Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Burrito

What happens when you cross a wrap with a burrito? You get the flavors of a sandwich mixed with the textures you love from a burrito. There’s freshness from the greens, some decadence with the ranch and bacon and warm rice and cheese inside turns it into a burrito, plus the whole thing gets griddled. These freeze well and are ideal for lunch or a dinner on the go.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Burrito
Ingredients (for 2)

1 chicken thigh or breast or 2 tenders grilled or ~1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package (mine was leftover but originally in the pressure cooker with chicken broth).
1/4 cup crumbled bacon (~3 strips)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
4 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/2 teaspoon ranch dressing powder mix
2 cups greens (baby arugula or spinach)
2 tortillas

Directions:
Chop the chicken and bacon and lightly warm the torillas for better flexibility.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

Lay the tortillas down and spread ~1 tablespoon of ranch dressing onto each one. Then layer onto each one with the rice, cheese, bacon, sprinkle on the dry dressing mix, chicken, greens, and remaining dressing.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

Warm a skillet to medium heat and roll up the burritos. (I fold the sides in, then keep those inward with my pinkys while using the rest of each hand to roll the whole thing away from me, tucking the sides in as I go.)

If freezing: individually wrap in plastic, label and freeze. Defrost in the fridge overnight or defrost in the microwave over low heat and pan fry or finish in a toaster oven to crisp the outside a bit.

Toothpick them closed before pan frying them if you wish! Put them in seam side down and use a cover or tongs to keep them from unrolling while pan frying them to get golden, crisp, and melting the cheese inside. Turn to warm each side.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

I loved these! It not only has some of my fav flavors but the rice in there really gives a good twist and makes it wayyy better than an everyday sandwich. It also uses up just a bit of leftover rice & chicken.

I rarely remember to defrost over night but our home microwave has the best defrost I’ve ever used so I’d do that – or maybe work lunch hangs out in your bag before heating? A whole bunch could go into the oven if feeding a crowd.

Skip the bacon and swap ranch for creamy caesar for a caesar salad burrito. Or go spicy for a buffalo chicken burrito! Basically the rice + any cheese + chicken + any dressing will change the vibe and I’m here for it.

Pulled Pesto Chicken & Caprese Sandwiches

These started with lots of our favorite flavors and ingredients – basil pesto! mozzarella! tomatoes! We are into a new groove with more in-person routines and special sandwiches make fast dinners – especially in September with some summer temps and some feelings of fall. Most of this can prep in advance and to make as sliders or full-sized sandwiches.

The Three Bite Rule - Pulled Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

I loved these! Admittedly – the kids weren’t wow-ed. They ate all the elements but didn’t care about them being together. Not every meal will be everyone’s favorite so I feel like they were still a winner if the kiddos were reminded that their beloved pesto doesn’t only show up on pasta.

Pulled Pesto Chicken & Caprese Sandwiches
Ingredients: (for 4 sandwiches or 8 sliders)

2 chicken thighs or breasts or rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons basil pesto
4 rolls or 8 slider rolls
1/2 tomato
1/2 ball of fresh mozzarella
3 tablespoons creamy caesar dressing or garlic aoli or balsamic reduction drizzle (optional)

Directions:
Cook the chicken and when fully cooked through, pull it apart with 2 forks and mix in the pesto.
Toast the rolls (optional).
Slice the tomato and mozzarella.

The Three Bite Rule - Pulled Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

Spread the rolls with dressing or spread if using it.
Assemble the sandwiches with tomato, chicken, and mozzarella.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Pulled Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

I had some sourdough rolls and some slider rolls and we had it with caesar salad which the first grader loves to “make”.

These flavors work so well together and I appreciate that a smaller amount of chicken goes further for sandwiches like this, versus serving whole cuts of chicken per person.

I’d eat these as little appetizer crostini or as wraps or grilled into a panini too! I threw some of the leftover pesto pulled chicken on top of some pasta to pack for lunch or it would be fine to freeze too!

Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach Topping

Sandwiches are the easiest dinner and was a hit for all of us! The kids were into it and I never expect everyone to like everything all the time. These were a good example of putting elements together the kids already know into a new combo. I thought they might dismantle and eat separately but they ate it as is- just less arugula!

