Healthy MyPlate-Inspired Chicken Dinners
These delicious chicken recipes make it easy to eat healthfully and in line with the USDA's MyPlate Guidelines. These healthy recipes meet the MyPlate guidelines for calories, portion size, sodium, saturated fat and added sugars. To make these recipes part of a complete meal, please refer to our serving suggestions included with the recipe.
Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry
Spiked with lots of zesty lemon, this delectable chicken stir-fry has a colorful mix of snow peas, carrots and scallions. But feel free to substitute other thinly sliced vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini. Serve with: Rice noodles or brown rice.
Quick Chicken Cacciatore
This version of the classic Italian recipe, chicken cacciatore, is done in half the time of most traditional versions, but is still full of rich flavor thanks to plenty of mushrooms, tomatoes and herbs.
Sweet & Savory Grilled Chicken
This sweet and savory rub for grilled chicken relies on ingredients you most likely have on hand already--brown sugar, dry mustard and onion powder--making it a quick recipe for a night when you're not sure what you're making for dinner.
Chicken with Red Pepper Cream Sauce
In this healthy chicken with red pepper cream sauce recipe, roasted red pepper and chipotle give this creamy sauce a beautiful red hue and give it a slightly sweet and smoky flavor. The sauce can be made ahead, then served with seared chicken, as we do in this recipe, or with grilled fish or ravioli. This recipe makes more Cream Sauce without the Cream than you'll need for the red pepper sauce. Refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce and use it in place of heavy cream in any sauce or soup that calls for cream.
Sicilian Olive Chicken
This saucy one-skillet chicken dish is full of tomatoes, spinach, olives and capers. Try Kalamata olives in place of the green Sicilians or a combination of both. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles with a mixed green salad on the side.
Chicken Potpie with Biscuits
In this lightened-up recipe for chicken potpie, creamy chicken stew is topped with flaky biscuits for quintessential comfort food. Our recipe for chicken potpie takes advantage of convenient frozen mixed vegetables to keep it quick.
Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup
Who wouldn't want to eat their vegetables when they're tucked into a fragrant broth with bits of tasty chicken and spiked with a shot of fresh lime and cilantro? This healthy chicken vegetable soup seems even richer with the smoky flavor from roasted poblano peppers and garlic. Serve this healthy chicken soup recipe with tortilla chips.
Chicken Waldorf Salad
Leftover cooked chicken makes this chicken Waldorf salad, loaded with apples, grapes, celery and walnuts, a snap to assemble. If you use rotisserie chicken, keep in mind that it's salty and omit the salt in the dressing. Serve over watercress, with a chunk of whole-grain baguette.
Chicken Coconut Curry
At once comforting and exotic-tasting, this rich chicken coconut curry stew will warm you on chilly winter evenings. Chunks of potato, lean chicken and loads of veggies make it a meal in a bowl. Enjoy with a fruity white wine like Gewurztraminer or Chenin Blanc to tame the heat. Using “lite” coconut milk instead of full-fat in this healthy curried coconut chicken stew recipe trims roughly two-thirds the fat and calories without sacrificing flavor.
Clementine & Five-Spice Chicken
This chicken recipe gets intense, complex flavor from tangy clementines, five-spice powder and pungent Sichuan peppercorns. This dish is a marvel for entertaining: it takes just 35 minutes of prep and a handful of ingredients, but it looks and tastes super-special. Feel free to use mandarins, honey tangerines or oranges here instead of the clementines.
Stovetop Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
We trimmed 9 grams of fat and almost 100 calories in this makeover of cheesy chicken-and-broccoli casserole. All the raw ingredients are layered in a skillet, then simmered for a quick weeknight dinner.
Slow-Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew
Chicken thighs can take plenty of cooking without getting tough or drying out, which makes them perfect for the slow cooker. Here we braise them in Guinness stout along with hearty vegetables, with just the right amount of bacon for added savoriness.
Oven-Barbecued Asian Chicken
This Asian “barbecued” chicken made in a casserole dish is truly finger-licking good! You can make this with 2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 12 ounces each) instead of thighs and drumsticks, if you prefer. Remove the skin and cut each chicken breast in half on the diagonal to get 4 portions about equal in weight. Serve with sautéed chard and whole-grain rice pilaf.
Creamy Pea & Chicken Stew
This cheesy, saucy one-pot pea and chicken stew reminds us of the filling in chicken potpie. While it tastes rich and comforting, it has plenty of peas and cauliflower, too, so you get lots of veggies. Serve this creamy healthy pea and chicken stew recipe with biscuits or over brown rice.
Whole garlic cloves are mild when simmered with chicken in a simple white wine-mustard sauce in this garlic chicken recipe. Serve with smashed potatoes with buttermilk and sautéed green beans.
Feta, Corn & Chicken Salad with Smoky Tomato Dressing
This hearty chicken salad recipe is full of grilled sweet corn, scallions, salty feta, escarole, pine nuts and spicy chicken. Smoked paprika gives the tomato dressing a bacon-like flavor.
