70 Easy Chicken Recipes for Dinner that are high protein and delish to make for your family without hassle. There are easy chicken breast and thigh recipes as well as 30-minute, low carb, casseroles, Instant Pot, Air Fryer, and Slow Cooker chicken dishes everyone will love... just like these 75 easy dinner ideas!
Chicken meat is the most consumed animal protein by humans in 2021, according to statistics, both in the world and in the U.S.
It is also one of the most budget-friendly and healthy meats. Because it is a versatile protein, you can make many dishes using different cooking methods.
What are the 4 main cuts of chicken?
A chicken can either be used as a whole bird or be divided into four different cuts – the drumstick, wing, thigh, and breast.
Dark Meat vs. White Meat
The differences between dark meat and white meat are the following:
- White meat: It is found in the chicken breasts and wings and contains 10% of red fibers, making this part of the chicken lean, mild in flavor, and can dry out easily if overcooked. E.g. Air fryer chicken wings!
- Dark meat: It is found in chicken legs (thigh and drumstick) and contains about 50% of red fibers, making it more flavorful and juicy, and can be cooked longer without drying out so easily.
Chicken is one of the most nutritious types of meat available. It’s a good source of protein, as well as several minerals and vitamin, including iron, potassium, and phosphorus.
Chicken is also low in fat and calories, making it a healthy choice for those watching their weight. The nutrition facts will vary depending on the cut and also if bone-in, skin-on, or boneless and skinless.
But according to the USDA , in 100 grams of boneless skinless chicken breast, there is:
- 107 calories
- Carbs: 0 g
- Protein: 23.2 g
- Total Fats: 0.89 g
- Cholesterol: 58 mg
Minerals and Vitamin:
- Sodium: 67 mg
- Calcium: 18 mg
- Iron: 0.64 mg
- Vitamin C: 1.1 mg
In addition, chicken is relatively easy to cook, which is why you can find several easy chicken dishes ideas online.
Low Carb Chicken Recipes
For anyone following a low carb or keto diet, chicken is a great option for a healthy, protein-rich meal. Not only is chicken low in carbs, but it's also a lean source of protein.
For that reason, the easy chicken meals below are great choices for those looking to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
That means the chicken is naturally a keto ingredient. However, some chicken recipes may include ingredients that are not keto or low carbs, such as grains (rice, pasta, beans), brown sugar, honey, and spice blends.
Moreover, chicken is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes, from simple chicken breasts to more complicated chicken casseroles. If you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, simple chicken recipes are the way to go.
When following a keto or low-carb diet, it's important to be mindful of the ingredients you place on these easy chicken recipes to ensure they fit into your diet plan.
For example, chicken curry is often eaten with rice as a side dish. The rice isn’t a keto ingredient, which is why you would need to replace the rice with cauliflower rice or another low-carb side such as zoodles if you want to eat keto.
Another option is to make a chicken salad with keto ingredients, such as avocado mayo, bacon, and shredded cheese. This salad would be high in healthy fats and protein, and low in carbs.
You can also add spices to chicken to make it more delish without adding carbs, such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, and this keto taco seasoning.
Check them out:
- Keto Ranch Chicken Thighs
- Low Carb Coconut Chicken Curry
- Keto Mediterranean Chicken Foil
- Keto Chicken Fajita Casserole
- ABC Burger (Keto)
- Keto Jerk Chicken
- Low Carb Greek Meatballs
Quick Chicken Recipes
Anyone who's short on time but still wants to enjoy a homemade meal knows that chicken is the way to go. There are endless quick chicken recipes that can be made in a snap.
You can either use an instant pot or air fryer to speed up the cooking process or simply cube and shred chicken to get it on the table fast.
And the best part is that all of these quick chicken recipes can be made in under 30 minutes, so you'll never have to sacrifice flavor for time!
While chicken with bone tends to be more flavorful, chicken without bone cooks faster and is, therefore, more convenient for quick recipes.
For boneless chicken thighs, for example, you can typically cook them in about 15-20 minutes. This is because there is less mass for the heat to travel through, so the chicken cooks more evenly.
As a result, chicken without bone is a good option for those who are looking for a quick and easy chicken recipe. Check these out:
- Galinhada (Brazilian Chicken and Saffron Rice) (30 minutes)
- Loaded Chicken Nachos (25 Minutes)
- Quick Marry Me Chicken (20 Minutes/Stovetop)
- Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas (30 Minutes)
- Masala Lemon Butter Chicken (25 Minutes)
- Skillet Apricot Chicken (25 Minutes)
- 30-Minute Chicken Masala Meatballs (30 Minutes)
Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes (DONE)
When it comes to healthy simple chicken recipes, skinless chicken breasts are generally a better choice than chicken thighs. This is because chicken breasts are leaner and thus have less saturated fat, as well as total fat.
