50 Chicken Recipes That Won't Break the Bank

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FORGET BORING CHICKEN

Love chicken but tired of the same old recipes? We’ve gathered some of the cheapest, most convenient, and tastiest chicken recipes that can be made with a slow cooker, in the oven, or on the stove. There’s enough variety in these 50 dishes to incorporate chicken into meals every week and still keep the entire family happy.

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CHICKEN ENCHILADA STACK

Smothering hearty chicken in chili sauce and cheese and wrapping it in tortillas is a Tex-Mex staple. By layering the ingredients rather than wrapping them, you can complete the entire process in a slow cooker.

Recipe: Self Proclaimed Foodie

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD

A low-carb recipe from is full of flavor, thanks to a rich Caesar dressing, and full of protein from lean chicken breasts. Rotisserie chicken is a convenient option, although using a home-cooked chicken is cheaper.

Recipe: Cooking Light

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

PULLED BARBECUE CHICKEN

This barbecue chicken dish is an inexpensive way to deliver satisfying party food for a crowd. A slow cooker does all the work -- just add the ingredients, press a button, and wait. While this recipe calls for breasts, thighs work just as well, cost less, and add more flavor.

Recipe: Natasha’s Kitchen

Photo credit: naito29/shutterstock

THAI CHICKEN CURRY

A simple slow cooker recipe from the blog makes enough to feed a large family for the same cost as one portion from a Thai restaurant. The instructions call for adding kale midway through the cooking, but leaving it out is fine, too.

Recipe: The Endless Meal

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GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN AND POTATOES

Cooks can use bone-in or boneless chicken for this crowd-pleasing recipe, but it’s important that the pieces still have their skin.The additional step of searing the chicken, skin side down, in a stovetop pan before cooking develops a deeper flavor.

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Photo credit: clicksahead/shutterstock

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

The base of the sauce in this Indian restaurant favorite is made from household staples such as tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic, and onion. The only specialty ingredient is garam masala, which is easily found at most grocery stores. A slow cooker is used to make this inexpensive classic.

Recipe: Real Simple

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

CHICKEN COBB SALAD

While a traditional Cobb salad depends on expensive ingredients such as avocado and bacon, emphasizing larger portions of cheaper ingredients such as chicken, eggs, and greens should offset the price. For the bite-size chicken pieces, it’s possible to use leftovers.

Recipe: Cooking Light

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SPICY CHICKEN LEGS

The butter and hot sauce used to season these spicy chicken legs is the same base used for a traditional hot wing sauce. Because the chicken is braised, the texture is tender rather than crisp, although finishing the legs in an oven or under the broiler helps crisp up the skin.

Recipe: AllRecipes

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MANGO CHICKEN TINGA

Try mango chicken tinga over rice, or as a filling for tacos or burritos. Use bone-in chicken for extra flavor and remove the bones before serving. In addition to making a richer sauce, bone-in cuts are less expensive than boneless chicken.

Recipe: Midwest Living

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SWEET AND SPICY CHICKEN

Adjust the heat level of a sweet-hot recipe by using a spicier or milder chili sauce. Serve over rice, toss with noodles, or create a fusion-style sandwich with pickled vegetables.

Recipe: Slender Kitchen

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CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

Making this hearty and comforting Southwestern staple is an easy, three-step process, and makes use of inexpensive bone-in chicken thighs. Feel free to get creative with the toppings or offer a toppings bar so everyone can customize their own.

Recipe: Country Living

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CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

This comforting classic requires only a few steps. The simplicity of the recipe brings homemade chicken soup within reach for every level of cook. This is a good option when you need a healing meal but don’t have much energy to prepare one.

Recipe: Food.com

Photo credit: Liv friis-larsen/shutterstock

WHOLE CHICKEN IN A SLOW COOKER

The prep for slow-cooking a whole chicken is exactly the same as roasting. After the bird is washed, seasoned, and trussed, it cooks atop a bed of veggies. Finishing it in the broiler crisps the skin.

Recipe: The Little Kitchen

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AFRICAN-STYLE BRAISED CHICKEN IN PEANUT SAUCE

African flavors become easier by letting the slow cooker mimic the hours-long slow simmer that this dish would otherwise require. The combination of warm spices and curry powder with creamy peanut butter and chicken is worth the wait.

Recipe: Food.com

Photo credit: AS Food studio /shutterstock

WHOLE ROAST CHICKEN

Basic ingredients such as salt, herbs, garlic, and butter make a supremely juicy bird with instructions adapted from a Thomas Keller cookbook. The key is starting with a room-temperature bird, so don't forget to take it out of the fridge in advance.

