easy dinner recipes

Simple Italian Chicken, Green Beans and Potatoes

Nearly every week when I ask my family what they want for dinner, someone inevitably says Italian chicken, green beans and potatoes.  I always happily oblige because this simple, one-pan recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight plus EVERYONE eats it and you know what a big deal that is if you have kids.

My sister-in-law brought us this meal when my youngest daughter was born and it’s been a go-to staple ever since.  I also love to take this meal to others as well.  With only 5 ingredients, it can be tweaked for lots of different flavors too.  Do I have your attention?

Let’s get cooking shall we?

Psst…Need help with meal planning?  I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.

Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

Simple Italian Chicken, Green Beans, and Potatoes


Italian chicken, green beans, and potatoes recipe

What you will need?

3  thawed chicken breasts 

1 lb small red and yellow potatoes cut into fourths

1 stick of butter (8 T.)

1 bag of frozen green beans 

1 packet dry Italian dressing mix


one pan Italian chicken, green beans and potatoes

Italian Chicken, Green Beans, and Potatoes Instructions – 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then grab a 9×13 pan and all of your ingredients.  Start by trimming the fat off the chicken.  That’s my least favorite part, just me?  If your chicken breasts are thick, I like to cut them in half and butterfly them so they are thinner and cook faster.  

Layer the chicken down the center of the 9×13 pan.  Pour the bag of frozen green beans to one side.  Then, rinse your small potatoes and cut them into fourths.  Place them on the other side of the chicken.

Now, slice the butter into 1 tablespoon chunks or roughly 8 pieces and place evenly on top of the chicken, green beans, and potatoes.

Last, sprinkle the dry Italian dressing mix evenly across the 9×13 pan.

Cover with tin foil and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Before serving check that the potatoes are soft when you put a fork in them and that the chicken is cooked through.  If not, place covered in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes.


easy Italian chicken, green beans and potatoes recipe


What to serve with your Italian Chicken Green Beans and Potatoes –

This dish really hits the protein and sides but you could certainly add a fresh salad, some bread, and fruit to round out the meal.


What about all that butter?

While you do put a whole stick of butter in the pan, you can use a slotted spoon to leave most of that butter behind.  If you rather not use butter, you could pour a bottle of Italian dressing over the top.  Try a drizzle of olive oil too.


Italian Chicken green beans and potatoes


How can you mix this dish up?

Swap Out the Veggies

You can put any vegetable adjacent to the chicken.  Try Brussel sprouts, frozen stir fry vegetables, broccoli or any other vegetable you love.  

You can even double up on the green beans and put it on both sides of the chicken which I do sometimes because my kids love those green beans.  I can’t say that always!

Swap out the Flavor

For a different flavor, mix up this dish with a ranch dressing dry mix.  Just follow the recipe above but switch out the dressing.

Swap out the Chicken

Last, but not least swap out the chicken breast with 8 boneless chicken thighs.  This is my husband’s favorite switch.  


Short on time?  Try the Slow Cooker

This dish easily turns into a slow cooker dish too!  Add the chicken, potatoes, green beans, sliced butter and Italian dressing mix to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.


Are you ready to try?

Trust me, you won’t regret it.  The chicken stays so moist and juicy with the delicious flavor of the Italian dressing mix.  We rarely have leftovers and the kids ask for seconds. I don’t know a better way to say this recipe is legit than that!  

Not to mention I shared this recipe on social media and every week I get asked for the recipe so it was time for it to have its own post.



Looking for other simple meals, try these!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Stuffing Bake

Simple Turkey Pesto Sandwiches


Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

slow cooker Italian chicken, green beans, and potatoes recipe 

Simple Baked Turkey Pesto Sandwich

turkey pesto baked sandwich with fruit and salad


Do you want to invite people over for lunch or dinner but have no idea what to serve?  Does the thought just overwhelm you?  Me too until I started making this simple baked turkey pesto sandwich recipe.  

It is so simple.  Did I mention it’s just 4 ingredients?  Plus it’s so delicious no one will ever believe how simple it is.  Stop sweating about what you are serving, your guests will gobble this easy baked turkey pesto sandwich right up and they will be asking you for the recipe.  Trust me!  

Let’s get cooking, shall we?

Simple Baked Turkey Pesto Sandwich Recipe 


baked pesto turkey sandwich ingredients


What you will need  – 

1 lb turkey lunch meat

1 8 oz container (12 slices) Provolone deli-sliced cheese

Jar of pre-made pesto sauce

1 loaf of bakery french bread


Baked Turkey Pesto Sandwich Instructions –

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then, grab a large cookie sheet and line with a piece of tin foil big enough to wrap the sandwich in when you are finished.  Grab the french bread, cut it in half and lay it on the tin foil-lined pan.