However, it’s not just because you’re using the chicken breast as the main course that you’ll have a healthy menu. You should note that the added ingredients also matter so the final recipe is healthy.
When choosing ingredients for a more nutritious chicken meal, look for healthy grains, fresh vegetables, and spice blends without MSG. Take a look at these:
- Baked Chicken Breast
- Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Lime Chicken
- Weight Watchers Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
- Grandma’s Chicken Soup
- Honey Lime Chicken
Easy Chicken Thigh Recipes
Easy chicken thigh recipes are easy to find, but not all of them are created equal. Chicken thighs with skin and bones tend to be more appetizing, but they can also be a bit more challenging to cook.
Yet, cooking with skin and bones still is a good idea for an easy chicken dinner.
The key is to keep an eye on the internal temperature and to pull them off the heat just before they're done.
They'll continue to cook for a few minutes after you remove them from the heat, so they'll be perfectly cooked by the time you're ready to eat.
Whether you're cooking with or without skin and bones, chicken thighs are a delicious and versatile option that can be enjoyed any night of the week.
Beyond that, chicken thighs are a less costly ingredient. So, these easy chicken thigh recipes are perfect if you want a convenient dinner without breaking the bank!
Check these out:
- Baked Chicken Thighs
- Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Chicken Thighs
- Brazilian Chicken Stroganoff
- Honey Soy Chicken
- Garlic Mushroom Chicken Thighs
- Sheet Pan Chicken Thigh and Vegetable Dinner
- Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs
Easy Chicken Drumstick Recipes
The chicken leg contains 2 parts: the thigh and the drumstick which are both dark meat (tastier, juicy, and can be cooked for longer).
Because we already featured several easy chicken thigh recipes above, these easy chicken leg recipes are made only with drumsticks.
They are simple to prepare and quite delish. Check them out:
- Fried Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
- Chicken in Lime Coconut Sauce
- Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks
- Paprika Chicken Legs
- Korean Chicken Drumsticks
- Deviled Chicken Drumsticks
Easy Chicken Casserole Recipes
Casseroles stand out as easy chicken recipes for dinner, especially in the family. They are easy to make and can be made with leftovers or pre-cooked chicken. Simply add starch, vegetables, and your favorite seasonings, then bake it all in the oven!
Chicken casseroles are nutritious and filling, making them a perfect meal for any time of day. And because they are so easy to make, you can have one on the table in no time. It takes more time to cook in the oven than to prepare the casserole.
So next time you're looking for easy chicken meals, be sure to check out our list of chicken casserole recipes.
You're sure to find a new family favorite! Take a look at these delish chicken recipes:
- Chicken Fricasse
- Chicken Pasta Casserole
- Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
- Pastel Azteca
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Casserole
- Chicken and Biscuits Casserole
Baked Chicken Recipes
These baked chicken recipes can be made with different chicken cuts, even your favorite ones! Whether you're looking for something simple or something more complex, there's bound to be a baked chicken recipe out there that fits the bill.
From classic recipes like roasted chicken and chicken cordon bleu to more modern takes like cranberry and brie stuffed chicken, there's no shortage of tasty easy chicken recipes to choose from.
Finally, since they're cooked in the oven, they're often fairly easy to make as well.
So if you're looking for a tasty and easy-to-make meal, baked chicken is always a great option. Check these out:
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- Brazilian Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken Bacon Pasta Bake
- Brazilian Mac and Cheese with Chicken
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Peking Chicken
- Roast Chicken Adobo
Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
If you're looking for an easy chicken recipe, air fryer chicken is a great option. The air fryer works like a small oven or fryer, and it doesn't require much fat.
You can cook small pieces of chicken, like wings, or a whole chicken, depending on the size of your air fryer. Plus, air fryer chicken recipes are usually pretty quick and easy to make.
So, if you're in a hurry, these quick chicken recipes are a great option. Take a look at them:
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Sandwich in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer BBQ Chicken
- Air Fryer Bacon Chicken
- Sesame Chicken in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Chicken Pot Pies
Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
When we’re talking about simple chicken recipes, instant pot chicken recipes are some of the most popular as they tend to be quick and easy to prepare. The instant pot cooks food faster than other cooking methods, so it's perfect for those who have little time to spend in the kitchen.
In fact, the instant pot is one of the most popular kitchen appliances in recent years, and it's no wonder why. This versatile appliance can be used to cook a variety of easy chicken dishes, requiring a liquid such as chicken bone broth.
In addition, the instant pot often produces more flavorful results than other quick-cooking methods.
Whether you're looking for simple weeknight easy chicken meals or a more complex dish for a special occasion, instant pot chicken recipes are a perfect fit!
Also, find out how to use an instant pot! Check these out:
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Rice in Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Chicken Pasta with Broccoli
- Instant Pot Jalapeno Corn Chicken Soup
- Chicken and Mushrooms in Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
Slow cooker chicken recipes are some of the most convenient and delish meals you can make. It’s the perfect option for those who don’t stick too much at home.
