Easy Chicken Dinner Ideas to Add Variety to Your Weeknights
Chicken Dinners FTW
Chicken is one of the first things we think of when it comes to healthy dinner. A report by Pew Research Center found that we're eating more chicken than beef these days—intake of chicken has more than doubled since 1970, while beef consumption has declined. A University of Utah study funded by the National Institutes of Health looking at people's attitudes toward food also showed that chicken was one of the 10 most tweeted-about foods in 2015–2016, along with pizza, barbecue, tacos, and ice cream.
Chicken is a great source of protein, but how it's prepared makes a huge difference. If you're worried that plain old grilled chicken breast is your only healthy option, think again! These seriously delish recipes from real-life dietitians will inspire you to whip up some chicken dinners that are real winners.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
These baked buffalo chicken tenders are a lighter version of the traditional game-day go-to, with less butter and Greek yogurt swapped in for the ranch dip. Whole-wheat breadcrumbs up the fiber content to make these more filling.
Get the recipe: Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
Paleo Chicken Tenders
Breaded chicken tenders are a no-go for anyone on a grain-free diet, like the Paleo or Whole30 diet. This recipe lets you enjoy the taste you crave while still sticking to your meal plan.
Get the recipe: Paleo Chicken Tenders
Oven-Baked Cereal Chicken
For a crispy fried chicken taste without the excess fat and calories, this recipe uses crushed cereal to turn simple boneless chicken breasts into a delicious dinner that bakes up beautifully in the oven. Use whatever cereal you have on hand. High-fiber varieties like bran flakes and shredded wheat are a great way to make the meal extra filling.
Get the recipe: Oven-Baked Cereal Chicken
Gluten-Free Copycat Shake and Bake Chicken
If you grew up on Shake'N Bake chicken, you can still enjoy that nostalgic flavor even if you're on a gluten-free diet. This healthy copycat recipe is super easy and features high-fiber oats and coconut flour.
Get the recipe: Gluten-Free Copycat Shake and Bake Chicken
Weeknight Chicken Curry
Delicious curry doesn't have to take hours to prepare. This comforting yet light curry has only a handful of ingredients and comes together quickly. Curry happens to be a great way to eat more veggies if you're trying to boost your intake.
Get the recipe: Weeknight Chicken Curry
Parmesan Dijon Chicken
This gluten-free three-ingredient chicken recipe is ready in 15 minutes—perfect for a busy weeknight. Butterflying the chicken breasts decreases cooking time and keeps portions in check.
Get the recipe: Parmesan Dijon Chicken
Basil Marinara Chicken Burgers
Think turkey burgers are your only alternative to beef? Think again! These mouthwatering Italian-inspired chicken burgers are sure to be a hit at your next cookout.
Get the recipe: Basil Marinara Chicken Burgers
Gluten-Free Beer Can Chicken
Beer can chicken is a fun, flavorful dish perfect for any barbecue. The whole idea behind propping the chicken up on the beer can is to let the beer add flavor and aroma. This recipe features gluten-free beer and gluten-free hoisin sauce so everyone can enjoy.
Get the recipe: Gluten-Free Beer Can Chicken with Asian Glaze
Skinny Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This lower-carb take on chicken fettuccine Alfredo is packed with flavor but has a fraction of the calories of the traditional pasta dish.
Get the recipe: Skinny Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Zucchini and Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken
This stuffed chicken only looks fancy. In reality, it's beautifully simple to make. The only special equipment you'll need are some turkey pins (easy to find on Amazon or in your local home goods store) to hold the chicken breasts together during cooking.
Get the recipe: Zucchini and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken
Curried Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
It doesn't get much easier than a chicken casserole for dinner. This recipe is a flavorful, healthy take on a family favorite.
Get the recipe: Curried Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Chicken Fajita Sweet Potato Nachos
This nutritious spin on classic nachos is bursting with flavor and makes a well-balanced meal or healthy snack that also happens to be gluten-free. Perfect for your next game day!
Get the recipe: Healthy Chicken Fajita Sweet Potato Nachos
Chicken Pesto Pita Pizzas
Whole-wheat pitas make an awesome healthy swap for pizza crust. This recipe, which combines the rich flavor of basil pesto with tomatoes and savory chicken, puts a fresh twist on pizza night.
Get the recipe: Chicken Pesto Pita Pizzas
Sorghum Chicken Jambalaya
Sorghum is an ancient grain with a warm, nutty taste and a satisfyingly chewy texture. In this lightened-up jambalaya recipe, it makes a delicious, nutritious stand-in for rice.
Get the recipe: Sorghum Chicken Jambalaya
Spinach, Chicken, and Rice
Never underestimate the power of simple ingredients. This flavorful dinner is easily customizable and a fresh way to fit in extra veggie servings if you don't want your plate to look overwhelmingly green (we get it).
Get the recipe: Spinach, Chicken, and Rice
Greek Chicken with Tzatziki Sauce
One bite of this easy-to-make chicken dinner, and you'll swear you're dining alfresco on the Greek isles.
Get the recipe: Greek Chicken with Tzatziki Sauce
20-Minute Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps
This healthy, spicy dinner is ready in a snap. A bonus if you're working with dietary restrictions: It also happens to be low-carb, grain-free, and gluten-free. Garnish with seeds, nuts, or your fave spicy sauce.
Get the recipe: 20-Minute Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps
Healthier Chicken Tikki Masala with Turmeric Cauliflower Rice
This lightened-up take on chicken tikka masala, which is typically loaded with hidden calories (mostly from fat), is bursting with flavor. Serving with colorful turmeric cauliflower rice cuts carbs and adds filling fiber.
Get the recipe: Healthier Chicken Tikki Masala with Turmeric Cauliflower Rice
Rainbow Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Avocado and Honey Mustard Dressing
Easy to make with a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store or market, this colorful salad will brighten up even the gloomiest day. Bonus: It only has seven, easy-to-find ingredients, so you don't need a mile-long grocery list to throw it together.
5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Bowls
Put the chicken in the slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning and have a delicious meal waiting for you when you get home. Serve with cauliflower rice for a low-carb twist.
Get the recipe: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Bowls
Cranberry Apricot Chicken
The mild flavor of boneless, skinless chicken breast is delicious with fruity and savory flavors alike. Here, apricots and cranberries offer a tasty touch of sweetness.
Get the recipe: Cranberry Apricot Chicken
Sautéed Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage and Brussels Sprouts
This one-skillet meal is a perfect weeknight dinner when you want something flavorful and healthy that won't leave you with a bunch of pots and pans to clean.
Get the recipe: One-Skillet Sweet Chicken Sausage with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts