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“Oh chicken breast, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… ”
Despite being packed with protein (which helps our bodies build and repair tissue and keeps us feeling full longer) and versatile in the kitchen, chicken breasts often get knocked for being boring, tasteless, or just plain not good. But we guarantee that these 60 delicious recipes from around the web will breathe new life into the not-so-hallowed bird.
These chicken breasts recipes use common household ingredients and healthy cooking methods like baking and grilling to add new zest to chicken breasts. Forget what you thought about the meat. These recipes will have you looking at (chicken!) breasts in a whole new way.
1. Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce
Crushing tomatoes as part of dinner prep? Oh yeah. Fresh herbs give chicken breasts extra zing, while savory cherry tomatoes are heated until they burst, finished off with a dash of wine, and then poured over the chicken. In short, this sauce makes “plain” chicken so very not plain.
2. Chicken with Dijon Mustard Sauce
Mustard: not just a sandwich condiment. Dijon mustard complements poultry perfectly, and this dish is no exception. Combine it with fresh thyme, salt, pepper, some white wine, and garlic, and you’ve got yourself a main course that’s perfect to serve with roasted potatoes, over pasta, or on salad greens.
3. Chicken Breasts with Lime Sauce
Pair this chicken breast with a healthier margarita, because this lime sauce is out of this world. Cut down on prep time by purchasing thin-sliced breasts at the store.
4. Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sage Sauce
For a recipe that uses only easy-to-get-your-hands-on ingredients (such as mushrooms, cream, and shallots), this sauce is lip-smackin’ good. Sauté the veggies in a pan with your oil of choice and white wine (save the rest of the bottle!), while browning the chicken breasts separately. Add some fresh herbs to the sauce, pour it over the breasts—and voila! Your restaurant-worthy dish is ready.
5. Seared Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce
No washing piles of dishes here! This chicken comes together all in one pan. Seared chicken, fresh herbs, and zesty lemon pull this meal together in just 20 minutes. Have some bread handy to dip in the extra sauce!
6. Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken
A quick, sweet, and savory dinner doesn’t get easier than this. Preheat the oven while you coat chicken in a blend of sugar, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, and superfood garlic. Bake for 20 minutes, and enjoy.
7. Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa
When you want to make something easy, this fits the bill. This cayenne-spiced chicken gets topped with a fresh, tasty salsa and stars avocado, which comes with its own benefits—it can improve cholesterol levels and is loaded with vitamins E (yay, antioxidants!) and B6 to help keep your skin looking good. Not too shabby for a dinner!
8. Chicken Breasts with Spicy Rub
If you like heat, this chicken is for you. Up the spice quotient by using more rub. Not ready to fire up the grill? Feel free to bake or sauté in a pan—you’ll still get all the zesty flavor.
9. Cocoa and Curry Rubbed Chicken Breasts
Hershey’s for dinner? Believe it or not, using cocoa powder intensifies the taste of the cumin and curry powder in this simple rub, without leaving behind a chocolate-y taste (We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not that’s a good thing.).
10. Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Everything Sauce
A simple rub that can be used on chicken breast—or other meats—ups the ante with an accompanying sauce made with superfood Greek yogurt, honey, and Dijon mustard. Don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you, because this meal comes together super easily.
11. Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Optional Jamaican Red Beans and Rice
Packed with strong ingredients such as allspice, sage, and nutmeg, the taste of this chicken will transport you to Jamaica (even if you’re stuck in another polar vortex). Serve with optional red beans and rice to round out this Jamaican-inspired meal.
12. Cilantro Thai Grilled Chicken
A marinade that requires only 15 minutes and imparts delicious Asian flavors? Sign us up. Be sure to let the chicken rest for five minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute and keep the breasts moist.
13. Greek Marinade for Grilled Chicken
The perfect marinade for a Greek chicken salad or souvlaki, this recipe uses regular ole’ garlic and common herbs like oregano and thyme to give each bite a burst of flavor, while lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and salt tenderize the chicken.
14. Hawaiian Grilled Chicken
This chicken will conjure up thoughts of sunshine, grass skirts, and fresh island flavors. If you like coconut-flavored foods, this recipe is calling your name. We love the trick of poking the breasts with a fork to ensure the marinade seeps in.