You can just set the slow cooker and let it cook for hours!
Using the slow cooking method, you can prepare easy chicken recipes for dinner that are tender and full of flavor.
And thanks to the slow cooker, you can set it and forget it, allowing you to spend your day out and about without having to worry about dinner.
So if you're looking for an easy and delish chicken meal, be sure to check out some slow cooker chicken recipes. You won't be disappointed!
Whether you’re looking for a healthy chicken recipe, a delish meal for tonight, or just want an easy dinner idea, we’ve got you covered.
Pick one of the easy chicken recipes above and let us know how it goes. We can’t wait to hear what you think! Check these out:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker Chicken Satay Curry
- Cream Cheese Chicken in Slow Cooker
- Crock Pot Chicken Marsala
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
- Slow-Cooked Chicken Italian
- Chicken Merlot in Slow Cooker
How to Cook Chicken
- Regardless of the chicken cut (wing, thigh, drumstick, or breast), remove the chicken from the fridge 20 to 30 minutes before cooking and place it in a bowl on the counter so the chicken can cook evenly. Otherwise, some parts will cook faster than others. NOTE: Do not wash the chicken as it will not only contaminate the sink and nearby surfaces but will also remove some of the flavors from the meat itself.
- After removing the chicken from the fridge, dry it well with a paper towel and season to taste. Use at least one teaspoon of salt for every pound of chicken and enough ground black pepper to taste, as well as other seasonings. In these 20 or 30 minutes out of the fridge, the seasonings will penetrate the chicken meat, making it tastier.
- Choose the proper cooking method for the chicken cut or follow the recipe. Smaller cuts like wings and thinner cuts like chicken fillets cook faster than breasts and drumsticks. Bone-in pieces usually take longer to cook than boneless pieces. The chicken is ready when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (71°C), measured with a meat thermometer that does not touch the bone part. If it is overcooked, it will be dry!
- After cooking, let the chicken meat rest for at least 3 to 5 minutes before slicing so that it retains its natural juices and redistributes them after cooking. During the resting time, the meat will continue to cook and increase the internal temperature. Chicken meat is safe to eat when it reaches 165 degrees F (74°C).
- This is how you cook easy chicken recipes for dinner!
How Long to Cook Chicken
The cooking time will depend on the chicken cut and its weight as well as the cooking method and its temperature.
But independently of those factors, chicken is cooked and safe to eat when it reaches the internal temp of 165 degrees F.
Store chicken leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat well before eating!
How to Freeze
Freeze cooked and cooled chicken in one or more freezer bags or containers for up to 2 to 3 months.
Some more easy dinner recipes to make and enjoy:
- 30 Quick and Easy Low Carb Dinner Recipes
- 45 Easy Gluten-Free Weeknight Dinners for the Family
- 35 Easy Pantry Recipes
- 70 Easy and Healthy One-Pot Meals (30 Minutes)
PIN & ENJOY!
70 Easy Chicken Recipes for Dinner
- 1 Frying pan, Instant Pot, Air Fryer, Slow Cooker, or oven
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken wings, thighs, or drumsticks, depending on the recipe
- Seasonings to taste
How to Cook Chicken:
- Regardless of the chicken cut (wing, thigh, drumstick, or breast), remove the chicken from the fridge 20 to 30 minutes before cooking and place it in a bowl on the counter so the chicken can cook evenly.
- Otherwise, some parts will cook faster than others. NOTE: Do not wash the chicken as it will not only contaminate the sink and nearby surfaces but will also remove some of the flavors from the meat itself.
- After removing the chicken from the fridge, dry it well with a paper towel and season to taste. Use at least one teaspoon of salt for every pound of chicken and enough ground black pepper to taste, as well as other seasonings.
- In these 20 or 30 minutes out of the fridge, the seasonings will penetrate the chicken meat, making it tastier.
- Choose the proper cooking method for the chicken cut or follow the recipe. Smaller cuts like wings and thinner cuts like chicken fillets cook faster than breasts and drumsticks.
- Bone-in pieces usually take longer to cook than boneless pieces. The chicken is ready when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (71°C), measured with a meat thermometer that does not touch the bone part. If it is overcooked, it will be dry!
- After cooking, let the chicken meat rest for at least 3 to 5 minutes before slicing so that it retains its natural juices and redistributes them after cooking.
- During the resting time, the meat will continue to cook and increase the internal temperature. Chicken meat is safe to eat when it reaches 165 degrees F (74°C). This is how you make easy chicken recipes for dinner!
How Long to Cook Chicken:
- The cooking time will depend on the chicken cut and its weight as well as the cooking method and its temperature. But independently of those factors, chicken is cooked and safe to eat when it reaches the internal temp of 165 degrees F.
** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.
Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.
Post first published on December 5, 2016.