50 (Yes, 50!) Chicken Recipes Your Family Will Love

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

We have a running joke about chicken in my family. Whenever I say we’re having chicken for dinner, my husband says, “Chicken again?” and then rattles off a seemingly endless list of chicken recipes his mother used to make: “Chicken Parm, chicken cutlets, chicken stir-fry, chicken casserole, chicken pot pie” and so on. The kids jump right on the bandwagon, groaning about all my chicken dinners. But that doesn’t stop me — there are so many delicious and creative dinners you can make with chicken! So go ahead and flaunt your culinary feathers with these 50 (yes, 50!) chicken recipes — there is something for everyone on this list.

50 Best Chicken Recipes to Feed Your Family

1. BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN TENDERS

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Like most kids, my daughter prefers “kid food” to “grown-up food” any day of the week. Rather than desperately trying to coax her into eating dinner every night, sometimes I just make her favorites. These chicken tenders, marinated in seasoned buttermilk and pan-fried to crispy, crunchy perfection, are one of her favorite chicken recipes. They’re delicious plain, dipped in honey mustard sauce, or perched on top of a salad. And they’re not just for picky kids — everyone loves them. Get the recipe.

2. Chicken Marsala

how to make chicken marsala

Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish of golden pan-fried chicken cutlets and mushrooms in a rich Marsala wine sauce. Though it’s a classic restaurant dish, it’s easy to make at home. With just one pan, you can have it on the dinner table in 45 minutes. The recipe makes a lovely sauce that is delicious over pasta, polenta, rice, or mashed potatoes. (You don’t want to miss this one — out of all the chicken recipes on the blog, this one is most popular!) Get the recipe.

3. Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Green Sauce

This is my take on Pollo a la Brasa, the delicious roast chicken made popular by so many Peruvian restaurants. The chicken is first marinated in olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and spices, and then oven-roasted until tender, juicy and crisp-skinned. The accompanying green sauce, which gets its color from cilantro and jalapeño peppers, is spicy, creamy, and downright habit forming. You can put it on virtually everything, and it even makes a fabulous dip or salad dressing. Get the recipe.

4. MIDDLE EASTERN-STYLE GRILLED CHICKEN KABOBS

One of my favorite chicken recipes for summer grilling, these kabobs are marinated in a tangy blend of Greek yogurt, lemon, garlic and spices and then grilled until golden brown. They’re wonderful over a bed of golden basmati rice pilaf with dried fruit and almonds (pictured) or on top of a Greek salad. Just be sure to make extra — the first time I made these for a crowd, I actually ran out of food! Get the recipe.

5. White Chicken Chili

I have tried countless recipes for white chicken chili over the years, from “dump it all in one pot recipes” to more authentic, time-consuming versions made from a wide array of chili peppers and hominy. My favorite recipe, and the one my family loves best, falls somewhere in the middle effort-wise. Modestly adapted from the Neelys, this white chicken chili is a hearty, one-pot meal that you can have on the dinner table in under an hour. Get the recipe.

6. Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice

Chicken tikka masala is a dish of yogurt-marinated and broiled chicken in a creamy, spice-infused tomato sauce. The sauce is seasoned with garam masala, a fragrant Indian spice blend typically made from peppercorns, mace, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg. You can find it at most large supermarkets, but feel free to substitute curry powder for a different but equally delicious flavor.  Get the recipe.

7. Thai-Inspired Chicken & Rice Noodle Soup

Thai chicken rice noodle soup

This spicy, fragrant, slurpy noodle soup, inspired by some of my favorite Thai restaurant dishes, is like sunshine on a dreary day. What’s more, it’s made with rotisserie chicken and Thai pantry staples (available in most supermarkets)—such as green curry paste, fish sauce, coconut milk, and fresh ginger—so it’s almost instant gratification. Whether I’m feeling worn down or just in need of a little comfort, there is nothing like a bowl of chicken noodle soup, and this is one of my favorite renditions. Get the recipe.

8. THE BEST GRILLED CHICKEN

Sometimes in cooking the simplest chicken recipes are the hardest to get right, and grilled chicken is a perfect example. Because boneless chicken breasts are so lean, they often turn out dry, rubbery, and bland. My technique and marinade ensure tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled chicken every time. You can serve the fillets on their own as a healthy main course (kids love them), topped with cheese on a toasted bun, or, as I often do, sliced over a Caesar salad. Get the recipe.

