Do you ever have days where you didn’t plan ahead and you find yourself with absolutely zero creative energy (or any energy at all) to decide on dinner?
That was me two weeks ago. I usually plan meals ahead—but even if I don’t, I can generally pop open the fridge and put something together with what I see.
But recently I was tired, and it was a beautiful day, and I didn’t want to be inside cooking. I just wanted to sit in the backyard and read.
I shared this sentiment on Instagram stories (the story is long gone, but you can follow me @annebogel), and as an afterthought I asked you for your easy chicken recipes.
Well, that clearly should have been my first thought, because the suggestions you responded with were incredible. So incredible they made me want to put down my book and go make dinner.
Okay, perhaps that’s exaggerating a bit, but your suggestions were truly fantastic. Too good to keep to myself. So today, I’m sharing twenty dinner recipes that you can make with boneless skinless chicken breasts.
I hope you find a new favorite in this round-up, and I’d love to hear your favorites in comments.
This beautiful salad (pictured in the top photo) would be great for a picnic, a warm summer evening, or anytime you want to make a delicious dinner almost entirely ahead of time. Many of the weeknight recipes in my personal repertoire come from Allison at Prep Dish.
Lindsay from Pinch of Yum points out that cold “salads” are retro-ish, but if retro is code for classic and delicious, I’m on board. She recommends eating this in lettuce wraps or, her favorite, on an everything bagel. It’s healthier than your traditional chicken salad, since it replaces the mayo with yogurt. She calls it “practically a detox salad.”
I love Mel Joulwan’s recipes, and her cookbooks are filled with formulas that help me get dinner on the table using whatever I have on hand. (Pro tip if you’d rather be reading than making dinner: start with Well Fed Weeknights.)
There are a few kitchen sages that never steer you wrong. The Pioneer Woman is one of those. This chicken gets a quick marinade and is then cooked with cheese and bacon, so it’s basically my kids’ dinner dreams come true.
With colorful veggies thinly sliced and stuffed into chicken breasts, this recipe comes out looking gorgeous.
One thing I learned when I asked for dinner ideas: you all LOVE Mel’s Kitchen Café. (Keep scrolling for proof.) My family loved this easy Middle Eastern-inspired dish. (Hot tip: if this recipe is calling your name, know that we also adore the similar—but slightly more complex—street cart chicken and rice recipe found in Smitten Kitchen Everyday.)
You tell me that this recipe will be on the table quickly, with one pan, and promises to taste like Cordon Bleu. Sign me up. She said her 10-year old raved: “Mom, this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.”
We love salads for easy dinners, and a salad that’s delicious, filling, simple enough to serve for a regular Tuesday night dinner or nice enough for company is a salad recipe I want in my recipe rotation.
Rachael Ray has a reputation for recipes that are simple and tasty. This is one of her 30-minute meals; she suggests you serve this savory, garlicky dish with a glass of Chardonnay.
This recipe from Gimme Delicious, loaded with veggies and herbs, takes only 20 minutes. You all tell me leftovers are great stuffed into pita.
If you plan ahead, this recipe requires little hands-on time. It’s healthy comfort food, and good for a crowd. Since the recipe is basically dump and wait, you’ll have plenty of time to gather your favorite toppings, which are really the star of any chili recipe, let’s be honest. Serve with lots of lime.
12. Stir Fry
Several Whole30-ers said stir fry is saving them during their 30-day reset. Stir fry is one of those dishes that is infinitely customizable, but if you need a jumping off point, this recipe with green beans, mushroom, and zucchini has over 4 stars from reviewers.
When you think “buffalo chicken” you think wings. But who says Buffalo sauce can only go on wings? I’ve found Jessica’s recipes to be tasty and reliable (and also frugal, because what do you expect from a site called Good Cheap Eats?).
Meals in a bowl allow everyone to put in what they like, and leave out what they don’t. They make for great dinners—or leftovers for lunch.
MMD team member Ginger is a raving fan: “More of a method than a recipe, but anytime I make chicken this way, it never lets me down. In fact, I haven’t made chicken, even for another recipe, that isn’t brined, patted, seasoned, and roasted since my sister turned me onto these 5 fool-proof steps.” High heat, low cooking time is the key.
An Instant Pot chicken makes a perfect base for nachos, sandwiches, and tacos. It takes 15 minutes (not counting the time to come to pressure, sigh), and if you double the recipe you can freeze half for later. Two nights’ worth of dinner in 15 minutes? Yes please!
You can’t have a chicken menu roundup without including tacos. Many of you have included Taco Tuesday as part of your weekly menu. The slow cooker does most of the work this Tuesday. Sub long leaves of romaine or butter lettuce for a low-carb version.
The crispy part of this recipe comes from the panko crust coating. Panko bread crumbs are flakier (they come from bread without crusts) than traditional bread crumbs so they give extra crunch. I get mine at Trader Joe’s.
I’ve had great success with Pinch of Yum recipes, and 3 ingredients? Say no more.
This is my go-to “recipe” we used practically every day this fall and winter. It’s an easy-to-prep and easy-to-remember formula that works with whatever you have on hand.
Do you have a favorite weeknight chicken recipe or two? Please share it in comments!