Best Healthy Chicken Recipes
Creamy Chicken Potpie
An irresistible crisp (but easy) phyllo crust tops these homey individual chicken potpies. Make a double batch and freeze extras to have on hand anytime. Serve with a butterhead lettuce salad with red onion and white-wine vinaigrette.
Chicken with Creamy Braised Leeks
A touch of heavy cream, a few garlic cloves and thyme sprigs round out the flavor of tender braised leeks with chicken in this recipe. The rich, silky sauce is wonderful over whole-wheat egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Leeks grown in the garden and those that you find at the store can be vastly different in size. Garden leeks tend to be smaller, so if you're using leeks from the garden, make sure you pick enough to fill up the pan.
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.
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.
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pimiento Cheese
Stuffing boneless, skinless chicken breasts with pimientos, scallions and cheese gives them great flavor without a lot of effort. Don't be concerned if some of the filling oozes out while the chicken is baking; just scoop it up from the pan as you serve. Serve with: Sautéed zucchini or summer squash and barley.
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.
Hoisin & Cranberry Roasted Chicken
Mild-mannered chicken breast sings when it's doused in a sweet-and-salty cranberry-hoisin pan sauce. Serve with roasted acorn squash and sautéed chard or kale.
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.
Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce
The secret to a good cream sauce is always the same: not too much cream or it can be overpowering, masking the more delicate flavors. Here it contains a bountiful amount of mushrooms and is served over chicken breasts.
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.
Braised Paprika Chicken
Sweet Hungarian paprika gives this creamy braised chicken the best flavor. This is a good “pantry dish” since you should have the basics on hand and only need to purchase the chicken. You may vary the recipe by using cubed veal shoulder instead of chicken and mushrooms instead of peppers. Serve with whole-wheat orzo flavored with minced parsley or dill.
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.
Butterflied Grilled Chicken with a Chile-Lime Rub
A quick and efficient way to cook a whole bird on the grill is to butterfly, or "spatchcock" it. When cooking a whole chicken on the grill, try searing the chicken first over direct heat then finish cooking over indirect heat (as instructed in this recipe). That way you avoid the all too common problem when grilling--chicken burned on the outside and raw in the center. For best flavor, let the chicken marinate in the rub overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with lime wedges and fresh salsa.
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.
Chicken Breasts with Green Chile-Almond Cream Sauce
Here we topped seared chicken breasts with a green chile cream sauce that was inspired by green mole. A touch of cream adds an extra smoothness to the sauce, but it can be omitted if you avoid dairy. Serve with brown rice and a tossed green salad with mango and red onion slices.
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.
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.
Roast Chicken & Fennel
With Italian spices, some diced fennel and toasty pine nuts, you'll have a gorgeous supper in no time.
Grilled Chicken Tostadas with Sweet-&-Sour Vegetables
These grilled chicken tostadas are topped with rich mole sauce and sweet-and-sour summer vegetables and use store-bought tostada shells for convenience. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, leave out the grilled chicken.
Orange-Tomato Couscous with Chicken
This cinnamon- and cumin-spiked couscous with chicken takes its inspiration from Morocco. It's made mostly with pantry staples--all you have to pick up is some chicken thighs, a bunch of cilantro and an orange. The orange slices become tender after cooking--you can eat them skin and all. For a variation, substitute diced, boneless leg of lamb for the chicken. Serve with steamed green beans or a spinach salad.
Spring Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad
This main-dish chicken salad has bright flavors of tarragon in a creamy blue cheese dressing with just a touch of sweetness from honey.
Chicken Sausage with Potatoes & Sauerkraut
Here's our weeknight version of choucroute garni, “dressed sauerkraut,” made with chicken sausage. The flavor of the dish will vary depending on what type of chicken sausage you choose. We like the taste of roasted garlic sausage or sweet apple sausage in this recipe. And although any type of sauerkraut can be used, we prefer the crisp texture of refrigerated kraut over canned. Serve with roasted carrots and some mustard to spread on the sausage.
Orange marmalade and freshly grated orange zest make a deliciously tangy sauce for quick-cooking chicken tenders. Serve with brown rice.
Cheesy Chicken Pasta
This ooey-gooey pasta dish is a crowd-pleaser for adults and kids alike--think rich and creamy macaroni-and-cheese tossed with cauliflower and chicken. Serve with a spinach salad.