9. CHICKEN CURRY

In this weeknight-friendly chicken recipe, thinly sliced chicken breasts are sautéed with curry powder and simmered in an aromatic, slightly sweet curry sauce thickened with Greek yogurt. You can have it on the table in 30 minutes — or in the time it takes to make some basmati rice — and the cooking method ensures that the chicken comes out reliably tender every time. Get the recipe.

10. HONEY, LIME & SRIRACHA CHICKEN SKEWERS

chicken skewers

These chicken skewers marinated in honey, lime juice, and Sriracha are every bit as good as they look — and if you haven’t tried Sriracha, the Asian hot sauce named after the coastal city of Si Racha in Thailand, this is the perfect recipe to taste just how delicious it is. Made from sun-ripened chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt, Sriracha is used in soups, sauces, noodle dishes, omelets, burgers or anything else to add a delicious spicy taste. Get the recipe.

11. Classic Chicken Salad

I have shared several of my favorite chicken salad recipes over the years, from Curried Chicken Salad to Chicken Salad with Grapes & Almonds, but this is this classic version is the one I make most often for my family. It is similar to the chicken salad served at many delis, with “no weird stuff in it,” as my kids would say. The key to success is starting with tender chicken. I use my simple 15-minute poached chicken recipe, but oven-roasted chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken work well too. Serve the salad over greens or in a wrap or sandwich. Get the recipe.

12. SPICY CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SWEET & TANGY HONEY GLAZE

Inspired by one of the most popular Cooking Light chicken recipes, these chicken thighs are family-friendly (they’re not too spicy) and incredibly easy to prepare. The chicken is seasoned with garlic, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika and then broiled with a sweet and tangy honey glaze. The side dish is a Quinoa Salad with Peaches, Arugula & Pickled Red Onions from Bon Appétit — it’s wonderful with the chicken and so pretty too! Get the recipe.

13. CASHEW CHICKEN

cashew chicken

This dish of tender stir-fried chicken and roasted cashews in garlic sauce tastes just like take-out. You don’t need a wok — just a large nonstick skillet — and, aside from the chicken, the only chopping involves some garlic and scallions. The rest comes out of bottles and jars. Get the recipe.

14. THAI-STYLE RED CHICKEN CURRY

thai red curry chicken

One of my go-to weeknight chicken recipes, this dish of tender chicken simmered in a rich, red curry-infused coconut milk sauce comes together in just 30 minutes with minimal prep work. Get the recipe.

15. GRILLED CHICKEN FAJITAS

When I think of fajitas, what comes to mind is that sizzling, smoking-hot cast iron skillet from my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant. It’s hard (and, honestly, a little dangerous) to replicate that at home, but it’s possible to make fajitas that are just as good, if not better! I marinate and grill the chicken for a smoky, charred flavor, and then I sauté the onions and peppers on the stovetop until they caramelize and sweeten. These fajitas are easy to make, and they’re perfect for getting the whole family sharing everything at the table. Get the recipe.

16. CRISPY TANDOORI CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS WITH MANGO CHUTNEY

tandoori chicken

Chicken tandoori is a traditional Indian dish of chicken marinated in yogurt, citrus, and spices, and then grilled or broiled. The name comes from the cylindrical clay oven, or tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared. The chicken is deliciously spiced with super-crispy skin, and the mango chutney served alongside adds fruity, tangy flavor.  Serve with Homemade NaanBasmati Rice Pilaf with Dried Fruits and Almonds or a refreshing Cucumber Mint Salad. Kids love this one too! Get the recipe.

17. GRILLED MOROCCAN CHICKEN

Grilled Moroccan ChickenI love Moroccan food, especially how dishes often combine spicy, savory, and sweet flavors, and that’s the idea behind this grilled Moroccan chicken. The spices in the marinade are reminiscent of ras el hanout, a North African spice blend that usually contains more than a dozen spices, like cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cardamom, allspice, fenugreek, and more. This dish is a real family pleaser, and the best part is that it takes just minutes to prepare. Pair the chicken with plain couscous or my warm couscous salad with apricot vinaigrette. Get the recipe.

18. Thai-Style Minced Chicken Lettuce Cups

This recipe is inspired by Larb Gai, the popular Thai dish made from minced chicken, fish sauce, lime juice, chilies, and fresh herbs. You can have it on the table in 30 minutes, and it can be served in lettuce cups or over rice.  Get the recipe.

19. CHIPOTLE CHICKEN QUESADILLAS

Crisp tortillas filled with gooey melted cheddar and shredded chicken in a sweet and smoky chipotle sauce — these are the best quesadillas! The recipe is adapted from Curtis Stone, one of my favorite chefs and cookbook authors. What gives these quesadillas such distinctive flavor is the canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They’re small peppers (usually red jalapeños) that have been dried and smoked, and they come in a spicy, smoky tomato sauce. Get the recipe.

20. Sweet & Spicy Roast Chicken with Carrots, Dates & Pistachios

roast chicken

In this “keeper” chicken recipe from Melissa Clark, the chicken is immersed in a honey, citrus, and chili-infused marinade, and then roasted on a sheet pan with carrots and dates. Before serving, herbs, scallions, and pistachios are added for freshness, color, and crunch. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also the perfect no-fuss dish for company. Everything can be prepared and assembled a day in advance, so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is pop it in the oven. Serve with couscous and a green vegetable and dinner is done! Get the recipe.

21. GRILLED THAI CURRY CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH COCONUT-PEANUT SAUCE

This chicken recipe originally comes from food writer Alice Currah of the blog and book Savory Sweet Life.  It is a crowd pleaser for all ages. It’s the sauce that makes it so good. My son, upon taking a second helping of the broccoli I served alongside, answered my surprised look with, “Mom, this sauce would make anything taste good.” I have to agree: I was tempted to forget the chicken entirely and just have the sauce as soup! Get the recipe.

22. KUNG PAO CHICKEN

Kung pao chicken is a popular Chinese restaurant dish of stir-fried chicken, peanuts and vegetables. It’s traditionally made with specialty ingredients, like Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese black vinegar, Chinese rice wine, and whole dried red chilies. This Americanized version replaces those hard-to-find-ingredients with staples from your neighborhood supermarket. It has all the same spicy, sweet, and sour appeal of traditional kung pao chicken, and makes it a really nice weeknight dinner with a side of rice. Get the recipe.

23. COQ AU VIN

Rich and brimming with flavor, coq au vin is a classic French stew of chicken braised in red wine with mushrooms and crispy pancetta. It’s the perfect cooking project to tackle on a chilly weekend when you’ve got a few hours to burn. As with most stews, it is even better the next day, and it freezes well, too. Serve the stew with buttered egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or a good crusty bread — basically anything to soak up the full-flavored sauce.  Get the recipe.

24. Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

When it’s 5:30 PM and I’m staring blankly into the fridge at a package of boneless chicken breasts — wondering what the heck am I going to make for dinner? — it’s chicken piccata to the rescue. Crispy chicken cutlets in a lemony butter and caper sauce is one of those quick and easy chicken recipes that makes everyone at the table happy. My kids like the chicken plain (hold the sauce), while Michael and I love the lemony, briny notes in the butter sauce. Capers definitely fall into the love-’em-or-hate-’em category, so feel free to leave them out if you’re not a fan. Get the recipe.

25. MOROCCAN CHICKEN TAGINE

moroccan chicken tagine

Tweaked a bit from Cook’s Illustrated, this is my favorite chicken tagine, the traditional Moroccan dish of chicken pieces braised with spices, garlic, onion, olives, and preserved lemons. It’s festive and company-worthy, yet also easy enough to throw together on a not-too-busy weeknight. Serve the chicken on a platter or individual plates over a bed of couscous. Get the recipe.

26. CHICKEN & QUINOA BURRITO BOWLS WITH SPICY GREEN SAUCE

burrito bowls

These burrito bowls are really three stand-alone dishes in one: an easy grilled chicken you’ll put on repeat throughout grilling season; a spicy green sauce you’ll want to put on everything; and foolproof quinoa. The toppings are up to you – fresh corn, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, or whatever your heart desires. Get the recipe.

27. VIETNAMESE SHREDDED CHICKEN SALAD

salad

As much as I love salad as a meal, it’s not usually enough for my husband, who is more of a protein/two sides kind of a guy. But this is one salad that I can get away with serving for dinner — it’s satisfying and full of bright, spicy Southeast Asian flavor. It’s easy, too. You simply shred a rotisserie chicken, chop some veggies, whisk the dressing, and dinner is done. Get the recipe.

28. Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

My whole family loves these chicken enchiladas. You can make the sauce and filling ahead of time, then assemble and bake the enchiladas another time for a quick and easy weeknight meal.  Get the recipe.

29. PARMESAN CRUSTED CHICKEN

This is a great chicken dish to add to your repertoire. It’s easy enough to make for a quick weeknight dinner but also elegant enough for company. There are two secrets to success: first, pounding the chicken breasts to an even 1/4-inch thickness tenderizes the meat and ensures even cooking; and, second, a three-step breading method ensures that the coating adheres to the meat while it cooks, resulting in a crispy crust and juicy interior every time. Get the recipe.

