May 19, 2024

70 Easy Chicken Dinners | The Best Chicken Dinners for Families | Recipes, Dinners and Easy Meal Ideas

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Our Best Ideas for Chicken

Chicken is often a go-to protein, mostly because it’s easy to cook and is considered a lean protein. Though chicken has a reputation for being bland, that couldn’t be further from the proof. Whether you prefer juicy chicken thighs or tender chicken breasts, there are so many easy ways to dress the meat up and turn it into a winning meal. We recommend starting with this Tuscan Chicken Skillet. It’s full of bacon, cream and Parmesan—is your mouth watering yet? There’s no need to go out to dinner when you can make this restaurant-style creamy, cheesy chicken and fettuccine at home.

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Tuscan Chicken Skillet

Chicken Florentine Style

We’re pretty sure Giada wins weeknight dinners with this quick and delicious take on classic chicken breast. She serves it on a bed of buttery spinach, topped with a creamy, garlicky sauce.

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Chicken Florentine Style

Instant Pot Lemon Frozen Chicken with Orzo

Once you unlock the secret of cooking frozen chicken in an Instant Pot®, the possibilities for variations become endless. This creamy lemon chicken with orzo is worthy of a dinner with friends, though it is so easy, you’ll make it a regular on your weeknight rotation. Make sure you follow the directions for a 10-minute natural release; a quick release left us with dry and stringy meat.

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Instant Pot Lemon Frozen Chicken with Orzo

Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma

This shortcut version of chicken shawarma skips the long marinating and roasting time and relies instead on quick cooking sliced thighs and a shower of the spices that go into the classic version–think cumin, cardamom and turmeric. Served with a warm pita, greens, tomato and a tangy yogurt sauce, it makes a substantial meal. We left out fries to keep the recipe on one sheet pan, but they are always a welcome addition!

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Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma

Lemon Chicken

Turn your dinner into a takeout-inspired meal at home with Rachael Ray’s chicken dish.

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Lemon Chicken

Chicken Katsu

With a light, crispy exterior and moist interior, Japanese katsu is comfort food at its best. Traditionally made with pork, it’s great with chicken, too. The panko-coated fried cutlets are typically accompanied by finely sliced cabbage and tangy, sweet and salty katsu sauce. However, they are also served over rice (katsu don), with curry (katsu curry), and in a sandwich (katsu sando). For the crunchiest katsu, don’t be tempted to substitute regular breadcrumbs for the classic panko. And make sure to maintain the oil temperature as the cutlets cook.

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Chicken Katsu

Oven Fried Chicken

Ellie uses crushed cereal and whole-grain crackers to add a crisp, crunchy coating to yogurt-marinated chicken.

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Oven Fried Chicken

Coronation Chicken

A salad fit for a queen! This recipe was inspired by the original, which was made for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation luncheon in 1953. Studded with dried apricots and toasted almonds, the salad is finished with a curry cream sauce. It’s sweet, crunchy, savory and has a hint of spice — and perfect to serve over lettuce or between bread for a satisfying sandwich.Save Recipe

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Coronation Chicken

Chicken Adobo

From the Philippines, this super-easy one-pot dish can be prepped the night before. Once the chicken is tender, it gets browned quickly under the broiler while the cooking liquid boils down into a sauce. Serve with rice to complete the meal.

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Chicken Adobo

Chicken Tinga Tacos

Valerie stuffs her tacos with a saucy chicken mixture and sweet pickled onions.

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Chicken Tinga Tacos

Instant Pot Keto Mediterranean Chicken

This keto-friendly chicken is bursting with Mediterranean flavors, marrying heart-healthy olive oil, briny olives and rich and creamy Greek yogurt. If you don’t have white wine vinegar, you can use red wine vinegar or even white distilled vinegar instead.

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Instant Pot Keto Mediterranean Chicken

Chicken Stir-Fry

In my home, one of our go-to dishes for Chinese takeout is chicken and broccoli. It’s so flavorful and never dry! The secret to the super tender meat is velveting, the technique of cooking marinated proteins briefly in hot oil. I wanted to replicate the same flavors and textures at home in a budget-friendly way. With just a few fresh vegetables, lots of pantry condiments and only one chicken breast, this recipe will serve four. If you have any leftovers or are meal planning, the velveting technique ensures that the chicken will remain succulent even when reheated.

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Chicken Stir-Fry

Hasselback Chicken Cordon Bleu

A fun play on hasselback potatoes, Ree stuffs thinly-sliced chicken breasts with Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese and a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Bonus? These chicken breasts can easily be made in advanced and frozen until you’re ready to eat.

