19 (Not-Boring) Meal-Prep Recipes for Chicken

There are a lot of benefits to prepping chicken meals for the week on Sunday. For one thing, you have to deal with raw meat only once. Plus, who wants to think about what to pack for lunch or what to make for dinner once Monday rolls around and that to-do list explodes?

Stay ahead of the game (at least where eats are concerned) by cooking chicken into pre-portioned, healthy dinners — or lunches — to enjoy throughout the week.

And we’re not talking about unseasoned, blah-tasting stuff. These 21 chicken breast recipes are simple, but they’re anything but boring.

1. Healthy Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Photo: Gimme Delicious

Taste the rainbow — the healthier, non-Skittles way — with this super-straightforward recipe. The veggies and chicken are roasted at the same time in the same pan, so there’s minimal prep. Add a cooked grain to round out the meal.

2. Chicken Shawarma and Sweet Potato Fry Bowls

Photo: Half Baked Harvest

Skip the Middle Eastern food truck and make your own shawarma at home, using spices such as paprika and cumin to coat your chicken.

With couscous, olives, and a tahini-yogurt sauce making this portable dish even more flavorful, you’ll be the envy of your coworkers.

3. Healthy Greek Chicken Meal-Prep Bowls

Photo: Ally’s Cooking

Sectioned plastic containers are a must for meal-prep purposes, and this recipe is a perfect example of how useful they are. The yogurt sauce, chicken and veggies, and farro are best kept divided until it’s time to eat.

4. Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato Meal-Prep Magic

Photo: Pinch of Yum

It’s easy, it’s got fewer than five main ingredients, it makes eight servings, it’s well-balanced, and it’s delicious. “Magic” is a pretty perfect word for this meal-prep recipe.

5. Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Cauliflower Rice

Photo: Fit Foodie Finds

Lime juice and cilantro keep the chicken tasting light and fresh, and the spicier cauliflower rice and black bean combo adds a kick of flavor. And since this dish is equally tasty hot or cold, it’s an ideal option for an on-the-go meal.

6. Jerk Chicken Meal-Prep Bowls

Photo: Food Lovin’ Family

Recipes like this one prove that meal-prepping is totally worth it. While it might be hard to believe, this flavor-packed combo of spicy chicken, sweet pineapple relish, and fragrant Spanish rice really can come together in just 30 minutes.

Plus, it’ll last you through four lunches or dinners.

7. Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls

Photo: The Girl on Bloor

“Fiesta” is right — brimming with spiced corn, brown rice, salsa, and peppers, these colorful chicken and rice bowls make every meal feel festive. They’re also prepped and ready to go in just 20 minutes. If only all parties were this easy to put together!

8. Meal-Prep Southwest Chicken Burrito Bowls

Photo: Jar of Lemons

Skip the lines at Chipotle but still get plenty of Mexican-inspired flavor. From chicken and corn to rice and beans, this quick and easy combo gives you everything you want in a burrito bowl. Kale and cherry tomatoes add even more nutrition.

9. One-Pan Healthy Chicken and Veggies

Photo: Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This vibrant dish is as tasty as it is good-looking, thanks to seasonings like chili powder, onion powder, and paprika coating the colorful veg. There’s the option to add cheese, but with so much other fun stuff going on, we doubt you’ll miss it if you leave it out.

10. Tex-Mex Chicken Meal-Prep Bowls

Photo: Valerie’s Kitchen

The Tex-Mex flavor in these hearty chicken, rice, black bean, and veggie bowls comes from the easy addition of taco seasoning. They keep well for four days, so you’re set from Monday to Thursday, with the night off on Friday to celebrate your (not so) hard work.

11. Asian-Style Chicken, Veggies, and Rice Meal Prep

Photo: Recipe Righter

Sweet, sesame-coated chicken is a great complement to the simpler steamed veggies here, and brown rice (instead of the usual white) adds some extra fiber. Pack it into separate containers and it’ll look just like something out of your local Chinese takeout place.

12. Chicken Butternut Squash Pasta

Photo: Imma Eat That

Pasta salad is a pretty popular make-ahead dish, but you can make it even easier by portioning it for your weekday meals. This one is a satisfying mix of goat cheese, butternut squash, and walnuts. Nutmeg and basil add some unique flavor.

13. Chicken, Apple, and Pecan Salads in a Jar

Photo: Damn Delicious

Pack your meals in mason jars and you’ll look forward to digging into them every day. This layered salad doesn’t just look pretty — with dried cranberries and apples alongside the chicken in a creamy Greek yogurt dressing, it gives you tons of flavor in every bite.

14. Italian Chicken Meal-Prep Bowls

Photo: Eazy Peazy Mealz

This recipe uses quick-cooking, microwave-friendly rice for when you’re short on time (isn’t that always?). Even better, you can be completely flexible on the types of veggies and seasonings you choose to add to the dish.

So open the fridge and use whatever you have in there. Just treat this recipe as an easy guide to making simple Italian-style dinners that’ll last you all week.