Brush on a thin layer of pesto sauce onto the bread.  Pesto has a strong flavor so less is more in this case.  A thin layer will still give you a great flavor.  

After, you have brushed a light layer of pesto on your bread, layer evenly 1 pound of turkey lunch meat and provolone cheese slices.


add turkey to baked turkey pesto sandwich


Place the bread together and wrap in tin foil.  Then, put the turkey pesto sandwich into the 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. 

wrapped turkey pesto sandwich


After 30 minutes check that the cheese is melted and the meat is warm.  Pull out and slice to serve to your guests.


simple baked turkey pesto sandwich recipe


What to serve with your baked turkey pesto sandwich –

To keep it simple, grab a bagged salad mix kit from your local grocery store and assemble while the sandwich is baking.  You can also serve it alongside some soup, chips, a veggie tray and a fruit salad.  The options are endless.


turkey pesto sandwich with fruit and salad


What do you do with leftovers?

Didn’t eat it all? Don’t worry, the sandwich rewarms well in the microwave or oven for leftovers.  


Ready to mix this sandwich up?

Turn this baked sandwich into a panini with some sliced sourdough bread.  Butter both sides of the bread and then brush a thin layer of pesto on and pile on the turkey and provolone. Then,  cook it in an uncovered skillet browning both sides.

 Looking for a little more flavor? Try some added toppings like sliced tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise, more meats like pepperoni or salami, and oil & vinegar.



Just Remember…

Not entertaining?  No worries this is a perfect weeknight meal for your family.  If your kids are not into pesto, skip the pesto on one side.  This meal packs the flavor punch without you breaking a sweat. This will quickly become an entertaining go-to recipe for when friends come over.



Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.



Now, what’s for dessert?

Simple Layered Magic Bars

Ice Cream Pie

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe


Need More Entertaining Recipe Ideas?

Simple Egg Bake Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

4 ingredient turkey pesto sandwich recipe 

Simple 7 Day Aldi Meal Plan

Aldi is my go-to for great groceries on a budget.  Aldi keeps their prices low because many of their products are not name brand.  However, if you are like me you don’t want to waste your time or your money on food that doesn’t taste good so I rounded up 7 simple Aldi meal plan ideas.  These 7 meals are perfect for a busy night and can easily be scaled up or back to accommodate the size of your family.


7 Simple Aldi Meal Plan Dinner Ideas


Italian Grilled Sandwiches

One of my favorite things to get at Panera is a toasted panini sandwich.  It’s cooked on the griddle and so yummy.  Grab some sourdough or ciabatta bread, pesto sauce, sliced cheese, turkey and salami for this recipe and serve it with a Caesar salad bagged kit.

To make the sandwiches, lightly brush both pieces of bread with a little bit of butter.  Then, brush the inside of one the bread slices with pesto.  Top with the meat and cheese.  Grill on a hot skillet.  Cover to allow the cheese and meat to warm.  


Crab & Tomato Ravioli

Aldi has lots of ravioli options.  They have ravioli in the dry pasta aisle, as well as in the refrigerated and freezer section.  Choose a ravioli that works for your taste buds and wallet.  Cook the ravioli based on the package directions.

To make a simple sauce, buy a package of cherry tomatoes and slice in half.  Liberally coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat.  When the olive oil is warm, place the cherry tomatoes in the pan.  Add 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning or fresh basil.  Allow the cherry tomatoes to cook down.  

Once the pasta is cooked, place the pasta in with the tomatoes and toss to coat.  Serve the tomato and crab ravioli with a bagged Caesar salad kit for a simple meal you can make in under 15 minutes.

If you would prefer to not make your own sauce, grab a marinara sauce of your choice at the store and warm up.  Then, toss the pasta and sauce together before serving.


Meatballs & Steamed Vegetables

Pre-made meatballs are perfect for a quick meal.  You can toss them in a slow cooker with marinara sauce or try this easy sweet BBQ meatball recipe for a different twist.  Serve with some steamed vegetables and a side of fruit.


Marinated Pork Loin & Risotto


You can really change up meat with a marinade.  Aldi has lots of great pre-marinated meat choices in the refrigerated meat section.  Check out their marinated chicken options as well.  In the summer, we love to grill these marinated pork loins but in the winter I just put it in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. 

We serve it with rice or this delicious risotto found in the dry pasta section at Aldi.  Pair it with a mixed vegetable medley and fruit and you have yourself a delicious meal for a busy weeknight.  If you have a larger family or want leftover, grab two pork loins!


