We all have our go-to quick and easy weeknight meals, the dinners we'd never serve company but are happy to scarf down by ourselves. Cooking a "real" dinner just doesn't always seem worth it after a long day of work. But sitting down to a satisfying meal in an hour or less doesn't have to look like yet another stir-fry or a wan, dry chicken breast. In fact, it doesn't have to look like any one thing at all. From curried noodle soups to flavor-packed curries, we've got 24 easy chicken recipes to shake things up.
30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken With Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Chorizo
The pressure cooker is an amazing device for making flavor-packed stews in very short order. In this version, canned chickpeas, roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, and chorizo come together to form a flavorful base for fall-off-the-bone tender chicken legs. Minimal ingredients and only a few steps make for an easy one-pot meal that's ready in just half an hour.
Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts With White Wine and Fines Herbes Pan Sauce
Plump chicken breasts get a beautiful sear on the stovetop before finishing in the oven. As the meat rests, the pan is deglazed with white wine and gelatin-enhanced stock. But it's the fines herbes—chives, parsley, tarragon, and chervil—that really make this 30-minute dinner shine.
Mayo-Free Chicken Salad With Kimchi, Ginger, and Scallions
Mixing mayonnaise into chicken salad may be the most common way to add moisture, but it's not the only one. Vinaigrette works well too, like this tangy Korean-inspired rendition with kimchi, pine nuts, and lots of fresh ginger. A healthy dose of scallions and celery add texture and flavor to the salad. Finding creative ways to use up leftover chicken just got a whole lot easier.
Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs With Butternut Squash and Carrots
This easy chicken dinner, made with juicy bone-in chicken thighs, comes with extra crisp skin and its own built-in side dish of roasted squash and carrots, making for a simple all-in-one supper. If you're short on time or effort, purchase the pre-cut and peeled squash available at most grocery stores.
20-Minute Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken
Noodles in a bowl, broth poured on top, chicken shredded and added to the soup, a handful of cilantro, mint, and/or basil, some scallions or onion, and an extra lime wedge to serve. It's not quite as fast as instant ramen, but with its balanced flavors of hot, sour, salty, and sweet, it's a heck of a lot tastier.
Takeout-Style Kung Pao Chicken (Diced Chicken With Peppers and Peanuts)
For this beloved Chinese-American standard, dark meat chicken is tossed in a marinade designed to optimize its natural meatiness and keep it nice and juicy. Stir-frying the meat and vegetables in batches ensures that each is exposed to the maximum heat of the wok for better flavor and texture.
Wonton Noodle Soup With Chicken and Shiitakes
This simple soup combines dried shiitake mushrooms with thin wonton noodles, chicken, and scallions in a quick and light chicken and mushroom broth. It's an easy but filling meal with delicate flavors and a soul-satisfying warmth. Rehydrating the mushrooms and then coating them in cornstarch and sugar before simmering gives them superior flavor and texture.
Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)
Cooked in soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil, and loaded with heaps of whole garlic cloves, slices of ginger, and fresh Thai basil, this classic Taiwanese chicken dish is a perfect reminder of just how good an over-abundance of flavor can be.
30-Minute Easy Chipotle Chicken Chili
Ground chicken and canned beans make this chili come together in a flash. For heat, add fresh jalapeno, chipotle, and cayenne. The dish ends up slightly brothier than your average chili, which is refreshing, with some corn and crunchy tortilla chips added to bulk it up. Top it off with some fresh cilantro and creamy avocado.
30-Minute Pressure Cooker Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)
What if I told you that you could make a superb bowl of Vietnamese chicken noodle soup wih a rich, aromatic broth and incredibly tender chicken, all in under half an hour? The pressure cooker cuts down what is typically an hours-long simmer into a fast, 20 minute cooking time for juicy chicken legs and full-flavored, gelatin-rich broth.
Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts With Lemon and Rosemary Pan Sauce
Pan-roasting chicken breasts and preparing a quick lemon- and rosemary-spiked pan sauce only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. You can use store-bought broth for the pan sauce, but be sure to add gelatin—it makes for a far more stable emulsion. In other words, it makes a smooth, glossy sauce that's so good you just may find yourself eating straight off the cutting board instead of bothering to grab a plate.
Easy Stir-Fried Chicken With Ginger and Scallions
A simple and classic stir-fry that combines tender strips of lean marinated chicken breast with scallions and ginger. Cooking a slice of fresh ginger in the oil before stir-frying the remaining ingredients helps infuse the oil and layer flavors. It's light, easy, and only takes about 15 minutes of active cooking.
