Tarot_Moon_300×250 Medium Rectangle

73 Healthy Chicken Recipes for Weight Loss

73 Healthy Chicken Recipes for Weight Loss

Although there are numerous sources of protein available, ranging from beans and veggies to fish and beef, chicken is by far one of the most popular sources—and it’s easy to see why: It’s affordable, easy to prepare, and lower in fat than many other types of meat.

But here’s the dilemma: There are only so many grilled chicken breasts you can eat before you get bored and turn to more flavorful ideas that often come with a big dose of unwanted calories. That’s why we plucked out some of our favorite low-calorie chicken recipes from the Eat This, Not That! archives for the most delicious poultry creations you can easily make at home.

Add some of these 73 healthy chicken recipes for weight loss to your weekly lineup, and ditch chicken boredom once and for all. But before you check out these healthy dinner recipes, here are some helpful tips that will help you make sure your chicken recipe is perfect.

How do you properly store chicken in the fridge?

“You want to store your chicken on the bottom of the fridge, under any cooked or raw products,” says Patrick Ochs, corporate executive chef at Pubblica Italiana and Dalia at The Celino Hotel. If you’re storing your container of leftover pasta under a couple of slabs of red meat, you definitely want to reconsider. Why? The last thing you want is the raw juices seeping into your already cooked food because it could cause foodborne illness.

Why shouldn’t you wash raw chicken?

Washing raw chicken is a no-go. As Meredith Carothers, the technical information specialist at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service told us in a former article that washing raw chicken in the sink increases the risk of cross-contamination.

“By rinsing chicken meat, there is a potential to spread foodborne illness bacteria, like Salmonella or Campylobacter, to other surfaces or utensils,” she said. “If these surfaces or utensils are not cleaned or sanitized, it could spread to ready-to-eat foods and cause foodborne illness.”

How can you tell when raw chicken has gone bad?

Head chef of HelloFresh, Claudia Sidoti, had previously told us in a different article that there are three main signs that indicate raw chicken has gone bad.

“Fresh, raw chicken should have a pink, fleshy color. As it starts to go bad, the color fades to a shade of gray. If the color starts to look duller, you should use it immediately,” she said. Once that meat turns gray, toss it!

Another way is to smell it. If emits a potent, sour smell remove it from the fridge and throw away outside immediately.

Thirdly, the chef instructed us to touch the meat, “Raw chicken naturally has a glossy, slimy texture. However, if the slime remains after rinsing underwater, it likely went bad.”

How long should you marinate your chicken for?

“Depending on how much salt you use in your marinade, you can ideally marinate for days. I prefer to marinate for at least 24 hours to really penetrate the meat with flavor,” says Ochs.

Should you add salt to your marinade?

“I personally prefer to add salt to my marinade, especially for large cuts of meat,” says Ochs. “Depending on how much salt you use in the marinade, also limits the time you keep it on. Adding salts allow the meat to be evenly seasoned.”

RELATED: These are the easy, at-home recipes that help you lose weight.

Chicken recipes for weight loss you’ll love to cook

Chicken is so versatile to cook with, but we get that basic chicken can get old fast. Here, we’ve gathered 73 best chicken recipes for weight loss for full flavor in every bite. You’ll never go back to bland chicken again!

And if you love cooking, check out our list of 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.


The Best-Ever Oven-Fried Chicken

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Southerners may grunt and grumble about the travesty of “fried” chicken not being cooked in big skillets of melted lard, but we’d bring this crispy, succulent bird to a church potluck in Savannah without batting an eye. A long soak in buttermilk spiked with hot sauce both tenderizes and flavors the meat, while the spiced panko provides a layer of captivating crunch. We won’t go as far as to say you won’t taste the difference (properly fried chicken has a depth of flavor that stretches straight to your soul), but we can say with confidence that this chicken hits the spot.

Get our recipe for Oven-Fried Chicken.


Best-Ever Healthier Chicken Pot Pie

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

It’s a known fact that pot pies will forever be one of America’s favorite comfort foods, but you don’t want to waste an entire day’s worth of calories, fat, and sodium in just one meal, which is what ends up happening in many restaurant renditions. We take the opposite approach, cutting the calories and fat in a pot pie you will still love.

Get our recipe for Best-Ever Healthier Chicken Pot Pie.


Chicken Piccata


With this recipe, you can have a chicken dinner on the table in about 30 minutes. Not to mention, you’ll be using classic Italian ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. That’s our idea of a perfect, healthy, weeknight dinner!

Get our recipe for Chicken Piccata.


Healthier Orange Chicken

Brie Passano

This version slashes the calorie count of your usual orange chicken takeout. So enjoy a healthier take on this classic Chinese takeout dish with our easy-to-make orange chicken recipe.

Get our recipe for Healthier Orange Chicken.


Roast Chicken and Vegetables with Fall Spices

Courtesy of Kristine Kidd

There’s something about the smell of roasting chicken, potatoes, and butternut squash that make you nostalgic for fall. It reminds you of crisp fall days, huddled up with sweaters, sipping on a cup of warm soup, and enjoying a flavorful roast. This roast chicken with vegetables is naturally gluten-free and low in calories.

Get our recipe for Roast Chicken and Vegetables with Fall Spices.


Pesto Chicken with a Garden Salad

Waterbury Publications, Inc.

This is a picture-perfect weeknight meal: chicken breasts topped with mozzarella cheese and pesto sauce. Pesto, made from basil, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts adds rich, satiating, heart-healthy unsaturated fats to the dinner. And the peppery bite of arugula, fresh tomato, and red onion are the perfect complement to the gooey melted mozz.

Get our recipe for Pesto Chicken with a Garden Salad.


Harvest Pizza with Chicken, Grapes, and Goat Cheese

Marty Baldwin/ Eat This, Not That!

Need to use up the leftover cooked chicken in your fridge? This harvest pizza recipe is the perfect way to do so! Mixed with refreshing grapes, fennel, goat cheese, and arugula, this harvest pizza is as nutritious as it is delicious.

Get our recipe for Harvest Pizza with Chicken, Grapes, and Goat Cheese.


Crunchy Popcorn Chicken with Spicy Chipotle Aioli

Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

We use almond flour, chopped almonds, and a flaky spelt cereal to create a unique crunchy combo that adheres beautifully to little pieces of chicken. While many traditional crunchy chicken recipes use corn flakes, spelt flakes are lower in carbs and provide a toasted, nutty flavor.

Get our recipe for Crunchy Popcorn Chicken with Spicy Chipotle Aioli.


Tomato Chicken Curry With Cauliflower Rice

Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Looking for something on the spicier side? By using a jalapeño in the recipe, this chicken curry comes with a slight kick, but between the sweetness of the coconut milk and the acidity of the crushed tomatoes, this tomato chicken curry recipe is the perfect dinner dish no matter what season you’re in.

Get our recipe for Tomato Chicken Curry With Cauliflower Rice.


Tandoori Chicken Skewers with Spicy Cucumber Raita


This delicious tandoori chicken skewer recipe is about to be your favorite new food to grill. Served with a spicy cucumber raita sauce, these skewers are great on their own or served inside a warm pita.

Get our recipe for Tandoori Chicken Skewers with Spicy Cucumber Raita.


Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Nothing beats a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup on a cold day, does it? Especially if it can be cooked with minimal effort! This Crock-Pot chicken noodle soup recipe is the perfect meal to warm up a crowd on a winter day.

Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup.


Chicken Ramen With Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach

Waterbury Publications, Inc.

A big bowl of ramen sounds like the perfect meal for a cold, rainy night, right? Well, if you’re paleo, ordering a bowl of ramen isn’t always an option. Nevertheless, a simple swap from noodles to zucchini noodles (also known as zoodles!) can easily solve that salty ramen craving.

Get our recipe for Chicken Ramen With Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach.


Healthy Crispy Chicken Breasts

Jason Donnelly

Is there anything more delicious than fried chicken? That crispy, salty goodness, the juiciness of the meat…you don’t need to do much to make it a delicious meal. But fried chicken is often filled with calories and fat, making it one food you shouldn’t eat on a regular basis. If you’re still craving that crunchy meat, though, you’ll love this crispy chicken recipe. Baked in the oven, this chicken is way healthier than the typical fried stuff.

Get our recipe for Healthy Crispy Chicken Breasts.


Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Jason Donnelly

If there’s one meal you should truly master making in your slow cooker, it’s chili. Nothing really is more comforting than a warm, fiery chili, and we found a way to bring unique flavors to the classic dish by really elevating the basic chili—with the addition of pumpkin and chicken.

Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili.


Air Fryer Sesame Soy Garlic Chicken Wings

Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

This recipe for air fried chicken wings makes a tender wing with a crisp exterior that holds up to a sesame soy garlic glaze. There’s no batter, no vat of oil—just some crispy chicken tossed in a spicy sauce.

Get our recipe for Air Fryer Sesame Soy Garlic Chicken Wings.


Chicken Parm Casserole

Gail Watson Photography

The genius of getting a whole rotisserie chicken is that it can be used in a multitude of different flavor profiles and dishes—it’s like a blank, protein-filled canvas. It’s a simplified version of the iconic dish that’ll be ready in about 30 minutes (but equally hearty as the original).

Get our recipe for Chicken Parm Casserole.


Garam Masala Chicken Skewers with Fire-Roasted Jalapeno Dip

Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Ready to kick your appetizer game up a notch? This garam chicken masala skewers recipe will do just the trick. Thanks to the flavorful seasoning, these chicken skewers are anything but basic.

Get our recipe for Garam Masala Chicken Skewers with Fire-Roasted Jalapeno Dip.


Rotisserie Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Salad

Gail Watson Photography

The easiest way to make sure you’re eating a healthy dinner is to plan ahead. You can make meal prep even easier by buying a rotisserie chicken and using it in several different ways to create a nutritious plate.

Get our recipe for Rotisserie Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Salad.


Baked Salsa Chicken

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Get our recipe for Baked Salsa Chicken.


Chicken Marinades

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Bored of making the same chicken recipe over and over again? Never fear, chicken marinades are here! These delicious marinade ideas are the perfect way to switch up your usual chicken routine with just a few splashes of oil, vinegar, juices, and more. Add in a few healthy side dishes, and you have yourself an easy dinner!

Get our recipes for 8 Chicken Marinades.


Baked Fiery Buffalo Wings

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sometimes, you just really crave a classic dish, and it doesn’t get more classic than some Buffalo wings. This version isn’t fried like most wings tend to be, and instead is a baked version, which cuts the fat content significantly. It’s also easier, cheaper (no oil for frying), and tastier this way, too.

Get our recipe for Baked Fiery Buffalo Wings.

RELATED: These are the easy, at-home recipes that help you lose weight.


Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Authentic Mexican food can be incredibly healthy, as the dishes usually consist of tons of fresh produce and lean proteins. These enchiladas are not only easier to make than the Americanized versions served in most restaurants, but they’re also tastier and contain fewer calories, staying true to their roots.

Get our recipe for Chicken Mole Enchiladas.


Chicken and Black Bean Nachos

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you order a plate of nachos at a restaurant, you’re most likely going to end up with soggy tortilla chips that are drowning in cheese, sour cream, and oily ground beef. This version ensures that every chip is evenly covered with protein-packed chicken and fiber-rich beans, plus enough salsa and lime-spiked sour cream and cheese to keep your mouth watering.

Get our recipe for Chicken and Black Bean Nachos.


Crispiest Stuffed Chicken

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This is one common restaurant chicken dish that you’ll typically find infused with cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing, ruining any shot you have at a good day of eating. Apply those same appealing flavors at home to crispy stuffed chicken breast, filled with veggies and pine nuts, and you’ll escape unscathed.

Get our recipe for the Crispiest Stuffed Chicken.


Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This is one chicken sandwich you can’t get at the local drive-thru! It brings a ton of flavor, thanks to the chimichurri sauce it’s dressed in. And along with a solid supporting cast of sweet peppers, sharp raw onions, and peppery greens, you can’t beat this dish that comes in at only 310 calories.

Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce.


Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Salsa Verde

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Everyone loves rotisserie chicken, and it’s a fast and easy go-to for dinner when you’re in a pinch with no prep needed. But once you’re ready to get back in the kitchen, turn to this great chicken tacos recipe that you can use with leftover pieces of the meat. Tossed with a good dose of mildly spicy salsa verde, these tacos bring a ton of flavor.