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Hasselback Chicken Cordon Bleu

One-Pan Chicken and Rice with Preserved Lemon

This skillet chicken and basmati rice dish is anything but plain and humble. A homemade seasoning mix, preserved lemon and spiced and pan-seared chicken breasts give the dish bold flavor that’s hard to resist. It’s quick enough to make as a delicious weeknight dinner but tasty enough for entertaining or a special-occasion meal.

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One-Pan Chicken and Rice with Preserved Lemon

Chicken Yakitori and Rice

Like Rachael says, everyone loves food on a stick. She bastes her chicken skewers with a sweet and stick glaze that echoes the flavors of her sesame-covered green beans with tofu.

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Chicken Yakitori and Rice

Hot Chicken Chili

A cayenne-spiced oil takes Trisha’s chili to the next level — and it only takes 45 minutes to get on the table. Heads up: It is quite hot, so you may want to reduce the amount of oil if you’re cooking for the kids.

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Hot Chicken Chili

The Best Baked Chicken Breasts

The downfall of most baked chicken breast recipes is the long time in the oven that dries out the lean meat before it can fully cook through. We’ve solved that problem with a couple of secret weapons. The first is white wine added to the baking dish, which creates steam. (While we think it’s worth using wine, you could substitute stock or even water.) The second is a piece of parchment paper placed directly on top of the chicken to lock in the moisture during baking. The result is the best boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are plump and juicy, with a minimum of hands-on time. A bunch of parsley and lemon slices infuse the dish with fresh flavor and the seasoning is neutral enough that the chicken can be used for a variety of different meals. Serve it alongside vegetables and grains, shredded into soup, spiced up for tacos or chopped on top of salad. Feel free to switch up the herbs and citrus if you have leftovers in the fridge to use up.

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The Best Baked Chicken Breasts

Chicken Pot Pie Burgers

A simple white gravy ups the comfort factor of Trisha’s veggie-packed burgers.

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Chicken Pot Pie Burgers

Grilled Chicken Quarters with Ras el Hanout

Ras el hanout is a blend made of several spices so it’s worth keeping in your pantry as a powerhouse ingredient. Here, it adds tremendous depth and complexity to an easy yogurt marinade, which doesn’t need much more than lemon juice and a few cloves of garlic to brighten the flavor of grilled chicken legs. Scoring the chicken a few times helps it better absorb the marinade and the yogurt makes it extremely juicy. Complete this flavor-packed dish with a side of potatoes, rice or salad.

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Grilled Chicken Quarters with Ras el Hanout

Marinated Chicken Breasts

This make-ahead recipe is great for weeknight dinners. Prepare the marinated chicken breasts on a weekend, then pop them in the freezer. The night before you’re ready to cook, remove the chicken and let it thaw.

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Marinated Chicken Breasts

Old-Fashioned Chicken Stew

Ree browns the chicken in the pot to render as much flavor as possible before transforming it into a cozy stew with chunks of hearty root vegetables.

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Old-Fashioned Chicken Stew

Parmesan Chicken Linguini with Sunday Gravy

Did you know Trisha’s five-star recipe was inspired by Frank Sinatra? She puts her own spin on his beloved Italian sauce by incorporating bacon and a slightly-sweet shallot.

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Parmesan Chicken Linguini with Sunday Gravy

Caramel Chicken

Katie’s recipe puts a sweet-and-salty spin on your typical weeknight dinner. Serve the chicken with white rice — it’s key for soaking up the delicious caramel sauce.

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Caramel Chicken

Chicken Tortilla Dump Dinner

All your favorite Tex-Mex flavors in a comforting casserole that’s fast and easy to throw together.

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Chicken Tortilla Dump Dinner

Chicken Piccata

With more than 1,000 5-star reviews, Giada’s chicken piccata is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. She serves her chicken with a luscious, tangy lemon-caper sauce.

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Chicken Piccata

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Classic and easy to make, this version of Alfredo doesn’t use flour to thicken the sauce. Instead, it relies on a slight simmer and a heavy dose of cheese.

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Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice

For a lighter take on classic fried rice, look no further than cauliflower to save the day. The secret to achieving a ricelike texture is using a food processor to chop up the cauliflower into tiny pieces; you want them to be coarse, not super soft like a puree.

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Chicken Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

‘Easiest Ever’ Chicken Mole Enchiladas

In Mexico, rich mole poblano is a celebratory dish, often made for special occasions, which takes about 4 days. The sauce in this recipe is a streamlined version that packs in deep and delicious flavor and is easy to make ahead and freeze, so even weekdays can be festive.

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‘Easiest Ever’ Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Chicken Fajita Salad

Ree puts a fresh twist on the charcuterie board with her fun and festive salad, which is cooked from start to finish on the grill.

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Chicken Fajita Salad

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Ree’s recipe has five stars for a reason — fans love how fast, flavorful and family-friendly it is.

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Cajun Chicken Pasta

Caprese Chicken Penne Alfredo

Creamy Alfredo pasta meets the freshness of a caprese salad in this one-skillet dinner.

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Caprese Chicken Penne Alfredo

Trisha’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Trisha loves this soup because it can easily be made ahead of time and left on the stove until you’re ready to eat.

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Trisha’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

Move over beef — chicken is in the house. This great weeknight meal takes less than 15 minutes to prep, then the slow cooker does the rest.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

Slow-Cooker Chicken Thighs

Soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger (along with the natural juices of the chicken) become irresistible sauce to serve over chicken thighs and rice. If you like a thicker sauce, simply add cornstarch at the end and cook a little longer.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Comforting chicken and dumplings come together at lightning speed thanks to the Instant Pot®, in this perfect addition to your weeknight dinner arsenal.

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Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

BBQ Chicken Baked Potatoes

Thanks to your pressure cooker, Ree’s saucy chicken comes together in just 12 minutes. She stuffs the chicken into baked russet potatoes, which get topped with sour cream, shredded cheese and diced green onion.

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BBQ Chicken Baked Potatoes

Chicken Curry in a Hurry

A true one-pot wonder, Ree’s chicken curry comes together in just 25 minutes from start to finish.

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Chicken Curry in a Hurry

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

This recipe is for the ultimate garlic lover. Chicken thighs are braised until tender in a rich, roasted garlic sauce, then topped with fried garlic chips. There’s even enough roasted garlic paste to whip up a loaf of garlic bread while the chicken cooks.

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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Easy Chicken Curry with Vegetables

Heat up your weeknights with Melissa’s veggie-packed curry, which comes together in less than 40 minutes.

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Easy Chicken Curry with Vegetables

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Game Plan: Marinate the chicken while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You’ll have a fresh and healthy dinner on the table in just about half an hour.

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Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Casseroles

Creamy, cozy and oh-so-delicious, Molly’s casserole is the ultimate make-ahead meal. She stores her casserole in the freezer and pops it in the oven for just 30 minutes when she needs a heat-and-eat dinner.

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Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Casseroles

Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

Your dishwasher will thank you for this easy one-sheet weeknight dinner no prep bowls needed! Juicy roasted tomatoes and cheesy chicken breasts get a hint of brightness from fresh basil and a balsamic reduction.

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Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

Roman-Style Chicken

Giada packs her light, yet satisfying chicken dish with fresh herbs, tomatoes and peppers.

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Roman-Style Chicken

Chicken Quesadillas

These quesadillas are one of Ree’s family’s favorite dinners. And let’s be honest: For quick weeknight comfort, all you really need is something cheesy and carby.

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Chicken Quesadillas

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

This simplified version of a traditional Filipino comfort food was meant for your Instant Pot (a slow cooker, pressure cooker and stove-top stand-in, all in one). The pressure cook setting prepares it in no time and best of all, there’s only one pot to clean up.

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Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Cinnamon and molasses lend a rich, earthy flavor to this super quick chili.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

These protein-packed fajitas cleverly use a foil-lined baking sheet and broiler to make a quick and healthy weeknight meal with easy clean up.

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Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken and Shallots

Shallots are the perfect size for roasting whole with larger cuts of meat. When halved or quartered with chicken breasts, they make a quick weeknight dinner, complete with a pan sauce. If you have champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar on hand, add a splash to the sauce just before serving.

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Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken and Shallots

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Skillet

Inspired by a favorite hot appetizer, this creamy weeknight chicken skillet dinner has all the best parts of spinach and artichoke dip.

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Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Skillet

Slow-Cooker Whole Chicken

This no-fuss whole chicken is moist and tender. We rub it in spices and prop it up on canning lids, suspending it above the juices for a roasted effect right in the slow cooker. Piercing the skin on the bottom lets excess juices run out, allowing for even and gentle cooking. A simple homemade barbecue sauce comes together in mere minutes, perfect for slathering all over.

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Slow-Cooker Whole Chicken

Creamy Skillet Chicken

One humble skillet has four jobs in this easy weeknight meal: it sears, sautes, simmers and steams. The cleanup is so minimal, your dishwasher will be out of work!

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Creamy Skillet Chicken

Chicken Marsala

After frying the chicken, Tyler cooks his prosciutto and cremini mushrooms in the same pan. The juices rendered from the chicken lend a rich, caramelized flavor to the sauce.

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Chicken Marsala

Lemon-Garlic Skillet Chicken and Potatoes

For once, water and oil work together to make a magical one-skillet weeknight chicken dinner. Potatoes cook alongside crispy chicken thighs first they boil in water until tender, and then fry into golden nuggets in the remaining oil.

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Lemon-Garlic Skillet Chicken and Potatoes

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Sunny uses quick-cooking chicken tenders and cuts them into bite-size chunks for her easy, satisfying pot pie.

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Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Skillet Chicken Parmesan with Artichokes

This skillet dinner has everything you could want in just one dish and it’s ready in less than an hour. Win-win.

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Skillet Chicken Parmesan with Artichokes

Peanut Chicken Pasta

Peanuts take center stage in Ree’s easy dish. She tosses the pasta in a peanut butter sauce and chops salted peanuts for a quick and crunchy garnish.

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Peanut Chicken Pasta

Skillet Rosemary Chicken

This hearty meal full of chicken, mushrooms and potatoes gets its rustic flavor from rosemary sprigs and charred lemons.

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Skillet Rosemary Chicken

Chicken Korma

Coconut milk and Madras curry powder are used to give this chicken dish a traditional Indian touch.

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Chicken Korma

Chicken Thighs with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Ina’s trick for crispy, golden brown chicken thighs? Once the meat hit the skillet, don’t move or flip it for 15 minutes. Use that time to prepare a side dish (or pour a glass of wine).

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Chicken Thighs with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Asparagus and Chicken Stir-Fry

Fresh ginger is the key to this stir-fry’s punchy flavor. Serve with rice to really round out the dish.

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Asparagus and Chicken Stir-fry

Oven Fried Coconut Chicken with Mango Dipping Sauce

Cooking with kids? They’ll love Jeff’s oven-fried chicken tenders, which he prepares coats with a mixture of coconut flour, whole wheat panko crumbs and shredded unsweetened coconut.

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Oven Fried Coconut Chicken with Mango Dipping Sauce

Barbecue Chicken and Brussels Sprout Sheet Pan Dinner

This simple dinner of barbecue-glazed chicken, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes is assembled and cooked on just one sheet pan, making it an ideal weeknight meal.

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Barbecue Chicken and Brussels Sprout Sheet Pan Dinner

Chicken Meatball Casserole

Katie’s meatballs have a secret — they’re held together with nutrient-rich pumpkin! Kids won’t even notice since they’re tucked into a gooey baked pasta and topped with grated Parmesan.

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Chicken Meatball Casserole

Chicken Spaghetti

With spaghetti and mushroom sauce, and light and dark meat chicken with bell peppers, Ree’s casserole is like two meals in one. Cooking the spaghetti in the same liquid as the chicken infuses it with flavor, and the Cheddar thickens the sauce so it coats each piece of meat.

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Chicken Spaghetti

Nopales-Stuffed Chicken

Cactus pads, or nopales, have been consumed for generations. Studies suggest that nopales may control blood sugar levels in some people. I think they have a flavor similar to green beans. They are available at most Latin markets and come cleaned to make it much easier to prepare at home.

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Nopales-Stuffed Chicken

Chicken Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Alex says, “’How do I make chicken interesting?” is a question people often ask me. Here’s your answer. I love making a double batch of this sauce and keeping it in the door of the fridge for a day when I need something tasty in a pinch. Don’t like spice? Simply omit the hot sauce and the red pepper flakes. You can also sub thinly sliced lean beef for the chicken or just make it a stir-fry with all vegetables…’”

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Chicken Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Skillet-Roasted Chicken & Potatoes

Ina’s chicken dinner is as simple (and delicious!) as it gets. She roasts chicken and potatoes in the same skillet for tons of flavor and easy cleanup.

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Skillet-Roasted Chicken & Potatoes

Sunny’s Easy Butter Chicken

Sunny says, “Butter Chicken is the commonly used name for the original Punjabi dish murgh makhani. I’m putting my spin on it to save time by using frozen prepared garlic and ginger pods from the supermarket.”

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Sunny’s Easy Butter Chicken

Chicken Marsala

Jeff’s five-star meal tastes just like it came from an Italian restaurant. Plus, it’s easy!

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Chicken Marsala

Pan-Seared Chicken with Pear Slaw

Alex says, “Pears are always underripe, and I actually welcome that for this recipe. The ‘green’ taste of pears reinforces the savory aspect of this fruit-based slaw. A weeknight chicken recipe becomes more exciting with some of this slaw parked next to it.”

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Pan-Seared Chicken with Pear Slaw