A plate of food

A Dozen Ways to Make Dump Chicken

The meal prep method is called “Dump Chicken” and it’s genius. Here’s why: You dump chicken pieces and your choice of sauce ingredients into a 1-gallon freezer bag, seal it and stick it in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, dump it into a pan (or slow cooker) and bake it. That’s it!


A plate of food


The following recipes can be made with any four to eight pieces of chicken; bone-in or boneless, skin-on or skinless, even whole. Experiment to see what you prefer. Simply mix the sauce ingredients and toss that into the ziplock freezer bag along with the chicken; seal and freeze.

Note: If you are adding a lot more or a lot less chicken, you may need to adjust the recipes accordingly.

To cook the chicken, thaw the bag overnight in the refrigerator. Pour the contents of the bag into a 9 x 12-inch pan and bake at 350 F until internal temperature reaches 165F. Or prepare these meals in a slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours. In the oven, chicken breasts take about 25 to 45 minutes depending on their thickness. Dark meat pieces may take a bit longer.

Basic BBQ Chicken

  • chicken
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dry onion soup mix


Caribbean Chicken

  • chicken
  • 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks with juice
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup raisins


Lemon and Garlic Chicken

  • chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Russian Chicken

  • 2/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 16 ounces Russian salad dressing
  • 2 packages dry onion soup mix


Sticky Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •  1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup


Cantonese Chicken

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice


Teriyaki Chicken

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger (optional)


Spiced Citrus Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt


Spicy Sweet Glazed Chicken

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste


Garlic Dijon Chicken

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon juice)


Honey Sesame Chicken

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


Pepper Lime Chicken

  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


First published: 5-30-13; Revised & Updated 5-23-20

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11 replies
  1. ThistleCoveFarm says:

    Great recipes; turns out I’ve been making “dump chicken/pork/beef” for years and didn’t know it. LOL at myself.

  2. Pam Warren says:

    Mary, have you done these recipes in the Instant Pot? I was wondering about the cooking times and if there is enough liquid? Thanks!

  3. K R says:

    I’m not trying to be a “Debbie Downer”, but most of those recipes have a ton of sugar in them. Brown sugar, honey, catsup, pineapple juice, orange juice, apricot preserves, Russian salad dressing……….even the peanut butter is loaded with sugar unless you use the kinds that are sugar free. Not to forget all the salt in onion soup mix…….. There are tons of recipes for this kind of chicken that don’t use sugar or pre-packaged soups mixes loaded with salt. I also suggest vacuum sealing the chicken as the zip-top freezer bags don’t keep the ingredients as fresh and ice free as a vacuum sealed bag. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, it’s a great addition to your kitchen, not expensive, and will pay for itself over time in saved food that doesn’t get freezer burn, cheese that doesn’t mold so will keep for quite a while, and so on.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Hi, this is Suzanne, Mary’s assistant. Yes, the “Make Your Own Mixes” is supposed to be free – just got the wrong link in there. If you are not already a current subscriber, you can go to the right sidebar on our homepage and sign up for the free newsletter and free “Make Your Own Mixes” booklet. If you are already a subscriber, just send me an email ([email protected]) and I will email a link/PDF version to you. Thanks!

  5. Lorraine says:

    Made the Garlic Dijon version last night. It was delicious! Served with rice and a salad. I will be making it again. Thank You for these ideas! Past the link on to my daughter.

  6. Douglas Anne says:

    Made the Caribbean chicken for the first time last night, using the slow cook function in my brand new Instant Pot. It was delicious and easy! I served it with buttered noodles and string beans. I printed your list or chicken recipes and stuck it right in the front of my copy of the Joy of Cooking. Thank you!!


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