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!
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.
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 skillet. 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 skillet can work too.
- Casserole baking dishes 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 pot, an instant pot or a stock pot. 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 sheet ready because baked chicken dinners are some of the easiest and healthiest chicken dinners you can make.
- Mixing bowls – 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 containers They are amazing for make-ahead meals. You can also use quart-sized freezer bags, gallon freezer bags or Ziploc bags.
- And, since we switched to more general kitchen tools and appliances, make sure your sharp knife, saucepan, digital thermometer, food processor or blender are ready to be used because we’re about to make some delicious easy chicken dishes together.
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?”
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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?
- Add chicken to an omelet or make a chicken taco wrap with eggs
- Use chicken bacon instead of pork bacon or sausage
- Use leftover chicken in wraps and sandwiches
- Add chicken to bean or lentil soup
- Top a chicken with salad
- 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.
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!
- High Protein Chicken Bowl With Cashew Lime Crema (pictured)
- Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl
- Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl
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!).
- Shredded Chicken Enchiladas (pictured)
- Chicken Tacos
- One Pot Chicken Cacciatore
- Healthy Chicken Parmesan
- Tandoori Chicken
- Easy Orange Chicken
- Healthy General Tso Chicken
- Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
- Easy Chicken Marsala
- Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken & Hummus Greek Wrap
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.
- How to Meal Prep Chicken (pictured)
- Healthy Chicken Fajitas Meal Prep
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Meal Prep
- Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Meal Prep
- Healthy Chicken Parm Meal Prep
- Mini Freezer Chicken Pot Pies
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!
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cauliflower Curry
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
- Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
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!
- Kid-Friendly Cheddar Crusted Baked Chicken Strips (pictured)
- Almond-Crusted Baked Chicken Strips With Homemade Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
- Chicken and Rice
- Best BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Nashville Hot Chicken
- Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Easy Chicken Picatta
- Chicken Cobb Mason Jar Salad
- How to Grill Chicken
- One Pan Chicken Bruschetta
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.
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.
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.
- Dijon-Roasted Chicken and Carrots (pictured)
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- 25 Minute Chicken Cauliflower Rice
- Healthy Chicken Meatballs With Sautéed Zucchini
- Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Panko Baked Chicken Thighs
- Easy Roasted Chicken
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
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