50+ Healthy and Delicious Chicken Recipes
Chicken doesn't have to be fried to be fun. Baked, roasted, grilled, and boiled chicken have a bad rap and it's easy to see why—they can be boring if they're not seasoned properly. But, with the right methods, your chicken can be tasty and healthy. Want proof? Try out one of our absolute favorite healthy chicken recipes tonight.
Slow-Baked Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Fennel, and Lemon
Meet your new Sunday supper--a dish that's great on the weekend, when you have more time for the pleasures of slow cooking. Serve on crusty toast slabs or a bed of pasta. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper if you'd like a little kick.
Grilled Bone-In Chicken Thighs
How can such a simple recipe for grilled chicken thighs taste so flavorful and satisfying? Once you sink your teeth into the super-crispy skin and find rich, tasty dark meat waiting underneath, you’ll understand. This low and slow cooking method yields tender, succulent meat with carefully developed flavors. Make grilled chicken thighs the simple way, because juicy, decadent chicken doesn’t have to be so complicated.
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Vegetables
Lemony-Herb Chicken with Grilled Garlic Scapes Salad
This grilled scape salad is crisp, light, and refreshing—in other words, it tastes like summertime. Tomatoes, corn, cucumber, and other summer veggies covered in lemon-parsley dressing and fresh mint perfectly combine with a charred, juicy chicken thigh. Garlic scapes are in season in late spring and early summer. If you can’t find them at your local farmers’ market or produce stand, try an international grocery. Round everything out with a crusty loaf of bread and a glass of white wine.
Brined Grilled Chicken with Dipping Sauces
We love the smoky flavor of grilled wings, but we also like wings that are tender and juicy. The brine, made with herbs, garlic, brown sugar, and chiles, adds tons of flavor and keeps the wings from drying out on the grill. And the trio of sauces gives everyone plenty of options to choose from. We recommend using drumettes because they are nice and meaty and easier to pick up and eat.
Lemon-Grilled Chicken Breasts
This is a perfect basic grilled chicken recipe, simple and versatile enough to meal prep, whip up on a hectic weeknight, or serve to company. Make sure to cook the chicken breasts until the internal temperature reaches a safe 165 degrees—about six minutes on each side. Save three of these grilled chicken breast halves to make our Hearts of Romaine Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken. Garnish the plate with grilled lemon slices.
Harissa Grilled Chicken Skewers
These skewers get a nice, long marinating time due to the low amount of lemon juice. If your marinade is loaded with vinegar or citrus, go for 30 minutes to an hour at most to ensure the best texture.
Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Orzo Salad
The grill is a healthy cook’s best friend, allowing you to build big flavor and crispiness with minimal added fat. Make this meal meatless by trading the chicken for steamed edamame or rinsed and drained black beans.
Grilled Lemon-Rosemary Chicken and Leeks
Chicken cutlets get great flavor from a lemon-rosemary marinade while the leeks cook into a silky, caramelized vegetable side dish. If you’ve never enjoyed the darker green leek tops, give them a try in this recipe. The chicken marinade does double-duty here: it seasons the chicken while the leeks cook and then becomes a light sauce for the whole meal. If you can’t find chicken cutlets, you can make your own: For 4 cutlets, cut two 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast in half horizontally and lightly pound into an even thickness with the smooth side of a meat mallet.
Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Arugula Salad
This colorful salad is packed with garden-fresh zucchini and tomatoes. Grill the bread slices along with the tomatoes so everything is ready at the same time.
Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Arugula Pesto
Wake up your grill from winter hibernation with flavorful skewers (chicken, sweet onion, and zucchini) paired with a zippy arugula pesto on the side. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the pesto.
Pan-Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa
Fresh summer peaches are turned into a quick salsa that wakes up cumin-spiced chicken breasts. Taste the peaches first, and omit the sugar if the peaches are especially ripe and juicy.
Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts
This is, quite honestly, the only recipe for grilled chicken breasts you’ll ever need. The simple combination of olive oil, lemon, and fresh herbs creates a clean, summery flavor profile that brings out the best of lean, white meat. Fresh garlic and red pepper elevate the marinade, as well as the inherent flavor of the bird. Relative to the amount of oil and liquid going in, the amount of each aromatic called for in the marinade may seem like a lot—however, this marinade is intentionally intense by design. Using a marinade this flavor-forward allows for overall less marination, which is what you want when it comes to chicken breasts.