Chopped Tandoori Chicken Salad
Tandoori chicken is a traditional Northern Indian dish of spiced yogurt-marinated chicken cooked in a clay oven. In this tandoori chicken salad recipe we grill chicken and toss it in a salad with grilled tomatoes and cucumber.
Spicy Tunisian Grilled Chicken
This spicy rub of coriander, caraway and hot pepper is lovely on grilled chicken, as we use it here, or try it on pork tenderloin or salmon. If you prefer your food less spicy, reduce the amount of crushed red pepper.
Spicy Pecan Popcorn Chicken
These spicy and crunchy pecan-crusted chicken nuggets are paired with a quick, creamy ranch dip. If you can't find coarse breadcrumbs, substitute Grape-Nuts cereal instead.
Shawarma is a Middle Eastern sandwich made with sliced seasoned meat. This version features chicken, along with a cucumber-yogurt sauce, fresh tomato and crunchy romaine lettuce.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
All the flavor of Buffalo chicken wings is packed into this irresistible, healthy salad. But unlike chicken wings, you can eat a big serving of this healthy Buffalo chicken salad recipe for just 291 calories.
Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew
This chicken stew, generously seasoned with the Ethiopian spice mix berbere, is loaded with tomato and red lentils. Depending on brand, berbere spice blend can be rather spicy. For a less spicy stew, start with 3 tablespoons spice blend rather than 5.
Chiles Rellenos with Chicken
These pan-fried chiles rellenos are stuffed with a skinny chicken-and-corn filling. Serve with salsa or your favorite enchilada sauce.
Velvet Chicken with Baby Bok Choy
Velvet chicken is a classic Chinese cooking technique that keeps the meat juicy and succulent, and the chicken stays creamy-white rather than getting browned as in most stir-fries. Baby bok choy is about 3 inches in length and stir-fries quickly. If you can't find it, use regular bok choy cut into 2-inch segments.
Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples
Celebrate the flavors of fall with chicken cooked in a fast apple-cranberry sauce. If you prefer a less tart flavor, try dried cranberries instead of fresh. Serve with quick-cooking wild rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.
Teriyaki Marinated Chicken
Soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, garlic and ginger combine in this teriyaki-inspired marinade for grilled chicken. Try it with pork chops if you prefer. Grill fresh pineapple slices and asparagus alongside for simple side dishes.
Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick
Here's a fun way to serve oven-fried chicken for a picnic: put it on a stick. It's fabulous served with this homemade Vidalia onion and honey-mustard sauce, but it's also great with barbecue sauce or Frank's hot sauce. This is an easy recipe to double if you're serving a crowd.
Herbed Salsa with Grilled Chicken
This fresh tomato salsa, which doubles as a marinade for grilled chicken, is packed with flavor from lots of fresh oregano, chives and cilantro. The salsa would also pair wonderfully with just about any meat, fish or tofu. Serve the chicken and salsa with beans and brown rice or over greens for a colorful salad. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Caribbean Chicken & Pineapple Kebabs with Banana Salad
A Caribbean-inspired marinade for these chicken-and-pineapple kebabs is flavored with pineapple juice, soy sauce, plenty of spices and spiked with rum. It's moderately spicy from the use of jalapeño, but not nearly as spicy as the well-known jerk marinade, which uses the extremely hot Scotch bonnet chile. If spicy-hot is not your thing, leave the jalapeño out or use half. The creamy banana salad is a soothing counterpoint, but skip it if you like.
Balsamic Marinated Chicken
Sweet-tart balsamic vinegar spiked with garlic and Italian seasoning makes a fast and flavorful marinade for chicken. Serve with sliced tomatoes and grilled eggplant slices.
Curried Chicken Thighs with Buttery Croutons
These saucy curried chicken thighs makes a great dish for a big easy family supper. There's plenty of curry sauce, so serve with brown rice or whole-wheat egg noodles. We call for boneless, skinless chicken thighs here, but we've also tried it with bone-in thighs and it worked wonderfully.
Chicken Florentine Roll-Ups
Perfect for entertaining, these chicken cutlets are stuffed with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and just enough cream cheese to hold the filling together. Make a double batch and freeze half the roll-ups (individually wrapped in plastic), then just defrost and bake as you like. Serve topped with fresh diced tomatoes or marinara sauce and a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil.
Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
This sesame chicken and noodle salad couldn't be simpler to make. And the secret to this saucy sesame chicken and noodle salad is in its beautiful raw veggies--it's got great crunch. It's a simple, healthy, affordable dish to serve on a hot summer's night or to bring to a potluck: just toss the salad with the dressing when you're ready to serve. (Recipe adapted from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm; Kyle Books, 2010.)
Chicken with Quick Mole Sauce
Rich, dark and delicious, mole is a signature sauce in Mexican cooking. There are many variations, but the basic ingredients include plenty of chiles and nuts along with a touch of chocolate to tame the heat of the chiles. Traditional recipes can take several hours to prepare--this quick version takes a few shortcuts by using chili powder, nut butter and chocolate chips. Serve with rice and a medley of sautéed zucchini, pepper and onion.