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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Top Ten Chicken Breast Dinners

Jules here-

Time to get back to my ultimate recipe top ten to help a friend with her cooking repertoire.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a staple at my house, as their price often dips between $1.79-$1.99/pound- quite affordable since you are not paying for the bones!

So here it is, the Top Ten Chicken Breast Dishes:

10. Chicken Casseroles - In all honesty, my family does not enjoy chicken casseroles--but I do! They are quick, easy, and they freeze well.  You can make them with pasta or rice and use cream of ANYTHING soup.  When I was first married, I made these a bit too often.  After awhile, we got a bit sick of this staple 3-night-a-week-meal, so I took a hiatus from making them...  For most recipes you need a sauce (usually a form of condensed soup--or make your own), a vegetable, cheese, and a starch.

9. Crock pot buffalo chicken- A simple, yummy meal that men especially enjoy! If you like buffalo-style chicken wings, than you'll love this.

3-4 Chicken breasts
1 packet of ranch dressing packet (you can easily make your own too)
1 Bottle of Red Hot Sauce (Frank's or other buffalo sauce is fine!)
2 TBS Butter
Sandwich rolls
Optional: Cheese
Optional: Chopped celery

1. Place chicken breasts and 1/2 to 3/4 bottle of buffalo sauce (depending on desired spicy level) in crock pot with ranch seasoning.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
2. Shred the meat with two forks and add butter and rest of red hot sauce.
3. Serve in sandwich rolls (some people like cheese on top)

Alternatives: Cook with a little water instead of seasoning. Add seasoning after shredding so you can set aside some "plain" chicken for kids or picky eaters. Also, you can do this with barbecue sauce and make a mock "pulled pork" that's a lot cheaper....

8. Grilled Chicken- So simple, yet goes with anything. I usually throw on 5-6 chicken breasts on the grill after marinating them in an herb/garlic marinade (or Italian dressing).  The first night, we simply eat the grilled chicken, veggies and potatoes for a healthful meal.  As for the leftovers, I'll throw on a bed of greens add some fresh vegetables, feta and some strawberries for a scrumptious summer salad.  Or, I'll make a hearty chicken salad (I adapted this recipe from Giada's... my friend Lori made it for me once and I LOVE it... just a bit complicated for me!!)

2 chicken breasts chopped or shredded (your preference)
1/2 thinly sliced onion (green or red onion will do)
1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
1/2 Cup toasted almond slivers
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh Parmesan or mozzarella

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually add the oil and blend until emulsified.

7.   The Classic Chicken Parmesan- I personally would never order chicken parm at a restaurant, as it is so easy to make and affordable.  It is a delicious meal that can become a standard dinner in your home. Serve with pasta and fresh bread-- Yum!  Feel free to make this recipe as "homemade" as you want (add your own sauce or other fun 'twists').

4 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4" thick
Bread crumbs (Italian Style)
4 slices of mozzarella or fresh Parmesan (or shredded)
1 jar of tomato sauce
Olive oil

 1. Mix egg & milk together.  Dredge the chicken breasts in flour, then the egg mixture, and finally in bread crumbs.
2. Meanwhile heat olive oil in bottom of cast iron skillet (if you don't have one, use a regular skillet but you'll have to transfer the chicken to a foil-lined 9x13 pan for baking).
3. Brown chicken on each side (about 5 minutes each)
4. Add sauce to cover chicken and cover each with cheese.
5. Place in broiler for 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
6. Serve with extra sauce and cheese, with pasta.

6. Chicken Pot Pie/Chicken A La King- Depending on how much effort you want to do, this dinner can be easy or super challenging.  I typically make my own pie crusts, but you can use a store-bought one. You can use leftover chicken breasts from the grill, rotisserie chicken, or quickly boil some chicken prior to dinner.

 Chicken Pie Basics
9 Inch Pie crust
1 Cup cubed chicken
Variety of veggies: chopped (steamed partially if fresh, frozen you can throw in)
Gravy/Can of cream of soup (chicken or celery works best)
Onion chopped
Potato steamed and chopped
Salt & Pepper

1. Press crust to bottom of 9" pie pan.
2. Fill with all ingredients adding gravy last (right before putting in oven)
3. Cover with top crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

Freezes great, so I usually make 2!

Chicken A La King
1 Cup cubed chicken
Variety of veggies: chopped (steamed partially if fresh, frozen you can throw in)
Gravy/Can of cream of soup (chicken or celery works best)
Onion chopped
Potato steamed and chopped
Salt & Pepper

1. On the stove, heat gravy/soup until bubbling.
2. Add all remaining ingredients except biscuits.  Heat through.
3. Serve over open-faced biscuits.  YUM! Less than 20 minute dinner!!

5. Chicken enchiladas -- I've mentioned how much I love using chicken in Mexican dishes before.  Here's the link back to the post of these yummy chicken-filled tortillas.

4.Mock Chicken Cordon Bleu- Have ham or bacon? Have any kind of cheese (Swiss, cheddar, etc?)  Then you can make a quick Chicken Cordon Bleu!
1. 4 Chicken Breasts (pounded thin)
2. Bread crumbs
3. Milk/egg wash
4. 4 Slices of ham or bacon
5. 4 Slices of cheese (or shredded) (4 more if you add cheese to the top)

1. Dip chicken in flour dip, then egg/milk wash, then bread crumbs (Italian style is fine).
2. Add a slice of cheese and meat to center. Roll and pin with toothpick
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until center is no longer pink

Variations: Wrap bacon on outside for crispiness. Add cheese to top the last 10 minutes of baking.  Make a cream sauce/gravy to serve on top. Add more seasonings (garlic, etc.)

3. Quick & easy Parmesan/mayo chicken- I stumbled across this recipe on pinterest, and I always have the ingredients on hand-- and it's quick.

Recipe & Photo Courtesy of Hellman's

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 4 tsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with Mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  3. Bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes.
2. Italian Peasant Soup- This is my favorite "dinner" soup: hearty, warm, filling, and you can top it with cheese! 


  • 1 lb Italian sausage links, casing removed and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • Shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese, optional

In Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add onions and garlic; saute until tender. Add chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink. Stir in the beans, broth, tomatoes, basil, and oregano. Cook uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the spinach and heat just until wilted. Serve with cheese if desired

1. Chicken Fajitas- Fajitas are a weekly staple in my house. I either make them fresh, or use leftover chicken from the night before.  They are quick, easy AND easily adaptable for kids (put in them what they want). 
 2-3 chicken breasts sliced in strips
2 onions sliced
2 green or red peppers, sliced
Sour cream
Taco or fajita seasonings
Tomatoes (chopped)
Cheddar cheese
Optional: serve with Spanish rice

1. In skillet pan, saute chicken for 5-7 minutes, add onions and peppers. Cook until all is softened. Add taco seasoning until flavor reaches desired level.
2. Meanwhile, heat tortillas, make guacamole, get ready for dinner!
3. Serve with side of rice, cheese and toppings!

Hope you enjoy some new chicken dishes-- nothing too spectacular, but all dishes you should be able to handle mid-week!

Easy Rule #54645- If all else fails, cook chicken. Cheap, easy, and millions of recipes.


  1. Did you ever consider poaching your chicken instead of boiling it?

  2. For which recipe, Tim? And how long do you poach chicken for? I mean I poach eggs.... but....