Easy Chicken Dinner Ideas - Healthy recipes and cooking tips for a healthier lifestyle

Easy Chicken Dinner Ideas

January 30, 2023
Easy Chicken Dinner Ideas

These easy chicken dinner ideas from the Health eCooks Test Kitchen are ready to serve in under an hour.

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Looking for new easy weeknight dinner ideas? Don’t get stuck making the same old chicken meal on repeat. Infuse tonight’s routine with seriously bold flavor and light, fresh ingredients.

These chicken dishes do it all — from an Asian-inspired sheet pan meal to a cheesy rollatini. Try these healthy recipes for guaranteed satisfaction.

Classic Chicken Dinners

Classic chicken dishes never go out of style. From Chicken Parmesan to Whole Roasted Chicken, these timeless recipes are perfect for any occasion and are sure to please everyone at the table.

Chicken Parmesan 

Slice into this classic Italian chicken dish and experience cheesy goodness, tender meat, and a rich tomato sauce. Pantry-friendly ingredients make this recipe approachable and tasty. Our heart-healthy spin on chicken Parmesan is sure to please any night of the week.

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Pot Pie

Whole Roasted Chicken

Grilled Chicken Recipes

Grilled chicken is a versatile and healthy option for dinner. These recipes offer a variety of flavors and styles, from tacos with mango salsa to chimichurri chicken, making it easy to enjoy grilled chicken all week long.

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa

This easy, chicken taco recipe features tender grilled chicken topped with an irresistible, spicy-sweet mango salsa. Handheld dinners are perfect for weeknights when you need something quick, kid-friendly, and wholesome, and this simple chicken recipe hits all of the marks.

Grilled Chicken Kebabs

Grilled Chimichurri Chicken

Grilled Chicken with Swiss Chard

Baked Chicken Recipe Ideas

Baked chicken is a simple and reliable dinner choice. These recipes, including rosemary chicken Dijon and pecan-crusted baked chicken, bring out the best in oven-cooked chicken with minimal effort.

Rosemary Chicken Dijon

Make weeknight magic with this luxurious rosemary chicken recipe. Lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and dried seasonings create a uniquely delicious flavor that will appeal to even the pickiest of eaters. Try your hand at this family-friendly chicken recipe and watch it disappear in no time.

Pecan-Crusted Baked Chicken

Try chicken breast coated in breadcrumbs, chopped pecans, and a mouthwatering spice blend for dinner tonight. Ready in under an hour, this uniquely delicious chicken recipe makes the perfect complement to a bright, tangy salad or soup.

Crispy Baked Chicken

Chicken and Biscuits

Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole

Budget Friendly Chicken Dinners

Eating well doesn't have to break the bank. These budget-friendly chicken recipes, like chicken stir-fry and creamy bow-tie pasta, provide delicious and affordable meal options for any night of the week.

Chicken Stir-Fry 

Looking for a quick, gluten-free recipe that the whole family will love? Skinless chicken breast, brown rice, and a garlicky vegetable medley make this stir fry recipe a standout. Serve this bright, beautifully flavored meal in just 30 minutes.

Crispy Southern Chicken

Brown Rice Penne Chicken

Chicken and Rice Stew

International Chicken Dishes

Explore global flavors with these international recipes. From sheet pan Asian chicken to Mediterranean chicken and zucchini, these dishes offer a taste of different cuisines without leaving home.

Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Dinner

Skip the takeout and create an Asian-inspired chicken that boasts a beautiful vegetable medley, cauliflower rice, and sweet garlicky marinade. Garnish your meal with sesame seeds and scallions for a delightful snap in every bite. This easy sheet pan recipe is sure to make your weeknight memorable.

Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowl

You can’t go wrong with chicken soup, and this Asian spin on the soothing classic will thrill your tastebuds. Enjoy a gluten-free noodle bowl loaded with bok choy, chicken broth, shiitake mushrooms, and snap peas.  Ready in just 45 minutes, this chicken recipe is bound to become a new family favorite.

Mediterranean Chicken and Zucchini

Orange Thai Chicken Salad

Tandoori Chicken

Family Favorite Chicken Meals

These family-favorite chicken meals are sure to become staples in your household. Featuring comforting and crowd-pleasing dishes like chicken rollatini and buffalo chicken tenders, these recipes are perfect for pleasing everyone at the table.

Chicken Rollatini

Crispy chicken cutlets are topped with cheese and spinach, secured with toothpicks, then baked in a velvety mushroom sauce. This impressive 9x13 chicken recipe idea has restaurant-worthy flavor but is incredibly easy to make. “I made this chicken rollatini recipe for a few friends and they were raving about it,” shares one reviewer. “All of the flavors were spot on the chicken came out juicy and tender.”

Bang Bang Chicken

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Honey Dijon Chicken

FAQ Chicken Dinner Ideas

What are some chicken dinner recipes for beginners?

Some recipes for beginners include chicken stir-fry, baked chicken breasts, and one-pan chicken and vegetables. These recipes are straightforward and require only a few ingredients.

How do I ensure my chicken is cooked thoroughly?

Use a meat thermometer to check that chicken is cooked to the internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). Make sure no pink remains in the thickest part of the meat.

Can I substitute chicken breasts for thighs in recipes?

Yes, you can usually substitute chicken breasts for thighs but keep in mind that thighs are juicier and may require slightly longer cooking times. Adjust seasoning and cooking time accordingly.

What are some tips for meal-prepping chicken?

Cook chicken in bulk and store in airtight containers. Combine with various sides such as rice, veggies, or salads for different meals. For more inspiration, check out our Chicken Meal Prep Ideas.

How long can I store cooked chicken in the refrigerator?

Cooked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Ensure it’s kept in a sealed container to maintain freshness.

What’s the best way to grill chicken?

Marinate the chicken beforehand for extra flavor and grill over medium-high heat. Flip once and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C). For detailed timing, visit our guide on How Long to Grill Chicken Breast.

How do I keep chicken breasts from drying out?

Brine the chicken breasts or marinate them before cooking. Avoid overcooking and let them rest before serving.

Can I bake frozen chicken directly without thawing?

Yes, but it will take about 50% longer to cook. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).

What’s the difference between baking and roasting chicken?

Baking generally involves lower temperatures and often uses boneless pieces. Roasting is done at higher temperatures and typically involves whole chickens or bone-in cuts.

Do you have any low-carb recipe ideas with chicken?

Buffalo Chicken and Spinach Wrap, Chicken Sandwich with Avocado, and Lentil Chicken Salad are great low-carb chicken options. These recipes will fill you up without the extra carbs.

What are some gluten-free chicken recipes?

Our favorite gluten-free recipes are Chicken Salad, Chicken Posole, and Southern BBQ Chicken Stir-Fry. Ensure all seasonings and sauces are gluten-free.

What are the best recipes for kids with chicken?

Chicken NuggetsBuffalo Chicken PizzaChicken Nachos, and Chicken Noodle Soup are popular with kids. They are tasty and easy to make.

What are some popular marinades for chicken?

Lemon garlic, honey mustard, and teriyaki chicken marinades are popular. They add great flavor and tenderize the meat.

How do I make my chicken more flavorful?

Marinate the chicken before cooking and use fresh herbs and spices. Cooking with aromatics like garlic and onions also enhances flavor.

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh ones?

Yes, but use one-third the amount of dried herbs compared to fresh. Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor.

What spices pair well with chicken?

Common spices for chicken include paprika, garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary. These add depth and enhance the chicken’s natural flavor.

How can I make my chicken crispy without frying?

Coat the chicken in a mix of breadcrumbs and Parmesan, then bake at a high temperature. Using a wire rack on the baking sheet helps air circulate for crispiness.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover chicken?

Reheat chicken in the oven or microwave until it’s hot throughout. Add a splash of water or broth to keep it moist.

Can I freeze cooked chicken dishes?

Yes, most cooked chicken dishes freeze well. Store in airtight containers and label with the date.

How do I store leftover chicken to keep it fresh?

Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 3-4 days for best quality.

What are some creative ways to use leftover chicken?

Make chicken salads, wraps, or soups. Leftover shredded chicken can also be used in casseroles and stir-fries.

Incorporating these chicken ideas into your meal planning can make weeknights less stressful and more delicious. Whether you're looking for quick recipes, healthy options, or budget-friendly meals, these versatile chicken recipes have you covered. Try these recipes and enjoy a hassle-free cooking experience that your whole family will love!

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