15. Harvest Chicken Salad

Photo: Life Love and Good Food

Buying a salad can be a smart, nutritious option, but it can also get expensive and not-so-healthy. (Can you please add goat cheese, avocado, and bacon? Oh, and eggs… and wow, that fried chicken looks good. I’ll have ranch dressing, please.)

This one keeps things wholesome, but with apples, sweet potatoes, blue cheese, and almonds, it’s nowhere near boring.

16. Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry Meal-Prep Lunch Boxes

Photo: My Food Story

This recipe calls for chicken thighs, but you can easily use breasts and get away with it. Whichever you use, it’ll easily soak up the homemade teriyaki sauce, which has a lower sugar content than most bottled varieties.

17. Meal-Prep Slow-Cooker Chicken Teriyaki Quinoa Bowls

Photo: Project Meal Plan

If you have no time to meal-prep, let your kitchen appliances do the work for you. A slow cooker lets the chicken, pineapple, and peppers simmer for three hours in a sweet and tangy sauce while a rice cooker takes care of the quinoa.

All you have to do is scoop everything into containers.

18. Baked Chicken, Broccoli, and Sweet Potatoes

Photo: Recipe Diaries

It’s back to basics with this three-ingredient meal. The combo is the quintessential healthy dinner — and for good reason: It’s easy to prep, it’s affordable, and it doesn’t require a lot of seasoning to be delicious.

19. Pizza Chicken Meal Prep

Photo: Meal Prep on Fleek

Hold off on grabbing a greasy midday slice for lunch.

This recipe, designed to make four individual meals, has the seasonings and sauce of a classic pizza but pairs them with chicken and spaghetti squash instead of bread for a higher-protein, fiber-packed meal that’ll keep you full longer.

Ever find yourself in need of an awesome recipe featuring chicken?! I rounded up my go-to healthy chicken recipes that I love to prep for easy, weekday meals. These recipes are flavorful, delicious, and perfect for feeding the family or enjoying for lunch the next day!

Why cook with chicken?

1. Chicken is SO versatile. You can use it tons of different dishes – from soups and salads to chilis and stir-frys.

2. The flavors are totally customizable. I love experimenting with new spices and sauces when I’m cooking with chicken, and it holds flavor incredibly well. You can also try four of my amazing chicken marinades.

3. It’s good for you! Chicken is great for incorporating into your weekday meals to add healthy, lean protein.

This round up has everything from appetizers (like delicious wings) to my absolute favorite enchiladas, so you’ll be able to spice up your weekday meals in no time. Try a few this week and be sure to leave a comment with your favorites. Also, let me know what new chicken recipes you want to see on the blog – I want to hear from you!

Enjoy, xo!

1. Butternut Squash Green Chile Chicken Soup

2. Healthy Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad

3. One Pan Thai Coconut Yellow Curry Chicken & Rice

4. Spicy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sour Cream Sauce

5. Slow Cooker Black Bean Quinoa Pumpkin Chicken Chili

6. Layered BBQ Chicken & Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

7. 4 Easy Chicken Marinades

8. Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut-Ginger Brown Rice + Crushed Cashews

9. 20 Minute Garlic Parmesan Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage & Broccoli

10. Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Meatloaf Muffins

11. Jerk Chicken with Caribbean Rice & Mango Salsa

12. Golden Coconut Chicken Lentil Soup

13. Healthy Pumpkin Seed & Avocado Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches

14. Low Carb Chicken Zucchini Enchilada Bake

15. Summer Chicken Chopped Salad with Strawberries, Avocado + Feta

16. Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie

17. Chicken Kale Waldorf Salad with Avocado & Goat Cheese

18. Slow Cooker Black Bean, Quinoa & Chicken Tortilla Soup

19. Baked Peruvian Chicken Drumsticks with Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce

20. Golden Turmeric Chickpea Chicken Soup

21. 30-Minute Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken & Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry

22. Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

23. Meal Prep Idea: Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken with Sticky Coconut Purple Rice

24. Spicy Honey Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

25. Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles

26. Healthy Chicken Burgers with Spinach Basil Pesto & Mozzarella

27. Small Batch Green Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

28. Thai Peanut Chicken, Edamame & Quinoa Stir-Fry

29. Cheap & Healthy Meal Prep Idea: Better Than Chipotle DIY Chicken Burrito Bowls

30. Skinny Refried Bean & Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

31. Whole Wheat Honey-Jalapeño Cornbread Chicken Tamale Pie

32. Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Chickpea Chili

33. Comforting & Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

34. Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

Be sure to let me know if you make any of these recipes! Share them with me on Instagram and use #AmbitiousKitchen so that I can see your creations. Enjoy xo!

If you’re in a crunch for an easy weeknight dinner, this Last Minute Chicken Recipe is what you need!

I can’t tell you how many times I have been so busy during the day that I forget to plan our dinner. Yup, that happens… even to a food blogger.

Since chicken is one of my family’s favorite proteins, I always keep it stocked in my freezer and some fresh in my fridge too. That’s why I’m loving this Last Minute Chicken Recipe out of my friend Mary’s new cookbook, “The Weekday Lunches & Breakfasts Cookbook.” The chicken ready in about 15 minutes and goes perfectly with just about any side dish, in salads, sandwiches or just by itself!

