When Little Miss went to her week long evening Girl Scout camp a couple weeks ago, she came home late one evening raving about what they’d served. She could not stop talking about the grilled chicken pockets they’d made. And I’ll admit, for the $60 I pay for the 4 day with one overnight camp that includes a shirt, bandana, 5 meals, 4 snacks, and all the activities and badges they earn… well, I wasn’t expecting her to come home raving about the food.
I’m not sure who came up with the grilled chicken pockets, but Little Miss loved them. I thought the idea was way cool, too, because not only was it fast and easy (and obviously cheap), but you can choose what you want to put in them so we can avoid the dairy for Little Miss while going light on the cheese for Mister Man and heavy on the sauce for my husband.
Needless to say, it’s been on my mind to try making these at home to see if Little Miss raving about the grilled chicken pockets was her just loving camp or if they really were that good. I stocked up on what we needed while shopping at Walmart last week. We make rice all the time and have plenty of leftovers, and I almost always have some leftover sauce either from spaghetti or pizza I’ve made at home, which if course means I have shredded cheese, too.
Since this is a “last minute throw it together” kind of recipe, I wanted to have my chicken already cooked. I love the Tyson fully cooked chicken products for this purpose. I picked up the Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Fillets (with no preservatives, yay!) knowing that I could easily chop them to the size I want and use them for our grilled chicken pockets.
Little Miss had a variety of veggies in her pocket, and I wanted to mimic that idea but with a little more flavor than the frozen broccoli and corn she was given. The new Birds Eye Protein Blends were exactly what I was looking for. Not only do they have fun veggies, but there is a sauce included with them to kick up the flavor a little, too. The Southwest Style Blend was calling out to me, but the Asian Style, Italian Style, or California Style would have worked great, too.
Just because this is a meal I want to be completely quick and easy doesn’t mean that I want it to be filled with junk. I love how I’m getting protein not just from the chicken but also in the veggies I’m adding to the grilled chicken pockets.
Yesterday when we spent our day strawberry picking was the perfect chance for me to try out this recipe idea. We were gone from the house for the majority of the day, and we were starving for dinner when we got home – even with all the strawberries we picked (and might have eaten along the way).
How to Make Grilled Chicken Pockets
Fortunately, the grilled chicken pockets are a cinch to make. Little Miss prepped the assembly station while I quickly chopped the Tyson chicken breast fillets are returned them to the bag for easy serving. She tore off four sheets of tin foil that were about 9×16 inches to serve as our pockets for grilling while I lit the grill to medium, leaving the center off so we had some indirect cooking happening.
We snipped open the corner of the Birds Eye Protein Blend veggies. put out bowls with my leftover rice, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese, and we were ready to put the grilled chicken pockets together. I used leftover rice that I had made a couple days earlier. I always make more than enough, knowing that it will get eaten in one form or another. If you don’t have leftover rice, either make some earlier in the day or use a quick cooking rice, which is what they did at Little Miss’s camp.
Little Miss was the expert, so I let her show us how to do these. As my nine year old budding chef, she loved that she was in charge – and she did a pretty good job in the few minutes it takes to put these together.
To start, fold your tin foil in half to make a rectangle about 8×9 inches. Exact measurements do not matter at all here. Fold over a short end about a half inch to start to form a seal. Fold it a second time just to be sure. Repeat on the opposite side, giving you only the long top as an opening.
Grab a marker and write each person’s name on the envelope for the grilled chicken pocket. That prevents and “Hey! I didn’t get mine!” type issues once they’re cooked. It’s much easier to write on the tin foil before you start filling it. If you’re doing a bunch of these for guests, you could get this far in your prep with the envelopes before they arrive then let them fill their grilled chicken pockets when it’s time to cook as a fun activity.
Carefully open the top of the pocket wide enough to add ingredients. Start by scooping in some rice. You want enough to coat the bottom but come nowhere near filling the pocket. We used about a half cup per pocket. Next, add the chicken to your pocket, again as much as you would like. I found that adding seven to nine bite size chunks was a good amount for us.
Sprinkle your veggies atop the chicken, and yes, we used both the chicken and veggies straight from the freezer. Since the Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken is fully cooked, all we need to do is get all our ingredients hot and melty on the grill.
The cheese comes next, which helps prevent it from sticking to the foil since it isn’t the ingredient sitting on the top. Lastly, we topped it with our marinara sauce to give it some more flavor and a bit more moisture, too.
The top of the grilled chicken pocket envelope gets folded down and sealed, too, and they’re ready to grill.
Add them to the grill in the center or away from direct heat, and let them cook with the cover closed for ten to twelve minutes. You want to give the cheese a chance to get melty and the chicken and veggies to get nice and hot.
Little Miss wanted to walk around with her grilled chicken pocket like they did at Girl Scout camp – no plates required! – but I made everyone sit down to enjoy their meal. The flexibility of the “plate” being contained in the cooking vessel is great for camping, but I’m working on getting my horde civilized when we’re at home.
Knowing that some of us (ahem, everyone but me) might want seconds, we opened the top of the grilled chicken pocket carefully and then spread it wide to eat the goodies from inside.
Mister Man couldn’t stop oohing and ahhing and complimenting Little Miss, who was understandably pretty proud. They were pretty awesome actually, and I loved that we had such a healthy meal with tons of protein and our veggies in one place, so no one could “forget” to eat their veggies.
And yep, we had to make seconds. Fortunately, there were enough Birds Eye Protein Blend veggies in the bag to make seven of the grilled chicken pockets, and I had just barely enough sauce left to cover that, too. I was amazed by how quickly the food disappeared and thrilled that this last minute meal I threw together after our strawberry picking adventure was such a hit. This was the perfect meal solution, and it’s going into our regular menu rotation.
While I made these on our gas grill, Little Miss had made these over a campfire, and a charcoal grill or even your oven would work just as well. I love the flexibility of these grilled chicken pockets, and the wee ones are already talking about how they want to add these to the menu for their next RV trip. Hallelujah, fewer hamburger and hot dog meals!
Grilled chicken pockets is my new last minute dinner solution. What would you cook up with Tyson and Birds Eye products?
An oh so fun dinner that is healthy and comes together in minutes. This is perfect for summer days when you don't want to turn on your oven, as well as when you're camping to cook it over a campfire. Switch up the ingredients to include your favorites!
- 3 c cooked rice
- 3 c Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken beast, chopped
- 1 package Birds Eye Protein Blends, Southwest Style
- 3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 c marinara sauce
- Heat your grill to medium, leaving an area clear of heat so you can cook with indirect heat.
- Prepare sheets of tin foil by ripping off sheets about 9x16 inches each. Fold in half to make a pocket 9x8 inches. Fold the short ends over twice, each time about a half inch to create a seal, leaving the top open. Label each pocket with a name, if desired.
- Scoop ingredients into your pocket. Start with the rice, add chicken and then veggies. Sprinkle cheese atop this, and finish with marinara. Exact measurements and amounts are not critical.
- Place on your grill and cook for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are heated through.
- Serve immediately.
Go ahead and use your fully cooked chicken and your veggies straight from the freezer when at home. If you don't have leftover rice, you can make quick cooking rice. When camping, your ingredients won't be frozen, so reduce the cooking time accordingly.