Grilled Chicken Drumsticks with Bourbon-Cherry BBQ Sauce
This fruity, boozy take on barbecue has all the characteristics of your favorite sauce--deep caramel notes, a savory backbone, and a pleasant vinegar tang. You can sub sweet cherries for sour, adjusting the amount of honey and vinegar to taste. For a shortcut, start with 1 cup purchased unsweetened cherry juice.
Grilled Creole Chicken and Okra
Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad
When you have a bounty of basil, try using the leaves as part of the "lettuce" in salads.
Grilled Chicken with Tomatoes and Herb Oil
Ripe tomatoes and juicy chicken, hot off the grill, mingle with herby oil to make a delicious sauce. Serve with warm bread to mop it up. You'll need a perforated grill pan for this recipe (or use a double thickness of foil, oiled, with dime-size holes poked through about an inch apart).
Wine pairing: Maryhill 2016 Otis Vineyard Proprietor's Reserve Albariño (Columbia Valley; $20)
Grilled Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs with Peaches
Bursting with fresh flavor from minced fresh ginger and lime juice, these boneless chicken thighs are anything but a boring chicken dinner. Served alongside juicy, grilled peaches on a bed of greens with pecans and goat cheese, this hearty poultry dish makes for an easy, go-to summer supper.
Grilled Chipotle Chicken and Sweet Potato Toss
Adobo sauce, what surrounds the chipotle chiles in the can, is a fantastic single-ingredient wet rub for grilled chicken, smoky with just a touch of heat that won't be overwhelming for kids.
Curried Grilled Chicken Thighs
Curry paste is a flavor powerhouse, full of roasted aromatics, earthy spices, fiery chiles, and more. Yellow curry powder is commonly used in green curry paste recipes, serving as the flavor backbone; it's convenient, too, providing lots of spices in a single handy ingredient. You can substitute 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (found near the fresh herbs) for the fresh stalks; simply add right to the food processor instead of roasting. This recipe goes with: Curry-Poached Cod with Snap Pea Slaw, Thai Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls
Mojo Grilled Chicken Breasts
The red onions develop a nice char on the grill, but they finish cooking and develop a depth and sweetness once left to steam. Drizzle any juices from the onion mixture over the grilled chicken. Fresh cilantro and zesty lime add a refreshing brightness to this light summer meal, perfect for the whole family. For a sensitive palate, use less or omit red pepper flakes.
Grilled Chicken with Peanut Sauce
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Satay Sauce
Grilled Chicken Skewers with Wasabi Mayo
A kicking dipping sauce adds amped up fun and flavor. If you make these skewers on the outdoor grill, make sure to soak your wooden skewers in water before grilling to avoid burning. Make a few extra skewers to add chicken to lunches and salads the next day. The wasabi mayo adds a kick to the simple grilled chicken that pairs well with the sweetness of honey and tang of rice vinegar. The mayo can be saved and served alongside roasted vegetables, skirt steak or fresh grilled fish.
Easy Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and White Beans
This simple baked chicken packs a ton of flavor atop a nice, toasty mixture of beans, tomatoes, and herbs. Since the chicken cooks on top of the vegetables, its juice add to the sauciness of the burst, roasted tomatoes, the buttery olives, and the tender creamy beans. A little bit of lemon zest makes a lovely finish. The entire combination is just as satisfying as it is visually pleasing, especially faro or another grain. This dinner is easy but has a grown-up feel, and the combined ingredients are meant to be together. If you like, you can add in or substitute other olives or vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and onions—whatever fits your palate.