This chicken is ready in a flash and perfectly seasoned.

Last Minute Chicken Recipe:

  • Start with fresh boneless skinless chicken thighs. Boneless skinless chicken breasts would also work with this recipe!
  • Combine all the seasonings in a small bowl and sprinkle on both sides of the chicken.
  • You can cook the chicken on a grill pan, over a traditional grill or even in your oven!
  • This chicken is ready in about 15 to 20 minutes!

Make Ahead Chicken Recipe

  • The recipe makes 3 pounds of chicken, but if you’re just serving for a smaller family, you can scale back the amount of chicken and seasoning you use.
  • Make a big batch of this chicken in the beginning of the week and use it throughout the week for easy lunches and dinners!
  • Store cooked chicken in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer until ready to enjoy.

This recipe calls for paprika or smoked paprika. I love the smoky flavor that you get when you use the smoked paprika, but if you’re wanting to keep this recipe pretty basic for everyday use, I would stick with regular paprika.

One of my favorite things to do with this chicken is prep it all on Sunday night and have cooked chicken ready for easy lunches throughout the week. Mary’s cookbook is filled with amazing easy lunch recipes just like this one. From salads, to soups, skillet meals, make ahead breakfasts and even her go-to spice mixes in the back, this recipe book has what you need to streamline your week!

Easy Side Dishes To Pair With This Chicken Recipe:

  • Garlic Parmesan Rice
  • Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Strawberry Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans
  • Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Get started with this easy chicken recipe, then grab her new cookbook and get excited!


Last updated on January 31, 2020 6:15 am

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Last Minute Chicken Recipe

This Last Minute Chicken Recipe is the perfect way to get dinner on the table in a hurry! Recipe from The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook by Mary Younkin

  • Author: Shawn Syphus
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Scale 1x2x3x


  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika OR smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


  1. Combine the garlic, onion, paprika, oregano, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle half the spices over the chicken. Turn the chicken pieces over and sprinkle the remaining spices over them. Rub the spices into the chicken, if needed, to coat well.

Grill Pan Directions:

  1. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium heat. Drizzle with the olive oil. Place half the chicken in the grill pan, making sure there is a gap between the pieces. Cook the chicken without touching it for 5 minutes. Flip the pieces over and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until they’re cooked through. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Broiling Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Place an oven rack 6 inches from the top of the oven. Put a wire rack over a large baking tray and arrange the chicken on the wire rack. Place the chicken in the oven and broil for 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, turn each piece of chicken over, and then broil for 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Let the cooked chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the pieces with cilantro, if desired.


Recipe can be made with chicken breasts as well. Simply watch the cooking time and adjust as needed. Chicken breasts will cook faster than thighs, depending on their thickness.

Keywords: Chicken Recipe, Grilled Chicken


1. Healthy Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Top 10 healthy meal-prep chicken recipes that take under 30 minutes to make. These recipes are healthy, fresh and full of flavor and make great lunches, dinners, or mid-day snacks!

Meal prepping is absolutely necessary if you

A) like eating healthy.

b) like saving money.

b) like saving time.

Meal prepping is also great if you are bodybuilding, trying to lose weight or eat clean and just want to have a whole bunch of healthy meals on hand. You can prep all of your meals on Sunday and sit back and relax for the rest of the week. Prepared meals are great to have in school, at work, or when you need a quick lunch or dinner. Meal-prepping saves you money because it eliminates the last minute need to order take-out or fast food!

These are my favorite quick chicken meal-prep recipes. They are all under 30 minutes and are also healthy and full of flavor. You can switch things up by making 2-3 recipes so you can have variety all week long.

Seasoned with olive oil and Italian spices then roasted to perfection, this sheet pan chicken, and rainbow veggies is great for meal prep and makes a healthy lunch or dinner too! RECIPE HERE

2. Meal-Prep Shrimp Taco Bowls

Insanely delicious spicy taco spiced shrimp bowls loaded with cheese, black beans, corn, brown rice, and tomato. Make a week’s worth of lunch in under 30 minutes. RECIPE HERE.

3.Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli

Quick teriyaki chicken and broccoli meal prep bowls make a tasty healthy lunch for the entire work week in under 20 minutes! RECIPE HERE.

4.Meal-Prep Chicken Burrito Bowls

The meat, rice, beans, and fajita veggies are all loaded in 1 bowl for easy heating up, and the cold ingredients are placed in a separate bowl. RECIPE HERE.

5. Chili Lime Chicken and Rice Meal Prep Bowls

Meal-prep chicken marinated in a spicy garlic, chili, cilantro, lime marinade, served with rice and colorful bell peppers. RECIPE HERE.

6. 20 Minute Chicken, Rice, and Broccoli

Quick skillet chicken, rice, and steam broccoli all made in under 20 minutes for a healthy meal-prep lunch box that you can enjoy all week long! RECIPE HERE.

7. Butter Chicken with Rice and Garlic Naan

Spicy and creamy 30-minute butter chicken with basmati rice and quick stove-top naan. This tasty meal will add spice and flavor to your lunch routine! RECIPE HERE.