Pancakes & Sausage


This meal is perfect for a quick breakfast, a babysitter or a SUPER simple busy weeknight meal.  Just reheat the pre-cooked sausage and warm up some pancakes and you have yourself a meal faster than you can go to a drive-thru.   We often pair breakfast for dinner with smoothies, check out this super simple smoothie recipe.


Slow Cooker Pot Roast 


This is a fan favorite at our house and it’s so SIMPLE you will never make a pot roast any other way.  Grab the Pub Style pot roast marinade at Aldi.  It’s located by the pickles and dressings.  Then, just put the pot roast in the slow cooker and top with the marinade.  

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Pull out of the slow cooker and shred.  You can strain the juices and repour in with the meat to keep the meat moist.

We served it with leftover sourdough bread from the panini sandwiches, vegetables, and white rice.  


Breakfast Casserole



A breakfast casserole is a perfect weekend morning meal or brunch.  Get the full directions to this easy and simple egg bake recipes here.  

Serve this easy egg bake up with some cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit for a simple weeknight meal.


Just Remember…

Meal planning doesn’t have to be complicated.  You can keep it simple, on budget and prepare delicious meals for your family.  If you haven’t shopped at Aldi, I would encourage you to check it out.  What are your favorite meals to make with ingredients you find at Aldi?  Let me know in the comments.


Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.



You might also like –

7 More Simple Aldi Meal Ideas
10 Best Products to Buy at Aldi
Favorite Aldi Products


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

**This post contains affiliate links**


Simple Holiday Meal Ideas

With the holidays next week, it’s time to start thinking about the food.  No holiday is complete without a delicious spread of sweet and savory foods. However, if you are hosting it can be daunting planning out several days of food. So, what are some simple holiday meal ideas?

How I Holiday Meal Plan – 

First things first, it’s important to have a plan.  Your sanity will thank you for taking a little time upfront.  Grab your Simple Purposeful Living Meal Planner (shop here) and get to work.  

Usually, I just meal plan dinners a week at a time (check out these 7 tips to meal plan) but when I host guests I like to meal plan all 3 meals.  That way so I can make sure to get all the necessary groceries and so I can enjoy them without having to think about what to cook.  It’s all planned and ready to go.

You know me though I am keeping things very simple.  So, I rarely try new recipes when I am hosting guests.  I don’t want to be stressed if it turns out and I also buy lots of store-bought items to help lower the stress.  You can always unwrap something and put it on a platter ;).

So What’s On My Holiday Menu?

Christmas Eve Menu

On Christmas Eve, we normally go to church and then come home and enjoy appetizers while we open gifts.  The great thing about appetizers is they can be made ahead and warm in the slow cooker or oven until you are ready to eat them.  

Try these simple appetizer recipes – 

Baked Mexican Dip

Slow Cooker Sweet BBQ Meatballs

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Along with these delicious homemade dips, you can also serve veggies and dip, fruit and cheese, cured meats and crackers.  We also love serving chips, salsa, and guacamole.  I usually buy all of these items from the store.  Add in some delicious Christmas cookies and some store-bought candies for a little sweet treat.

Christmas Day Menu

We have little kids so we spend the bulk of our morning cozying up by the Christmas tree playing and assembling all the fun presents Santa brought.  I whip up some super simple reindeer doughnuts for an early breakfast before we pause for a larger brunch later.

woman holding reindeer doughnut

Reindeer Doughnuts

I just put a red m&m in the middle of a mini chocolate doughnut and add two broken pretzels to the top to resemble antlers.  The kids love them, they are yummy and don’t take any time at all.  They might even like to make them.

Christmas Brunch Menu

Then, for brunch, I will make a few quiches ahead of time to reheat in the oven.  Check out this simple quiche recipe.  I serve alongside refrigerated cinnamon rolls that I shape into Christmas trees.  Add a little bit of green food dye to the frosting for a festive tree-shaped cinnamon “roll”.

Christmas tree refrigerated cinnamon roll

Christmas Dinner

Since we set out a tray of cookies and have brunch.  We normally forego lunch and just have an early dinner.  This year we will just have our family of 6 so instead of a whole turkey, I just plan to make a turkey breast in the slow cooker.  I will use this recipe.

While the turkey is cooking, I will boil up some red-skinned potatoes.  I love using those because I don’t have to peel them.  I just use my mixer to mash them up, skin and all.  I add a little milk and butter until I get the right consistency.

Last but not least, you can serve it up with some package gravy, steamed vegetables, rolls and any leftover appetizers you might have.  If you want a delicious dessert besides cookies, you could try this simple no-bake oreo pie or simple ice cream pie recipe.

