When you have no idea what to make for dinner, chicken is always a good idea—it's mild in flavor, it's ultra versatile, and dare we mention that it's inexpensive? So the next time you're stumped while meal planning, you should consider picking up the white meat and whipping up some healthy chicken recipes. (Oh yeah, and we also forgot to mention that poultry is good for you—at least when it's not breaded.) Speaking of versatility, the protein goes with almost anything and takes on its flavor—including tangy oranges, garlic and herbs, and even a light lemon sauce (PS: When it comes to veggies on the side, throw in whatever you have in the fridge). We've come to the conclusion that you can make chicken every night of the week and have it taste differently, depending on the seasoning and extras you choose. Don't believe us? Just try these three tasty, healthy chicken recipes, and let us know what you think. Dig in.
PALEO ORANGE CHICKEN
The Hero Ingredient: We'd be crazy to call any ingredient other than orange the star of the show. Fresh orange zest and juice add a pop of citrus flavor to this homemade takeout favorite.
The Recipe: Pieces of chicken are fried in avocado oil and topped with a yummy sauce made from orange juice, orange zest, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, and some spices. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve over your favorite rice (the cauliflower variety counts).
The Clincher: This healthy chicken recipe is Whole 30–approved, plus the avocado oil adds some good-for-you fats.
HEALTHY GARLIC HERB CHICKEN SALAD
The Hero Ingredient: Walnuts—when mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and garlic—form a creamy dressing for this healthy chicken recipe. It's super low in fat, but it's not lacking in flavor.
The Recipe: Dress brown rice, chicken, and chopped tomatoes with the homemade sauce from above, toss, and let it sit for 30 minutes for maximum goodness.
The Clincher: Rotisserie chicken can easily be subbed for home-cooked—in that case, you can sit down to dinner in just 10 minutes.
SQUEAKY-CLEAN CHICKEN AND VEGGIE BAKE
The Hero Ingredient: Sweet potato discs meld perfectly with the grilled lemon chicken when they're roasted (base your cooking time on them since they'll take the longest to soften).
The Recipe: The chicken, potatoes, some cherry tomatoes, a yellow bell pepper, onion, and green beans are tossed with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and other spices. This one-pan wonder cooks up in about an hour, making it our idea of perfection.
The Clincher: Line your pan with coated aluminum foil so you'll have zero dishes to do post-prep. (Amazing).
A Healthy State of Mind
When you're having a healthy meal, which protein do you tend to gravitate toward? Be sure to tell us in the comments.
Up next: What a dietician buys at Trader Joe's.