09/03/2014 03:55 EDT | Updated 11/03/2014 05:59 EST

Versatile chicken chili can also be used for pizza, burritos or pasta sauce

Home economist Emily Richards suggests spending some time in the kitchen on the weekend preparing food that can be used for meals later in the week.

The recipe that follows is for chicken chili. Richards, also a recipe developer for Longo's, advises cooking chicken for an entree to serve with pasta, potatoes or rice plus extra for the chili when the oven is on.

"We continued and chopped it and added all the chili seasoning to put it in the freezer so that later in the week, you take it out, thaw it, heat it up and add cheese to it. If you want to extend it from there, you could take that filling and use it as a topping for pizza or a burrito filling or serve it as a chunky pasta sauce."

A pizza base or flour tortillas can be purchased. For burritos, Richards suggests spreading the chicken chili mixture over the tortillas, topping with cheese, rolling them up and pan frying until crispy.

Chicken Chili

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

1 pkg (227 g) sliced mushrooms

1 pkg (454 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 to 3)

10 ml (2 tsp) Montreal steak spice

1 can (540 ml/19 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil

15 ml (1 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

15 ml (1 tbsp) chili powder

250 ml (1 cup) mild salsa

50 ml (1/4 cup) white wine, chicken broth or water

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley

1 can (540 ml/19 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

125 ml (1/2 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

Spread mushrooms in bottom of a 33-by-23-cm (13-by-9-inch) baking dish; place chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle steak spice over chicken and spread tomatoes over top. Bake in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 30 to 40 minutes until chicken reaches 77 C (170 F) internal temperature and is no longer pink inside. Let cool.

Chop chicken and stir into baking dish.

In a saucepan over medium, heat oil and cook onion. Stir in garlic. Add chili powder and stir for 30 seconds, then stir in salsa, white wine and parsley. Add chicken mixture; stir in kidney beans. Let cool completely.

Pack in container and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator the day before you want to use it.

Remove thawed chili from fridge, place in a saucepan and reheat over medium-low, stirring until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese to serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 279 calories; 30 g protein; 6 g fat; 25 g carbohydrate; 9 g fibre; 8 g sugars; 826 mg sodium.

Source: Created by Emily Richards for Longo's,