8. Chicken fajita lunch bowls with cilantro lime quinoa

Chicken Fajita Meal Prep Lunch Bowls are teamed with cilantro lime quinoa and is a healthy, tasty, fast recipe to make lunch prep for weekdays super easy. RECIPE HERE.

9. Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

Southwestern chopped chicken salad with ranch dressing. RECIPE HERE.

10. Jerk Chicken and Rice

And last but not least, these Jerk chicken, spiced rice, and pineapple salsa bowls. RECIPE HERE.

Containers we use:

The only other things you will need for meal-prepping is about an hour of time and meal prep containers. We like to use these black meal-prep containers that we order on Amazon. The plastic or glass version works just fine. The plastic is much cheaper but the glass lasts a lot longer so it boils down to what you prefer. They ship super fast and are always great to have on hand for prepping and storing food!

Healthy Chicken Recipes

Think chicken is a snooze-fest? THINK AGAIN. With the right recipe, chicken is anything but boring. Chicken is my go-to meat for recipe planning, because it’s a blank canvas for all kinds of different flavors and cooking techniques. Chicken is easy to use, a healthy source of protein, widely available, and budget-friendly. Weeknights (and weekends for that matter) are busy. Here are my favorite Healthy Chicken Recipes that are sure to keep your weeknight dinners interesting!

Below you can find both easy, healthy chicken breast recipes and healthy chicken thigh recipes. There are ideas for making soups, salads, Asian recipes, Indian recipes, casseroles, and so much more. To make browsing these healthy chicken recipes easy, they’re listed below in categories. If you would like to jump to a specific section, simply click the appropriate link below. Otherwise, keep scrolling to see them all!

  • Healthy Crockpot Chicken Recipes
  • One Pan Healthy Chicken Recipes
  • Light and Healthy Chicken Recipes
  • Family Favorite Healthy Chicken Recipes
  • Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
  • Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes
  • Healthy Chicken Indian Recipes
  • Healthy Chicken Asian Recipes
  • Healthy Chicken Casserole Recipes
  • Healthy Chicken Soup Recipes

What’s the Healthiest way to Make Chicken?

Some of my favorite healthy chicken recipes are made in the slow cooker. Whether you need healthy chicken recipes for two or healthy chicken recipes for a crowd, these easy slow cooker recipes are the perfect fit for busy weeks.

  • Crockpot White Chicken Chili
  • Slow Cooker with Chicken Cacciatore
  • Healthy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
  • Crock Pot BBQ Chicken
  • Slow Cooker Greek Chicken
  • Crock Pot Chicken and Rice
  • Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

One Pan Healthy Chicken Recipes

Make cleanup a breeze with this one pan healthy chicken recipes! Everything cooks together in one pot or skillet, so you aren’t left with a pile of dishes at the end of the night.

  • Chipotle Chicken Skillet
  • Taco Pasta
  • Creamy Chicken Stroganoff
  • Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables
  • Fiesta Chicken
  • Thai Chicken Curry
  • Sheet Pan Italian Chicken
  • Quick Chicken Sweet Potato Kale Skillet with Cranberries and Goat Cheese
  • Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes Brussels Sprouts and Sautéed Apples

Light and Healthy Chicken Recipes

If you’re looking for healthy chicken recipes for weight loss, these are the best fit. Each one uses light ingredients but still has tons of flavor.

  • Lemon Basil Chicken
  • Baked Lemon Chicken with Asparagus
  • Grilled Chicken Fajitas
  • Strawberry Chicken With Avocado
  • Grilled Orange Chicken Kabobs

Family Favorite Healthy Chicken Recipes

Recipes your entire family will love! Even picky eaters will enjoy these family favorite healthy chicken recipes. They’re deeply comforting and filled with rich flavor.

  • Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes
  • Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Apples and Brussels Sprouts
  • Healthy Chicken Pot Pie
  • Lemon Pepper Wings
  • Baked Chicken Meatballs

Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

The Instant Pot makes these healthy chicken recipes easy. These are great recipes to make for meal prep.

  • Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
  • Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos
  • Instant Pot Chicken Mole

Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes

A fresh and delicious healthy salad with crisp veggies, juicy chicken, and an easy, creamy homemade dressing. Perfect for healthy family meals, barbecues, and parties!

  • Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
  • Whole3o Chicken Salad
  • Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Healthy Chicken Indian Recipes

These easy, healthy Indian chicken recipes are made with easy to find ingredients, and they’re better for you than the restaurant version!

  • Instant Pot Butter Chicken
  • Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Healthy Chicken Asian Recipes

Lightened-up versions of your favorite takeout dishes. They have just as much flavor, and they’re delicious leftover!

  • Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
  • Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry
  • Crispy Asian Chicken Tenders
  • Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken
  • Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
  • Pineapple Chicken

Healthy Chicken Casserole Recipes

When you need to make healthy chicken recipes for a crowd or for meal prep, these casseroles are perfect. Each one is packed with veggies!

  • Chicken Pesto Pasta
  • Chicken and Biscuits
  • King Ranch Chicken
  • Healthy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Healthy Chicken Soup Recipes

These healthy chicken soups are cozy, light, and perfect for chilly nights. Plus, using the slow cooker or Instant Pot makes them easy!

  • Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
  • Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup



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Lunch bowls with juicy chicken breasts on top of fluffy grains with creamy avo and charred sweet corn. The perfect, easy make-ahead lunch.

Lunch time. Oh, you difficult devil you. It is without-a-doubt the one meal where I fail pretty much 90% of the time. If I don’t plan ahead and either make sure the fridge is stocked with healthy, delicious food OR actually meal prep lunches fully, I land up eating slice after slice of buttered toast or something completely unhealthy like instant noodles. And listen, I LOVE buttered toast but there is definitely a much healthier and more delicious meal out there and all it requires is a little planning. Enter: Easy healthy Mexican chicken lunch bowls of your dreams.

These lunch bowls (or grain bowls) are honestly one of my favorite make ahead healthy meals. I love adding grains to my lunch and often use a mix of quinoa and bulgur wheat. The bulgur adds a nutty bite while the quinoa is packed full of fiber and protein.

How to make Mexican chicken lunch bowls

  • Cook the quinoa and bulgur wheat together to save time and washing up. I cook the grains until the water has evaporated and leave it to steam with the lid on the pot for 30 minutes. This results in perfectly fluffy, al dente grains. To add even more flavor, cook with stock/broth of your choice. You can also add aromatics like lemon peel, garlic or bay leaves to the cooking water.
  • The chicken can be marinated up to 24 hours. To ensure the chicken breasts stay tender and juicy, marinate the chicken for up to 30 minutes. Make a simple marinade with cumin, coriander, chipotle powder (a good substitute is smoked paprika and chilli powder), lime and olive oil. Marinate the chicken for at least 10 minutes but up to 24 hours in the fridge. Cook the chicken breasts in a hot pan until golden brown on both sides then add a splash of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 5-7 more minutes then remove from the pan and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  • You can serve these lunch bowls with any topping of your choice. Salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, pickled jalapenos or roasted vegetables are all a good idea. I like using sweetcorn that I cook in the same pan as the chicken until golden brown.
  • I always like to serve grain-based lunch bowls with lots of lemon or lime wedges but you could also make a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to serve drizzled over.

Can I make lunch bowls ahead?

These lunch bowls can be prepped up to 3 days in advance. Marinate or cook the chicken and keep in the fridge along with the cooked grains and corn. Just add halved cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado before serving with a generous squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Lunch bowl recipes

  1. Easy Greek chicken grain bowl
  2. Chicken quinoa salad with peas and feta
  3. Moroccan chicken couscous salad
  4. Soy honey noodle salad

Mexican chicken lunch bowls

Juicy chicken breasts on top of fluffy quinoa and bulgur wheat with creamy avo and charred sweet corn is the perfect healthy make-ahead lunch. 4.91 from 11 votes Pin Course: Easy Dinner, Lunch, Lunch box Cuisine: American, Mexican Keyword: chicken breasts, lunch bowls, make ahead lunch Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 4 Calories: 577kcal Author: Alida Ryder

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1-2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

For the quinoa and bulgur wheat

  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups water/stock
  • 1 tsp salt

For the lunch bowls

  • 2 cups sweet corn
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halves
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • lime wedges to serve
  • salt and pepper to serve
  • Combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Pour over chicken and allow to marinade for 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
  • To cook the grains, combine the bulgur wheat and quinoa in a saucepan with the water and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the water has evaporated then cover with a lid and switch off the heat. Allow to steam for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat then cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides and cooked to your preference. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.
  • Add the sweetcorn the pan the chicken was cooked in and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Slice and serve the chicken over the grains with the charred corn, sliced avocado and cherry tomatoes.


Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 1642mg | Potassium: 1007mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 925IU | Vitamin C: 29.4mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3.9mg 14K Shares

Published on October 13, 2016
Updated on November 13, 2019

Very Best Healthy Recipes Series: Part 9

~ Easy chicken recipes are a must-have for every busy cook. And hey there, busy cook – today’s your lucky day! We’ve gathered some of the all-time most popular healthy, easy chicken recipes other food bloggers have ever posted. These recipes are all total winners – so much inspiration for quick chicken dinners your whole family will love! ~

There’s only one thing to say at a moment like this …

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

And with these healthy, easy chicken recipes … everyone’s a winner!

I once read about another food blogger, who’d used the “winner, winner” line in one of her own posts, and was offended when a reader told her it was a totally outdated phrase nobody said anymore.

One after another, people piped up and vowed that they still said it all.the.time! Me, too. It’s a common exclamation in my house, for any number of reasons that rarely have anything at all to do with chicken.

Interesting side note: Do you know where the phrase comes from? I had no idea! (Thanks, Google …)

Apparently, it dates back several decades to a time when most Vegas table bets were a standard $2, and if you won, you’d have just enough moolah to splurge on the casino’s special chicken dinner that cost just under (you guessed it …) $2. And really, when you’re in Vegas, what could be better than winning a chicken dinner? (Don’t answer that.)

But you know why these chicken dinners are truly winners, don’t you?

Yeah – it’s because these chicken recipes are all easy, nutritious … and among the most popular healthy recipes other bloggers have ever posted!