Get our recipe for Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Salsa Verde.


Chicken Salad Sandwich with Raisins and Curry Powder

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicken salad is often just doused in mayo, but this version is unlike the one you’ll find at your local sandwich shop. We use a modest amount of olive-oil-based mayo, then add in plump golden raisins and curry powder for a sweet and savory combo. Make a big batch of the salad as part of your weekly meal planning and enjoy it stuffed into other sandwiches, in pitas, or even atop a bowl of mixed greens.

Get our recipe for Chicken Salad Sandwich with Raisins and Curry Powder.


Creamy Mushroom Chicken

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicken buried in mushrooms and cream is the type of dish that’s at home in a country kitchen as well as in an upscale city restaurant. We combine elements from both ends of the spectrum: brown mushrooms and chicken stock from the country, a touch of sherry, and some dried mushrooms from the city. The combination of Greek yogurt and half-and-half gives the sauce richness and a velvety texture, without weighing it down.

Get our recipe for Creamy Mushroom Chicken.


Grilled Chicken with Cranberries and Avocado Salad

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sometimes, salads can end up being calorie bombs in disguise, especially if you decide to order one at a restaurant. So how about you make a salad right at home that keeps it the healthy meal it should be? This recipe is rich in protein, and it is guaranteed to cut the number of calories you’d have on a salad you order in a restaurant in half.

Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken with Cranberries and Avocado Salad.


Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Craving pizza? Allow yourself to indulge by adding some chicken on it! This recipe is inspired by California Pizza Kitchen’s Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, and as good as theirs is, we’re confident this barbecue chicken pizza recipe is even better. Plus, it’s cheaper to make at home and has just a third of the calories.

Get our recipe for Barbecue Chicken Pizza.


Chicken Sausage Lasagna

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This version of the chicken lasagna recipe brings together the cheesy, tomatoey comfort of the American version of a classic lasagna with the meatiness and healthfulness of the type you would find in Italy.

Get our recipe for Chicken Sausage Lasagna.


Chicken Fajitas


A skillet of sizzling chicken strewn with fresh onions and peppers is the base for our chicken fajitas recipe that is boldly flavored, loaded with vegetables and protein, and healthy enough to eat twice a week.

Get our recipe for Chicken Fajitas.


Chicken and Dumplings

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Nothing screams comfort quite like chicken and dumplings. This recipe features root vegetables, savory broth, shredded chicken, a roux to thicken the soup base, and, you guessed it, fluffy dumplings.

Get our recipe for Chicken and Dumplings.


Simplest Beer Can Chicken


Yes, this recipe calls for cooking a whole chicken mounted on beer cans. But hear us out: The liquid creates steam that helps cook the chicken from the inside and keep it moist. Also, standing the chicken up vertically means the legs are exposed to the most intense heat, so the chicken will cook evenly without drying out. You’ll end up with one truly tasty chicken.

Get our recipe for Simplest Beer Can Chicken.


Loaded Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Vegetables

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We put a healthy spin on a typical Alfredo dish you would find at a restaurant. We ditched the cream base and made a basic béchamel sauce with flour, milk, butter, and Parmesan in our version of an Alfredo pasta recipe.  And with chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes added in, you won’t be overstuffed once you’re done eating this pasta dish, but happily and healthily content.

Get our recipe for Loaded Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Vegetables.


Chicken Parm with Spinach

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

In this recipe, we serve chicken parm with garlicky spinach in place of pasta, which not only cuts calories and boosts nutrition, but also adds a punch that pairs perfectly with the saucy chicken.

Get our recipe for Chicken Parm with Spinach.


Chicken Panini with Pesto and Peppers

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Keep it simple with this chicken panini recipe: A light, healthy spread like pesto, a low-calorie cheese, and a layer of lean white meat chicken. Can’t go wrong with that!

Get our recipe for Chicken Panini with Pesto and Peppers.


Chinese Chicken Salad

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This is no doubt one of the most popular salads in America, sharing space on menus at four-star restaurants and Wendy’s alike. Here we have a lighter version of the Chinese chicken salad that isn’t bogged down by too much dressing and too many fried noodles.