Dry-Rubbed Smoked Chicken Wings
This recipe is from pitmaster, Wade Reich, of Butts To Go in Pell City, Alabama. His story and recipe is one of many beloved pitmasters in our new book, South’s Best Butts. Wade opened Butts To Go in a Texaco after a friend invited him to go in on a local service station. So what about the barbecue? Well, with all his Southern-gentleman charm, Wade says, “The gas business got so bad that it made the food business look good.” His place serves as a quick in-and-out eatery for families and hungry road warriors to literally get their butts to go. Butts ain’t the only item highly demanded by customers of Butts to Go. The wings are equally delicious. They come on and off the smoker throughout the day just to keep up with demand. The low-and slow method ensures that the meat remains super moist and fall-off-the-bone tender, with a deliciously melded skin that is heavily seasoned with an in-house rub. Paprika, along with a good bit of salt, plays the dominant role in this fragrant, orange-hued rub, which works great with poultry. Don’t be too shy about trying it out on other food as well. This rub works great as a finishing seasoning for soft-scrambled eggs.
Sheet Pan Greek Chicken with Roasted Potatoes
Two spice rack staples—cinnamon and nutmeg—give this chicken a wonderful depth of flavor, and fresh tomatoes, lemons, and herbs add zest. Buy bone-in chicken breasts that are about the same size so that they cook evenly.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Stew with Pumpkin and Wild Rice
This savory fall stew is filled with tender cubes of pumpkin, shredded chicken, and nutty wild rice in a creamy sauce. When choosing a pumpkin, look for a sugar or cheese pumpkin. Field pumpkins, which are larger in size, have watery, stringy flesh and are best used for decoration. Or substitute a butternut squash.
Chicken Cutlets with Spring Vegetable Salad and Herb Vinaigrette
Looking to showcase your farmers’ market haul in its finest glory? In that case—you, my friend, are looking for this awe-inspiring spring chicken dinner. Every component brings something special to the table in a salad like this: Your greens create a sweet, crunchy base with a peppery hit from arugula, radishes contribute a pleasant bitter-edged brightness, cucumbers offer a clean crunch, potatoes pack the buttery richness, and a tangy, herbaceous vinaigrette is everything you need to tie everything together. Served alongside a golden-crisp chicken cutlet this lively plate nails the perfect balance of fried and fresh. In other words, this recipe is sure route to dinnertime nirvana.
Skillet Chicken Breast with Beans and Greens
Our Skillet Chicken Breast with Beans and Greens is truly a one pan wonder. Our Test Kitchen came up with this tasty, family friendly chicken dinner which comes together in a single skillet. Packed with protein, loaded with fiber, and just 390 calories per serving, Skillet Chicken with Beans and Greens makes a healthy dinner any night of the week. This recipe is oh-so-versatile too—swap out the turnip greens for collards or kale. Use pinto beans, black beans, or chickpeas instead of cannellini beans. You can make this meal even heartier by serving the chicken and vegetables over cooked rice, whole grains (like quinoa, brown rice, or farro) or orzo pasta. Whatever you do, don’t forget to add a dash or two of hot pepper vinegar at the end. The tang and heat of this Southern pantry staple makes the dish sing, and also adds tons of flavor while keeping the dish light and fresh.
Lemon-Herb Chicken Kebabs
These light and summery kebabs are made with chicken thighs, which won’t dry out on the grill. Cut the chicken into strips and thread it, accordion-style, onto the skewers along with thinly sliced lemons and asparagus. The tangy herb and lemon marinade also tastes great with pork or lamb.
Chicken, White Bean, and Spinach Salad
The beans, chicken, and dressing can all be made a day ahead in your slow-cooker. Assemble this meal in minutes and round out this light summer salad with a loaf of crusty bread. If you have any leftover, it will make a great lunch the following day. Slow cooking requires little fat, so trim the excess from meats and poultry. Preserve the flavor of fresh herbs by adding them to the dish once it comes out of the slow cooker. Removing the slow cooker lid while cooking releases valuable heat, so resist the urge to check on the dish as it cooks.
One-Pan Chicken with Lemon, Olives, and Artichokes
You’ll love the bold flavors of this Mediterranean-inspired dish. Lemony chicken and artichokes are topped with a bright and tangy relish of green olives, parsley, and thyme. We love serving this dish over pearl couscous to soak up the delicious pan sauce, but you can swap it out for rice or even pasta.
Citrus-Braised Chicken Thighs
Dishes like these are what Dutch ovens were made for. Just dump all the ingredients inside and let your stove transform chicken thighs into a juicy meal. Braising gives you tender, tasty results and a pan sauce to boot.