Need More Simple Holiday Meal Ideas?

With guests in town, we often go out to dinner one night and order pizza another night.  I also love to serve a soup or something made in the slow cooker.  I have listed some simple recipes below so you can add one of those to your meal plan.

Try these simple recipes for the other nights – 

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Recipe

Simple Classic Chili Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Simple Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Walking Tacos Recipe (perfect for a large crowd)


Just Remember…

I can get stressed about the food and what to make but remember at the end of the day it’s about who’s gathered around the table.  The first year I hosted a major holiday meal at my house, the ham went up in smoke literally.  I served charred ham and you know what it makes a great story now!  Enjoy the season and remember to keep it simple on purpose, you will thank yourself later!

Take some time to sit down and plan out your meals, make a grocery list and order your groceries online.  You will avoid the crowds and added stress and have everything ready so you can enjoy your guests when they arrive.  Oh, and grab some paper plates while you are at it so you don’t have to dishes for every meal!

Check out the meal grocery list and meal planner here.


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest




Simple Sweet BBQ Meatballs Recipe + Simple Party Menu

Tis’ the season for lots of holiday hosting which can get really overwhelming in a hurry.  I don’t know about you but when I entertain I want simple recipes I won’t screw up and won’t take me away from my main priority, my guests!  This simple sweet BBQ meatballs recipe is one of my go-to’s when I host!  It will be yours too, I promise.

I even make these delicious meatballs as a meal served alongside rice and steamed veggies for a simple weeknight meal.  They also reheat great for leftovers.  Need I say more, you must try them!  


sweet bbq meatball recipe ingredients

Simple Sweet BBQ Meatball Ingredients – 

1 18 oz bottle BBQ Sauce (choose your favorite)

1  32 oz package of frozen meatballs (either homestyle or Italian work great)

1 cup grape jelly (8 oz)


frozen meatballs in slow cooker sweet BBQ meatball recipe with jelly and bbq sauce

Simple Sweet BBQ Meatball Directions – 

Pour the frozen meatballs in your slow cooker.  Pour over the entire bottle of BBQ sauce and 1 cup grape jelly.  Mix together with a spatula.  Turn the slow cooker on low for 4 hours.  When the meatballs are done, just turn the slow cooker setting to warm until your guests arrive or it’s time for dinner.  Before serving mix well one more time.

Try This Variation –

I use this same sauce recipe for little smokies.  I just use two packages of little smokies and add it to the BBQ sauce and 1 cup grape jelly.  Don’t have grape jelly on hand?  Never fear, you can also mix it up with any jelly or jam you have. 

simple party foods on counter

What Other Appetizers Can You Serve it With?

Are you hosting a party and need some more simple appetizer ideas.  

Simple Full Party Menu – 

6 Ingredient Spinach Artichoke Dip (check out the recipe here)

Baked Mexican Dip (check out the recipe here)

Chips, store-bought guacamole & fresh store-bought salsa

Extra Sharp white cheddar cheese, gouda cheese and sliced summer sausage (all store-bought)

Cut vegetables and ranch dressing dip (store-bought)

Cream puffs (store-bought)

Chocolate peanut clusters (Spanish peanuts & almond bark)

Just Remember…

I love to entertain but years ago my grandma gave me some advice I took to heart.  She said, “heath bars taste great on silver platters.”  What did she mean by that?  It’s okay to buy store-bought, bring it home and dish it up on one of your platters.  So, now when I host gatherings I usually buy 75% of my food store-bought and cook 25% simple and easy dishes.  This simple sweet BBQ meatball recipe is one I always make because it’s just 3 ingredients, a crowd favorite and did I mention SIMPLE?  Enjoy!


Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.


Try These Other Party Favorite Recipes – 

Apple Nacho Bar

Walking Tacos

6-Ingredient Magic Bar Recipe

Make Now Serve Later Simple Quiche Recipe

Apple Chicken Salad Recipe

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


Super Simple Classic Chili

It’s that time of year – it’s soup time.  It snowed the other night so the kids are basically ready to put up the Christmas tree.  I am just ready to indulge in some warm and cozy food.  The only problem is our schedule doesn’t slow down this time of year, it only speeds up!  Anyone else?  Enter this delicious and super simple chili recipe.  It’s perfect for a chilly weeknight and it makes enough for leftovers!

Let’s cook the Simple Classic Chili, shall we?


I 28 oz Can Diced Tomatoes. **Do not drain**

1 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce

1 15.5 oz Can Light Red Kidney Beans. **Drain & Rinse**

1 15.5 oz Can Dark Red Kidney Beans. **Drain & Rinse**

1 White Onion

1 Green Pepper **optional**

1 lb 90% Thawed Lean Ground Beef

3 Tablespoons Chili Powder

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Pepper

2 Cups Water

Preparation & Directions for this Simple Classic Chili Recipe-

Place 1 TBSP of butter in a large stockpot and let melt.  Then, add in the chopped green pepper and let cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the chopped white onion until soft and translucent, on average another 3-5 minutes.

Add in the lean ground beef and break apart.  My favorite way to break apart ground beef is with this tool.  Get one for yourself here, you’ll never go back to a fork again.  Stir often until meat is fully cooked through, about 6-7 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, drain the 2 cans of beans and rinse.  When the meat is cooked through, dump in the drained and rinsed beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (do not drain), 3 T. chili powder, 1 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper and 2 cups of water.  Stir together and bring the chili to a boil.  Stirring occasionally.

Once the chili starts to boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer uncovered on the stovetop for 20-25 minutes.

It’s Time to Accessorize the Simple Classic Chili Recipe –

This is my kids favorite part.  They can choose their own adventure and add the toppings they like to the top.  We like to top it with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips or crackers.  You could also add hot sauce or garnish with jalapenos too!

What do you serve with this simple classic chili?

We love to serve our chili with cornbread.  My favorite simple cornbread is the Jiffy brand.  My kids love to mix it up themselves.

Sometimes, if I am feeling extra generous I’ll serve this simple classic chili with cinnamon rolls.  I know cinnamon rolls seem odd but growing up whenever they served chili at school, it was always served with a cinnamon roll so its nostalgic for me.  Did you grow up eating cinnamon rolls with chili?

Now, what’s for dessert?  Try these –

Simple Magic Layer Bars

Simple Apple Nachos

No-Bake Simple Oreo Pie


Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.



So Simple, Right?

This dish is perfect for a crowd or a quick night dinner at home.  Just one pot to clean-up so dishes are done in a snap and you are on to your next activity.  Hopefully, it’s snuggling up on the couch with your favorite people.  Happy fall y’all and happy cooking!

Need a few cooking accessories?  These are my favorites for chili!


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


Simple Apple Chicken Salad Recipe

We are in full on fall mode over here which means I am breaking out all my pumpkin and apple recipes.  Momma loves to bake in the fall!  It also means I am running around like crazy because my kids are in all the activities.  So, I need super simple recipes that we can eat around the table or on the run.  This simple apple chicken salad recipe fits the bill and is a fan favorite.  It’s perfect for a busy weeknight meal or served alongside crackers as a fall-tastic appetizer.

Y’all know by now if you follow me on social media (follow me on Instagram here) that I am a big fan of the apple.  It does not get the attention it deserves.  It’s always over-shadowed by felllow fall vegetation, the pumpkin.  While I love a good pumpkin dish (I am looking at your pumpkin bars), I equally love all things apple.  Give me all the apple nachos (read more about that here), apple pies, apple crisp and of course apple chicken salad!

So let’s get to the kitchen and start cooking, shall we?

Simple Apple Chicken Salad Recipe Ingredients

2 Cups Shredded Chicken (3-4 chicken breasts)

1.5 Cups Chopped Apples (1-2 apples)

1 Cup Chopped Celery (2-3 stalks)

1 Cup Mayonnaise (1 Cup Greek Yogurt can be substituted)

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Simple Apple Chicken Salad Recipe Quick Instructions

Cook and Shred Chicken

Chop Apples & Celery

Fold in mayonnaise to apples, celery, and chicken.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crackers, on sandwich bread or atop lettuce.

This recipe yields enough for 6 sandwiches.

Simple Apple Chicken Salad Recipe Tips & Tricks

I like to cook up a bunch of chicken at once because dealing with raw chicken is one of my least favorite kitchen chores.  I cook it in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.  When cooked, shred it with a fork.  I set aside 2 cups for this recipe and then freeze the rest for another dish.  I could use it for two other favorite dishes, the simple chicken enchiladas or chicken pot pie.

Once the chicken is shredded, I grab 1-2 apples.  I like to use either granny smith or honeycrisp apples.  Both have a good strong flavor.  I chop into small edible cubes.  Next, I move on to rinsing and chopping 3 stalks of celery which amounts to about 1 cup of celery.  Now, I know not everyone is a fan of celery so you could totally add in 1/2 cup of cranberries or 1/2 cup of pecans as an alternative.