Grilled Chicken Tenders with Cilantro Pesto
Cook chicken tenders quickly on the grill and top with pesto made with cilantro and sesame seeds for a zesty, speedy dinner. Serve with: Quinoa and grilled asparagus.
Paprika-Herb Rubbed Chicken
A simple combination of herbes de Provence, paprika, salt and pepper makes a flavorful rub for chicken, or try it with steak or tofu.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger
The classic flavors of Chicken Cordon Bleu--ham, Swiss cheese and thyme--inspired this easy chicken burger. We like using regular ground chicken, which is a blend of thigh and drumstick meat, to help keep this burger juicy, but feel free to use 100% ground chicken breast if you'd like a leaner burger. You'll cut 20 calories and 1 gram saturated fat. Serve with roasted broccoli.
Grilled Chicken Ratatouille
We gave this classic Provençal dish a taste of summer by grilling the vegetables traditionally used in ratatouille (bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, tomato). Topped with grilled chicken, it makes an easy main course for summer entertaining. We like fresh marjoram and basil to complement the flavors, but any fresh herb will work. Serve with polenta and a glass of Pinot Noir.
Chicken & Fruit Salad
Chicken, melon, walnuts and feta top mixed salad greens for a refreshing summer salad. Use your favorite summer fruit in place of the melon if you wish.
Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken
Enjoy this crunchy chicken at home for a family supper or take it along on a picnic to eat cold-no forks and knives required! For best flavor, shop for locally raised natural chicken and real maple syrup.
Japanese Chicken Meatballs (Tsukune)
Chicken meatballs called tsukune are a Japanese-restaurant favorite--they're essentially a chicken sausage mixture flavored with garlic and ginger. Use flat sword-shaped skewers instead of traditional round bamboo skewers to keep the meatballs from slipping when you try to turn them. Serve with bowls of steamed rice on the side.
Buffalo Chicken Casserole
We took the classic flavors of Buffalo wings--hot sauce, blue cheese, carrots and celery--and created a finger-licking-good casserole. Serve this dish during football season to a hungry crowd and it's sure to be a hit. We don't typically recommend ingredients by brand name, but in this case we make an exception for Frank's RedHot Sauce. It has the perfect balance of spice and tang for this casserole. Texas Pete and Crystal hot sauces are suitable alternatives if you can't find Frank's.
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.
Chicken Baked over Mushroom Dressing
Roasting a chicken on top of a three-mushroom stuffing keeps it moist and juicy. This is a comfy treat any winter night.
Here's a one-skillet version of chicken and stuffing made with wholesome ingredients. We use chicken thighs because we love the rich flavor of dark meat, but boneless, skinless breast works too. Serve with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes.
Indian-Spiced Chicken & Asparagus
This easy chicken-and-asparagus sauté is boldly seasoned with aromatic cumin and fennel; the seeds are toasted in a skillet before grinding to bring out the most flavor. If you don't want to buy a whole jar of the spices, look for them in the bulk spice section in natural-foods stores and buy just what you need for this recipe. Serve over brown rice, millet or quinoa.
Quick Chicken Cordon Bleu
To make traditional cordon bleu, you layer prosciutto (or other ham) and cheese in between thin slices of chicken or veal, then bread and sauté the whole stack. This quick, easy version keeps the flavors the same, but skips the fussy layering and breading steps. Serve with: Delicata squash and broccoli.
Dijon Chicken Stew
This satisfying stew stars chunks of chicken and tender braised escarole in a flavorful Dijon wine sauce. Try it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs or pork tenderloin, if you prefer. It doubles easily in the same pot. Serve with rustic whole-grain bread.
It's easy to make your own patty sausage with just a few healthy ingredients like ground chicken, apples, onion and savory spices like sage and fennel. You can use ground turkey instead of ground chicken if you prefer.
Asian-Inspired Chicken Soup
What is so obliging about this hearty chicken soup is that you can add any vegetables that suit your fancy: napa or Savoy cabbage, mushrooms, Chinese broccoli, broccolini, onions, leeks, mustard or turnip greens, celery or whatever tickles your bonnet. Just be sure that you don't overcook the vegetables. Spice it up with Asian-style chile sauce, such as sriracha, and/or serve the soup over noodles to make it a more substantial main dish.
