19 Healthy & Easy Chicken Recipes
Americans really love chicken. According to the National Chicken Council, the per capita consumption of chicken in America in 2016 was 91 pounds. That's a lot of birds! And a Priceonomics report from 2014 found that Americans were eating more chicken than beef for the first time in 100 years.
Part of the reason for the shift is that while red meat has been linked to heart disease and diabetes, people perceive chicken, a type of white meat, to be a healthier option. And in addition to being a healthy, popular source of protein, chicken is affordable, easy to prepare, and lower in fat than most other meats, meaning it has the power to help you lose weight.
Though falling into a grilled chicken rut is common and understandable, there are plenty of quick, easy, and healthy poultry recipes to choose from, meaning there's no reason you should ever get bored of this protein-packed bird. From Thai coconut yellow curry chicken to oven-baked tandoori chicken, we've got flavorful, simple chicken recipes that will keep you coming back for more.
Add some of these to your weekly meal plan to lose weight and stave off chicken boredom. And for more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.
Lemon Chicken with Vegetables
Poultry goes great with citrus, and this lemon chicken with veggies is a simple dish that's loaded with both protein and key vitamins. Green beans are packed with vitamins C, K, and A (which support bone health), carotenoids, antioxidants, and gut-friendly fiber, and lemon is a diuretic.
Get the recipe from Lil' Luna.
Enchilada Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
This recipe has plenty of flavors, but a single serving is less than 400 calories! Because the recipe relies on lean ground chicken, it's packed with protein—39.8 grams, to be exact—and low in calories.
Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.
Maple Turmeric Chicken
If you can't decide whether you're in the mood for something sweet or savory, go ahead and give this maple turmeric chicken recipe a try. Not only is this dish ready in 25 minutes, but it also gives your body an extra anti-inflammatory boost thanks to the tasty turmeric. As we head into cold and flu season, be sure to have this quick and easy recipe on hand.
Get the recipe from Eating Bird Food.
Healthy Chicken Chili Mac
If you're looking for a healthy twist on a classic meal, this healthy chicken chili mac might just do the trick. Not convinced a chili-mac combo can be healthy and delicious? Keep in mind that the recipe features lean ground chicken, two kinds of fiber-rich beans, several flavorful spices, and more. It's also worth noting this simple dish takes half an hour to prepare and can be made using just one pot.
Get the recipe from Show Me the Yummy.
Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are a game day favorite, and these simple honey garlic chicken wings are so easy to make that you'll barely need to look away from the TV. With just five ingredients, these wings take ten minutes to prep and then spend a little over an hour in the oven before they're ready to eat.
Get the recipe from Savory Simple.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Another five-ingredient wonder is this chicken tikka masala that's ready in 30 minutes. It's spicy and creamy thanks to some plain yogurt, though we suggest using Greek yogurt instead because it contains gut-friendly probiotics, healthy fats, and muscle-building protein.
Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.
Moroccan Chicken with Carrot Purée
If your Instagram feed is full of pictures from Morocco and you're suffering from some serious FOMO, try making this Moroccan chicken with carrot purée. Though it won't transport you to the souks of Marrakech, this recipe uses flavors typically used in Moroccan cooking, such as orange and harissa, so you know it won't be bland or boring.
Get the recipe from Love & Olive Oil.
Almond-Crusted Chicken Nuggets
If you're on the hunt for a healthy take on chicken nuggets, try this almond-encrusted version. Instead of using breadcrumbs, which have very little nutrition, this recipe calls for the chicken to be bathed in an easy homemade almond flour that contains vital nutrients such as protein, fiber, and calcium. The best part is that the chicken is baked, not fried, and this nutritious meal is ready in just 25 minutes.
Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
Oven-Baked Tandoori Chicken
This oven-baked tandoori chicken recipe is restaurant-quality but can be made in your home in under an hour. Because the recipe really relies on digestion-aiding spices such as garam masala, paprika, and cumin instead of thick gravy, it's also healthy and low in calories. And because the dish is a twist on an Indian classic, it's basically a flavor party for your mouth.
