40+ Easy Chicken Dinners That Aren’t Boring or Bland | The Best Chicken Dinner Ideas To Try Tonight

Plain ol’ chicken can get boring, but I’ve compiled 40+ amazing and delicious chicken dinner recipes that aren’t boring or bland. These easy chicken meals are simple to make, delicious, and full of healthy ingredients!

Are you looking for a chicken dish that’s beyond ordinary? I’ve compiled 40+ chicken dinner recipes that aren’t boring or bland. They are simple to make, delicious, and full of healthy ingredients!
I know fixing something tasty and healthy for dinner can be a struggle. Especially during busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook meals that your whole family will enjoy. So you go to your trusty recipes and you make the same meal every night. Or every other night. I know I used to do this when I was in a hurry and I didn’t have time to find alternatives. But that can get a little bit boring. Am I right?

I know this struggle way too well.

When I come across it, I always turn to chicken recipes because let’s face it, you cannot go wrong with chicken. It’s one of the easiest and healthiest options for busy weeknights. Chicken is a great source of protein and, overall, is very good for you. There are numerous health benefits of chicken and I’m pretty sure you know them all. However, chicken dishes can be boring. And, when you want to eat healthily, chicken can become really, really boring.

It doesn’t have to be boring or bland, though. Chicken is so versatile, and there are many ways to prep it without getting tired of it.

Overhead image of a skillet with two seasoned chicken breasts, ready to be used in a recipe.

That’s why I decided to make this list of easy chicken dinners for you. I’ve even broken down the list into categories to make choosing a recipe simple. There’s something for everyone here. From crockpot chicken recipes to baked chicken, pizza (yes, healthy pizza!), soups, wraps, and more. TONS of dinner ideas for you in one place.  All these chicken recipes are not boring or bland so you can have a tasty chicken dinner AND eat healthy with your family!

You can try them all or just the ones that speak to you. One thing is for sure though – your busy nights will taste delicious with these easy chicken recipes.

TOOLSET FOR EASY CHICKEN RECIPES

Chicken is my go-to dinner whenever I want something quick and yummy. However, this was not always the case. I used to resort to the same bland chicken recipes that are healthy but not very good. Or very tasty. Or full of flavors.

Well, that’s an old story.

Once you discover how creative you can be with chicken recipes, you learn that chicken doesn’t have to be this dry protein that is good for you but not delicious enough.

Before starting to discuss all the chicken dinner recipes that I gathered here for you, let’s talk about the tools that helped me to develop so many easy chicken meals.

  • A deep pan or a deep skilletOpens in a new tab.. It doesn’t matter how you call it but it’s super important to have one because it will make cooking easier. I use mine for so many different recipes. It’s very useful when you make those easy one-pan meals. However, a large skilletOpens in a new tab. can work too.
  • Casserole baking dishesOpens in a new tab. are amazing for baked chicken dishes or any easy baked dishes really.
  • Speaking of easy meals, slow cooker meals are some of the easiest meals you can prep. So make sure you have a crock potOpens in a new tab., an instant potOpens in a new tab. or a stock potOpens in a new tab.. Cooking chicken in a crock pot is a game changer. There is no such thing as dry or bland chicken if you use a crock pot. And you can throw everything in a crock pot (side included) and get a meal ready without too much hassle. Easy, right?
  • And since easy is the word of the day, make sure you get your baking sheetOpens in a new tab. ready because baked chicken dinners are some of the easiest and healthiest chicken dinners you can make.
  • Mixing bowlsOpens in a new tab. – you need them to prep meals. And if they are dishwasher, refrigerator, and freezer safe they make your job so much easier.
  • Now that I mentioned meal prepping, I have to discuss meal prep containersOpens in a new tab. They are amazing for make-ahead meals. You can also use quart-sized freezer bagsOpens in a new tab., gallon freezer bagsOpens in a new tab. or Ziploc bagsOpens in a new tab..
  • And, since we switched to more general kitchen tools and appliances, make sure your sharp knifeOpens in a new tab., saucepanOpens in a new tab., digital thermometerOpens in a new tab., food processorOpens in a new tab. or blenderOpens in a new tab. are ready to be used because we’re about to make some delicious easy chicken dishes together.

Overhead view of a glass bowl containing chicken, which is being tossed in Honey Mustard Chicken Marinade.

IS CHICKEN HEALTHY?

