a plate of dump chicken with rice and vegetables.

More than a Dozen Ways to Make Dump Chicken—Updated!

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, label it and stick it in the freezer.

When you’re ready to eat it, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, dump it into your slow cooker (or oven as an alternative), set it—and that’s it!

a plate of dump chicken with rice and vegetables.


General instructions

The following recipes are to be made with about two pounds of chicken—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. (Or toss all the ingredients straight into your slow cooker now for tonight’s dinner).

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

To cook the chicken, thaw the bag overnight in the refrigerator. Pour the contents of the bag into a slow cooker on “Low” for 4-6 hours. Your time may vary depending on your slow cooker.

If you do not have a slow cooker, a second option is to prepare these recipes in the oven. Dump ingredients into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and bake at 350F until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F. 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


Chicken Cacciatore

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning


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


Honey Sriracha Chicken

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce


Russian Chicken

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


Sticky Chicken

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


Cantonese Chicken

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

Chicken for Quesadillas

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup jalapenos, chopped (with or without seeds depending on level of heat desired)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or 4.5 tablespoons if you make it yourself)

Salsa Chicken

  • chicken breasts
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1 packet taco seasoning


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

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts cut to bite-size pieces
  • 2 (15-oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream (1/2 pint)

Mediterranean Chicken

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (12-oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
  • 1 (10.2 oz.) jar pitted kalamata olives, drained and chopped
  • 4 (oz.) Feta cheese crumbles
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Tuscan Chicken

  • boneless, skinless chicken
  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

First published: 5-30-13; Added more! recipes: 9-26-20


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14 replies
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  1. Whizzy says:

    I’m curious about the Quesadilla recipe. I don’t see any liquid, other than the lime juice. If I use a slow cooker, do I need to add any liquid?

    • Mary Hunt says:

      No liquid needed. Because you’re slow cooking on Low, the chicken will create the right amount of moisture. It will shred easily!

  2. Patti says:

    I’ve been making these for years for me and now I make them for my 96 year old dad. He loves them! It’s so easy for him to pull one out and bake it while he makes some rice or noodles or potatoes to go with it. Teriyaki is his favorite. He lives 4 hours away from me so it’s something I can do for him while I’m there to keep him stocked up with easy meals until my next visit.

  3. Donna says:

    At your suggestion years ago, I do this when I bring chicken home and bag and freeze with various marinades. Thaw night before and dinners are super fast. Thank you. I tell everyone about you

  4. Mary Hunt says:

    Linda … You are right! You do not have to freeze it first. (But having a freezer full of dump chicken meals is pretty awesome!) I’m on my way to amend the post to make this clear. Thanks!

  5. Linda Grigsby says:

    Mary, why do you have to FREEZE it? Can’t you just mix everything in the zip top bag and refrigerate long enough to marinate or “marry all the flavors”, then place in the slow cooker or oven to bake?

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