Recipe: Simply Recipes

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

JERK CHICKEN

Jerk chicken has a reputation for being difficult to make, likely because of the vast array of spices needed for an authentic-tasting dish. But it uses aromatics as common as garlic, allspice, ginger, scallions, thyme, cardamom, and habanero chilis. A version from the blog also uses a slow cooker to make it easier.

Recipe: Bakers Royale

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

HERB AND LEMON ROASTED CHICKEN

This versatile and basic recipe combines fragrant herbs and tart lemons to infuse the bird with subtle flavor. Combine this with any side dish and a bottle of wine for an elegant meal.

Recipe: Food & Wine

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CHICKEN PAILLARD

This crispy chicken breast dish from is made from boneless, skin-on pieces, which usually involves de-boning at home. Crisping the flour-dusted skin is key to achieving the dish’s characteristic texture and is worth the extra step.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

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CHICKEN AND RICE

Chicken and rice can be made in virtually infinite ways, but this dish distinguishes itself with basil, broccoli, and shredded Parmesan. The broccoli pesto adds an unexpected dimension of flavor and nutrition. 

Recipe: Delish

Photo credit: AS Food studio/shutterstock

CHICKEN PARMIGIANA

Try this as a stand-alone entree, a sandwich filling, or even a pizza topping. The most laborious step in a recipe by chef Bobby Flay is pan-frying the chicken before layering it with cheese and marinara, but it’s well worth the effort.

Recipe: Food Network

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FRIED CHICKEN

There are countless fried chicken recipes, from Nashville hot to extra-crunchy Korean-style. While it may not be a staple, getting comfortable with a good fried chicken recipe is handy for special occasions.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

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BAKED CHICKEN WINGS

Baking wings on high heat in the oven yields a naturally crisp exterior, thanks to the high fat content of the chicken skin. Once cooked through and crisped, the wings can be tossed in a variety of different sauces, including traditional Buffalo.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

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CHICKEN TACOS

This recipe makes a spicy chicken mixture to fill tortillas, although simple shredded rotisserie chicken would also work in a pinch. Try simmering the chicken in the sauce for 10 minutes before serving for maximum flavor.

Recipe: Cook’s Illustrated

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HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN THIGHS

The sweet and hot flavor of honey mustard is the highlight of this easy dish. The cooking method suggested in a recipe on the blog suggests searing the chicken thighs in a pan for extra crispness, although they will still be tasty if this step is skipped

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Photo credit: hlphoto/shutterstock

MEDITERRANEAN SKILLET CHICKEN

Mediterranean flavors such as olives, fresh veggies, and herbs are trendy, healthy, and inexpensive. Combined with chicken on the stovetop, these ingredients become a quick and easy low-carb meal when combined.

Recipe: 12 Tomatoes

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CHICKEN FINGERS

Baking chicken fingers at home is cheaper, healthier, and more nutritious than ordering the fried, drive-thru version. Simple to prepare, this recipe can become a go-to party favorite.

Recipe: Food.com

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CHICKEN BURGERS

Chicken is often less expensive than beef and lower in fat content, making it a sensible choice for burgers. Customize it with different spices and flavors.

Recipe: Food Network

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BAKED CHICKEN BREASTS

So many recipes call for cooked chicken breast that it’s important to know how to make white meat stay juicy and tasty every time. This recipe uses a brining technique for extra flavor, along with a few other basic tips.

Recipe: Gimme Some Oven

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

KUNG PAO CHICKEN

A basic kung pao chicken recipe will revolutionize your approach to Chinese-inspired dishes. It's so easy to make and customize to a family’s preferences that picking up takeout might lose its allure.

Recipe: Penney Lane

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CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI

This one-skillet recipe is so quick and easy it can be made in less time than it would take to get it delivered from the closest Chinese restaurant. The combination of chicken and broccoli is kicked up a notch with a tangy sauce.

Recipe: Dinner at the Zoo

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CHICKEN ROLLATINI

Chicken rollatini is chicken cutlet stuffed with anything from spinach to prosciutto and rolled into a tidy package. This recipe combines zucchini and mozzarella for a vegetable-forward dish.

Recipe: Skinny Taste

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

CHICKEN EGGROLLS

Packing eggrolls with the lean protein from chicken makes them a filling addition to any meal or a tasty appetizer. This recipe uses aromatics such as garlic and sesame oil for extra flavor.

Recipe: Just a Taste

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BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

The buttery and spicy flavors of Buffalo chicken have been turned into countless dishes, from classic wings to pizza and pasta bakes. This dip works with everything from celery and carrots to toast and tortilla chips.