30. Chicken Tacos

A longtime family favorite and weeknight go-to, these easy chicken tacos are a healthier spin on traditional beef tacos — and they’re just as good, if not better. Get the recipe.

31. Chicken Pot Pie

chicken pot pie

Between the chicken, the sauce, and the crust, you could spend an entire day in the kitchen making traditional chicken pot pie. For this version, my goal was to come up with an easy recipe that didn’t sacrifice flavor. Using a rotisserie chicken for the filling and a store-bought puff pastry for the crust are great shortcuts, and make this chicken pot pie recipe weeknight friendly. Get the recipe.

32. Chinese-Style Chicken Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

If I didn’t have a husband and children to feed, I’d eat salads like this every night of the summer. The taste is similar to the Chinese-style chicken salads served at many restaurants, only I’ve left off the fried wonton strips that are usually piled on top. Though the ingredient list looks long, the recipe couldn’t be easier to make — especially if you use leftover or rotisserie chicken instead of making your own. Get the recipe.

33. CHICKEN MARBELLA

Chicken Marbella is probably the most famous dish to come out of the beloved Silver Palate Cookbook by Julie Rosso and the late Sheila Lukins. I grew up eating it; in fact, my mother still makes it on special occasions. The chicken is unfailingly tender, juicy and flavorful, thanks to a long marinade in garlic and herbs and a savory-sweet gravy that is good enough to drink.  Get the recipe.

34. Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken, a.k.a. Margarita Chicken, is one of those dishes that just screams fun. The marinade is a combination of tequila, lime, garlic, and spices — and it’s loaded with bright Southwestern flavor. Contrary to what you might think, this recipe is family-friendly. The tequila is mild and the chicken isn’t too spicy. Get the recipe

35. Chicken Chili with White Beans

chicken chili

This is a healthy chili that you can feel good about eating: it’s made from scratch, loaded with veggies, and chock-full of protein-rich chicken and beans. Don’t worry, it’s still hearty and delicious — even your manly football fanatics will love it. At first glance, the ingredient list looks long, but it’s really just a lot of spices; and while it simmers on the stove for almost two hours, active cooking time is only about 30 minutes. Get the recipe.

36. Indian Spiced Red Lentil & Chicken Soup

chicken soup

This soup is a quick and easy version of Mulligatawny, the curry-flavored soup popular in Anglo-Indian cuisine. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you might remember it as Kramer’s favorite soup from the infamous Soup Nazi. Made with a rotisserie chicken and canned coconut milk, it’s a one-pot supper that you can have on the table in 45 minutes (or less, if you’re lazy like me and use a food processor to chop the vegetables). A little heads up: don’t skip the garnishes. The fresh cilantro and lime brighten up the flavor and add a much-needed pop of color. Get the recipe.

37. EASY CHICKEN PARMESAN

Easy Chicken ParmesanTraditional chicken parmesan can be time-consuming to make. This recipe takes a few smart shortcuts, making it doable on a weeknight, yet tastes as good as the chicken parmesan from your favorite Italian restaurant. Get the recipe.

38. Grilled Chicken Wings with Seasoned Buffalo Sauce

chicken wings

Classic Buffalo chicken wings are fried but I love the flavor and ease of cooking them on the grill. They are truly no fuss, no muss and finger-lickin’ good! The key is to cook them over a moderate flame so that the fat renders out and the skin gets nice and crispy. You can serve them plain — they are really delicious as is — but the seasoned Buffalo sauce takes them over the top.  Get the recipe.

39. Chicken Meatballs with Tomato-Balsamic Glaze

Chicken Meatballs

When you think of chicken recipes, you may not necessarily think of meatballs. This recipe will change your mind! I love them with mashed potatoes, puréed cauliflower, or buttered noodles for a quick and easy weeknight meal. They also make a delicious appetizer if you make them smaller and spear them with toothpicks. Get the recipe.

40. FILIPINO-STYLE CHICKEN ADOBO

chicken adobo

In the Philippines, the term adobo refers to the process of simmering meat in a tangy vinegar- and soy-based sauce flavored with garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. The method was originally invented as a way to preserve meat before refrigeration but the dish has stood the test of time. Chicken adobo is the hallmark dish of the Philippines and popular throughout the world. Serve it with jasmine rice to sop up the silky, flavorful sauce. Get the recipe.

