October 5, 2019
When life gets busy, these quick and easy dinner ideas made with chicken are the perfect go-to meals to have in your back pocket. They’re high in protein, easy to prepare, and best of all… kid-approved!
Watch this video to get you started with some of the best dinner recipes with chicken!
Today, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know to cook delicious chicken every time. And, I have all my favorite chicken recipe ideas to share with you.
Best Chicken Recipes
If there’s one ingredient I’m confident in, it’s chicken! You can’t go wrong, it’s versatile to cook with, packed with protein, and kids love it; so today I want to share with you some of the most popular quick and easy chicken recipes of all time.
You’ll find recipes like Pizza Chicken and Chicken Quesadillas, as well as the more sophisticated Honey, roasted drumsticks and whole roasted chicken, each of them fuss-free and kid favorites. And yes, these are so easy you can make one of these dinner ideas tonight!
Need a shortcut? I wrote an entire cookbook of chicken recipes and you can snag a copy here for all your dinner needs.
70+ Epic Chicken Recipes
If chicken is your go-to meal builder, you’re going to love the recipes inside this book!
HEALTHY WAYS TO COOK CHICKEN
Thankfully, there’s no fancy bells or whistles required to make delicious chicken dishes. The most simple and healthy methods of cooking, such as grilling, baking, and slow cooking result in tender, juicy chicken. In case you aren’t 100% positive on the correct way to cook chicken, I’ve included directions for the grill, oven, and slow cooker below.
HOW TO THAW CHICKEN
Before we jump into the recipes, it’s important to quickly go over how to thaw chicken safely. The safest way to thaw meat is in the refrigerator. This takes some extra planning time though, so you can see your other safe options in the link above. To thaw chicken in the fridge allow up to 24 hours per 1-5 pounds of frozen meat. Make sure to keep the chicken in the warmest part of your fridge (don’t shove it in the back) and wait until it’s all thawed to start cooking the chicken.
Baked Chicken Dinner Ideas
If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to get an entire meal from one pan with minimal cleanup, baked chicken dinners are the way to go! Whether it’s Dijon Sheet Pan Chicken, Chicken Nuggets, or roasting an entire bird, baked chicken is #winning at kitchen duty.
However, as popular as it is, baked chicken can sometimes yield less than desirable results which means dry, rubbery chicken, that tastes like edible saw-dust. Avoid all the common pitfalls by following these baked chicken tips.
Now, onto the baked chicken recipes!
Grilled Chicken Dinner Ideas
Come warm weather; it’s time to pull out the charcoals and fire up the grill. Much like baking chicken, grilling also requires a few steps before the chicken is ready to be placed on the grill. But follow these steps, and you’re sure to have amazing, flavorful chicken every time you use your grill.
- Tenderize – This works primarily for boneless, skinless chicken breast, and if the chicken breasts are thick in some areas and thin in others you can fix it by pounding the chicken with a tenderizer, this will ensure even cooking and tender chicken.
- Marinate – Same as the baking method, choose a marinade, combine with the chicken in a zip bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Grill – Allow the grill to reach medium heat before putting any meat on it. You can gauge the temperature by holding your hand 5 inches above the cooking grate. If you can hold it there comfortably for 6 seconds, it’s medium heat and you’re ready to start grilling.
When it comes to cooking chicken on the grill, my favorite place to start is with grilled skewers. So easy to do, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.
Slow Cooker Chicken Dinners
We’ve pulled off some pretty epic chicken dinners around here with the use of a slow cooker. Chicken holds up great when slow cooked, and you can use any cut such as boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on thighs, or even a whole chicken.
My favorite part is when I get to make buffalo chicken or salsa chicken which require two ingredients and stretch throughout the week for tacos, quesadillas, on top of salads or drool-worthy power bowls.
Here’s How the Magic Happens for Easy Slow Cooker Chicken
Combine 1 lb chicken breasts or boneless, skinless thighs with 1 cup of your choice of sauce; buffalo, salsa, BBQ, Teriyaki and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and shreds apart easily with a fork.
If this is new to you, your world is about to change.
Just a tip, you can also double and triple the recipe and freeze leftovers for future meals. Be sure to adjust cooking time, by an hour for each additional pound of chicken and cup of sauce.
Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
CHICKEN BREAST DINNER IDEAS
If your family is particular about white meat, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in nearly every recipe listed below, except for the ones that call for ground chicken.
A lot of people are finicky about which cut of meat to use in their recipes due to health concerns or preferred taste. I get it, and thankfully, like me, my family prefers dark meat for its flavor while others swear by white meat.
Rest assured, there is no wrong choice when it comes to chicken; both are a healthy choice and offer ample nutrients and protein our bodies need.
Skillet Chicken Recipes
Grab your best skillet, because I’m about to show you how chicken + skillets are a match made in deliciousness heaven.
HEALTHY CHICKEN DINNER IDEAS
So you’re here for healthy chicken dinner ideas, and you’re in the right place because we’ve got options. Whether you stir it into a soup for a bowl of #soulfood, make a mean grilled cheese, stuff it into a tortilla, or bake it on a sheet pan with veggies, it’s delicious, and best of all, kids love it!
Are you ready to see all the stress-free weeknight meals you can make with chicken? Here we go:
PALEO AND WHOLE30 CHICKEN DINNER IDEAS
So you’re here for healthy chicken dinner ideas, and you’re in the right place because we’ve got options.
You can thank Family Kickstart and my Grain-Free Family Meals cookbook for these ideas. After creating a successful clean eating program for families and writing an entire cookbook of grain free meals, I’ve got chicken dinner ideas that will blow your mind on the level of taste and easy to prepare.
Epic Chicken Taco Recipes
Tacos are the one food group I can’t live without, so there’s no way I could create a list of meals using chicken and NOT mention a few of my chicken taco faves.
KID-APPROVED CHICKEN DINNER RECIPES
When you need a healthy, go-to dinner that kids won’t turn down, these recipes are your best friend. These recreated takeout meals offer a well-balanced and quick fix dinner for busy weeknights.
CHICKEN SOUP RECIPES
This post would not be complete without a few chicken soup recipes! Winter, spring, summer, or fall, these are perfect for any time of year.
A tip: use shredded meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, it saves on time and adds great flavor.
Salad Recipes with Chicken
Chicken Pasta Dinner Ideas
Next, to the previous list of Kid Approved Chicken Dinners, this list is next in line. I still have yet to see anyone turn away a plate of Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta.
Chicken Freezer Meals
Another reason to love chicken dinner recipes, they most often freeze super well! Aside from the soup and salad recipes most every one of these recipes are good for freezing, here’s the complete list:
- Salsa Chicken
- Buffalo Chicken
- Sheet Pan Dijon Chicken & Potatoes
- Pizza Chicken
- Garlic Butter Chicken – minus the spaghetti squash
- Honey Chicken Lettuce Cups- The chicken mixture, not the lettuce!
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- All the tacos- Minus the tortilla and toppings, obviously.
- Honey Chicken Drumsticks
- Chicken Nuggets
- Easy Chicken and Vegetable Teriyaki Bowls
- Chicken Teriyaki
- Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
- Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
- Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo
Make-Ahead Chicken Dinner Recipes
This is the 21st century, we’re busy moms and making a meal from scratch each night, every night? Wrong! All wrong!
During the early years of motherhood, while my kids and business were both young, make-ahead meals were total life-savers. Who am I kidding, I still use make-ahead meals today! If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life doesn’t slow down just because kids get bigger. Meal planning is a total life saver and it’s how I get these yummy chicken dinners on my family’s table all through the week.
You can start by choosing recipes with ingredients that can be prepped ahead like chopped veggies, or marinated meat, that way you can knock those steps out ahead of time.
Each of the recipes I’ve shared with you has some element that can be prepped ahead of time, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
What to Cook with Chicken
You’ve got all your delicious chicken recipe inspiration, now what about the rest of the meal? Here are a few of my favorite things to serve with a good chicken dinner.
- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- Baked Carrot Fries
- Roasted Fall Vegetables
- Easy Homemade Mac & Cheese
- Cauliflower Rice
- Grilled Veggie Kabobs
- Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes
So that’s the ultimate list of healthy, UN-BORING chicken dinner ideas. I don’t know what’s on your menu tonight, but after this, it better be chicken! If you have a favorite dish and didn’t see it on here, let me know, what are some of your top chicken dinner recipes?
Chicken Dinner Ideas the Whole Family Will LOVE – Pizza Chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless skinless
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella or Provolone cheese
- ½ cup pepperoni
- 4 ounce can black olives, optional
- Chopped parsley/oregano, for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a large, oven-safe skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken breast and sear for 2 minutes per side, until golden. Transfer to a plate.
- Remove the pan from heat and add 1 cup marinara sauce. Spread it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Nestle the chicken breasts into the sauce.
- Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, top with reaming sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and black olives, if using.
- Place back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and pepperoni slightly browned.