The last thing you want to see on your dinner table this summer is a grilled chicken breast and we get it. Chicken is one of the leanest protein options you can find which makes it a crowd pleaser, but it can get old pretty quickly. If you are looking for a few recipes to spice up your meal prep this summer, look no further than these 3 healthy chicken recipes.
Healthy Orange Chicken
This takeout staple is a family favorite but likely hasn’t made your weekly rotation because it tends to be high in fat and processed oils. If you’re an orange chicken fan, our healthy orange chicken recipe is about to make your day. This recipe is quick to toss together and tastes like the real deal sans artificial ingredients and superfluous calories. You can use chicken tenderloins, cubed chicken breast or chicken thighs with this recipe so go with your preference. We’ll use chicken thighs for an example.
2 lbs chicken thighs, skinned and cut into cubes
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves chopped garlic
red chili flakes
dried thai basil, finely chopped
2 c white jasmine rice, steamed
2 sliced scallions
2 c orange juice, high pulp
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
sriracha to taste
juice from 2 medium limes
1 tbsp peanut butter, creamy
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp corn starch
In a pressure cooker or pan, cook rice for 3 minutes on high, then turn down the heat to low or turn off completely and let finish cooking for around 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium-high heat, cook chicken thighs in oil for 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs over, then season with dry spices. Turn down to medium heat, and let the chicken continue to cook until completely done. Turn down heat to low and move pan so that it is partially over the heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, peanut butter, lime juice and sriracha until fully combined. Pour over chicken thighs, then sprinkle corn starch evenly over chicken in pan. Place pan fully over heat and turn up to medium, stirring chicken often until sauce is thickened and fully combined.
Plate chicken over steamed rice and top with sliced scallions. If desired, serve with steamed broccoli or a side salad for added fiber!
Chicken Meatball Stir-Fry
There are few foods as comforting (and protein-rich) as meatballs, but they can be a bit heavy for the summer months. This recipe takes the traditional meatball and turns it on its head with a light, delicious twist. Head to your local butcher and grab a couple pounds of ground chicken. This one is perfect for meal prep! Lay this stir fry over rice, over angel hair pasta or a bed of lettuce.
2 lbs ground chicken breast (or 1 lb ground chicken mixed with 1 lb ground turkey)
2 whole eggs
4 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste
red chili flakes
chopped cilantro to taste
juice from 3 lemons
1 cup sauvignon blanc
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c shredded carrots
In a large mixing bowl, combine spices, ground chicken, eggs and breadcrumbs to form 1-inch meatballs. In a large sauteé pan over medium-high heat, add chicken meatballs to oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side to brown. Then add in lemon juice and white wine, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid for 6-10 minutes, or until the chicken meatballs are cooked all the way through.
In a separate pan over medium-high heat, sauteé sliced bell peppers, carrots and onions in oil until fully cooked. When the chicken meatballs are fully cooked, drain them and then remove the stir-fried veggies from the heat and combine with the meatballs. Serve in 4-5 oz. portions over rice, noodles, lettuce or by itself.
Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
There is nothing like the smell of teriyaki chicken on the grill to take me back to summer nights playing outside as a kid. Teriyaki chicken skewers are simple to prepare and make for perfectly-portioned meal prep. If you are looking for a summer chicken dish that pleases adults and kiddos alike, look no further than this teriyaki chicken recipe. This recipe comes from Amanda Cooks and Styles and is a family favorite of ours!
2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
1/3 c brown sugar
1 c water
2 tbsp corn starch
3 scoops Red Leaf Collagen Peptides (additional 9 grams of protein per scoop)
1/3 c low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
8 skewers, dipped in water
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together water and corn starch. Once thickened and fully combined, add remaining ingredients and continue stirring until the mixture is a deep brown color. Once combined, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large Ziploc bag, toss the cubed chicken breast with half of the cooled teriyaki sauce mixture. This part is crucial! Amanda says to let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least thirty minutes, and this makes all the difference for juicy, flavorful teriyaki skewers.
When the chicken is finished marinating, remove it from the fridge, add to skewers and pre-heat the grill to medium heat (make sure the grill is lightly oiled so your chicken doesn’t stick).
Once the grill is ready, add your chicken skewers and turn them every 3 minutes or so. In the last 8-9 minutes, start basting the skewers with the remaining teriyaki sauce on every turn. The total cook may end up taking around 20 – 30 minutes, so it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it type meal. But that hard work pays off big time later in the week!
Serve your skewers over white rice, alongside a garden salad or on their own if you’re keeping it low-carb.
Chicken recipes are a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t ensure they’re good! Spice up your dinners this summer with these 3 healthy chicken recipes and let us know if you try them in the comments.