I had never heard you could make ground chicken at home from chicken breasts in a food processor. The concept had never occurred to me. But, then two of my Meal Plan subscribers mentioned how easy it was.
Not going to lie, I thought it sounded GROSS. I was scared to try it!
But, ground chicken at my local store was 2-3x the price of chicken breasts. So, for budget-friendly reasons, I decided to finally give it a try. And here is my actual face when I realized how EASY it was to do it. Why didn’t I do this years ago?!
This is a great option if you can’t find ground chicken locally. Or, if you are like me and ground chicken is 2-3x more expensive. This way is more budget-friendly! Additionally, if you prefer a certain type or quality of chicken in your ground chicken, this ensures your ground chicken is exactly the way you need it.
What Kind of Food Processor Do You Have?
That’s the first question I got when I shared this kitchen hack to make ground chicken at home. I have and love my KitchenAid food processor. It’s a 13-cup size, which means there’s no job it can’t handle!
I use this large food processor all the time to:
- Chop nuts for my Paleo Granola or Nut Butter Balls
- Finely chop veggies for soups so I don’t have to by hand
- Shred zucchini or sweet potato for my Chicken Zucchini Nuggets or Tuna Taco Fritters or
- To make desserts like Oreo Truffles.
How to Make Ground Chicken at Home
Assuming you have a good food processor, it really is as simple as pulsing it up. First, I trimmed the fat off my chicken. One time I didn’t do this first, and the fat just got wrapped around and caught up in the middle of my food processor.
Second, I closed the food processor and mixed at high speed for about 1 minute. I thought I might have to stir it down and mix again, but it was done after the first round. This will depend on the amount of chicken you use and the size of your food processor.
Finally, double check that it is a smooth, ground up consistency. Stir it around a bit with a spatula to check. If there are still any larger pieces of chicken, mix again until smoothly ground.
Tips and Tricks
- Can I do this in a high powered blender? I have been told YES, but have not personally tried it. However, several in my community said they have done it in their Vitamix successfully! You might need to do so one chicken breast at a time or be prepared to stir and blend several times, to get all the chicken down to the blade.
- Can I use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast? You absolutely can! Use whatever is accessible to your family and meets your family’s dietary needs. My husband doesn’t like the taste of chicken thighs, so we usually use chicken breasts. But chicken thighs are even more budget-friendly! Some community members reported enjoyed the taste of using a blend of chicken breast and chicken thighs.
- How long will this ground chicken last? It is good for as long as the expiration date of your chicken. But, it freezes great – throw it in the freezer if it’s expiring soon! Pull out and thaw in the fridge the night before you want to use it.
Recipes We Love with Ground Chicken
Ok, so now you’ve made your own ground chicken…what can I use it for? Here are our favorite recipes that use ground chicken. All of them are Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free:
- Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Veggies
- Chicken Apple Sausage
- Chicken Zucchini Nuggets
- Pineapple Chicken Meatballs
- Burger King Copycat Chicken Fries
Make Ground Chicken at Home
- large food processor
- 1-2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Trim the fat off the chicken. One time, I didn't do this first, and the fat just got wrapped around and caught up in the middle of my food processor.
- Close the food processor and mix at high speed for about 1 minute. Check the chicken - if it is not ground consistently, stir and mix again. This will depend on the amount of chicken you use and the size of your food processor.
- If consistency is smoothly ground, you are done! If not, repeat the process until smoothly ground with no larger pieces.
- Once done, store in the fridge. Ground chicken is good for as long as the expiration date of the chicken used to make it. Or, store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.