Last, I fold in 1 cup of mayonnaise.  If you want a more calorie friendly option, you can certainly substitute 8 oz greek yogurt.  Then add salt and pepper to taste.

You can make this dish ahead or serve it on the spot.  It also makes great leftovers for our favorite Sunday tradition, snack tray supper.

It’s Time To Dish It Up

We like to serve our chicken salad on sandwich bread with raw vegetables, fresh fruit and chips or pretzels for a simple weeknight meal.  This dish would also be a perfect appetizer or addition to your charcuterie board.   This recipe makes enough for 6 sandwiches but double the recipe because you will want some for leftovers, it’s so good!


chicken salad recipe on meal planning journal

Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.



Need some more recipe inspiration, try these simple dishes –

Simple Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Stuffing Bake

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Simple Chicken Enchiladas Recipe


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


This post contains affiliate links.

Insanely Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Stuffing Bake

If you are looking for a simple recipe, you have come to the right place because today I am dishing up my insanely simple 3-ingredient slow cooker chicken stuffing bake.  Say that 10 times fast.  I pair it with some steamed veggies and some fresh fruit and we have ourselves a simple, yummy dinner for a busy night!

One of the comments I get all the time is that meal planning is so tedious and making meals for your family can feel so cumbersome.  Somehow we got fed the lie that in order to feed your family it must be complicated.  I am here to tell you I serve up SIMPLE dishes every night of the week and if it isn’t simple, I save it for a special occasion because simple floats our boat.

Let’s get cooking, shall we?

What You Will Need for the Chicken Stuffing Bake –

1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup

1 Box of Stuffing Mix (cook to box specifications – 1/4 cup butter & 1 1/2 cup water)

2 chicken breasts

Now, I double this recipe as I am cooking for a family of 6 and this recipe rewarms beautiful for leftovers.  You know I love me some planned-overs!  You know those meals you plan for leftovers, yep we call them planned-overs.

Preparation & Directions for the Chicken Stuffing Bake –

First, prep the chicken breast.  I am weird and cut off every last suspicious part, just me?  Since prepping chicken is one of my least favorte things to do.  I buy fresh chicken breast in bulk and prep a large amout at once.  Then, I use what I need for the recipe and divide the rest into baggies and freeze it for future recipes.  My future self thanks me.

After the chicken breast is trimmed, I lay it in the bottom of my slow cooker. I, then, layer on the can of cream of chicken soup and spread it around to evenly cover the chicken breast.

Go ahead and cook the stuffing mix based on the box’s directions.  I add 1/4 cup of butter per box and 1 1/2 cup water per box.  I place the mix, water, and butter into a microwave-safe bowl and cook it on high for 5 minutes.  When it is cooked,  I fluff it with a fork.  Then, I dump the stuffing over the soup and chicken.   Spread it around for an even layer.

Set the crockpot on high for 4-6 hours.  Voila, you are done!  I told you so easy, right?

You will know it’s done when the chicken is cooked through.  No prep work is needed before you serve it up.  I literally just scoop it right out of the slowcooker like a casserole on to a plate.   Serve with steamed veggies and fresh fruit.  One dish and fix it and forget it.  How about that for an easy weeknight meal?

If You Like Your Stuffing Less Moist –

Try baking this dish in a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Layer the chicken, then the soup with stuffing on top and bake uncovered for  hour at 350 degrees or until chicken is cooked through.

You can also wait to put the stuffing on top until the last 20 minutes.

This Chicken Stuffing Bake is Insanely Simple, Right??

This meal is so savory and delicious, no one will believe it takes you less than 10 minutes to prepare.  See, who says meal planning for your family has to be complicated.  Add this to your weekly rotation and serve leftovers another night, you got yourself 2 dinners out of 7 taken care of!  You are welcome!

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Do you need more simple meal ideas for your family?
7 Steps to Meal Planning 
Aldi 7-Day Meal Plan + Grocery List
Try These Other Simple Recipes –
Easy Quiche Recipe
Easy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
Slow-cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Easy Walking Taco Recipe
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Simple Snack Tray Supper


Snack trays are the family-friendly version of the ever-popular charcuterie boards and I have never met a charcuterie board I didn’t like.  Snack tray suppers are going to be your new best friend.  Try a snack tray for your next family meal and your kids will think you are a genius, you are welcome!



Snack Tray Supper – A Happy Accident

Our Sunday night snack tray supper tradition started by accident which is usually how all good traditions get started!  We were running low on food since I grocery shop on Monday mornings.  We are on a tight budget at the moment since we are adopting so going out to eat was not an option.

