15 Chicken Dinners That Keep Boredom At Bay

We’ve all faced the dilemma: coming home to a fridge full of uninspiring options and pondering the dinner puzzle. Before you consider the drive-through, take a second look—maybe there’s some chicken tucked away in your fridge or freezer? With chicken as your starting point, these fifteen recipes promise to banish dinner boredom. Plus, they’re perfect for packing up the leftovers for a tasty lunch tomorrow. Dive into these recipes and transform your dinner routine starting tonight.

1. Coconut Curry Chicken

An overhead view of a skillet filled with coconut curry chicken. A metal spoon rests in the pan.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you love Indian flavors, this coconut curry chicken is definitely one to try. It’s creamy and filled with aromatic spices that will uplift your entire kitchen. Enjoy this with some garlic naan or spoon it over some cooked rice for a more robust meal. Any Indian-style side dish will go well with this. You can pack up leftovers as is and take a separate side of rice to heat up at work, or simply pack a side of flatbread for an easy lunch the next day.

2. Baked Chicken Wings

A stack of buffalo wings resting on lettuce.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

While this is more of a snack, you can certainly make a meal out of these baked chicken wings. Make a double batch and serve them with a side salad or raw vegetable sticks. Fries or potato wedges also make a great side, as do cole slaw, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, garlic bread, or potato salad. No matter what you serve with these, chicken wings are super tasty and a simple way to get dinner on the table fast.

3. Instant Pot Mexican Chicken

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with instant pot Mexican chicken topped with fresh tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you have an Instant Pot at home, you know how convenient these contraptions can be. Dinner gets on the table in half the time without you having to stand over a hot stove. This Instant Pot Mexican chicken is a great option for a quick dinner tonight and you can top it with any of your favorite taco toppings. Serve it over rice, or use it to stuff tacos or burritos. It’s easy to pack in a food-safe container and tastes great warm or cold.

4. Mexican Chicken Salad

A white bowl sits filled with Mexican Chicken Salad on a wood table. A smaller white bowl of avocado dressing sits next to it.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Salads are always a fantastic lunch option. But many people tend to skip over them for dinner unless they add them as a side dish. But salads are a great option for a quick and simple dinner that will really fill you up. This Mexican chicken salad is a perfect example of just such a salad. Made with delicious Mexican spices and a delicious avocado dressing, it’s a great way to get a dinner you feel good about eating while actually feeling satisfied.

5. Lemon Caper Chicken

An up close view of a chicken breast in a skillet being lifted out by a wooden spoon.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you love chicken piccata, this homemade lemon caper chicken should make dinner epic tonight. It has all that lemony zing you expect from chicken piccata, and with the simple addition of a pat or two of butter melted into the sauce, you can make it even creamier. It’s great served with rice or chopped up and tossed with pasta. Serve with a green salad on the side or some steamed veggies such as broccoli or cauliflower. This also goes incredibly well with mashed potatoes.

6. Homemade Chicken Soup

An overhead view of a white mug filled with chickens out. A spoon sits in the soup.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Whether you are under the weather or healthy as a horse, this homemade chicken soup is a fantastic option for dinner tonight. Leftovers can be packed in a thermos for lunch the next day. You can make it on the weekend to enjoy it during the week, and it freezes well for up to four months. Serve this with rice or noodles and enjoy it as it warms your tummy and gives you a comforting meal at the end of a stressful workday.

7. Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs

A black, cast iron skillet holds this just-cooked, Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe With Veggies
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

These oven-baked chicken thighs are a one-skillet meal that provides delicious chicken with roasted veggies. Make a double batch to meal-prep for the week. This is great on its own, or you can serve it with rice or quinoa. Another great way to eat this is to chop everything and mix it with lettuce and dressing or toss it with pasta. But no matter how you serve it, it’s a great balance of protein and veggies that will fill you up without weighing you down.

