It doesn’t get much better than this simple, (BEST) healthy grilled chicken! All you need is a few pantry staples, a quick marinade and a few minutes over the grill for to cook up this dish any day of the week!
I often go back and forth between simple meals and really simple meals. Having three little kids means I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen each night, but you all know my food has to taste good, and that I don’t want to eat the same thing night after night. With all that in mind, I like to create new dishes using ingredients that everyone is familiar with but put together in a different way so as to create something new — and tasty!
Adding to that is knowing that one of the most-requested recipes I get from my lovely readers is for easy chicken ideas. Everyone wants simple chicken dinners and it’s not hard to see why. Chicken is easy to find, budget-friendly, loved by most, and takes on the flavors of just about anything you can throw at it. The beauty of this simple and satisfying recipe is that you can make it and eat it for days in many different ways. It’s so versatile and so easy to cook up in pinch, you’ll wonder where this recipe has been all your life — really.
HOW CAN I SERVE GRILLED CHICKEN?
This chicken is so good and you can eat it with just about anything. Before I go into the ways I like to devour this chicken, though, I want to mention that you’re probably going to want to go ahead and double this recipe right off the bat. If you can’t eat it all within a few days, you can always freeze it.
- Eat this chicken with a side of just about any veggie or grain/carb combo and you’re dinner is set!
- Cut up a breast in strips or cubes and add it as a healthy protein to your favorite salad for a quick, packable lunch.
- Quesadillas! Dice or slice your chicken any which way and sandwich it between two tortillas. Add cheese, jalapenos, pickled onions, cilantro, black olives, or any ingredients your little heart desires. Cook up on both sides until the tortilla gets a little brown and crispy and cut with a pizza cutter.
- Tacos! The same goes for tacos as for quesadillas (or burritos or whatever kind of Mexican tortilla-chicken combo you want). Grab a tortilla and start stacking in that chicken and your favorite toppings. Look here for more ideas.
- Layer the chicken (cut or shredded) to the top of a store-bought pizza crust. Make an Italian chicken pizza with some fresh sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and basil. Viola!
- Take the ingredients for a pizza and instead make a Caprese sandwich. A hoagy roll or other nice, crusty roll will do. Slice it in half and layer in all the yummy goodness. Try this with any sandwich combo you’d enjoy.
Grain bowls are all the rage, and so easy to put together. Start with a grain base and layer in that chicken, plus other healthy toppings like lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, beans, and cheese. Top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
HOW CAN I USE LEFTOVER GRILLED CHICKEN?
Basically everything I listed for ways to serve the chicken will work with leftover chicken as well. The only difference is that a) I’d pay attention to how old the chicken is and b) I’d watch when you reheat it.
According to the USDA cooked chicken will keep in the fridge about three to four days. After that, it has to go.
When you reheat chicken, you should either cut it into smaller pieces before microwaving (to make the cooking time faster so it doesn’t dry out as quickly) or you can microwave it with a wet paper towel over the top to keep it moist while it cooks. You can also eat cooked chicken cold — there’s no shame in that and I’ve done it many a time!
HOW DO YOU FREEZE LEFTOVER COOKED CHICKEN?
If you aren’t going to eat the leftover cooked chicken right away, go ahead and freeze it. Make sure it’s cooled at least to room temperature before freezing, or refrigerate it first. Once it’s cooled, you can put it in an airtight container or baggie and seal it shut, with as little air in it as possible.
For defrosting, pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge before reheating.
WHAT ARE SOME SIDES THAT GO WITH GRILLED CHICKEN?
Sometimes I like to make up a mess of biscuits and eat them alongside the chicken or make biscuit-chicken sandwiches. And finally, if you’re looking for something a little sweet, this Berry Cheesecake Salad will hit the spot.
Best Healthy Grilled Chicken
boneless skinless chicken breasts
feel free to sub chicken thighs
Italian blend herbs or herbs de provence
pinch of red pepper flakes
Stir together oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, dried herbs and red pepper flakes.
Pour into a large ziploc bag along with the chicken, press the excess air out of the bag, seal, and chill for 30 minutes.
Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a preheated grill or grill pan on the stove. Discard marinade. Cook chicken for 6-10 minutes on each side (depending on thickness) over medium heat until cooked through ( juices should run clear when you cut into the thickest part of the chicken). Serve immediately.