by Jen Oh, HMN’s Director of Chapter Development, also a nutritionist and long time holistic mom. Find her online at

Looking for ways to make your groceries stretch?

I have been making these two recipes from two large chicken breasts and it feeds my family of four, even with teens!

I use my Instant Pot to cook the chicken breasts, but you can grill or oven bake them. Then I shred the meat. If you’re lucky enough to find whole chickens – you can roast a chicken as one meal and use the leftovers to make either of these recipes. The best thing is that these recipes are quick, delicious, and use minimal ingredients. 

Avocado Chicken Salad

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 3/8 cup salsa
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
  • Optional: tortilla chips, rice, salad greens

Whisk olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper together. Add chicken and cilantro, tossing to well combine. Gently fold in salsa, black beans, and avocado. Serve with chips, rice, or over salad greens.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 1 medium onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • two 14.5-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes and juice 
  • one 15-ounce can or 2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (use store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
  • Tortilla chips or thin strips of tortilla pan-fried till crispy
  • diced avocado for serving, optional for serving
  • shredded cheese, optional for serving
  • sour cream, optional for serving
  1. To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  2. Add the onion, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
  4. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and juice, black beans, chicken, corn, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, smoked paprika, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 to 7 minutes. If at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your soup to have more broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end.
  5. Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
  6. Taste soup and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, etc.).
  7. Ladle soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips to taste, optionally garnish with avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.