The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach

Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach Topping
Ingredients: (for 4)

1 peach or nectarine
1 slice onion
1/2 tomato
1 green onion
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
~6 breaded chicken fingers
4 sub rolls
1 cup arugula
4 tablespoons honey mustard dressing

Directions:
Chop the peach, onion, tomato, green onion, vinegar, and oil. Stir well and refrigerate until serving.

The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach

Bake or air fry the chicken pieces until cooked through.
Assemble the sandwiches by lightly toasting the rolls, spreading honey mustard on, then adding the arugula, chicken and lastly the peach topping.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach

I loved this! It was so fun and a great use for rolls we had from a sausage & peppers night and there’s always chicken kicking around here.

Add some avocado to the topping (mine weren’t ripe!) cheese would be good too!

The peach topping is so good- it is sweet and tart. Put it on a burger with smoked gouda! Put it on some fish tacos! Add it to a grain salad with avocado and pistachios! Use it to upgrade your turkey sandwich!

Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Think of a broccoli & rice & cheese but as a warm wrap- instead of a casserole! These wraps were so fun and an ideal way to use some leftovers!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Chicken, Broccoli, & Rice Warm Wraps
Ingredients: (for 2 wraps)

1 cup brown rice (+ water/broth according to required prep)
1/2 broccoli head, cut into small florets
1 cup roasted chicken
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, chopped or grated
2 large wraps
2 tablespoons dressing (optional – creamy caesar or Parmesan Peppercorn)

Directions:
Prepare the rice (mine was brown rice for 10 minutes in the pressure cooker). Keep warm.
Roast the broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil in a 400-degree oven for ~10 minutes until getting golden and crispy.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Assemble the wraps with half of each the rice, warm chicken, broccoli, and cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Drizzle dressing, if using any.
Heat a pan to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
If the wraps had been refrigerated (or a touch stale!) warm in the microwave for 10 seconds to be the most pliable.
Roll the wraps by tucking the sides in then rolling from the bottom and tucking the sides in further until completely rolled.
Then pan sear on each side, starting with the seam side down first.
Cook for a few minutes on each side- a cover will help the cheese to melt.
Let sit for 1-2 minutes before slicing.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

I loved these! It is like a burrito – just without any particular identity. I like the balance of a whole grain (rice), as much veggie (broccoli) as protein (chicken) and some decadence (cheese & dressing) with just a few ingredients!

Most of this could be prepared in advance: the rice, the chicken, the roasted broccoli. These freeze well too – when freezing any burritos, I wrap in plastic and defrost overnight or in the microwave. Then to finish, I pan sear or bake the in toaster oven with a spray of non-stick spray. The goal is to defrost or warm slowly enough to heat all the way through, then give a little crunch to the exterior.

The technique to roll a burrito takes some practice not to over-fill and roll keeping the ingredients in, here’s a video of tucking the sides in as you roll away from yourself:

Cobb Salad Panini

All the perks of a Cobb salad without any of the lettuce! Lettuce really gets in the way of the fun stuff in a salad, right??? This panini has Cheese! Chicken! Ham! Avocado! Tomato! Blue Cheese Dressing!

I loved this grilled cheese with all the things.

The Three Bite Rule - Cobb Salad Panini

Cobb Salad Panini
Ingredients:

2 slices sourdough
1 slice ham
1/3 cup chopped chicken
3 slices cheese
1 small tomato
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
2 teaspoons butter/olive oil/mayo

The Three Bite Rule - Cobb Salad Panini

Directions:
Heat a pan to medium heat.
Assemble the sandwich with bread, half the cheese, ham, chicken, tomato, sliced avocado, and the remaining cheese.
Spread butter or mayo or brush bread with olive oil.
Cook the sandwich and grill on each side for ~ 2-3 minutes. Cover to melt the cheese.
Remove from the heat and let sit for 1 minute before slicing. Dip into blue cheese dressing.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cobb Salad Panini

This was so fun. There’s a lot happening and it is one of those messy-delicious sandwiches you can barely put down. Good bread is necessary to hold up, and nothing makes a panini/loaded grilled cheese better than cheese on each side.