Get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.
It's hardly a requirement for your chicken dish to have bold flavors and vibrant colors, but the fact that this cashew chicken recipe has both means it might just become your new favorite meal. A healthy version of the popular Chinese takeout dish, this cashew chicken recipe is rounded out with a tasty sauce you're bound to love.
Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.
Honey Sesame Baked Chicken
Think of this honey sesame baked chicken as a healthy version of General Tso's chicken. Though the honey is definitely on the sugary side, the sesame seeds add texture and fiber to the dish, which can help counteract the effects of the sugar. For an additional boost of fiber, try adding a cruciferous vegetable to the meal.
Get the recipe from Simple Green Moms.
Spicy Chicken Lime Soup
For another tasty poultry and citrus pairing, try this spicy chicken and lime soup. Though it may sound a bit odd, the flavorful dish is described as a cross between chicken noodle and chicken tortilla soup. It's gluten-free, paleo, low-calorie, and ready to eat in half an hour. What could be better?
Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.
This healthy twist on chicken Stroganoff is comforting thanks to whole-wheat egg noodles and a creamy consistency. But this recipe swaps cream for Greek yogurt, which is one of the 40 Best-Ever Fat-Burning Foods. What's more? The dish also calls for mushrooms that give the stroganoff a complexity of flavor, which suggests you spent hours making it even though the entire meal cooks in a single pan and is ready in 25 minutes flat.
Get the recipe from Well Plated.
Chicken Stir Fry Soba Noodle Bowl
For a bowl that's a bit more distinct, try this Chicken Stir Fry Soba Noodle variety. The recipe is ready in less than an hour and uses an array of fiber-rich vegetables. In fact, even the buckwheat-based soba noodles contain three grams of fiber per serving, meaning you'll feel full after chowing down on this.
Get the recipe from Sweet Phi.
This Italian-inspired Caprese chicken recipe is about as quick and easy as it gets. However, just because this dish is ready in under 30 minutes, doesn't mean it tastes bland. Thanks to both pesto and balsamic glaze, this flavor-filled chicken is simply scrumptious.
Get the recipe from Foodie Crush.
Black Bean and Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
If you've got a hankering for Mexican food but don't want to order in, try these black bean and chicken enchiladas with roasted sweet potatoes. What sets this recipe apart is the stellar enchilada sauce made with a combination of chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, hot sauce, and salt. The sauce marinades the chicken and nutrient-rich sweet potatoes, giving them a great boost of flavor. The best part is that this easy Mexican staple is ready to eat in about an hour.
Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds.
Everything Bagel Chicken Wings
Can't decide if you want breakfast, lunch, or dinner food? These everything bagel chicken wings are the best of both worlds. Using a traditional marinade of ketchup, cider vinegar, light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ground mustard, chili powder, and cayenne, this recipe also calls for some everything bagel seasoning that will give your wings a bit of crunch and a unique flavor profile. Though the dish takes just over an hour to make, most of that time is spent letting the chicken cook.
Get the recipe from Foxes Love Lemons.
Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Veggies
For a healthy meal prep option, this garlic parmesan chicken and veggies recipe totally fits the bill. This tasty dish takes about an hour to cook and can be made using just one pan, meaning your kitchen definitely won't be messy by the end of the night. Another great thing about this recipe is that it's easily adaptable. Although Chelsea's version calls for carrots and potatoes, you can easily add or subtract nutrient-rich veggies as you see fit.
Get the recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron.
Chicken Marsala is an Italian classic, and there's a reason it's been beloved for so many years—wine! As the recipe's name suggests, chicken Marsala is made with dry Marsala wine, which helps give the dish a distinct flavor. This recipe is pretty standard, though it does use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts and adds a handful of pearl onions and fresh cherry tomatoes. Those tweaks are optional, but it's worth noting that eating onions regularly may help improve cardiovascular health and stabilize blood sugar levels, in addition to acting as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Similarly, tomatoes are an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals.
Get the recipe from Inspired Taste.