Yes, chicken has a lot of good things going for it. Chicken is high in protein and it’s a lean source, too. Protein is helpful with muscle development (read my post about foods to lose fat and build muscle). Protein is a satisfying part of a meal – keeping you feeling full and less likely to snack.

Other nutrients in chicken provide the following benefits:

  • Iron: turns into hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to all parts of the body, including muscles
  • Selenium: important for DNA production, thyroid gland production, and protection from free radicals that cause disease
  • B Vitamins: help with energy levels, brain function, and prevention of infection 
  • Zinc: keeps your immune system healthy and aids protein building

So, yes! Chicken is healthy. It’s easy to cook with and it’s an economical purchase. What can be better than serving an easy meal that’s nutritious and fits the budget, too? 

And if you are wondering how to get the best out of your grocery dollar by not wasting anything, get the scoop here: “Can You Refreeze Chicken?”

Overhead image of the 7 Best Chicken Marinades covering chicken and placed in freezer ziploc bags.

5 BONUS TIPS FOR MAKING CHICKEN MEALS EXTRA DELICIOUS

Chicken dishes often need a little extra something to make them as delicious as they can be. Extra something doesn’t mean a lot of effort or a complicated recipe. Sometimes, it only means adding extra spices, fresh herbs or anything that can brighten up the flavors of poultry.

I’ve gathered my favorite tips that will help you to bring your chicken dinner recipes to the next level.

  1. Make marinades:  marinating chicken is a great way to make your chicken taste amazing. The more you marinate it, the better. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can marinate the chicken for a couple of hours. However, I highly recommend marinating the chicken overnight. It will make a big difference. Also, make sure you store the chicken in the fridge while it’s marinating. To keep your marinade healthy, choose freshly made fruit marinade instead of oil-based marinades.
  2. Season with different spices: don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and herbs. Sure, use your favorites but every now and then try something new to keep things interesting. Think new fresh herbs, new spices, lemon zest, and even vinegar.
  3. Use fresh ingredients: you might be tempted to buy a mix of chicken spices and use them when you’re making chicken recipes but, instead of doing that, you should make your own mix of spices. Italian dishes taste way better with fresh minced garlic, for example. You can also use fresh basil instead of dried basil. For Indian dishes, you can make a chicken marinade with bay leaves, turmeric, coriander, and cardamom instead of buying an Indian spice mix.
  4. Don’t remove the chicken skin: when you cook a whole chicken, don’t remove the skin even if you don’t plan to eat it. Chicken skin will maintain the juices and flavors of the meat while cooking. You can remove the skin after cooking if you want.
  5. Don’t overcook chicken: this is so important. Overcooked chicken means dry chicken that doesn’t taste very good. Use a digital thermometer to test the temperature of the chicken. Chicken breast is cooked when the internal temperature is 170 degrees while a whole chicken should reach 180 degrees. You can also pierce the chicken to test it. If the juices run clean, chicken is ready. If the juices are not clean, allow the chicken to cook for a few more minutes.

Overhead image of two chicken breasts in a skillet, cooked and ready to be used in a recipe.

HOW TO EAT MORE CHICKEN

It’s easy to fit chicken into your diet. It’s a satisfying protein with lots of nutrients. How to eat more?

Breakfast

  • Add chicken to an omelet or make a chicken taco wrap with eggs
  • Use chicken bacon instead of pork bacon or sausage

Lunch

  • Use leftover chicken in wraps and sandwiches
  • Add chicken to bean or lentil soup
  • Top a chicken with salad

Dinner

  • Chicken is good all year round, whether baked, fried, or grilled
  • Add chicken to your favorite pasta dish
  • Top nachos with baked chicken for a healthy addition
  • Grind chicken and make burgers

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN DINNER IDEAS

After all this easy chicken meals talk, I’m sure you are excited and ready to test some of my favorite chicken dinner ideas. I’m glad you are. You deserve stress-free weeknight meals.

Are you looking for chicken dinner ideas that will get you excited about poultry again? Sometimes, when we prepare chicken often, we resort to the same thing over and over because it’s easy to make and everyone likes it.

I’ve categorized over 40 recipes below, and I’m happy to say my family loves all of them. Here’s betting yours will, too. These dishes have tons of juicy chicken flavor and range from healthy meal prep to crispy chicken strips. I’ve even thrown in a few marinades for you to try!

You no longer have to look for easy chicken meals because I already did it for you.

Overhead view of two chicken protein bowls, alongside fresh lime, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and additional cashew lime crema for topping.