You’ve got the drill down by now, since this is #9 in our Very Best Healthy Recipes Series: We polled hundreds of other bloggers, asking them to share their one, absolute most popular healthy recipe. From there, we whittled, and narrowed, and chose the best of the best. Favorite breakfasts … and snacks … and desserts (still to come) … we’ve got you covered all day long with the top recipes our blogging buddies have ever created.

And today is chicken day! Winner, winner, for sure!

From baked chicken to chicken casseroles, skillet chicken to slow cooker chicken, chicken fajitas to a unique and veggie-loaded chicken stir-fry … when it comes to healthy, easy chicken recipes, this list is chock-full of mouthwatering ideas you’ve just gotta try next!

And you don’t even need to head to Vegas.

Hey there, winner … today really is your lucky day!

Balsamic Chicken and Tomatoes from Meggan at Culinary Hill


Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa from Bobbi at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen


Parmesan and Herb Stuffed Chicken from Lyuba at Will Cook for Smiles


One Pot Mediterranean Chicken from Sara at Dinner at the Zoo


Cheddar Chicken Quinoa Bake from Gina at Running to the Kitchen


Chicken and Shrimp Paella from Chrissie at The Busy Baker


Easy Fajita Chicken Bake from Kimber at The Pinning Mama


Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Casserole from Emily at Emily Bites


Mexican Quinoa Bowls from Leia at Eat It & Say Yum


Asian Peanut Spaghetti Squash Stir-Fry from Lisa at Snappy Gourmet


Although we created this Very Best Healthy Recipes series to spotlight the top healthy recipes other bloggers have ever created, I hope you’ll indulge us a little and allow us to share our all-time most popular recipe, too.

Here at Two Healthy Kitchens, we’ve posted quite a few chicken recipes through the years. Some of our most consistently popular are our Easy Chicken Parmesan Wraps, our Crock-Pot Chicken Caesar Sandwiches, and our Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup.

But, hands-down, our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos is the absolute tops. Truly our very own Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Try it – we definitely think you’ll agree!

3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos from Two Healthy Kitchens


And don’t miss all the other super-popular recipes in our “Very Best Healthy Recipes” series!

  • Food Bloggers’ Best Healthy Cooking Tips and Swaps … with Recipes! (Part 1)
  • 11 All-Time Best Healthy Breakfast Ideas (Part 2)
  • 5 All-Time Best Healthy Smoothie Recipes (Part 3)
  • 10 All-Time Best Healthy Snack Ideas (Part 4)
  • 11 All-Time Best Healthy Salad Recipes (Part 5)
  • 6 All-Time Best Healthy Side Dish and Vegetable Recipes (Part 6)
  • 13 All-Time Best Healthy Vegetarian Meals (Part 7)
  • 11 All-Time Best Healthy Chili and Soup Recipes (Part 8)
  • 9 All-Time Best Healthy, Easy Seafood and Fish Recipes (Part 10)
  • 7 All-Time Best Easy, Healthy, Dessert Recipes (Part 11)


These Filling Lunch Options Will Help You Stay Full Until Dinnertime

While they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s just as important to eat lunch to make sure you can power through your workday, that after-work gym class, or whatever else life throws at you. It’s also imperative that you pick the right foods to fuel your body. Opting for chicken nuggets with a side of fries will satisfy you momentarily, but you’ll wind up consuming too many calories and feeling sluggish. If, on the other hand, you fill your plate with healthy lunch foods, you’ll have a much more successful end to the day.

Give your midday meal a makeover with these healthy lunch options.

1. Broth-based soup

Go for a broth-based soup. |

More a category than a specific food, soup is one of the best midday meals you can eat. The key is to opt for broth-based versions. According to Eating Well, these varieties fill you up without weighing you down thanks to high water content. If you need some ideas for versions to make at home, check out some simple recipes from Prevention. If you’re eating out, steer clear of creamy soups. Most restaurants offer plenty of healthy options and are happy to answer questions about ingredients. Also, opt for a low sodium soup option if it’s available.

2. Lean protein

Make sure you’re getting enough protein. |

Eating plenty of protein helps stave off hunger for hours, but the exact protein you choose is a matter of preference. Canned tuna, chicken, and tofu are all good options. If you choose to go with deli meats, be sure to read the label. Some varieties are loaded with sodium and other fillers you probably don’t want to be eating.

3. Whole grains

Get your fill of fiber with whole grains. |

Steering clear of carbs? You might want to rethink that strategy. Whole grains are among the best foods you can eat. Fiber is a big part of why whole grains are so nutritious. Today’s Dietitian highlights some of the best choices along with their fiber tallies, including amaranth, barley, and brown rice. These starches are also perfect for lunch because they stand up well to travel much better than refined grains. If you’re a sandwich person, opt for whole-grain bread.

4. Nuts or seeds

Add nuts or seeds to a salad. |

Include a bit of fat to give your meal a lot more staying power; opt for nuts or seeds. They’re full of heart-healthy fats and also offer a great crunch to what can otherwise be a meal filled with soft foods. Pumpkin seeds, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are all good choices. Also, keep a jar of your favorite nut butter to snack on at your desk. Simply spread it on some whole-wheat toast for a quick meal when you’re short on time. Avocado and olive oil are also great options for adding a healthy dose of fat to your meal.

5. A piece of whole fruit

Fruit is always a good choice. |

Fruit is always a smart choice to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting a great dose of nutrition. For example, the USDA’s nutrient database shows one medium apple provides more than 4 grams of fiber and plenty of vitamin C for just 95 calories. Going for something whole like an apple or banana is especially smart for lunch because you can easily toss it in your bag without having to worry about making a mess or the need for refrigeration.

6. Beans

Beans are a great source of protein. |

There’s no denying healthy foods can be pricey, but beans are still one of the best bargains in the grocery store. When you consider what you’re getting by eating these legumes, they’re an even better deal. A ½-cup serving of cooked chickpeas is about 50 calories and offers hefty doses of protein, fiber, and iron. Because they’re so sturdy, beans are especially great for those who make their own lunch. Toss some with your favorite grain, some roasted veggies, a simple vinaigrette, and a crumble of goat cheese for a simple and delicious salad.

7. Cruciferous vegetables

Grab some broccoli. |

Tender lettuces might be the lunch standard, but cruciferous veggies will do a better job of keeping you full for the rest of the day thanks to potent levels of fiber. The USDA’s nutrient database shows one cup of chopped broccoli contains 2.4 grams of fiber. The one cup of chopped romaine has just one gram. While the broccoli also contains nearly three times the amount of calories, it’s still a negligible amount. Unless you’re eating mounds and mounds of veggies every day, this difference won’t impact your diet. Cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts are also great choices from this vegetable family.

35 Quick and Healthy Low-Calorie Lunches

21. Greek pita salad: 368 calories

Why it rules: Protein-packed chickpeas and naturally lower-fat feta cheese spice up this salad.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup romaine lettuce: 8 calories
  • ½ whole-wheat pita, sliced: 40 calories
  • ¼ cup feta cheese: 100 calories
  • ¼ cup chickpeas: 70 calories
  • ½ cucumber, sliced: 30 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, chopped: 10 calories
  • 2 tablespoons Greek dressing: 110 calories

Side snack: 10 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons hummus (100 calories)

22. Strawberry spinach salad: 382 calories

Why it rules: Strawberries are filled with antioxidants and can sweeten up a tangy salad.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup spinach: 7 calories
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced: 50 calories
  • 1 thick slice fresh mozzarella cheese: 70 calories
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts: 110 calories
  • 1 cup blanched broccoli: 30 calories
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 110 calories
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar: 5 calories
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie

Side snack: 2-inch slice of whole-grain baguette (140 calories)

23. Garden pasta salad: 395 calories

Why it rules: Whole-wheat pasta is a higher-fiber substitute for regular pasta.

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup whole-wheat pasta: 110 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • 1 thick slice fresh mozzarella cheese: 70 calories
  • 4 Kalamata olives, sliced: 60 calories
  • ½ green pepper, sliced: 10 calories
  • ½ carrot, shredded: 30 calories
  • 2 tablespoons low-calorie Italian dressing: 15 calories

Side snack: 1 whole-wheat pita, toasted and rubbed with a garlic clove (80 calories)

24. Lentil salad with poached eggs: 390 calories

Why it rules: Lentils are a superfood thanks to their hefty dose of protein and antioxidants!

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup canned lentils: 120 calories
  • ½ cup spinach, sautéed with 1 teaspoon olive oil: 50 calories
  • 2 large eggs, poached: 150 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories

Side snack: 15 mini pretzel sticks with 2 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese (100 calories)

25. Sprout ’n’ spinach salad: 381 calories

Why it rules: This salad is packed with two of our favorite superfoods — spinach and avocado.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 2 cups baby spinach: 14 calories
  • ½ avocado, diced: 120 calories
  • 1 handful alfalfa sprouts: 5 calories
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced: 12 calories
  • ½ carrot, grated: 30 calories
  • 2 tablespoons hummus mixed with 1 tablespoon olive oil: 170 calories

Side snack: ½ apple and 1 low-fat cheese stick (110 calories)

26. Tarragon chicken salad: 400 calories

Why it rules: Walnuts are filled with good fats that can help boost brainpower.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup spinach: 7 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt: 30 calories
  • ¼ cup walnuts: 160 calories
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries: 90 calories
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped: 5 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped: <1 calorie
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie

Side snack: 1 whole-wheat pita (80 calories)

27. Sweet potato and shiitake mushroom salad: 485 calories

Why it rules: Sweet potatoes are filled with fiber and vitamins.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup raw spinach: 7 calories
  • 1 medium cooked sweet potato, sliced: 100 calories
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and sautéed: 40 calories
  • ¼ cup feta cheese: 100 calories
  • 2 slices medium tomato: 8 calories
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 119 calories
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard: 10 calories
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie

Side snack: 1 cup halved strawberries and ½ medium banana, sliced (101 calories)

28. Chicken and rice stir-fry bowl: 380 calories

Why it rules: Brown rice is richer in fiber and protein than white rice, which has had its bran and germ removed.

