Quick & Easy Chicken Breast Recipes

by Marion - Budget Bytes
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Oh, chicken breast, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! They’re good served hot or cold. You can poach, saute, bake, or fry them. Best of all, their mild flavor and versatility make them the perfect vehicle for all sorts of flavor combinations and ingredients. Whether you’re craving a hearty salad for lunch, a saucy stovetop dinner, an oven-baked family dinner, or a delicious, indulgent one-pot dish — you can count on the humble chicken breast to be the absolute star in your weekly meal plan! And with this roundup of Quick & Easy Chicken Breast Recipes, you will never tire of them. 

A collage of chicken breast recipes, from top left to right: one-pot chicken teriyaki and rice, one-pot cajun chicken pasta, pesto chicken and vegetables, creamy pesto chicken, bbq cheddar baked chicken, and easy lemon pepper chicken.

Like chicken thighs better? Check out our round-up of Cheap and Easy Chicken Thigh Recipes.

Easy CHICKEN SALADS

Boneless, skinless chicken breast is one of the best, budget-friendly sources of protein available at the supermarket. And since chicken breasts are great served hot or cold, they’re a meal prep mainstay! Picking up a store-bought rotisserie chicken is a simple, time-saving way to eat a meal without spending all night at the stove. Here are three classic chicken salad recipes that transform chicken into a satisfying meal in just 15 minutes: 

Chicken Salad with Apples

Side view of a bowl of chicken salad with apples, croissants in the background
This chicken salad is packed with sweet and crunchy apples, tart dried cranberries, and a light and creamy homemade dressing.
4.87 from 22 votes
$10.35 recipe / $2.59 serving Get the Recipe

This Chicken Salad with Apples and cranberries is such a classic way to serve chicken. It makes a perfect lunch, or light and easy dinner. It’s easy to prepare, super filling, and the perfect cold meal. It’s full of different textures and flavors, and is easy to switch up depending on your taste!

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad

Close up side view of a bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad
This chunky chopped Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad is a great fresh salad that can be eaten on its own or turned into several different easy lunch ideas!
4.90 from 29 votes
$4.84 recipe / $1.61 serving Get the Recipe

Broccoli is a lot like chicken breast. It’s filling, versatile, and can be prepared and served in so many ways! Next time you have some fresh broccoli on hand, you’ve got to try out this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad! It’s so good, you’ll be singing broccoli’s praises as you devour every last bite. 

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

dressing being poured over kale and chicken salad
This Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad is full of flavor, texture, and a tangy-sweet homemade dressing. It's perfect for your weekly meal prep!
4.95 from 20 votes
$6.19 recipe / $1.55 serving Get the Recipe

Kale is super yummy on its own, but pairing it with a ton of other flavors and ingredients as we do in this Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad is a great way to turn it into a satisfying meal! That being said, if you’re not a fan of kale, you can swap it with whatever crunchy green you like best. This recipe also includes a wonderfully easy honey mustard vinaigrette that will amp up the flavor of almost any salad in your arsenal. 

Easy SKILLET and BAKED CHICKEN recipes

Cooking chicken breast on the stovetop or in the oven is an excellent way to get dinner on the table in around 30 minutes. They thaw and cook quickly. And since almost everything is good with chicken, it’s the easiest choice to pair with whatever other ingredients you have on hand. Check out these easy chicken dinners to shake up your weekly meal plan: 

Creamy Pesto Chicken

Overhead view of a skillet full of creamy pesto chicken.
Creamy pesto chicken is a fast, easy, and impressive main dish for dinner, whether you just want to treat yourself or impress guests!
4.93 from 95 votes
$10.70 recipe / $2.68 serving Get the Recipe

You can put pesto on just about anything, but it is particularly delicious with chicken breast! This Creamy Pesto Chicken has a super lush, decadent sauce, and you won’t want to waste a single drop! Make sure to serve it with garlic bread, or spoon it over pasta or rice to soak it all up.

Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

Easy pesto chicken and vegetables in a skillet with a spatula
This Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables meal prep is super fast and easy, and holds up well in the fridge for tasty lunches all week!
4.80 from 25 votes
$11.07 recipe / $2.77 serving Get the Recipe

Pesto is a super versatile ingredient and makes a great sauce for more than just pasta! So add a dollop to your next stir fry! This Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables is a lighter dish, but is absolutely bursting with flavor. Since the variety of vegetables you can add to this recipe is nearly endless, it’s the perfect way to clean out the fridge!

Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken

Overhead view of lemon pepper chicken in the skillet with lemon slices
These Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts are so tender and juicy, and you'll want to spoon that delicious pan sauce over EVERYTHING. 
5 from 55 votes
$7.58 recipe / $1.90 serving Get the Recipe

The best way to keep chicken breast feeling fresh in your dinner rotation is to pair it with punchy ingredients, like lemon, to really make it shine. The best part about this Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken? There’s no need for fresh lemons! Instead, we use budget-friendly alternatives that are easier to always have on hand.

BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken

BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken on a plate with potato salad and bean salad, a fork grabbing a slice of chicken
Forget boring or bland baked chicken breasts, this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken is going to be the star of your dinner plate.
5 from 12 votes
$8.89 recipe / $2.22 serving Get the Recipe

Want to talk about an iconic chicken dinner recipe? It’s this BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken. There’s absolutely no better, easier way to serve up chicken breast baked in the oven than smothering it in your favorite barbeque sauce and cheddar cheese. Sending it on a trip to the oven ensures it gets sticky, caramelized, and decadent.

ONE-POT chicken recipes

Cooking one-pot meals is “like riding a bike.” Once you learn how to make them, they really are that easy. Here are a few of our most popular one-pot recipes with chicken breast: 

One Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

One Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta in the pan.
Cook a complete dinner in one pot with this Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta, using mostly pantry-stable items. Perfect for busy weeknights! 
4.68 from 349 votes
$9.41 recipe / $2.35 serving Get the Recipe

If there was a Budget Bytes Recipe Hall of Fame, this One-Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta would absolutely be one of them! This fantastic recipe unites our foolproof one-pot methods with classic Cajun spices. The heat level of this dish is very moderate, so it’s approachable for everyone, but feel free to kick it up a notch if that’s what you like! 

One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

Close up of one pot creamy pesto chicken pasta in a shallow bowl with a black fork.
This super lush and Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is perfect for busy weeknights. Everything cooks in one pot and is done in under 30 minutes! 
4.84 from 192 votes
$10.41 recipe / $2.60 serving Get the Recipe

One of our go-to ways to cook chicken breast is simmering it in a creamy, decadent pesto sauce. Add whatever veggies we have on hand to round it out into a full meal. Since serving it with pasta is an obvious choice, we might as well cook it in one pot! While this One-Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta won’t do the dishes for you, but it really helps!

One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

Close up of One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice in the skillet.
This One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice is an easy and satisfying meal that the whole family will love. It also meal preps well for lunches all week! 
4.32 from 50 votes
$6.26 recipe / $1.57 serving Get the Recipe

This Asian-inspired One-Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice is packed with veggies but requires very little chopping. The leftovers are also amazing, which makes it an easy choice for meal prep. Don’t be deterred if you’re a rice-cooking novice, you can always prepare the rice in a separate pot! 


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  1. I have received your recipes for several years now and I do enjoy them. However my family, my daughters’ families, all my 9 grandchildren, none of them like to eat chicken. They will eat fish, beef, porc, beans and veggies but no chicken. You show a high percentage of chicken recipes and I try to change them, and I know some of my friends do too, but I wish you had a bit less of chicken recipes and more a variety of other ingredients.

    1. Totally understand! We lean on chicken because it’s a super budget-friendly and popular ingredient. We also have a ton of other recipes that use all the ingredients you mentioned. Our recipe catalog is easily searchable and can be narrowed to just fish recipes, just beef recipes, etc. In the Recipe Catalog, you can use the filters on the left side of the screen under the category “By Protein” or select the meat from the Ingredient Index. ~ Marion :)

      https://www.budgetbytes.com/recipe-catalog/
      https://www.budgetbytes.com/recipes/#recipes-by-ingredient