13 Healthy Chicken Recipes That'll Make Dinner A Breeze (2024)

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Chicken RecipesHealthy EatingHealthy Recipes

These will change the way you meal plan.


Chloe FoxEditor, HuffPost Hawaii

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with chicken. While it's an easy, go-to choice for dinner, when was the last time you really devoured a chicken dish you made?

After all, simple, baked chicken has become synonymous with joyless, dry dieting, and anything else -- we're looking at you coq au vin -- seems much too rich, complicated and time consuming for our daily repertoire.

But it turns out there are some easy and healthy shortcuts on chicken's road to flavor town. As the 13 healthy recipes below show, chicken just needs a generous dose of flavors like citrus, balsamic or basil to unlock all its delicious glory.

So watch out meal plan,these recipes are coming for you -- and they'll have everyone at the table licking their plates and asking for seconds.


Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

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Sally's Baking Addiction

Get the Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction


Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets

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Skinny Taste

Get the Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets recipe from Skinny Taste



Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

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Gimme Some Oven

Get the Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad recipe from Gimme Some Oven


Basil-Feta Sauce Chicken

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Get the Basil-Feta Sauce Chicken recipe from Diethood


Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

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Damn Delicious

Get the Baked Honey Mustard Chicken recipe from Damn Delicious



Fajita Chicken Kebabs

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Well Plated


Orange Rosemary Chicken

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Damn Delicious

Get the Orange Rosemary Chicken recipe from Damn Delicious


Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad

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Sally's Baking Addiction

Get the Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction



Simple Sesame Chicken Skillet

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How Sweet It Is

Get the Simple Sesame Chicken Skillet recipe from How Sweet It Is


One Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken and Rice

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Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Get the Lemon Garlic Chicken and Rice One-Pan Skillet recipe from Lexi's Clean Kitchen


Pistachio Pesto Chicken with Whole Wheat Pasta

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How Sweet It Is



Spiced Eggplant, Chicken And Chickpea Salad

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The Clever Carrot

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Before You Go

7 Essential Healthy Recipes To Master In 2016

An Always Tasty, Never Boring Veggie Dish(01 of 07)

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Roasted vegetables are one of the most versatile foods you can make throughout the year, but especially in winter, when pickings are slim. This recipe, from Dave Asprey's new Bulletproof: The Cookbook, is a terrific way to eat fresh veggies, since it will be delicious no matter what's in season, from sweet potatoes to carrots to parsnips to broccoli. The trick: Start with thick-cut bacon. Just two slices add the perfect salty and smoky element—and turn a potentially humdrum side into one with rich flavor.

Get the recipe: Winter Vegetable Salad

(credit: Mitch Mandel)

Restaurant-Worthy Seafood You Can Totally Make Yourself(02 of 07)

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A way to make fish with a crunchy, golden exterior without frying? Meet pan-roasting, one of the most effective and mouthwatering techniques for cooking nutritious salmon, cod or other seafood that doesn't involve tons of oil. This recipe, from Bon Appetit: The Food Lover's Cleanse explains just how to do it (the method takes all of nine minutes), and has you top the cooked fillets with a grapefruit-cabbage slaw that gets its creaminess from protein-rich yogurt.

Get the recipe: Pan-Roasted Salmon with Grapefruit-Cabbage Slaw

(credit: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott)

Veggie Burgers You'll Be Happy to Heat Up(03 of 07)

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Whether you serve them on a bun or over a bed of mixed greens, plant-based patties are a satisfying and healthy vegetarian meal. This simple recipe, from the new book The Plantiful Table, by Andrea Duclos, from the blog OhDearDrea, uses a can of chickpeas as its base and also includes corn, peas, fresh herbs and carrots. The fresh-tasting burgers freeze well, so you'll never need to buy packaged ones again.

Get the recipe: Chickpea Patties

(credit: Andrea Duclos)

An Asparagus Dish That'll Win Over Skeptics(04 of 07)

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If you, or someone at your table, aren't a fan of asparagus, Emily von Euw has the recipe for you. In her new book The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook, she explains that pairing the earthy-tasting, fiber- and folate-packed vegetable with apple-cider vinegar results in a tangy, addictive side you'll make again and again. She also uses a tiny bit of maple syrup for subtle sweetness, plus tamari (a wheat-free soy sauce) for a salty kick.

Get the recipe: Sautéed Asparagus

(credit: Emily von Euw)

A Cheap And Trusty Stalwart You Can Use Anywhere(05 of 07)

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Low and slow doesn't just apply to barbecue—it's also the secret to making deeply flavored, tender cannellini beans. In The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook, Amanda Haas explains how the process couldn't be simpler: You soak the beans overnight (or, you can follow her shortcut soak technique), boil them then simmer for about two hours. The final step is to combine the legumes with garlic, rosemary and thyme that you've cooked lightly in olive oil. Enjoy the beans—which are high in protein and complex carbs—on their own as an entrée, alongside chicken or roasted vegetables or spread on toast.

Get the recipe: Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Herbs

(credit: Erin Kunkel)

A Baked Pasta You Can Feel Great About(06 of 07)

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When comfort-food cravings strike, this reliable pasta bake is one recipe you'll be happy to have in your arsenal. It's easy to prepare and is more healthful than you'd think, thanks to fat-free ricotta and part-skim mozzarella. Plus, it includes spinach for a vitamin boost.