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup ready-made brown rice: 100 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced: 40 calories
  • ½ red pepper, sliced: 10 calories
  • ½ green pepper, sliced: 10 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced: 10 calories
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 110 calories

Side snack: ¼ cup boiled edamame with 1 teaspoon soy sauce (100 calories)

29. Rice ’n’ refried beans bowl: 400 calories

Why it rules: Pinto beans are a great source of fiber and iron.

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup ready-made brown rice: 100 calories
  • ½ cup canned pinto beans, mashed: 130 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced: 10 calories
  • 1 plum tomato, diced: 10 calories

Side snack: 10 baked tortilla chips (90 calories)

30. Stuffed sweet potato: 365 calories

Why it rules: Greek yogurt is a healthier swap for sour cream to top this stuffed sweet potato.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cooked sweet potato, sliced: 100 calories
  • 3 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled: 130 calories
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt: 30 calories
  • ½ scallion, chopped: 5 calories

Side snack: 5 multigrain crackers with 1 stick reduced-fat string cheese (100 calories)

31. Mediterranean platter: 370 calories

Why it rules: Baba ghanoush (roasted eggplant) is a tasty alternative to fatty dips.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat pita, sliced: 80 calories
  • ¼ cup hummus: 150 calories
  • ¼ cup baba ghanoush: 100 calories
  • 5 black olives: 40 calories

Side snack: ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt with a dash of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey (120 calories)

32. Healthy stir-fried rice: 365 calories

Why it rules: DIY fried rice with olive oil is way healthier than any Chinese takeout, especially if you use brown rice.

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup ready-made brown rice: 100 calories
  • 1 egg, scrambled with 1 teaspoon olive oil: 115 calories
  • 4 baby bella mushrooms, sliced: 40 calories
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped: 30 calories
  • ½ carrot, chopped: 30 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced: 10 calories
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil: 40 calories

Side snack: Tropical fruit salad with 1 kiwi and ½ large orange (90 calories)

33. 3-bean salad with kale: 350 calories

Why it rules: Fiber-filled beans and vitamin-rich kale make this a winning meal.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup kale, massaged: 30 calories
  • 1 squeeze lime juice: <1 calorie
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie
  • ¼ avocado, chopped: 60 calories
  • ¼ cup black beans: 55 calories
  • ¼ cup white beans: 50 calories
  • ¼ cup kidney beans: 50 calories

Side snack: 5 multigrain crackers with 1 stick reduced-fat string cheese (100 calories)

34. Fresh mozzarella and tomato salad: 345 calories

Why it rules: The health benefits of tomatoes include helping to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 3 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese: 210 calories
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced: 20 calories
  • 3 basil leaves: <1 calorie
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 110 calories
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar: 5 calories

Side snack: 2-inch slice whole-grain baguette, toasted (140 calories)

35. Healthier cobb salad: 382 calories

Why it rules: Skipping the commercial bottled dressing and opting for turkey bacon leans up this filling salad.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup romaine lettuce: 8 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • 2 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled: 87 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • 1 hard-boiled large egg, sliced: 75 calories
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese: 37 calories
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar: 15 calories

Side snack: KIND bar of your choice: 180 calories

Need to up those calories even more? Add a handful of nuts, a slice of cheese, or a hard-boiled egg to the plate. Nutrition facts in this article come from USDA Food Data Central.

10 Tips: Build a Healthy Meal


10 Tips: Build a Healthy Meal

Each meal is a building block in your healthy eating style. Make sure to include all the food groups throughout the day. Make fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods part of your daily meals and snacks. Also, limit added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Use the MyPlate Plan and the tips below to meet your needs throughout the day.

1. Make half your plate veggies and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients that support good health. Choose fruits and red, orange, and dark-green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
2. Include whole grains
Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for the words “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains.
3. Don’t forget the dairy
Complete your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. You will get the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk but fewer calories. Don’t drink milk? Try a soy beverage (soymilk) as your drink or include low-fat yogurt in your meal or snack.
4. Add lean protein
Choose protein foods such as lean beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, and eggs, nuts, beans, or tofu. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
5. Avoid extra fat
Using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. Try steamed broccoli with a sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.
6. Get creative in the kitchen
Whether you are making a sandwich, a stir-fry, or a casserole, find ways to make them healthier. Try using less meat and cheese, which can be higher in saturated fat and sodium, and adding in more veggies that add new flavors and textures to your meals.
7. Take control of your food
Eat at home more often so you know exactly what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare the nutrition information. Choose options that are lower in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
8. Try new foods
Keep it interesting by picking out new foods you’ve never tried before, like mango, lentils, quinoa, kale, or sardines. You may find a new favorite! Trade fun and tasty recipes with friends or find them online.
9. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way
Indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish—fruit! Serve a fresh fruit salad or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.
The right mix of foods in your meals and snacks can help you be healthier now and into the future. Turn small changes in how you eat into your MyPlate, MyWins.

Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Revised October 2016

Chicken for lunch ideas

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