If you have some chicken in your fridge, then you have a huge range of healthy and tasty options for meals you can make. This article will list 20, each of which is tasty, quick, and a healthy(ish) source of lean protein.
1. Mexican Chicken
Mexican chicken isn’t necessarily really from Mexico, but it is a fun recipe that makes great finger food, that is easy to make and that is spicy and healthy.
First, you will be making breaded chicken pieces. To do this, you will need a plate of breadcrumbs and you’ll need a bowl of egg – simply crack one whole egg into the bowl.
Now you’re going to dip each piece of chicken into the raw egg and then roll it in the breadcrumbs so that they stick to it and cover it. Try not to think about the fact that chickens lay eggs and that this is essentially rolling them in their unborn children…
Once you’ve done this, squeeze the juice from a whole lemon onto the chicken pieces and then place them in a preheated oven at 200C. You’ll be leaving them in here for 30 minutes.
While that takes care of itself, meanwhile you will want to prepare the fruit chutney. You can play around with this recipe, but the basic ingredients are red pepper (thinly sliced), raisins, apple pieces, red onion, a little olive oil, and half a can of chopped tomatoes. Fry this up and add a little chili powder and then on top of that, you can add a small spoon of honey to sweeten it.
Once that’s all done, serve both the chicken and the chutney on a plate with a small (optional) dollop of mayonnaise.
2. Chorizo Chicken Tray Bake
This is a recipe that is perfect for serving up to guests and that is incredibly tasty and wholesome.
To make chorizo chicken traybake, you will need whole chicken thighs on the bone. You then take these and cover them in a light layer of oil. Chop some onions and place all of this on a tray together with chopped chorizo pieces (one whole chorizo for 4 people). Add in some sprigs of rosemary to bring out extra flavor and season.
Additionally, you should add some potato chips to the mixture. Cut potatoes into wedges and cover in oil, leaving the skin on and add to the tray.
Now add this concoction to a tray and place in the oven on 200C for 30 minutes. Turn it up toward the end in order to create crispiness around the edges and serve with a few servings of vegetables.
3. Chicken Caesar Salad
Chicken Caesar salad is a classic chicken recipe that is ideal for serving up in the summer and for anyone on a diet: it’s made up of lean protein (the chicken) along with a fresh salad.
Start by serving some salad leaves, chopped baby tomatoes, and red peppers in a bowl. Add some chicken strips on top.
This is really the entirety of the ingredients, save for the Caesar dressing. If you’re in a hurry, then you can buy this ready-made and have a healthy meal ready in minutes. Otherwise, you can make your own Caesar dressing with the following ingredients:
– Dijon mustard
– Olive oil
Mix these together to taste and add a little salt, then sprinkle lightly onto the salad.
You can also at this point add a little cheese (flakes of cheddar or of parmesan work very nicely, as do dollops of goats cheese), or alternatively croutons.
Of course, any type of additional salad that you wish to add to the mix will also work well. That can include things like cucumber, olives, avocado, etc.
Finally, serve in a bowl with a side of bread with a little olive oil.
4. Chicken Pesto Pasta
This is a very quick meal to make that is tasty and filling on those long winter evenings when you just want something comforting!
To make it, you will first need to fry up some pieces of boneless chicken in a pan with a little olive oil. While the chicken is browning, boil a kettle and then use this to cook up some pasta in a separate pan. Towards the end, you will add some spring onions, cut into short tubes.
When the pasta is cooked, drain off the water and then tip the browned chicken into the pan with the spring onions.
Keep this pan on low heat with some oil and then add crème fresh and red pesto to taste. You will likely use about one part crème fresh to two parts red pesto – but it is up to you how you like the taste!
Finally, season with a little salt and pepper and then serve!
5. Chorizo & Tomato Chicken
This meal once again pairs chorizo with chicken but in a slightly different way. This time, you are going to be cooking the meal on a slow cooker (or on a very low setting on the hob) and at the same time, you’ll be using a lot of tomatoes. This dish is served with rice.
To begin, take a single large pot. Add in some boneless chicken pieces and chopped tomatoes from a can (with the juice). For every person’s worth of chicken, add half a can of chopped tomatoes. At the same time, add in half a tube of tomato puree and some sun-dried tomatoes (again with the juice on). Add a small bit of water and some chopped red onion.
Now dice in some chorizo and add in some rice. Mix it all up, cover and cook on a low heat for a long time. This meal isn’t finished until the rice is cooked and the chicken is cooked through. In this case, you are using the tomato mixture as the substrate that is going to heat and cook the chicken. It takes a long time, but the result is a delicious infusion of flavors from the tomato and from the chorizo!
6. Chicken and Mayo Salad
On those days when you can barely be bothered to cook, chicken can be your ally. It is always quick to fix up and it provides a healthy and comforting dose of protein. Throw in some pasta and you have the perfect comfort food that is easy to prepare.
This is even easier to make than the other chicken and pasta dish. This time, you are going to fry up your chicken pieces. If you’re feeling very lazy, then you can even try boiling the chicken in order to make it less hands-on, or you can grill them in the oven.
Meanwhile, boil some pasta with some chopped onion in the pan. This is another easy way to save time!
When the pasta has finished boiling and the onion is cooked, you’re then going to drain it off and return it to the pan on low heat. Add the chicken.
Now, keep the pan cooking and add in some mayonnaise to taste and some sweetcorn. Serve when hot.
This is a very easy combination that is surprisingly tasty thanks to the mayo. You need very few ingredients and it’s a perfect easy fall-back for a tired or busy evening.
7. Chicken Hot Pot
Chicken hot pot is a simple stew that you will make using chicken. It has the benefit of once again being made in a single pot meaning that you can simply drop in the ingredients and not worry about them.
Start by filling the pot with a little water and bringing it to a boil. Then add pieces of boneless chicken, chopped onion, and small pieces of potato. Stir and add ingredients to taste. Things that work very well in here will include green peppers, sweetcorn, chicken stock, and thickening granules – the job of the last two ingredients is to thicken up the stew and make it less watery – which can make a big difference when it comes to the taste. Add in a little cream too and you can make the whole thing significantly more enjoyable.
Stir all this while heating and cook until the potatoes are soft enough to eat and the chicken is cooked all the way through. You’ll find that this is an easy recipe that can be very warming – although it perhaps isn’t the most interesting!
8. Chicken Avo Baguette
For this recipe, you will need to buy half a chicken. If you want it to be as tasty as possible, then you can buy a ready-cooked and seasoned chicken with the skin on. If you’re more interested in health, then buy skinless chicken and cook it yourself with minimal oil.
Either way, while hot you are going to tear off pieces of chicken and add to a baguette that has been spread with mayonnaise. You’re also going to add in some salad leaves, along with scoops of avocado. Finally, add in some salt and pepper and some flakes of cheddar for a truly tasty meal.
You can serve this with a side of salad if you want to make it a little healthier and a little more varied.
9. Chicken Sandwich
You can make a very similar chicken sandwich to go with your chicken avocado baguette. Once again, take half a chicken that has been pre-cooked and then slice off pieces (with the skin on for extra taste) and add to your two slices of bread. Spread on some mayonnaise and add some avocado or alternatively some guacamole.
Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, add in some salad leaves (or just add these on the side) and then optionally include some flakes of cheddar or parmesan. There are plenty more ingredients you can optionally add to this sandwich if you like (isn’t that just the best thing about sandwiches?) including cucumber, sweetcorn, olives, etc.
A slightly healthier alternative to this meal is to use chicken that has been grilled as this can be cooked without adding large amounts of oil on top.
10. Chicken Carbonara
Carbonara is one of the all-time classic Italian recipes. It is delicious to eat out and it is easy to prepare. What many people don’t realize is that chicken can often be added to carbonara and pairs very nicely with the overall taste. You can also place the whole concoction in the oven if you want to make it crispy – especially once you’ve added some cheese on top.
To make the carbonara, we are going to be using a slightly more traditional recipe. That means we won’t be adding great swathes of cream or other ‘extras’ like that.
To start then, chop up some red onion into small pieces and some bacon (you can also use ready-cut lardons). If you want to be really authentic about it, then you will need to use some pieces of meat taken from the pig’s cheek! But that is just for bonus points. Now add this to a frying pan with a good helping of olive oil and set it cooking on high heat. High heat is important because we want it to crisp up and even caramelize slightly as the red onion gets really hot. Of course, during this time you will also be frying up the chicken and trying to brown it around the outside.
While this is cooking, you also need to prepare your pasta. To keep things traditional, we’re going to be using spaghetti. A little trick for making this easier to cook though is to snap it in half before you add it to the pan.
This also makes it easier to eat after it is ready! Add a pinch of salt.
When the pasta is ready and the chicken is cooked through, you will then add everything together to a bowl and stir with a little salt and a good helping of pepper. Now grate in a generous portion of cheddar cheese and stir until it is melted through the mixture.
Take the pan off the hob completely now but don’t give it time to cool down. You’re now going to crack one whole egg in and mix it through. This should cover the pasta and the heat of the pasta will be enough to cook it! You don’t want it to scramble through. And likewise, you don’t need more than one large egg – even though you may feel otherwise!
Serve up with a side of vegetables, such as broccoli.