Get our recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad.


Roasted Chicken Wings in an Asian Marinade

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

In this roasted chicken wings recipe, we soak the chicken in an Asian marinade, then roast (again, we don’t deep fry here, either!) them at high temperature in the oven to crisp them up. This option saves you many calories, but will still give you the taste you crave.

Get our recipe for Roasted Chicken Wings in an Asian Marinade.


Tastiest Sunday Roast Chicken

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You don’t have to wait until Sunday to whip up this dish! The key to this roasted chicken is seasoning it long before you start cooking so that it will create a juicier roast.

Get our recipe for Tastiest Sunday Roast Chicken.


Simple Chicken Greek Salad

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This Greek salad recipe is both hearty and healthy without adding any heavy, high-calorie ingredients. And if you double the recipe, you’ll be able to serve yourself a few spoonfuls for lunch each day and be set.

Get our recipe for Simple Chicken Greek Salad.


Seared Chicken Pizzaioli

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We lighten up this chicken dish by ditching the breading (which gets soggy underneath the sauce anyway) and searing the chicken instead of frying it. A ladle of red sauce and a thin layer of bubbling mozzarella rounds the dish out for a twist on classic comfort food that’s actually good for you.

Get our recipe for Seared Chicken Pizzaioli.


Spicy Thai Chicken with Basil

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This Thai classic gets its flavor from chiles, garlic, and fresh herbs. They’re all nutritional powerhouses that make for a next-level flavor experience that trumps any basic stir-fry, at least in the health department!

Get our recipe for Spicy Thai Chicken with Basil.


Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When you’re in the mood for some Mexican, it’s always a good idea to make beloved dishes right at home. That way, you’re in control and can make them much healthier than any version you would be served at a restaurant, and that’s exactly what this red chile chicken enchilada recipe does.

Get our recipe for Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas.


Flavorful Provençal Chicken

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This is the type of simple, healthy, satisfying meal that gives Mediterranean cooking its reputation as the perfect blend of flavor and nutrition. With white wine, tomatoes, olives, and herbs, this chicken dish has the soul of southern France in every bite.

Get our recipe for Flavorful Provençal Chicken.


Chicken Cacciatore

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicken cacciatore gets all its delicious flavor from a stew of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and wine. So not only is this a dish that will make your tastebuds soar, but it’s healthy for you, too. And that is the true sign of a meal you will happily turn to again and again.

Get our recipe for Chicken Cacciatore.


Classic Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This roast chicken recipe produces a bird so moist, no other will compare. Plus, it’s simple enough to make on a weeknight.

Get our recipe for Classic Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables.


Basque Chicken

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This dish combines some of the great flavors of northern Spain—smoked paprika, sweet peppers, and piquant chorizo—in a slow-cooked stew that could warm even the most frigid of souls. We put our own spin on the basque chicken with the addition of dark beer, which brings a great flavor that will leave your taste buds in awe and your guests wanting more.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Get our recipe for Basque Chicken.


Easiest Chicken Adobo

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This may be the easiest chicken recipe of all time. The key is to reduce the sauce down to a syrup thick enough to cling to the chicken, as that will infuse your meal with a huge jolt of savory garlic-soy flavor. Pair with a side of veggies, and you’ll be set for the perfect dinner.

Get our recipe for Easiest Chicken Adobo.


Mediterranean-inspired Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This baked chicken breast recipe will have you roasting the meat with tomatoes and capers, then olive oil basting the chicken in a savory broth, which keeps the meat moist as it’s topped with a chunky, textured sauce. And it’s made in just one baking dish, making for easy cleanup!

Get our recipe for Mediterranean-inspired Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers.


Chicken Under a Brick

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Gone are the days of drowning your chicken in a bottled barbecue sauce! Instead, this basic, rustic way of grilling chicken—no special sauces or condiments needed—gives you tons of flavor without the added calories. All you need is a brick or two and aluminum foil. Why does this work so well? That kind of extra weight from the brick pushes the chicken down evenly, which results in juicier meat and a crispy skin no one can resist.

Get our recipe for Chicken Under a Brick.