15. The Best 4-Ingredient Chicken Marinade
So simple yet so tasty, this marinade will keep chicken breasts juicy while grilling. Who knew that brown sugar, vinegar, oil, and soy sauce could produce something this good?
16. Healthy Avocado Chicken Salad
We couldn’t write a list of chicken recipes without mentioning chicken salad! The secret ingredients in this version are our dear friends Greek yogurt and avocado. Lime juice and cilantro give a fresh, light taste. Eat it on its own or in a wrap (as pictured above).
17. Fall-Inspired Grilled Chicken Salad
Cajun-spiced chicken tops a salad made with fresh greens, crunchy apple slices, crumbled goat cheese, and trail mix. Tossed with an easy-to-make homemade maple-mustard vinaigrette, you’ll love this no matter what season it is.
18. Healthy Thai Chicken Salad
Loaded with unexpected ingredients like protein-packed edamame, coleslaw, and superfood quinoa, this Thai-inspired salad gets drizzled with a peanut-y dressing. Sprinkle chopped peanuts or cashews for extra texture, or just gobble down as-is!
19. Lemony Chicken Breast with Cucumber Feta Salad
While the chicken marinates for 20 minutes, toss together this creamy-crunchy salad. While the chicken cooks, the flavors in the salad meld, coming together for one healthy, hearty main course. The next day, throw leftovers in a wrap for a new spin on lunch.
20. Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad
Balsamic vinaigrette pairs perfectly with superfood strawberries, and acts as the star in this light salad. (Optional) bacon and pecans add a little crunch, and goat cheese gets sprinkled on top for a meal that’s as nice to look at as it is to eat.
21. BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Just when you thought grilled cheese couldn’t get any better, this recipe came along. Gooey cheddar and barbecued breasts turn a childhood favorite into an adult classic. Use a pan or Foreman grill if you can’t get to an outdoor grill—the chicken will still be delicious.
22. Baked Crispy Chicken Sandwiches
Forget fast food sandwiches—this homemade version tastes just as good and is ridiculously easy to make. The chicken stays juicy while baking thanks to a quick 20-minute marinade. Feel free to skip the accompanying aioli—or use plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayo if you want a healthier spread.
23. Buffalo Chicken Club Sandwiches
If you need a buffalo wings fix, this sandwich will do the trick. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, and you can use any leftover chicken in a salad or wrap. If you’re counting calories, leave off the optional mayo, bacon, and blue cheese.
24. Chicken Pesto Sandwich
This pesto sauce gets whipped up quickly in the food processor (or blender) and then combined with Greek yogurt for extra creaminess before topping the chicken. Spread on a baguette and top with tomatoes, arugula, and fresh mozzarella (optional) for one of the simplest, tastiest uses for leftover shredded chicken ever.
25. Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Sandwiches
Honey and lime might sound like a weird combo, but trust us: It works. They’re the main ingredients in this simple chicken breast dressing. Served with a veggie-heavy slaw, it’s a complete meal.
Soups and Stews
26. Chicken Tortilla Soup
It’s everything you love in a taco, but in a broth that’s packed with Mexican flavor! This soup makes a great alternative to your typical taco or fajita night. Don’t forget the healthy toppings, such as avocado, diced red onion, cilantro, and salsa or pico de gallo.
27. Chicken with Tomatoes and Mushrooms
This super simple stew tastes so rich, you’ll swear it has more ingredients than the mushrooms, tomatoes, chicken, and seasonings that comprise it. Serve over rice or with a slice of crusty bread.
28. Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup with Sesame and Green Onions
For a unique take on regular old chicken noodle soup, try this version. Traditionally Asian flavors such as sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, and soy sauce give this easy dish some intense taste.
29. Clean Eating Chicken and Dumplings
The country favorite gets a whole food makeover. This stew is loaded with celery, carrots, and onions (and chicken, of course!), while the dumplings are made with whole-wheat flour. Whether you make it in a crockpot or on the stove, it’s got that homemade flavor that makes the dish so darn good.
30. Cure-a-Cold Spring Chicken Soup
This recipe tastes like the chicken soup mom or dad used to make when you were younger, but with a much speedier cooking time. Make this the next time you have a case of the sniffles—chicken soup is scientifically proven to help ward off congestion and inflammation.
For all 60 awesome ways to spice up boring chicken breasts, go to Greatist.com.