Article taken from Team Beachbody Blog
We will refrain from the cheesy “winner, winner chicken dinner” reference (or… oops), but seriously: You will win at healthy meal prep when you make any or all of these chicken recipes.
If you need some convincing, flip your thinking about lean chicken breasts as boring, bland, and dry, and consider them high-protein vessels that allow the other flavors of a dish to shine. If you use the right ingredients, you can transform poultry into something you might even start craving.
These boats are a healthier spin on chicken burritos, swapping in nutritious zucchini for flour tortillas. A typical flour tortilla contains 25 grams of carbohydrates, 458 milligrams of sodium, and not much else. One zucchini contains 10 grams of carbs, 26 milligrams of sodium, as well as vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Using zucchini as the vessel is also convenient way to watch your portions without having to think too hard: 1 boat = 1 serving.
In this flavor-rich dish, colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and green beans soak in a tart marinade; chicken sausage adds a boost of protein. Just make sure to use an all-natural chicken sausage to avoid preservatives and keep the sodium low.
The best part? No “Top Chef” skills needed here — chop, marinate, and cook. That’s it. And if you don’t want to broil it (and yourself) in a hot kitchen, you can throw it all on a sheet pan and cook it on the grill — no muss, no fuss.
Under 300 calories? Try this zippy, moist chicken that’s under 200 calories. Granted, this only includes the chicken and not any sides, but you can top a salad or a bowl of zoodles with this light and lovely protein. The sweet and savory flavors of the marinade — you get a fresh, acidic bite from lemon juice, savory complexity from Worcestershire sauce, and a touch of sweet from raw honey — make it unnecessary to dress accompanying vegetables with much more than a bit of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil.
This craveable chili recipe is lighter than traditional chili, and not just in color. It features creamy white beans and tender chunks of chicken in a flavorful broth, and hints at the fresh flavors of spring with juicy red bell peppers and aromatic cilantro. It’s lightly spiced with cumin and chili powder and mild, roasted green chilies. Instead of high-calorie cheese, this Chicken and White Bean Chili is topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
If you’re bored by grilled or rotisserie chicken, this Moroccan-spiced chicken can help break up the monotony. Redolent of tagine, a spiced, sweet, and savory stew cooked in a dish with a conical lid, this baked chicken uses seven spices plus fresh garlic, ginger, and preserved lemon (if you don’t feel like being fancy, sub strips of lemon peel without the pith) to pack tons of flavor. At just over 200 calories per serving, you can afford to serve this chicken with fluffed whole-wheat couscous with any juice from the chicken pan spooned on top.
Most Cajun dishes start with the trinity, a mix of onions, celery, and bell pepper, and with a roux, a mix of fat (usually butter) and flour cooked until bronzed and nutty. When mixed with spices and various meats, you get the spicy, savory, satisfying dishes that make this cuisine famous. Our lightened version uses arrowroot — genius, right? — to thicken this veggie-packed chicken gumbo.
Bored with the same old baked chicken breasts? This recipe adds a citrus zing that gives white meat tons of flavor, while keeping it succulent and tender. Chicken breasts are topped with orange slices, basted with orange juice, and baked with hearty, inexpensive staples like carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes, which also take on the bright citrus flavor. It’s a crowd pleaser, and kids will love it!
We know how it is: You got home from work late, you’re starving, and are thisclose to ordering delivery, buuut… you have those chicken breasts in the fridge. Before you submit to the lure of pizza or greasy Chinese, reconsider that chicken. With only a few pantry items, this Grilled Chicken Dijon can be ready to eat in just 15 minutes — and there’s no way that delivery can beat that. Serve the chicken alongside a simple salad, or steamed veggies, and microwaved brown rice (many grocery stores sell precooked rice in the freezer aisle), and you’ll have a quick, healthy, simple meal you can feel good about eating.
This light yet hearty one-pot meal adds a Mediterranean flair to lean chicken breasts. Packed with colorful veggies, such as eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes, the water from the veggies and the sauce from the can of whole tomatoes keeps the chicken moist and tender. Because the recipe calls for dried basil and fresh parsley (you can leave it out if you don’t have it), you can make this dish in the dead of winter and still enjoy the sunny flavors of Italy.
It looks like fried rice, it tastes like fried rice, but this simple dish is a lot healthier than fried rice. By swapping out rice and replacing it with cauliflower, you cut calories and carbs, and sneak more veggies into the meal. Ground chicken gives it a boost of protein. You could also skip the ground chicken and stir in leftover cooked chicken breast instead.
This recipe has a slightly more Thai flavor than Chinese, thanks to the coconut oil and coconut aminos used. Made from coconut sap, coconut aminos resemble a light soy sauce, and add salty, slightly sweet, and umami flavor to dishes without soy or gluten.
Jonesin’ for pesto pasta, but don’t want to splurge on the carbs and calories? This zoodles recipe flavors the vibrant yellow and green zucchini noodles with a touch of pesto, but doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down. Best of all, zoodles don’t get soggy like cooked pasta noodles can, so you can make a double or triple batch and save them for lunches or dinners later in the week. Top the zoodles with cooked chicken breast, and you have a balanced, high-protein meal.
Part mason jar salad, part burrito bowl, this Chicken and Black Bean Burrito Salad combines contrasting textures —you get crisp freshness from lettuce, radishes, and jicama, and soft, savory flavor from black beans, cheddar cheese, and rotisserie chicken. Even though this salad is brimming with colorful ingredients, and it is as lovely to look at as it is to eat, the dressing is the real star. The recipe calls for fresh lime juice, cilantro, a whole seeded jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro… and it will knock your socks off.
Ideal as a meal (an hour or so after your post-workout protein drink, of course) after a tough workout that tested your endurance, this Peanut Chicken with Soba Noodles provides a balance of protein and carbs that’s a satisfying mix of sweet, salty, and savory. Use buckwheat noodles, as suggested in the recipe, instead of plain pasta for an extra fiber boost.