Chicken Burger with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We know chicken burgers can err on the side of bland, so this recipe takes the basic patty up a notch with a sun-dried tomato aioli sauce. It stays low-calorie, but it adds a rich texture and flavor to the chicken without overpowering the patty. Once you make this sauce, you’ll want to put it on everything.

Get our recipe for a Chicken Burger with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli.


Breakfast Hash with Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This is exactly the kind of meal you want for breakfast that will soak up the excesses of a big night out (perhaps with a Bloody Mary in hand). It’s hearty and packed with protein, so it’s much better for you than a plate of pancakes and home fries from your local diner.

Get our recipe for Breakfast Hash with Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage.


Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Those who love sweet and spicy things are up for a real treat with this sandwich. Between teriyaki-glazed chicken, sweet grilled pineapple, and spicy jalapeños, this has every element you’d want in one meal.

Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich.


Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Cooked in chicken broth with a touch of fresh lemon juice, this Instant Pot lemon chicken recipe is an easy and flavorful protein to add to your dinner plate. Pair it with some easy sides like roasted broccoli or Brussels sprouts for a well-rounded meal.

Get our recipe for Instant Pot Lemon Chicken.


Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicken noodle soup does everything a comfort food is supposed to do, and it does so without a hefty caloric price tag. But steer clear of canned chicken soup: Not only is it sparse on chicken and vegetables, but a single cup can also carry up to half a day’s worth of sodium. This version is light on the salt and loaded with chunky vegetables and shredded chicken for a truly hearty bowl of soup.

Get our recipe for Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup.


Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Given the rate of wing consumption in this country, hot sauce-slathered chicken and blue cheese is clearly a winning combination for American palates. We stay true to the flavors people love—basting the chicken in hot sauce butter after grilling, topping with a yogurt-based blue cheese sauce—but manage to do what no one else out there has done yet: make Buffalo chicken into a healthy meal. Try the same technique with grilled shrimp.

Get our recipe for Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.


Margarita Chicken

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sizzling chicken and steak platters clutter the menus of nearly every major chain restaurant in this country, a testament to the enduring popularity of meat and melted cheese. We can’t fault people for loving it—who wouldn’t?—but we do take issue with the fact that these savory skillets rarely contain fewer than 1,000 calories, regardless of who’s holding the spatula. Unless you are, that is! Our version—a meal that you can have on the table in 20 minutes—contains all the same bells and whistles (Cheese! Salsa! Sizzle!) while skipping nearly 900 calories per portion.

Get our recipe for Margarita Chicken.


Chicken Tikka Masala

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

It takes many years to master the complex spice art at the heart of Indian cuisine, but tikka masala is the perfect beginner’s dish—light on ingre­dients and relatively mild in flavor. Tikka masala normally involves a heavy hand with both butter and cream, but we found that the combi­nation of Greek yogurt and half-and-half gives you the same velvety texture for a fraction of the calories.

Get our recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala.


Kung Pao Chicken


What makes a stir-fry so incredibly comforting? It’s knowing that, after a long, difficult day, a spicy and flavor-packed meal can be prepared in a single pan in under 10 minutes. But in most versions across the restaurant and takeout spectrum, the heat takes a backseat to Chinese-American food’s more dominant flavor profile: fat plus salt. This one puts the heat back in the driver’s seat.

Get our recipe for Kung Pao Chicken.


Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Italians might cringe in horror to hear it, but the noodle originally comes from Asia. The point is, sometimes a box of fettuccine is just as appropriate for an Asian-inspired meal as it is for an Italian dish. Think of this as a salad, with the noodles sitting in for lettuce. Add some protein and as many or as few vegetables as you like, and toss the whole package with a light but powerful dressing. It’s the culmination of four millennia of noodle knowledge. (Well, maybe not, but it’s awfully tasty.)

Get our recipe for Sesame Noodles with Chicken.


Thai Chicken Curry

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Redolent of ginger and lemongrass, chiles, and coconut milk, Thai curry brings all of the classic flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine—salty, sour, bitter, hot—together in one dish. What’s more, it derives all of its flavors from ingredients packed with powerful antioxidants. Even coconut milk contains lauric acid, among the healthiest forms of fat you can consume.

Get our recipe for Thai Chicken Curry.