Quick One Pot Hungarian Chicken and Noodles With Cabbage
Cabbage and egg noodles flavored with caraway and parsley is a classic Hungarian preparation. Here it's made all the more comforting with the addition of ground chicken. With only a few, very inexpensive supermarket ingredients, minimal prep, just one pot to clean, and a quick cooking time, this is a dish that can be on the menu any night of the week.
Greek-Style Rice Pilaf With Chicken Thighs
Pilafs are an insanely easy way to produce a flavor-packed meal in a single pan with minimum fuss.This version combines chicken and rice with Greek flavors like lemon, oregano, and feta cheese in a flavorful one-pot dish.
Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
If you love mac and cheese and you love buffalo chicken (like most people), then look no further. This hybrid dish is made with American, sharp cheddar, and blue cheese. In other words, it's creamy, gooey, salty, and ridiculously delicious. Plus, it comes together on your stovetop in just 30 minutes.
Kimchi Chicken and Cabbage Stir-Fry
This chicken stir-fry comes together at lightning speed. The lean meat is cut into thin julienne-like strips for maximum absorption of flavor and to ensure a quick cook. Kimchi, with its mouth-burning heat, briny acidity, and fishy undertones, can overwhelm this dish, so a few handfuls of fresh napa cabbage are tossed into the wok (or skillet) towards the end of cooking.
Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Masala
This recipe for a pseudo-Indian chicken channa masala takes about half an hour and is easy enough for any weeknight. It's all thanks to the pressure cooker, which delivers long-simmered flavor and tender chicken in a fraction of the time. The awesome tangy and creamy spiced tomato sauce doesn't hurt, either.
Skillet Chicken Fajitas with Avocado
The do-it-yourself style of fajitas makes them an easy hosting dish: just serve them right out of the skillet with any array of accompaniments on the side. The onions become super sweet and the peppers break down to become soft and flavorful. Top your tortillas with avocado slices, cheese, a tomato or corn salsa—the garnish and topping possibilities are endless. Just make sure to give each fajita a generous dousing of lime juice to finish it off.
Cajun Chicken Fritters
For these light and tender fritters, we add shredded, cooked chicken into a batter studded with red bell pepper, garlic, and a dash of Cajun spice (Old Bay is perfect here). Then whipped egg whites are folded in and the whole thing is pan-fried. Feel free to use leftover or pre-cooked chicken to move things along faster. We like to serve the fritters piping hot with a slick of tangy chili-lime aioli.
Chicken Pasta e Fagiole with Smoked Paprika
Fried pancetta, ground chicken, kidney beans, and canned tomatoes are simply flavored with garlic, chili flakes, and a pinch of paprika. Pasta shells are added and cook directly in the pot to finish the hearty one-pot dish.
Chicken Yellow Curry (Kaeng Kari Kai)
Kaeng Kari is one of the milder Thai curries. It contains more of the dried spices you'd find in South Asian or Middle Eastern cuisines than the fresh and/or dried chilies that are typical of more traditional Thai curries (e.g. red curry). When you buy the curry paste needed to make this recipe, look for the word "karee" or "kari" in addition to "yellow" just to be certain. Serve the chicken and potatoes with a fresh cucumber relish for an added zing.
Stir-Fried Velvet Chicken with Snap Peas and Lemon-Ginger Sauce
In Chinese cuisine, slices of meat are marinated in a mixture of egg whites, cornstarch, and liquid before getting par-cooked in a fair amount of oil until the exterior is just set. This is called velveting, and produces soft, tender, slippery slices of meat that you can then finish cooking through toward the end of the stir-fry. The contrast between the slick, savory chicken and crunchy-sweet snap peas puts this dish over the top.
Colombian Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Tomato, and Onion
This pressure cooker dish is about as simple as they come, combining just five ingredients: chicken, potatoes, fresh tomatoes, onion, and a bay leaf. Since there's no added liquid, all the soupy broth you'll find in the pot is taken directly from those ingredients, meaning that the whole thing develops a super intense flavor. Plus it all only takes one pot, no bowls, no measuring, and just 30 minutes.
Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts With Bourbon-Mustard Pan Sauce
It doesn't get much easier—or faster—than a crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside pan-roasted chicken breast. After the chicken's cooked, we whip up a quick pan sauce with smoky bourbon and spicy whole grain mustard.