While chicken is a delicious mainstay of many people’s cooking year-round, it’s always had a special place in my summer food line-up. Juicy, grilled chicken breasts, pulled chicken sandwiches, fried chicken drumsticks, whole beer-barbecued chicken—summer chicken recipes are some of my all-time favorites.
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Here are some of EatingWell’s best healthy summer chicken recipes—whichever you pick, you can be confident that you’re cooking a meal packed with summer’s best flavors!
Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
This sesame chicken and noodle salad from chef Ming Tsai couldn’t be simpler to make. It’s a refreshing dish to serve on a hot summer’s night or bring it to your warm-weather potluck: just toss the salad with the dressing when you’re ready to serve.
Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken
Chicken turns this Greek-inspired salad into a substantial main course. Feel free to substitute other chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers, for the tomatoes or cucumber. Use leftover chicken, store-roasted chicken or quickly poach a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts while you prepare the rest of the salad. Serve with pita bread and hummus.
Great news—crunchy, flavorful fried chicken can be healthy. We marinate skinless chicken in buttermilk to keep it juicy. A light coating of flour, sesame seeds and spices, misted with olive oil, forms an appealing crust during baking. And with only 7 grams of fat per serving rather than the 20 in typical fried chicken—that is good news.
Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken
Hoisin sauce along with pureed tart raspberries makes a wonderful Chinese-inspired marinade and dipping sauce for grilled chicken. Plan ahead: The chicken thighs benefit from marinating for at least 2 hours before grilling.
Barbecue Pulled Chicken
Barbecue pulled chicken is one of my favorite summer chicken recipes. It’s made in a slow-cooker so it’s super-easy, it tastes great and can yield you zingy, healthy sandwiches all week long.
What’s your favorite summer chicken recipe? Tell us what you think below.