Chili-Mango Chicken Stir-Fry

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The combination of heat and sweet is a rollercoaster for our taste buds and a partnership that lurks behind—knowingly or not—our affection for so many Asian dishes: General Tso’s, orange chicken, and mu shu pork, among others. Here, that combination upgrades a basic chicken stir-fry to something special with just two ingredients: The metabolism-boosting heat comes from a lashing of chili sauce (look for the bottle with the Red Rooster and a green screw-on cap) and the sweet flavor from a thin coating of quick-cooked mango chunks.

Get our recipe for Chili-Mango Chicken Stir Fry.


Chicken Scaloppine

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Another Italian classic lost in translation. Too many cooks interpret this dish—traditionally chicken or pork, lightly floured and cooked with sage and prosciutto—as a huge helping of meat, breaded and fried and covered in a murky, sodium-strewn gravy. Our lighter, more authentic version wraps chicken and sage in a layer of prosciutto, which then becomes a crispy skin that keeps the chicken moist while it sautés. A splash of wine and chicken stock directly into the cooking pan becomes your two-minute sauce. It’s just the latest proof of why simpler is so often better.

Get our recipe for Chicken Scaloppine.


Chicken Cordon Bleu

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This dish is French in name, but it feels American, right down to its molten cheese core. Normally, this chicken is stuffed, breaded, then deep-fried into submission. But our testing found that a high-heat oven provides all the crunch we want without all the calories we don’t. If honey mustard feels a bit like gilding the lily, it is, but at 350 calories for the whole dish, why not?

Get our recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu.


Appetizer-Worthy Chicken Pot Stickers

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Making Chinese dumplings at home will only take you about 10 minutes, and this recipe spikes the dish with mushrooms and snap peas. This works great as an appetizer, but you can also cut the recipe down and make it a lean meal for one.

Get our recipe for Appetizer-Worthy Chicken Pot Stickers.


Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers with Chipotle-Honey Mustard

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Don’t worry—these chicken fingers aren’t deep-fried, but oven-baked instead, so you can enjoy this childhood favorite any time you like. We pair the meat with a sweet and spicy sauce that kicks the taste up a notch, too.

Get our recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers with Chipotle-Honey Mustard.


Classic Slow-Cooker Chicken in Red Wine

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This is our version of Coq au vin, as it’s known in France. All you need is a whole chicken, half a bottle of wine, and a few vegetables in a slow cooker, and this recipe is good to go.

Get our recipe for Classic Slow-Cooker Chicken in Red Wine.


Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Between the cannellini beans, the corn, and the chicken, a bowl of this Instant Pot white chicken chili will leave you feeling full for hours.

Get our recipe for Instant Pot White Chicken Chili.


Asian-Inspired Chicken Meatballs

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

These chicken meatballs are inspired by the street-corner grills in Vietnam and Thailand, where you’ll often find the bold flavors of ginger, garlic, and chiles. Serve these not with pasta but with steamed rice, cucumbers, and big lettuce leaves to make wraps.

Get our recipe for Asian-Inspired Chicken Meatballs.


Gluten-Free Oven-Fried Chicken

Courtesy of Kristine Kidd

A quality gluten-free breadcrumb mix really can go a long way! This chicken is oven “fried”, which essentially means you roast it in the oven until the chicken is crispy. Served with a fresh spinach salad, this oven-fried chicken is the perfect gluten-free alternative to the beloved fried chicken.

Get our recipe for Gluten-Free Oven-Fried Chicken


Takeout-Level Chicken Fried Rice

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Drop the takeout menu, once and for all! We take the classic white rice heavy dish and portion-control it, making sure this version is heavy on the fresh veggies. And we use a bit of oil to crisp it all up.

Get our recipe for Takeout-Level Chicken Fried Rice.


Protein-Packed Chicken Fajita Burrito

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Burritos are a great take-out go-to. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also easy to make. We made sure this burrito saves you calories, is still so filling, and is quick and easy to make, so you won’t feel the urge to take a trip to Taco Bell!

Get our recipe for Protein-Packed Chicken Fajita Burrito.

And for more cooking tricks, don’t miss these 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That’ll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again.


(6 Reviews)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *