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.
Oven-Fried Chicken 
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.