Stuffed Chicken Thighs Braised in Tomato Sauce
Spinach-Parmesan stuffing provides great flavor in boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Try it with the optional chicken livers in the stuffing for an extra-rich treat. And don't worry, even though when stuffed it looks like the filling will ooze out, it doesn't. The egg in the stuffing acts as a binder to keep everything in place. The recipe makes plenty of sauce, so be sure to cook up some pasta or make mashed potatoes to serve alongside the saucy chicken.
Here's our spin on the roast-a-chicken-on-top-of-a-can-of-beer technique that's popular with barbecue aficionados. To simplify things, we just pour a little beer inside the chicken as it cooks. The beer keeps the meat juicy and a smoky-flavored spice rub both under and over the skin gives it extra flavor. Barbecuing poultry with the skin on helps prevent the meat from drying out. To keep calories and fat in check, remove the skin before serving.
Wine & Tomato Braised Chicken
Here chicken thighs cook in a simple herb-infused tomato-and-wine sauce. The bone-in thighs give it plenty of hearty flavor, and since you cook them without the skin, it keeps the dish healthy. There's plenty of sauce, so serve it over pappardelle or brown rice. Steamed broccoli or sautéed broccoli rabe tossed with olive oil and a splash of lemon juice complete the meal.
Chicken & White Bean Salad
Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Quick Coq au Vin
Here's a quick version of Coq au Vin, a red wine-braised chicken-and-vegetable stew that usually takes the better part of an afternoon to make. Serve with herbed mashed potatoes and green beans.
Iberian-Style Sausage & Chicken Ragu
This hearty sausage and chicken ragù was inspired by a fabulous stew Bruce Aidells enjoyed when he was traveling in Spain. Serve it over a heartier pasta, such as whole-wheat penne, or gnocchi. Garnish with grated sheep's-milk cheese, such as Manchego.
Chicken with Honey-Orange Sauce
Here we combine raisins, cinnamon, honey and almonds with orange juice, zest, wine and broth to make a rich, savory pan sauce for chicken. There's plenty of the gorgeous sauce, so be sure to serve whole-wheat egg noodles, couscous or rice on the side.
BBQ Chicken Tenders
These crispy chicken “wings,” made with boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, stay crispy with only a light coating of oil--no deep-frying needed. Serve as an appetizer or try them for dinner with crunchy vegetables and dip on the side.
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.
Crispy Baked Drumsticks with Honey-Mustard Sauce
These baked chicken drumsticks are crispy-crunchy outside and succulent and juicy inside. Serve with sweet potato fries and spinach salad.
Braised Chicken Gumbo
Leftovers make this chicken gumbo an absolute breeze. The only prep you'll need to do is to dice a bell pepper and slice some okra if you're using fresh. That's it! If you don't have leftover chicken and sauce from Wine & Tomato Braised Chicken, you can use 2 cups shredded cooked chicken and 2 cups canned diced tomatoes instead of the leftover sauce.
Spring Chicken & Barley Soup
You might think of barley as an addition to hearty, wintery soups, such as mushroom-barley or beef-barley soup, but it also works well in lighter soups like this one with chicken, asparagus and peas.
Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas
Make a perfect summer supper: grill spice-rubbed chicken breasts and tuck them into whole-wheat pitas along with fresh vegetables and a tangy yogurt sauce. Serve with: Grilled vegetables and a pilsner.
Thai Chicken & Mango Stir-Fry
Both ripe and underripe mango work well in this chicken and vegetable stir-fry. If the mangoes you have are less ripe, use 2 teaspoons brown sugar. If they're ripe and sweet, just use 1 teaspoon or omit the brown sugar altogether.
Arroz con Pollo
Arroz con pollo, or chicken cooked with rice, is a common dish in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. We use quick-cooking brown rice here to help you get this on the table in just 40 minutes. Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
This zesty Cajun-style pasta is full of lean chicken, peppers and onions. Serve with sautéed green beans.
Quick Chicken Tikka Masala
One of the most popular Indian dishes in the U.S. and the U.K., chicken tikka masala usually involves several steps including marinating and grilling the chicken before simmering in a curried tomato cream sauce. We've simplified it to a one-skillet dish and lightened it by increasing the vegetables, omitting the butter and using less cream. Serve with brown basmati rice and, for dessert, dates.