The defining elements of a cobb salad to me seems fuzzy compared to a chef’s salad. I’m not entirely sure what’s in one and not in the other? Either way, in a salad the hard boiled egg is ideal – I figured it might be a little weird here. Bacon would have been lovely, sliced turkey could definitely swap for the chicken. Go for what speaks to you.

Special sandwiches are so great for dinner – or make salads one meal and paninis for another!

English Muffin Turkey Melts

I’ve been trying to give home lunches a bit of a face lift. These turkey melts on English muffins are just unique enough be exciting while keeping them a totally do-able weekday lunch. Somedays it is PB&J while doing 5 other things and then there’s a 5 minute special lunch with everyday ingredients like this!

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts

These have a nice kick with a spicy sauce and crunch from an apple (or there are lots of variations below)!

English Muffin Turkey Melts:
Ingredients: (for 1)

1 English Muffin
2 tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or hot sauce)
2 slices turkey
1-2 slices cheese
1/4 apple (I used honeycrisp)
1 cup mixed greens

Directions:
Toast the English muffin (the toaster oven is perfect for this, or “griddle” it on a pan to use again soon).
Mix together the mayo and the sriracha in a small bowl.
Slice the apple and chop the greens if needed, while the muffin toasts.

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts


When the English muffin is toasted, spread the sriracha onto both halves, then top one half with greens, apple slices, turkey, and cheese.
Pop the assembled English muffin into a toaster oven, the regular oven, or into a hot pan with a cover to melt the cheese and warm everything through.

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts

Pop the top on and enjoy!

These are so fun and could easily swap with what you have. Honey mustard would be great, a pear would taste delicious, ham can swap with turkey. Go crazy! The English muffin definitely adds some variety, and the melty cheese + lunch meat + a fruit + a veg + sauce = is perfect. These can be open faced or popped together as a sandwich.

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts

I’m partial to these Fiber One Multigrain English muffins. They are much more fluffy than others and the higher fiber is just an added benefit.

BLT Chicken Salad

Approaching 1 year of the pandemic and some gloomy weather has me a bit blah. I desperately miss non-icy sidewalks at the moment. Sometimes a more exciting lunch is something to look forward to, right? I’ve been striving for some more varied lunches and this was a good one.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Chicken Salad

Just a few slices of bacon with chopped greens, tomatoes, chicken salad, and a bit of bright pickle is so satisfying and perfect in a pita, or on some great bread, or scooped with crackers. This also works nicely for reviving leftovers if you’ve eaten chicken lately!

BLT Chicken Salad
Ingredients: (for 2-3 servings)

2 cups chicken (cooked and cooled)
1 teaspoon mayo
1 tablespoon Italian dressing
1 teaspoon pickle juice (optional)
2 strips bacon (cooked and cooled)
2 cups baby arugula
1 small tomato

Directions:
Chop and shred the chicken and mix the mayo, Italian dressing, pickle juice (optional) and salt & pepper.
Chop the bacon, arugula, and tomato and add in the chicken salad.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Chicken Salad

Stir gently to combine – add in another splash of dressing or pickle juice if needed.
Serve as a sandwich, with more greens as a salad, or scoop with crackers!
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Chicken Salad

This is use 103,894,380 for a Costco roasted chicken. Those things are so much better than anywhere else, and cheaper! I buy them even without a plan and take it off the bone to freeze it. For this chicken salad, it was easy to break off some frozen chunks and defrost in the fridge overnight.

I’m partial to Ken’s Italian Dressing that looks like nothing special but is ohh so good. I think that WITH the pickle juice is delightful and just enough mayo to keep it together.

Are chopped salads still a thing? I liked everything getting equally distributed but now I’m wondering if they were just a fad of the 2010s? Either way, it is the perfect way to ensure each bite has some of everything. The concept lives on at our house!

Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich

The Three Bite Rule - Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich

As a forever-Friends-fan, those Thanksgiving episodes are the best! Monica makes historic leftovers sandwiches with a “moist maker” of gravy soaked bread in the middle. It totally takes it over the top!

Plan your leftovers accordingly! This is so good! Even if you don’t have leftovers, roasting a turkey breast (or use thick deli turkey – I won’t tell)! A box of stuffing is easy to make just enough for this- or use some for these amazing Thanksgiving Meatballs with stuffing and dried cranberries!

Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich
Ingredients: (serves 2)

6 slices of bread
4 slices of turkey
1 cup stuffing
1/2 cup gravy
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons mayo
1 1/2 cup arugula

Directions:
Toast 4 slices of the bread (leaving 2 un-toasted). Warm the turkey, stuffing, and gravy.
Trim the crust off the remaining 2 slices and dip them into the gravy to soak.

The Three Bite Rule - Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich

Spread cranberry sauce onto one of the toasted slices for each sandwich and a smear of mayo onto the other.
Lay the arugula on top of the cranberry sauce, then the stuffing, then the gravy soaked bread, then the turkey, then the bread.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich

Slice and enjoy!

This was so fun and perfectly decadent. The tart cranberries and peppery arugula seems necessary with the heft of everything else

The Three Bite Rule - Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich

It is such a good idea as a stable way to get the gravy in there without it dripping off your sandwich!

Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

Let’s chat comfort food. I’m glad fall is in the air and I’m ready for some foods to give us a little hug. I took the flavors of a burger into a speedy sloppy joe- the extra mustard and addition of relish and liquid smoke gives it all the burger flavors. I used meatless but any ground meat/meatless works!

The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Sloppy Joe

Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes
Ingredients: (for 4)
3/4 pound ground meat (I used Gardein Meatless Crumbles)
4 burger rolls
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon relish
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
4 slices of American Cheese

Directions:
Add ground meat (cooked through if using beef/chicken/pork), brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, relish, and onion powder to a large skillet over medium-low heat. (I used meatless crumbles which can go into the pan frozen.)

The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Sloppy Joe

Add in worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke (if using), and a splash of water.
Cook for 5 minutes until well incorporated and bubbling.
Toast the buns.
Spoon the sloppy joe onto each bun and quickly top with cheese to melt it.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Sloppy Joe

Add some pickles and extra ketchup and mustard, if desired. Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Sloppy Joe

I loved this! Sloppy Joes cook SO quickly and are easy to stretch meat a bit further than a patty might. These are a great way to use a meatless product too.
Mixing some shredded cheddar would be good too- though maybe not so photogenic. Liquid smoke is a fantastic addition to these, in chili, in burgers, and any sauce or spread that has bacon in it! I find it on amazon but may have seen it at the grocery store too.

Hawaiian Hot Dog

Talking about Hawaiian pizza got me thinking about iconically Hawaiian flavors like pineapple, teriyaki, and pork. Let’s add ’em to a hot dog! These hot dogs were so fun and a great change of pace – especially since we won’t be heading to Hawaii anytime soon! We fell in love with the grilled pineapple and grilled more just to eat too.
The Three Bite Rule - Hawaiian Hot Dog

Hawaiian Hot Dogs

Ingredients (for 4 hot dogs):

4 hot dogs
4 King’s Hawaiian Hot Dog buns (or potato rolls)
3 pineapple rings
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 onion
1/2 cup greens (I used baby kale but spinach, arugula, collards, cilantro, or parsley would all be great)
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce

Directions:

Sprinkle the pineapple with brown sugar then grill the pineapple and hot dogs.
While those are grilling, chop the onion and greens.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the mayo and teriyaki sauce.
Warm the buns the last minute of grilling.
Chop the pineapple and mix together with the onion and greens.
Assemble the dogs with the bun, the hot dog, the pineapple/onion/greens and drizzle with teriyaki mayo.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Hawaiian Hot Dog
I loved these. The freshness of the greens and the crunch of the onion was necessary. Those came the 2nd time around when I made these. Honestly the King’s Hawaiian Hot Dog Buns weren’t any better than our grocery store potato bun rolls.

Loaded hot dogs are so fun. For our ‘home 4th of July’ we made dogs with dill relish, french onion dip, and crispy onions. I also love dogs with blue cheese dressing and bacon. These crescent dogs, 3 ways are super fun too. I never can get my hands on pretzel buns again, but these Fall Dogs with Apple Slaw topped with apple, arugula, and onion with white cheddar and dijon is to-die-for. Burger toppings work well for dogs too!