flavorful, shortcut dinner ideas. This is chicken nuggets like you’ve never imagined!
All three of these dishes were created with just ONE bag of Meal Mart chicken nuggets with plenty of extra nuggets to go around. Prepare whatever quantity works for your family. The chicken and the sauces and dressings store well tightly covered in the refrigerator, so you can keep them on hand for a quick, easy dinner any night!
1. Fakeout Takeout Chinese Chicken:
A family-friendly meal that appeals to even the pickiest of eaters. This meal takes only minutes to put together and can even pass for takeout! For those who don’t want their chicken in sauce it can simply be used as a dipping sauce. (Click here for the recipe page.)
- 1 tbsp neutral oil ( peanut, grape, avocado or canola)
- 3 cubes frozen garlic or 3 cloves minced
- 3 cubes frozen ginger or 1 tbsp fresh minced
- 1/4 c honey
- 1/2 c reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 c water
- 1-2 tsp sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- Green onion slices
- White rice
- Veggies of choice
- In a small saucepan over a medium flame, heat 1 tbsp neutral oil and add 3 cloves each of Gefen brand frozen garlic and ginger cubes. Sauté until fragrant.
- Combine honey, reduced sodium soy sauce, and brown sugar. Add to garlic and ginger. Mix well and bring to a light boil.
- Meanwhile make a slurry (thickener) by combining (cold) water and 2 tbsp corn starch. Shake in a jar or whisk well.
- When the mixture comes to a boil, add your slurry and again whisk well to remove any lumps. Your sauce will begin to thicken. Add sesame oil. If your sauce it too thick, you can add extra water.
- Coat chicken in sauce and serve over white rice and or steamed vegetables sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with sliced green onions.
Time saving Tip:
Microwaveable frozen rice bags are a must have in my freezer at all times.
2. Mexican Spiced Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing:
My family couldn’t get enough! Because everything is prepared separately, my kids created their own chicken taco dinners. They loved picking and choosing the fillings (and I let them drizzle on some taco sauce as well.) Click here for the recipe page.
- Greens of your choice (I used romaine)
- 1/2 bag frozen yellow corn or fresh corn from 3-4 ears of corn.
- 1 green zucchini sliced in half moons (slice squash in rounds and then halve)
- 1 yellow squash sliced in half moons
- 2 colored peppers of your choice ; seeded, cored and diced.
- 1 can black beans ; drained and rinsed.
*Optional add ins:
- Caramelized onions, crispy or caramelized onions, french fried jalapeño peppers, sliced avocado, tortilla chips.
Spice Mixture (Keep this easy Mexican spice mix on hands to season chicken, ground beef, and/or veggies):
- 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 and 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/2 c cilantro leaves; washed, checked, and dried.
- 1 frozen garlic cube
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Water to thin the dressing
- Preheat oven to 450°F, line a metal baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine corn, peppers, and zucchini with 1 tbsp olive oil, and bake 10-15 minutes until softened and turning golden.
- Turn on the broiler and broil until veggies begin to char lightly. You can also just sauté everything in a pan on your stovetop or use leftover grilled veggies if you happen to have.
- Once vegetables comes out, cool slightly, and mix with beans.
- Meanwhile combine the spice mixture ingredients.
- Add black beans to veggies, and sprinkle with seasoning amount of your choice. You can keep this mixture in the fridge until you’re ready to put your salad together.
- Place dressing ingredients (except water) in the bowl of a food processor or blender, and blend until combined. Add water 1 tbsp at a time to thin to desired consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Start with greens, veggies, and any other desired vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers etc). Slice chicken nuggets into strips. Sprinkle with Mexican seasoning (optional) and drizzle dressing over top.
3. Buffalo Chicken Open Face Tortilla/Wraps:
You can prepare this dish a multitude of ways, the buffalo sauce is optional for those who don’t like spice but the dressing is a winner!! You can also serve this dish as a buffalo chicken salad. Just add your favorite greens, veggies and a hard boiled egg (optional). (Click here for the recipe page.)
- Store bought or homemade buffalo chicken sauce( recipe below)
- cubed nuggets
- 1 package of your favorite flour tortilla
- Mixed baby greens or greens of choice
- crumbled facon (optional)
- 1/4 c hot sauce (Frank's red hot)
- 2 Tbsp earth balance margarine
- 1/2 Tbsp. Coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing:
- 6 Tbsp raw and unsalted cashews, soaked in boiling hot water at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Half a package of firm tofu (reserve a 1/4 to crumble in the dressing at the end)
- 2 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 c cider vinegar
- 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 c tahini
- 1.5 tsp maple syrup, honey or sweetener of your choice
- Water to thin
- Blend everything except water and reserved tofu in blender or processor.
- Thin with water and adjust to taste. Dressing should be slightly tangy, reminiscent of blue cheese.
- To serve, mix dressing with spicy buffalo sauce or spoon dressing directly over chicken and drizzle with buffalo sauce. Mixing the 2 definitely tones down the spiciness of the buffalo sauce.
That's it! One bag of chicken nuggets, endless possibilities!
Photo Credits: Paul Primeau Photography