We know you love chicken breast. The challenge is keeping your repertoire for this popular ingredient fresh and exciting. We've got you covered with delicious recipes (and helpful tips) that will keep the love alive.
Don't Miss: Our Best Healthy Chicken Recipes
Everyone saw "The Avengers" this summer, right? I really enjoyed the movie and, as I always do, I stayed to watch all the credits. Not everyone does that-but for those of us who do, this time there was a real payoff. At the very end, there is a wordless scene of all the exhausted superheroes chowing down on shawarma, a Middle Eastern sandwich made with sliced seasoned meat. Watching that scene, you can just taste how great it is-and if you don't happen to live in New York City or somewhere else where it's easy to find, how are you going to satisfy your craving for it? Which leads me to…
New Idea #1: Make a Hot Sandwich
The superheroes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen have developed a recipe for shawarma that features your old friend (and occasional nemesis) chicken breast. The chicken breast carries the flavor of garlic and curry in our Chicken Shawarma (recipe below), done in 4 minutes flat on the grill. Make that for dinner and you will truly have saved the day.
Super-Helpful Tip: Slice raw chicken breast crosswise "across the grain" to keep pieces from shrinking as they cook.
New Idea #2: Make a Fun "Fast-Food" Dinner at Home
Besides the shawarma, another way you might not have thought of using chicken breast is to make your own Spicy Popcorn Chicken. The "popcorn" isn't another movie reference, but a description of the crunchy bite-size nuggets of chicken coated with a nutty crust. So fun to eat!
Super-Helpful Tip: When we call for chicken breast in a recipe, we are actually calling for a breast half. Most chicken breasts come packaged together as halves and range in size from 5 ounces to 1 pound each.
New Idea #3: Make a Quick Casserole on the Stove
The usual sort of casserole takes a while to make and bake-so Stovetop Chicken & Broccoli, ready in 40 minutes, is a delightful dinner surprise. Easy, cheesy and comforting…your family's gonna love this one.
Super-Helpful Tip: Use chicken within 2 days of purchasing or freeze it. Store chicken at the bottom of your refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, to prevent the spread of bacteria.
New Idea #4: Make a Classic Favorite Healthier & Faster
I don't really expect to be able to have Chicken Cacciatore for dinner on a weeknight-some recipes for it can take a lot of prep and cooking time, especially if they call for bone-in chicken thighs. But the delicate flavor of chicken breast is emboldened by mushrooms and herbs in this Quick Chicken Cacciatore recipe-and it's ready in under an hour.
Super-Helpful Tip: If you can't find small chicken breasts, cut 8-ounce breasts in half "on the bias" to get two similar-size portions that will cook at about the same rate.
And now, for tonight's feature presentation:
Makes: 4 servings
Active time: 45 minutes | Total: 45 minutes
Cost per serving: under $2.50
1 cup shredded English cucumber
1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 6-inch whole-wheat pita breads or lavash
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1. Preheat grill to medium.
2. Stir cucumber, yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine garlic powder, curry powder, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in another medium bowl. Slice chicken breast crosswise into 1/4-inch strips; toss with the spice mixture to coat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and toss to combine.
4. Grill the chicken, turning once, until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
5. To serve, spread 1/4 cup of the cucumber-yogurt sauce on a pita (or lavash) and top with one-fourth of the chicken, tomato and lettuce. Fold like a taco (or roll closed, if using lavash). Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Per serving: 376 calories; 14 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 64 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 31 g protein; 6 g fiber; 606 mg sodium; 603 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (50% daily value), Magnesium (20% dv), Iron & Vitamin C (18% dv), Potassium (17% dv), Zinc (16% dv), Folate (15% dv).
What's the best way you've found to turn chicken breast into an exciting supper?
By Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.
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