Boxed Mashed Potatoes and Then Some

Personally, I prefer mashed potatoes made with real potatoes, but sometimes life happens and the flaky counterpart is all I have on hand.  Below is my go-to meal whenever this happens, as chicken and frozen veggies are a staple in my household:

  • Boxed mashed potatoes (any brand)
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas (based on potato serving size)
  • 2 thawed chicken breasts
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Milk
  • Spices 

Optional: bacon, shredded cheese, chives, carrots

  1. Season chicken to taste (I either use garlic powder, salt, and pepper if I don’t have a fancy blend on hand) and prepare however you prefer your chicken; baked, fried, seared then baked, totally up to you! Sometimes I get bagged frozen chicken fillets for days I don’t have much time, those usually bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, melt about a tablespoon of butter into a small pan.  Once melted, add frozen peas/carrots and give it a good stir to coat them.  Cook on medium to medium-low heat for about 3-5 minutes.  If you prefer mushier peas, I suggest turning the heat to low once they’re halfway there and placing a lid/plate on top to steam them a bit so they aren’t as firm.
  3. Check your chicken! If it’s baking, make sure to flip it if need be.
  4. Follow the directions on the boxed potatoes as far as portions per serving of ingredients.  They usually require water, milk, butter, and salt to taste.  Those cook up really quick, so while the peas are finishing up follow the box and keep them on very low heat so they don’t get cold.  Once the consistency is as desired, this is where the fun happens; add a teaspoon of sour cream per 2 servings of mashed potatoes.  It adds a bit more flavor and makes them creamier and bind a bit better! 
  5. While the potatoes are still warm, feel free to add any additional toppings.  My go-to is a handful of shredded cheddar cheese, usually leftover from a taco night.  I’ve also tried bacon, a pinch of garlic powder, and different types of cheeses.  It’s all down to preference!
  6. Once the chicken is done, you’re ready to plate and eat! I don’t mind food touching so sometimes I’ll cube the chicken breast and cook it in a pan so I can mix all of the food together.  

That’s it! This is super customizable, really easy on the wallet, and relatively quick to make during a busy week.  Of course, if meat isn’t your thing, I’ve also tried this with portobello steaks seasoned the same way as the chicken would be and it’s still pretty great together! This recipe serves two but can be made in bulk and stored, as I’ve found it reheats pretty well especially if it’s mixed together.