Classic Roast Chicken
A classic roasted chicken served with greens and your favorite side makes a delicious and easy dinner that never goes out of style. Be prepared to turn on your vent; the high-heat finishing may generate some smoke.
Roast chicken is juiciest and tastiest when it’s cooked to an internal temperature of 165°. To get an accurate reading, place your meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken or in between the breast and the thigh. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before serving—this locks in moisture and ensure perfectly juicy meat.
Balsamic Chicken with Oranges and Radicchio
Antioxidants called anthocyanins give radicchio its bold hue; research shows these compounds can help improve gut health. Grilled oranges help balance radicchio’s bitterness.
Boiled Chicken Breasts
Boiling a chicken breast may seem like a fairly simple task—and it is. But there are plenty of questions to answer before you throw your meat in the water. Have you ever wondered how long to boil a chicken breast? What, if any, seasoning do you need? Well, you've come to the right place. Follow these easy instructions for perfect boiled chicken, every time.
Braised Chicken with Olives, Capers, and Prunes
This recipe for a braised chicken with olives, capers, and prunes is inspired by Chicken Marbella, the recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook that went “viral” in the 1980s. It’s been updated with far less added sugar (the original recipe calls for a cup of brown sugar) and the welcome addition of citrus.
Seared Chicken with Shallots and Grapes
This rustic skillet supper is the ultimate company-worthy comfort food. Juicy, antioxidant-rich red grapes combine with shallots, vinegar, and cardamom to yield an intriguing balance of tart and sweet flavors.
Mediterranean Chicken and Farro
Chicken thighs hold up nicely in the slow cooker, surrendering rich juices that make this fiber-packed farro extra-satisfying. Castelvetrano olives are bright green and buttery; look for them at your grocery’s olive bar. Having trouble finding pearled farro? Pick some up here.
Roast Chicken With Dukkah and Citrus Over Roasted Vegetables
Chicken and Cucumber Salad With Parsley Pesto
This hearty supper salad is a lean-protein powerhouse thanks to chicken, chickpeas, and edamame; the parsley pesto delivers bone-boosting vitamin K. Pick up frozen shelled edamame to make this meal extra speedy.
Chicken Kebabs with Spicy Sauce
That jar of salsa hanging out in the back of your fridge has more in store for it than a date with a bag of tortilla chips. This easy chicken kebabs recipe will help you teach that lycopene-rich salsa some tasty new tricks.
Chicken and Honeydew Salad
Rotisserie chicken and pre-diced honeydew help get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes; pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) and tortilla strips deliver a satisfying double-crunch factor.
Chicken Bone Broth
If you choose to use chicken feet, which add collagen to broth, you’ll find them at Asian markets. Ask the butcher to debone the chicken if you don’t want to do it at home.
Chicken and Vegetables with Coconut Water
Coming up with a healthy and creative brown bag lunch for a busy workday can feel like…work. So we came up with a few new options that are so easy you can make them in the morning before work, or you can prep them the night before and grab on your way out the door in the morning.
Roast Chicken with Lentils and Yogurt
Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs take a while to cook through. Starting on the stove top and moving to the oven is the most foolproof way to get perfectly crisp skin and meat that’s cooked all the way through. This dish is filling and hearty, and with the chicken, lentils, veggies, and yogurt it truly is a complete meal, but if you’d like to add some green, a little arugula on top would be tasty.
Lemon Chicken Citrus Bowls
Bowl meals build texture and flavor with layers of nutritious ingredients. Since there’s no center stage in a bowl, a small portion of meat travels far, putting more emphasis on the vegetables and whole grains. The avocado sauce pulls it all together with irresistible creaminess. This nutrient-packed bowl covers 100% your daily goal for immune-boosting vitamin C, and over one-quarter of your daily potassium needs.
Turmeric-Roasted Chicken with Farro
Garlic-Sage Roasted Chicken with Kale and Radicchio Caesar Salad
This elevated take on your typical chicken Caesar salad utilizes nutrient-dense kale and pleasingly bitter raddichio in place of romaine to create a diversity of flavor and texture. Any leftovers of this super satisfying salad are great to pack up for a next-day lunch as the heartier greens are less prone to wilting quickly.