It’s a busy weeknight and you need to make dinner for the family…something quick, easy, semi-healthy and something to please everyone. Sound impossible? Nope! Today I am sharing with you my favorite go-to, Easiest Semi-Homemade Dinner recipe. All that is required is 30-minutes (including prep and bake time), a few pantry staples (that I always keep on hand), fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a fresh veggie!
I will be honest….I am a chicken-salad-for-dinner-every-night kind of girl. I grill boneless, skinless chicken breasts in batches for the week, and then top a lettuce blend with grilled chicken, a few croutons and a little salt and pepper (I HATE salad dressing). I could eat that every night, every day. For me it’s easy.
But when cooking for the family, I came up with a dinner that is easy to make and guaranteed to satisfy everyone! First, I will admit…I am a Shake ‘N Bake fanatic. Is that like really 90’s?? I don’t know, or care, but Shake ‘N Bake has come a long ways in recent years and has more varieties now other than their regular, original version. My new favorite?? The CRUNCHY PRETZEL Shake ‘N Bake. But I am a carb loving, pretzel loving kind of girl.
The ingredients you need to make this easy meal: boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or even tenders for the kids!), Shake ‘N Bake, a can of black beans and a fresh vegetable. There are two breading pouches in the regular sized box of Shake ‘N Bake, and I can usually get about three chicken breasts breaded per pouch (just depends on how much breading you put on each piece of chicken).
I have been having a love affair with fresh, steamed cauliflower for as long as I can remember. I could eat the entire head of cauliflower by myself. I have no self-control when it comes to fresh, steamed vegetables. I never said I was normal….
To add to my meal (remember the part about me being a carb loving girl??), I made my Corny Cornbread. Super simple! My Corny Cornbread recipe is just a doctored up Cornbread mix. It takes just a few minutes to mix up, and then while it bakes in the oven, you can work on prepping the chicken! So make the Cornbread first yo.
I just want to eat ALL the cornbread ((((sigh))))
Trim excess fat off your chicken, coat the chicken in the Shake ‘N Bake and spread chicken out on a foil lined pan (easy clean up!!!). The chicken breasts I got were HUGE, so I butterflied the breasts to make them as thin as possible. Pop in the oven for a quick 20-minutes, which will give you enough time to get the black beans cooked and the veggies steamed!
Easiest Semi-Homemade Dinner!Print Recipe
- 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see note below)
- 1 package of Shake 'N Bake, in your desired variety
- 1 (15-ounce) can of black beans
- 1 head of fresh cauliflower
- Batch of Corny Cornbread
Make and bake Corny Cornbread first, so it can cool and set while the chicken is cooking. Click the links above for the recipe.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil. Set aside. Remove any excess fat from the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and butterfly the breasts so they are thin (if they were super thick like mine). Open your box of Shake 'N Bake and remove the provided plastic bag and a pouch of breading. Pour the breading into the plastic bag. Take one chicken breast and rinse it with water over the kitchen sink. The breasts need to have some water (not soaking wet though!) on them to get the Shake 'N Bake to stick. Put one breast in the Shake 'N Bake bag and shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake yo chicken. Shake yo chicken yeah! Remove breaded chicken breast and place on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining breasts. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the breasts on the pan, if additional seasoning is desired. Bake in 400-degree oven for 20-minutes.
Open can of beans, empty can of beans into small pot. Season with black pepper. Cook on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes depending on your desired doneness of your beans.
Cut your cauliflower (or broccoli) into bite sized pieces. In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 cup of water and the cauliflower pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 4-5 minutes, depending on your desired doneness. Drain water and serve.
Only bake as many pieces of chicken as you are going to eat the same day. Re-heating these later causes the breading to get soggy.
Hot from the oven! And the beans were steaming hot 🙂 This dinner is so good, it will be quiet around the dinner table…..because everyone will be too busy chowing down on this!
And of course my love…the true star….the steamed cauliflower. Any fresh vegetable will go well with this dinner though. Choose whatever your family likes (and what’s in season of course). Broccoli, fresh green beans or corn are some of the other vegetables that I will use sometimes too. If you made my Corny Cornbread, then steam the remaining can of corn in the microwave for a few minutes and serve that too. But not in the can—put the corn in a bowl before putting it in the microwave.
And my gorgeous bowls are courtesy of Sweese. Sweese was kind enough to send me a few to use here on the blog and I LOVE them! They have a cool, classic design and were perfect for my freshly steamed vegetables. You can check out Sweese’s website HERE and can even buy their products on Amazon.
So here ya go. Trick the kids into thinking this is fried chicken so they are happy. This meal has protein from the chicken breasts and black beans, with a fresh, steamed vegetable. Add fresh fruit for dessert and you have a well rounded meal. But don’t forget the Corny Cornbread for an extra treat! In 30-minutes, you just became a dinner hero. Winner, winner chicken dinner!! Now go make the kiddos do the dishes….
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PS- I linked up this recipe and a few of my others at the following link parties: What’s Cooking Wednesday, Weekend Potluck, Create, Link & Inspire, Sugar and Spice. Click on the links to check out tons of recipes and crafts from a bunch of different bloggers!