Recipe: Taste of Home

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CHICKEN SOUP

Good for the soul and the body, classic chicken soup is a delicious and comforting meal. This easy-to-follow recipe starts with a whole chicken, which is the cheapest way to make this soup.

Recipe: Real Simple

Photo credit: gkrphoto/shutterstock

CHICKEN BURRITO

Made from inexpensive chicken thighs, this chicken burrito recipe makes a filling and surprisingly healthy meal. This protein-packed burrito also gives home chefs another way to use leftover rice.

Recipe: Jamie Oliver

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CHICKEN QUESADILLA

This simple dish is a fast way to get a family-pleasing dinner on the table. This bare-bones recipe leaves room for creative additions that can include almost anything in the fridge, from bacon to roasted veggies.

Recipe: Chowhound

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CHICKEN SHAWARMA

Chicken shawarma can be found at inexpensive street food carts, but making it at home with lowers the cost even more. Although shawarma is usually made on a rotisserie, baking creates a juicy and tender version.

Recipe: The New York Times

Photo credit: Warren Price Photography/shutterstock

CHICKEN FRIED RICE

Using leftover rice and vegetables to make a batch of fried rice is a clever way to create a dish out of on-hand ingredients, and adding chicken makes it a complete meal. This recipe calls for frozen veggies, another cheap way to add fiber and nutrients.

Recipe: The Recipe Critic

Photo credit: AS Food studio/shutterstock

SPICY ORANGE CHICKEN STIR-FRY

This riff on a Chinese takeout favorite is made from common ingredients such as orange juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Because the chicken is sautéed rather than fried, this recipe is healthier than its restaurant counterpart.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Photo credit: Elena Shashkina/shutterstock

CHEESY CHICKEN PASTA BAKE

This rich and creamy baked pasta dish is like a cross between spinach dip and chicken marinara. Many of the ingredients, including dry pasta and canned tomatoes, are pantry staples, making this a convenient anytime meal.

Recipe: Plain Chicken

Photo credit: MSPhotographic/shutterstock

CHICKEN GUMBO

Gumbo is a hearty, flavorful Cajun stew that can work as a one-pot meal, served with or without rice. This simplified gumbo from freezes well, so make a full batch and freeze the leftovers.

Recipe: BBC Good Food

Photo credit: Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock

CHICKEN KEBABS

A mixture of yogurt and spices infuses savory chicken kebabs with maximum flavor and tenderness. This recipe isn’t complicated, but remember that the chicken needs to be marinated overnight.

Recipe: Once Upon a Chef

Photo credit: MSPhotographic/shutterstock

CHICKEN POT PIE

Turn small amounts of leftover chicken into a full meal with the inexpensive addition of vegetables and pastry dough. This classic chicken pot pie recipe can be made in individual ramekins or two pie plates -- freeze the extra for later.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Photo credit: viennetta/shutterstock

CHICKEN SALAD

This recipe works well with leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken. The meat is mixed with mayonnaise and seasonings to create a versatile and satisfying chicken salad.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

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OVEN BARBECUE CHICKEN

Oven-baked barbecue chicken is a convenient alternative to grilling during winter months. Using thighs keeps this dish juicy, flavorful, and inexpensive. Bonus savings for using homemade barbecue sauce.

Recipe: The Pioneer Woman

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CHICKEN FOIL PACK

For a simple one-dish meal, wrap the contents in a foil pack before placing on a hot grill, making cleanup and preparation effortless. Choose chicken parts, as well as other vegetables, based on what’s already in your fridge.

Recipe: Delish

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN FAJITAS

Use chicken breasts and vegetables seasoned with spicy chipotle chilis in a piquant and flavorful Mexican-inspired meal. Chicken parts such as thighs and legs can be substituted for extra savings.

Recipe: Country Living

Photo credit: The Mogli/shutterstock

GRILLED CHICKEN AND SQUASH KEBOBS

Tired of chicken? Consider letting vegetables share the spotlight. A recipe for grilled chicken and squash kebobs is easy and healthy, too -- it provides 40 percent of the recommended daily dose of potassium.

Recipe: Self

Photo credit: Charles Brutlag/shutterstock

CHICKEN TETRAZZINI

A creamy, decadent dish that relies on mushrooms for flavor, chicken tetrazzini can be time-intensive but is worth the effort. Try the time-saving step of using rotisserie chicken.

Recipe: Natasha’s Kitchen

Photo credit: Jacek Chabraszewski/shutterstock

COFFEE-BRINED DRUMSTICKS

Try something different by marinating chicken in a rich and completely unexpected mixture of coffee, brown sugar, red pepper, and other spices. Try using drumsticks, but any dark meat works well. If serving the whole family, consider skipping the spicier ingredients.

Recipe: MyRecipes