So, I just gathered up all the random leftovers and pantry staples we had on hand and put them on a big tray.  To make it a little more fun, since I wasn’t sure how it would go over, I pulled out a waterproof picnic blanket and we ate our snack tray supper in the living room.



Love at First Bite

It was love at first bite!  Not only could my kids pick what they wanted to eat off the tray, but we also sat on a picnic cloth in the family room.  From my perspective, I fell short and from their perspective I was genius!  Just goes to show, we can be awfully hard on ourselves as moms!



A Weekly Tradition

I now write “snack tray supper” for every Sunday on my weekly meal planner (get yours here).   The snack tray is never the same week to week because it’s based on what we have leftover.  Some weeks it’s heavy on the popcorn (because I always have popcorn in the pantry) and other weeks it’s heavy on refrigerated leftovers.    I thought I would share a few ideas to help you get started with your own snack tray supper tradition.



What to Put on the snack tray?

Nothing is off limits and the options are endless.  Literally, start by pulling out leftovers from your fridge and your pantry.  I try to include lots of different food groups but some weeks the pantry and refrigerator are a little leaner than others.   Here’s a list of popular favorites for our family!

Raw sliced vegetables

Fruit – Dried and fresh cut

Cheeses – string cheese, sliced cheese, block cheese, spreadable cheeses

Cured meats – salami, summer sausage, braunschweiger, jerky



Pita Chips



Dips – Hummus, Salsa, Guacamole, Queso Aldi’s Frozen Buffalo Chicken Dip, Aldi’s Frozen Spinach Artichoke Dip, Ranch Dressing, layered dips, yogurt dips


Trail mix



You can even add in desserts and candy or you could make a separate dessert snack tray!  Now that I say that out loud, my kids are going to want that stat.  The options are endless when it comes to snack trays.  You can be as creative and in as many things as you want.  It’s perfect finger-food and kids love the chance to choose their own adventure when it comes to dinner.


Snack Trays Are Not Just for Dinner

Snack trays aren’t just perfect for dinner, they are perfect for lunches and get-togethers too!  Summer is coming, save on the dishes and make up a snack tray and eat on the driveway or outside in the grass.  Avoid sweeping and your kids will think it’s the coolest thing ever!  Take it on the road!  The options are endless.


Before you know it, your kids will be making snack tray suppers for their dolls!  How cute is that pint-size snack tray supper?


Do you want more meal ideas?


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Snack Tray Supper Must-Haves

You might also like…

7 Steps to Meal Planning 
Aldi 7-Day Meal Plan + Grocery List
25 Simple Dinner Ideas
10 Kids Lunch Ideas
Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Aldi Shopping List + Weekly Meal Plan

Aldi has always been my go-to for inexpensive diapers, wipes and guacamole (how about that combo ;)!  I always drove a half hour to stock up.  Now, Aldi has finally opened up a store just 5 minutes from my home and I did a happy dance.  

Now, 3 out of 4 weeks a month I go to Aldi for my weekly groceries (the 4th week I still do a Wal-mart pickup)!  I thought I would take you along this week and show you what I got, how much I spent and the 7 meals I plan to make as a result!  Did I mention all 7 meals cost less than $50?

A Few Quick Aldi Tips

Don’t forget your quarter.  One of the ways Aldi keeps their prices low is by having you rent a cart for 25 cents.  You put in a quarter to unlock your quarter and you get the quarterback when you return it.  If you are feeling generous, you could leave your quarter behind and make someone’s day!

Bring your own shopping bags.  Just like Sam’s Club and Costco, Aldi does not provide shopping bags.  The cashier will load all your groceries back into a cart and you bag all your groceries.   The good news is you can sort groceries based on where they go if you want!  Pantry staples in one bag, frozen in another and so on!

Aldi sells mostly off-brand merchandise.  This means that you won’t find too many name brand items but not to fear, the quality is still amazing.  Aldi’s is owned by the same parent company as Trader Joe’s!

Check the specials aisle.  Or don’t ;)!  If you are trying to stay on budget, steer clear of the specials aisle that is full of seasonal items.  I got my kid’s bike helmets at Aldi!  If you see something you like, grab it.  It’s often limited stock so it might not be there when you come back!


Get your meal planner here.

Aldi Grocery List and Meal Plan

You know every Friday I love to finish off the week prepping for next week so I can enjoy the weekend with my family knowing I am all ready to go.  You can read more about how I meal plan in this post.

The most important step for meal planning for me is looking at our week first and then planning meals that work with our schedule.  There’s nothing worse than planning a yummy meal and not eating it because you have to eat at the baseball field!

