25 Best Chicken Recipes
Our Best-Ever Chicken Recipes
In honor of our 25th anniversary, we compiled a collection of our readers' best-loved chicken recipes from the past 25 years. Based on research from MyRecipes.com, we pulled the Cooking Light recipes that received the most votes and highest star ratings.
First up, Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas are the weeknight cook's dream come true. The secret here is taking rotisserie (or any pre-cooked chicken) and tossing with smoked paprika, giving the chicken rich, grill-like flavor—with no cooking. Mash up a homemade guac and stir together the salsa, and you’ve got a truly fresh meal with no cook time. Add in a few of the jalapeño seeds for extra heat.
Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken
Get the crispy taste of fried chicken for less than 300 calories in this 5-star recipe. Make a honey-mustard dipping sauce to up the appeal for little ones.
Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice
"So easy and quick to make!!! I will definitely make this again." —DSTARON
With chicken cutlets and boil-in-bag rice, this unique take on the chicken-and-rice dinner couldn’t be easier (or faster!) to make.
Chicken Tamale Casserole
This chicken tamale casserole is a quick and easy swap for more traditional tamales—but just as delicious!
"I came up with this Mexican dish to satisfy my cravings for the tamales I had at Mexican restaurants when I was growing up in Houston. Homemade tamale recipes are too time-consuming to prepare for weeknight meals, but I discovered a corn bread mix approximates the flavor." —Risë Minton, Smyrna, GA
Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
Mix. Toss. Broil. Brush. That's it for this super simple, top-rated recipe. Skinless, boneless thighs are more flavorful than skinless chicken breasts, so they need less embellishment.
Let us take meal planning off your plate. Get this recipe and thousands more with the Cooking Light Diet.
Herbed Chicken Parmesan
This recipe was a standout favorite, earning more than 100 five-star reviews for its speedy cook time and delicious outcome. A reviewer raved, “As a homey family meal, this is truly outstanding. The flavor is wonderful, and it's easy and relatively inexpensive.”
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
Trade traditional enchilada sauce for a creamy, cheesy topping on this Mexican chicken recipe. Your family will never know they're enjoying a lightened meal. Serve with a salad of fresh mango, jicama, and shredded lettuce topped with a lime vinaigrette.
Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers
Add Italian flair to your dinner table in just 40 minutes by pairing roast chicken with red and yellow bell peppers sautéed with balsamic vinegar, fresh rosemary, and sliced shallots.
Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca
Chicken cutlets are lined with fresh sage and wrapped with prosciutto in this quick recipe fit for special occasions. Serve this light and savory dish over a bed of angel hair pasta or polenta to catch all the sauce.
Chicken and Wild Rice Salad with Almonds
Readers rave that the fig vinegar makes the dressing unique and spectacular. However, you can substitute white wine vinegar if you can't find it.
Sweet Potato Chicken Curry
Sweet potatoes, green peas, and chickpeas lend this family favorite a hearty quality, and the coriander, pepper, and curry powder give it a lovely aromatic depth. Serve this over basmati rice; it has a wonderful nutty aroma and flavor.
Quick Chicken-Corn Chowder
You can have this chicken and corn chowder on the table in less than 30 minutes. Sounds too good to be true, right? We guess you will just have to try it to find out.
Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
This 5-star recipe, a favorite of our online reviewers, is a classic no-cook, weeknight meal. The creamy dressing mellows the heat from the chiles—and best of all, it can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.
Pair with a quick no-cook watermelon-mango salad: Combine 2 cups cubed, seeded watermelon and 1 cup sliced, peeled mango in a medium bowl. Combine 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons honey, and a pinch of salt, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over fruit; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chopped mint. Serve with a crunchy baked tortilla chips, and dinner is served.
Kung Pao Chicken
Cut calories and sodium by making this takeout favorite at home. This recipe delivers authentic flavor in less than 30 minutes.
Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine
Fresh spinach, chicken, and a combination of cheeses make this dish comforting enough for the last days of winter yet fresh enough for the first days of spring.
You can also cook the pasta mixture in individual 8-ounce ramekins, and bake for 15 minutes.
Chicken Kebabs and Nectarine Salsa
This company-worthy summer meal has a hint of spice from the chicken that is balanced by the flavors from the nectarine salsa.
Pointing out that this meal works for both family and company, JustUs3 says, "Had I not made this myself, I would have sworn it came from a restaurant. The flavors of this meal are so incredible. I would serve this to guests without question, which is always the highest rating for me."
Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
Here’s a terrific recipe for a busy weeknight or for a casual alfresco dinner party. A three-minute dip into a pungent marinade is all that’s needed to deliver big flavor to these chicken breasts. In addition, just-squeezed citrus brightens the taste of the chicken and adds zip to the simple toss-together salsa.
It’s especially wonderful in the summer with vine-ripened tomatoes, but plum tomatoes work well anytime of year. Serve with saffron rice to round out the meal.
Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins
Enjoy this fruit-studded chicken salad with whole-grain crackers, or spread it on whole-wheat bread for a sandwich. The balance of sweet apples and raisins with fragrant curry elevates chicken salad to a new level.
Prepare chicken breasts scallopini-style by pounding them into thin, quick-cooking servings, then dredge in lemon juice and breadcrumbs and sauté for about 3 minutes on each side. The white wine sauce with capers complements the flavor of the lemon juice, and makes a great topping for wild rice.
Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup
Start with shredded cooked chicken breast and transform your dinner tonight into restaurant-quality Thai cuisine. The coconut milk gives the soup a creamy, smooth texture.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
This lightened version of Chicken Cordon Bleu remains tres délicieuse despite a modest amount of butter. Prepare mashed potatoes and a side of green beans while the chicken bakes.
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Most of us don't have the time or equipment to slow-smoke meats at home. Thankfully, this recipe captures all of the smoke and spice of barbecue in only 20 minutes on the grill. Slap on a sweet-spicy sauce and the requisite pickles and bun, and you're in for a treat.
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Light cheese and a flour-and-milk mixture keep this soup creamy but surprisingly low in fat. Make a batch and reheat throughout the week for effortless and satisfying meals.
Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
Tostadas are just as easy to make as tacos, but bring crispy crunch to the party. This dish gives you an explosion of fresh summery taste using ingredients that are generally available year-round. You can also make these as tacos instead; just about any tostada topping can fill tacos, and vice versa.