Dinner In A Flash: Quick And Easy Chicken Ideas For Busy Weeknights

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Chicken: a dinnertime staple for good reason. It’s affordable, versatile, and cooks up quickly. But after a long day, the thought of slaving over a hot stove can be daunting. Fear not, weary home cooks! This guide is packed with delicious, easy chicken dinners that can be whipped up in 30 minutes or less.

Chicken Stir-Fry

Lazy Chicken Dinner Recipes For Your Picky Family
Lazy Chicken Dinner Recipes For Your Picky Family

(adaptable and perfect for using up leftover veggies)

This classic is a weeknight lifesaver for a reason. Here’s a basic template, but feel free to customize it with your favorite ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup assorted vegetables (broccoli florets, bell peppers, carrots, etc.)
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (to thicken)
  • Cooked rice, for serving

  • Directions:

    1. In a bowl, toss chicken with soy sauce and cornstarch.
    2. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
    3. Add garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, then add vegetables. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
    4. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook for 1 minute, or until thickened.
    5. Return chicken to the pan and toss to coat in sauce. Serve over cooked rice.

    Tips:

    For a protein boost, add scrambled eggs or tofu to the pan with the vegetables.

  • Swap out the chicken for another protein like shrimp, pork, or tempeh.
  • Get creative with your veggies! Use what you have on hand or try a pre-chopped stir-fry mix from the grocery store.

  • One-Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken with Roasted Veggies

    (easy cleanup and big flavor)

    This sheet pan dinner is a winner for busy weeknights.

    Ingredients:

    1 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
    2. In a bowl, toss chicken with olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
    3. Arrange chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter lemon slices, onion wedges, garlic cloves, broccoli florets, and cherry tomatoes around the chicken.
    4. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.

    Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken

    (comfort food in a flash)

    This dish is bursting with flavor and comes together in a single pan.

    Ingredients:

    1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooked pasta, for serving

  • Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
    2. Add onion to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
    3. Pour in diced tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Stir in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Return chicken to the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. Serve over cooked pasta.

    Nutrition Facts: (Note: This will vary depending on the specific ingredients you use)