41. CHICKEN NACHOS

how to make chicken nachos

These chicken nachos are one of the few appetizers I can get away with serving for dinner. Loaded with pulled rotisserie chicken in a spicy chipotle-tomato sauce and ungodly amounts of cheese, they are hearty and satisfying – and everyone is happy when I say, “Nachos for dinner!” This recipe makes two large sheet pans of nachos. If you want to mix things up, the chicken mixture can also be used as a filling for quesadillas, tacos, or tostadas. Get the recipe.

42. CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD

Savory, sweet, and a little spicy – with lots of fresh crunch from grapes, cashews, celery, and scallions – this chicken salad is wonderful over greens or piled into a sandwich. The creamy dressing is flavored with curry powder, a blend of spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom, to name just a few. I recommend using poached chicken to make the salad, but roasted chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken work well too. Get the recipe.

43. SUNDAY NIGHT ROAST CHICKEN WITH HERB BUTTER

chicken

This roast chicken comes from Laurie David’s cookbook, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time. This roast chicken recipe really captures the essence of the book, which is about creating cozy moments for your family around the dinner table. Try serving it with my Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots with ThymeGet the recipe.

44. PECAN CRUSTED CHICKEN TENDERS WITH HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE

chicken tenders

The chicken recipes that I get the most excited to share are the ones that appeal to my kids as much as they appeal to me. This gourmet twist on chicken tenders is one of them. The chicken is breaded in a mixture of pecans and panko, then pan-fried until crispy and golden and served with a creamy whole grain honey mustard sauce. Since the pecans are finely chopped, even kids who think they don’t like nuts will try them, ask for seconds, and even sneak thirds when you’re not looking. Get the recipe.

45. CHAR SIU CHICKEN

This easy recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks of late, Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors by Andrea Nguyen. Nguyen writes, “Savory-sweet and garlicky Chinese barbecued pork, called char siu in Cantonese and xá xíu in Vietnamese, is hard to resist. Since the classic porky version requires a good hour (better yet, overnight) to marinate, my weeknight approach is to make it with chicken thighs and grill it for a wonderful old-school flavor.” Get the recipe.

46. CRISPY BAKED CHICKEN WINGS

I love crispy chicken wings but not the thought of deep-frying.These baked chicken wings are quickly parboiled, then lightly coated with oil and spices and roasted in a high-heat oven. Parboiling the chicken wings renders excess fat and guarantees the wings bake up nice and crispy. The spice rub – a blend of salt, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika – gives the wings delicious flavor.  Get the recipe.

47. ASIAN-INSPIRED BBQ CHICKEN

Flavored with soy sauce, ginger, lime, and garam masala, this dish blends ingredients from all over Asia. It’s deliciously different, perfect for when you want to fire up the grill and elevate the usual cookout fare. Because of the sugar content in the marinade, the chicken gets gorgeously caramelized and charred on the grill.  Get the recipe.

48. GRILLED JERK CHICKEN

jerk chicken

Adapted from Food & Wine, this is my favorite homemade jerk chicken. Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica. Some people believe the term comes from the word charqui, a Spanish term for jerked or dried meat, which eventually became jerky in English; others claim it’s related to the constant turning or jerking of the meat to load it with the spice blend and cook it thoroughly. Get the recipe.

49. ASIAN CHICKEN NOODLE SALAD WITH GINGER-PEANUT DRESSING

This main dish salad of chicken, soba noodles, and ginger-peanut dressing is everything you want a summertime meal to be: flavorful and light, yet totally satisfying. Feel free to make the chicken and dressing ahead of time, but cook and dress the noodles at the last minute so they don’t get soggy. Soba noodles, the buckwheat noodles native to Japan, are available at Asian markets and many grocery stores; if you can’t find them, spaghetti makes a perfectly fine substitute. Get the recipe.

50. GRILLED BBQ CHICKEN

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

One of the most family-friendly chicken recipes in my repertoire, these grilled BBQ chicken breasts always win everybody over. They are absolutely loaded with smoky barbecue flavor. I guarantee clean plates all around. Winner, winner chicken dinner! Get the recipe.

Reviews & Comments

  • Every one of these that I’ve tried has been a hit. Honestly come to this site whenever thinking of something new to try.

    • — Mark on September 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you. Chicken is our favorite meat and this repertoire will insure that our meals will have variety.

    • — Mariane Hazlett on September 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Yummo, Fajitas for dinner tonight. Needed this reminder. Love, love, love all your tasty recipes. No casseroles 😉. We also make chicken, feta, spinach patties with flatbread and tzatziki. I just use the food processor to ground two breast quickly.

    • — Marla on September 16, 2021
    • Reply

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