Get the recipe: Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

(credit: Gina hom*olka)

A Shockingly Tasty Mashed-Potato Sub(07 of 07)

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Whipped cauliflower is so delicious that we now prefer it to traditional pureed potatoes. That's because even when you puree the cruciferous vegetable, it retains a bit of texture, but without the gumminess that can result when you overcook the potatoes. Also, you feel a lot less stuffed after eating it, since this dish is low in carbs. Bonus: These mashed potatoes cook in half the time.

Get the recipe: Whipped Cauliflower

(credit: Юлия Атаева /Thinkstock)


Chicken RecipesHealthy EatingHealthy RecipesChickenhealthy dinner recipes
13 Healthy Chicken Recipes That'll Make Dinner A Breeze (2024)


What is the tastiest and healthiest way to cook chicken breast? ›

Poached Chicken

Poaching is great because it adds virtually no fat to your food, yet yields subtle flavour and moisture. To poach your chicken, add your ingredients (chicken and any other vegetables, aromatics, and spices you like) to a skillet or pot, and add a cooking liquid such as broth, wine, or coconut milk.

How to cook chicken the healthy way? ›

Steaming is another healthy and quick cooking method for chicken. For this method, you use a steaming basket and pot of hot water. Alternatively, you can get the same results by cooking in a steam-assisted hybrid oven.

What's the best way to cook chicken for protein? ›

Also, consider stir-frying or pan-frying your chicken instead of frying it in high-fat oil. That will give you proteins without increasing fats in your diet. Use low-fat marinades to keep the chicken moist and tender while it is cooking and add healthy flavor to your dish.

What are the different ways to cook chicken? ›

There are so many ways to prepare chicken. We can stir-fry, pan-fry, grill, barbeque, bake or roast chicken.

How to eat chicken for weight loss? ›

Generally speaking, skinless chicken breast is the leaner option and often the cut most widely suggested for weight loss. This is because dark meat like the thighs (as well as the wings and legs) is higher in fat than the breast. In a 100g serving of chicken breast, you'll get about 3.24g of fat [2].

What is the secret to cooking tender chicken breast? ›

Use the Right Temperature:Bake the chicken at a moderate temperature (around 375°F to 425°F or 190°C to 220°C). Cooking at too high a temperature can lead to dryness. Add Fat:Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil, melted butter, or another fat source before baking. This helps lock in moisture and adds flavor.

What is the healthiest food for a chicken? ›

Good choices include leafy greens, cooked beans, corn, non-sugary cereals and grains, berries, apples and most other fruits and vegetables. Despite often voracious appetites and a willingness to eat just about anything you might give them, there are some foods to be avoided.

Is baked chicken healthier than fried? ›

But there's a healthier, equally delicious way to eat comfort food like fried chicken. And it's all thanks to your oven. By cooking chicken in the oven, you'll use little oil, which will minimize heart health risks. Aside from being healthier for your heart, this chicken is also high in protein (8 g per serving).

How do you make chicken taste better without adding calories? ›

Marinate the chicken: Marinating chicken in a mixture of acid (like lemon juice or vinegar), herbs, and spices can help to infuse flavor into the meat without adding extra fat. You can also use yogurt or buttermilk as a marinade base.

What should you season chicken with? ›

Aside from classics like salt, pepper, basil and garlic, you could try using chilli powder, ginger, cumin, cayenne, paprika, oregano, sage, rosemary and thyme.

What is the healthiest way to cook chicken for weight loss? ›

The Winner: Poaching

"The healthiest way to cook chicken is to poach it," Lewis explains, "because you aren't introducing any other ingredient to the chicken other than the water it is boiled in." Similar to the way you'd poach an egg, all you'll need is the chicken you're using and some hot water.

Is rotisserie chicken healthy? ›

A rotisserie chicken is better than some of the other alternatives. Even with additives, a rotisserie chicken is a far healthier choice than a fast food run, says Allers. “It's still lower in fat and calories than fast food. It's serving its purpose – it's fast, but it can still help you create a balanced meal.

What is the most flavorful way to cook chicken? ›

Flavor Trick #1: Marinate Whole or Sliced Chicken Breasts for 30 to 90 Minutes Before Cooking. Marinating not only adds flavor, but the combination of healthy fat and acid in most recipes also helps tenderize the meat.

What are the five ways to cook chicken? ›

There are plenty of ways one can cook chicken from roasted, grilled, baked, fried, or poached. No matter how you choose to cook chicken, there are a variety of ways to highlight the rich flavors that come from poultry.

How do you make chicken taste good? ›

Here are 7 tricks to make chicken breasts taste better and even totally delicious.
  1. Cook them right. Most people get scared and overcook chicken breasts, cooking out all the moisture and leaving them tough and dry. ...
  2. Marinate them. ...
  3. Cut them thin. ...
  4. Fry them. ...
  5. Stuff them. ...
  6. Shred them. ...
  7. Use the right pan.

What cooking method is best for chicken breast? ›

Chicken breasts are susceptible to drying out when overcooked, so they're best cooked quickly using high heat. That means skillet-cooking, stir-frying, roasting/baking, or grilling chicken breasts are the best routes. The stovetop is particularly easy because you can make a sauce in the same pan.

What's the best way to cook chicken breast so it doesn't dry out? ›

Her suggestion: Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a pan in a single layer, cover with a few inches of liquid (water, broth, etc.), add flavorings (spices, salt, herbs, soy sauce, etc.), then bring the liquid just barely to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmers.

Is it healthier to fry or bake chicken breast? ›

Lower fat content: When comparing frying versus oven-baking, a fried and batter chicken breast contains 13.2 grams of fat in a 100-gram serving, while an oven-roasted chicken breast has just 3.6 grams of fat.


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