CHICKEN BOWL RECIPES

What can be better than a bowl of super nutritious food, with flavors that blend well and complement each other, too? Any one of these chicken bowls is sure to satisfy. They are easy to put together. They’re good in any season  – and they are a colorful addition to the table!

Close up of the shredded chicken enchiladas in a white casserole dish, baked and ready to eat.

INTERNATIONAL CHICKEN RECIPES

Sometimes it’s fun to try a dish outside of your normal repertoire. I love shredded chicken enchiladas and everything else Mexican (like perfect guacamole!). I’ve included the enchilada recipe here, among other favorites. Choose an Italian dish, or even Chinese (better than take-out!).

Overhead view of two meal prep containers containing meal prepped chicken, broccoli, and sweet potatoes, to show how to meal prep chicken.

MEAL PREP CHICKEN RECIPES

Meal prepping allows you the luxury of not cooking dinner at dinner time. Which means you’ll never have to cook when you’re hungry or when you don’t feel like cooking. Learning how to meal prep chicken will save you time, energy, and it will make your chicken dinners taste better because you’ll cook when you’re in the mood for cooking not when you really have to. That’s the secret of delicious meals.

Meal prep is just the best ←-healthy meals ready and waiting!  Chicken works well for meal prep because it’s a great lean protein and works so well with marinades and all kinds of flavors.

Hand with spoon scooping out some of the slow cooker chicken cauliflower curry from the bowl.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN RECIPES

During cold fall or winter nights, people tend to turn to hearty and comforting chicken dishes. But even in the spring or summer, the slow cooker can come in handy. Throwing a meal in the slow cooker in the morning, and then enjoying it for dinner is just awesome. My days are busy and knowing I don’t have to cook is a reward at the end of the day. Talk about an easy chicken dinner idea – it’s right here, my friends!

Close up overhead view of Kid-Friendly Cheddar Crusted Chicken Strips, showing two hands dipping the chicken and veggies.

LUNCH CHICKEN RECIPES

I love an easy lunch, especially when I’ve got to head out the door for an activity with one of the kids or to run errands. Yummy and quick, not to mention, kid-friendly! All the recipes here are favorites in my house. We’re on the go, living an active and healthy lifestyle and these quick-to-make recipes fit the bill for everyone!

overhead image of chicken breasts cooked in the Honey Mustard Chicken Marinade.

MARINADES FOR CHICKEN

Marinating chicken is the best way to make juicy chicken. I promised you marinades, and here they are. Chicken is versatile in that the flavors can be easily blended, changed, and varied with a marinade, and all without sacrificing taste! In fact, they’ll make your easy chicken meals juicy, tender, and super flavorful.

Close up overhead view of Grilled Chicken Wings with Yogurt Ranch Dip, on a white plate with the dip in a bowl beside the wings.

APPETIZER CHICKEN RECIPES

I have good news for you. With these recipes, you get to enjoy your favorite appetizers, made with chicken, and in just minutes. All your favorite flavors are present, too.  Looking for an appetizer for the next barbecue get together or family gathering? Anything made with chicken is so good and perfect as appetizers for BBQs and parties. These appetizers are company-worthy and easy to make. Plus flavorful and amazing, of course.

Close up side view of a serving of Dijon Roasted Chicken and Carrots in a white bowl.

CHICKEN ENTREE RECIPES

What’s for dinner tonight? Any one of these chicken dinner ideas will provide you with a clean-eating, healthy meal without sacrificing flavor. Whether it’s soup you’re in the mood for, or a meal of baked chicken alongside a serving of fresh vegetables, these easy chicken dinner ideas will help you put a delicious meal on the table. Easy peasy.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

One thought on “40+ Easy Chicken Dinners That Aren’t Boring or Bland | The Best Chicken Dinner Ideas To Try Tonight

  1. That’s how I am right now. Nothing stays down, sometines yogurt and fruit, but not even that stays down on all of the day. I’ve tried crackers, ginger and 7up, some days they help, but they din’t work entirely. Im trying to eat other things too, but only the above and bean and cheese burritos sometimes work, but it gets boring. I keep trying to broaden the food items, but anything cooked is out of the question and nuts for the most parts disgust me and oils do too. Even raw vegetables have become hard to eat. As each day passes, my options get more and more limited. At least though Im toward the end of my 3rd trimester, but my WIC counselor said I’m loosing weight too fast, but my ob/gyn said its in the 2nd and 3rd trimester I’ll need to gain weight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Content