8. Baked Pesto Chicken

Two baked pesto chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This easy dish is simple to make in the evenings, even when you are short on time. This baked pesto chicken is highly flavorful and pairs well with rice, pasta, quinoa, vegetables, salads, and more. Multiply the recipe as often as you need and freeze it for up to 6 months for future meals. This is just one more way to make a simple chicken dish that is versatile and delicious and avoid complaints at the dinner table to boot.

9. Peanut Butter Chicken

A white bowl with a base of rice and peanut butter chicken piled high on top and garnished with peanuts.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Thai flavors are a great way to keep dinner interesting and delicious. This peanut butter chicken is amazing served over rice. You can even mix in a few veggies, such as peas or carrots, if you want veggies. For a side dish, try a Thai cucumber salad or some stir-fried veggies. This is easy to pack any way you wish to take to work the next day as well, and the chicken will freeze for up to four months if you want to prep a few meals ahead of time.

10. Dutch Oven Chicken

A dutch oven with a cooked whole chicken topped with rosemary twigs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Dutch oven chicken is a phenomenal way to get a delicious dinner on the table. While it takes a bit to cook in the oven, it’s a great time to make any side dishes you want to have with this. Rice, quinoa, or any number of other grains will work well here, as will pretty much any type of vegetable. Consider steaming some broccoli or asparagus and adding a side of wild rice or mashed potatoes. When you’re done, pack up the carcass and save it in the freezer for making chicken soup in the future.

11. Sesame Chicken

An overhead view of a square, ceramic, white dish holding a serving of sesame chicken garnished with sesame seeds.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Sesame chicken is a simple dish that is versatile and always delicious. You can enjoy it as is with a side of veggies or rice, or you can mix it into stir fry, rice salad, and more. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy Asian flavors without too much fuss in the kitchen. Making this dish is a very simple process that almost anybody can do. So even if you don’t consider yourself to be much of a cook, this is a fail-proof recipe you’ll want to enjoy again and again.

12. Yogurt Chicken

An overhead view of a cast iron skillet filled with yogurt chicken.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Yogurt chicken is another simple chicken dish that comes together flawlessly every time. It’s a curry dish that pairs well with rice (either brown or white rice) and makes fantastic leftovers to boot. Serve this with pasta, rice, or other grains. You can even serve this over pasta. Toss in any veggies you like, but peas and carrots would be exceptionally good. While this doesn’t freeze all that well, any leftovers are great for taking to lunch the next day.

13. Bell Pepper Chicken

A skillet filled with bell pepper chicken.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you have some chicken and bell pepper or two in the fridge, this bell pepper chicken is a quick and easy meal for dinner tonight. With a little bit of chopping, you’ll have a dish that can be served on its own, or you can add rice or small pasta to make a pasta salad. This is full of veggies, so you only need to add a carb if you want it. It’s delicious straight from the pan, but the leftovers are just as good and make a great lunch the next day.

14. Southwest Chicken Crockpot

A white crock filled with Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken, sits on a wood surface next to a white towel.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

The southwestern flavors in this Southwest chicken are a classic combination that epitomizes the region. Delicious spices, corn, beans, tomatoes, and more come together to make this incredible dish that is as versatile as it is scrumptious. As with many of these chicken dishes, it’s a great option for planned leftovers and meal prepping. It freezes well for up to 4 months and travels well for lunches when you need them, too.

15. Chicken Korma

A small white bowl holds a serving of chicken korma.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you love Indian fare, try this chicken korma for dinner tonight. Its heady mix of spices creates the unmistakable aroma of a fantastic meal in the making. Serve this with some rice and naan, along with a side of lentil dal and some veggies to round out the meal. This is a simple dish to make, and you most likely already have much of what you need to make it. So, no extra trips to the store for exotic ingredients you’ll only use once.

More From The Gracious Pantry

A dutch oven with a cooked whole chicken topped with rosemary twigs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Need more dinner ideas? These can help. Chicken and turkey are very versatile foods that can be used to create an unlimited number of dinners. Here are 118 ideas to get you started.

This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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