So, after I scheduled our week out, I planned 7 meals and then made my grocery list to match.  Of course, besides the 7 dinners I planned, I also wrote down breakfast, lunch and snack supplies too.


Aldi Grocery Haul

My daughter and I took our quarter and reusable grocery bags to Aldi and got all our groceries for the week.  We got frozen waffles, English muffins and rice squares cereal for breakfast.  Bread, applesauce pouches, Goldfish and chocolate chip cookies for lunches and found granola bars and peanut butter crackers for snacks.  As well as some other staples like milk, eggs, butter, and garbage bags.

I also love to grab a few extra quick meals to have on hand just in case our schedule changes.  So, I picked up some frozen mini corndogs and a box of macaroni and cheese.

All total I spent $123.10 and our weekly grocery budget is $125. Wahoo!


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Weekly Menu Meal Plan

Dinner #1 – Cheese Ravioli with Vodka Sauce

A perfect meal for Meatless Monday.   All you need is a jar of vodka sauce and ravioli.  Each ravioli package has 2.5 servings so I got 2 packages for our family of 5 and we had leftovers.  I paired this simple dish with a french baguette, a salad, and fruit.  It took about 15 minutes to make and serve!

Pasta sauce $2.89

Ravioli $2.98 *1.49 each

French bread $1.69

Salad and fruit on hand

Total for the meal – $6.56


Dinner #2 Pot Roast with Steamed Broccoli

Another perfect meal for a busy night.  Throw the pot roast and sauce packet in the slow cooker in the morning.  Then, right before you serve it steam up some broccoli and slice up some leftover french bread.

Pot roast sauce $2.49

Pot Roast $11.61

French bread (leftover from the night before)

Broccoli $1.19

Total for the meal – $15.29

Dinner #3 Sandwiches & Chips

If you are anything like us, generally there’s one night that constitutes fast food.  However, fast food doesn’t have to mean eating out.  I like to plan for sandwiches and this week we will be eating them at the baseball diamond.  The Aldi “pringle-like” chip is perfect because they don’t get crushed while being transported.

Lunchmeat $2.49

Sliced Cheese $1.99

100% Whole Wheat bread $1.49

Chips $0.99

Condiments on hand and served with veggies & fruit

Total for the meal – $6.96


Dinner #4 Jambalaya and Corn Bread

A friend made us this meal once and it was so easy, I love it for busy weeknights.  Follow the directions on the Jambalaya package and add in a drained can of kidney beans and sliced up kielbasa sausage.  Serve it with cornbread, fruit and raw veggies!

Jambalaya $1.19

Kidney Beans $0.69

Kielbasa Sausage $2.29

Cornbread $0.47

Total for the meal – $4.64


Dinner #5 Make and Take Pizza & Breadsticks

By Friday night we are ready for pizza and a movie.  Aldi’s take and bake pizzas are extra-large and add in some breadsticks and you have enough for your whole family without breaking the bank.

Pizza $5.99

Breadsticks $3.79

Total for the meal – $9.78


Dinner #6 Breakfast For Dinner

Breakfast for dinner is always a fan favorite and there are so many variations of eggs and meats not to mention sides like hashbrowns or sweet rolls.  This week I had supplies to make Resurrection rolls (recipe here) and I just learned you can bake bacon in the oven on a foil-covered cookie sheet for 20 minutes and then broil for last 2 minutes to crisp!  s

Bacon $3.49

Dozen eggs $1.08

Crescent rolls $1.49

Sometimes, I will add a fruit smoothie with spinach!  Find my smoothie recipes here.

Total for the meal – $6.06


Dinner #7 Snacktray Supper

By, Sunday night mom is ready for a break from the kitchen so we gather up all the leftovers and place them on a snack tray and enjoy a family room picnic for dinner.  It’s the whole family’s favorite meal of the week.

Total for the meal – $0

Total spent on 7 meals – $49.29


Do you need help organizing your meal plan?

Check out the meal grocery list and meal planner here.


Why I love Meal Planning & Shopping at Aldi

7 meals for under $50!  Now, I know that doesn’t include the staples, fruits and raw veggies I use as sides but when we go out as a family of 5 we easily spend that much on one meal.  Meal planning and eating at home really does help save you money and stay on budget.  Check out my meal planner and meal planning course if you want help getting started!

Do you meal plan or shop at Aldi?  What are your favorite Aldi products?  Sound off in the comments, I love a good recommendation!

You might also like –
10 Items to Buy at Aldi
7 More Aldi  Meal Plan Ideas 
7 Steps to Meal Planning 
12 Things I Stopped Buying at the Grocery Store
25 Simple Dinner Ideas
10 Kids Lunch Ideas
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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