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.

Related: Picky Eaters? Try These 10 Easy 20 Minute Meals
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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 with instructions from the blog Self Proclaimed Foodie.
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CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD

A low-carb recipe from Cooking Light 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.
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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 in a recipe from food blog Natasha’s Kitchen -- 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.

Related: 11 Ways to Get the Most Out of Cheap Cuts of Meat

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THAI CHICKEN CURRY

A simple slow cooker recipe from the blog The Endless Meal 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.
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GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN AND POTATOES

Cooks can use bone-in or boneless chicken for a crowd-pleasing recipe from the blog Damn Delicious, 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.
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CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

The base of the sauce in this Indian restaurant favorite is made from household staples like tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic, and onion. The only specialty ingredient is garam masala, which is easily found at most grocery stores. Real Simple uses a slow cooker to make this inexpensive classic.
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CHICKEN COBB SALAD

While a traditional Cobb salad depends on expensive ingredients like avocado and bacon, emphasizing larger portions of cheaper ingredients like chicken, eggs, and greens should offset the price. A version from Cooking Light calls for chicken cut into bite-size pieces, so it’s possible to use leftover cooked chicken, too.
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SPICY CHICKEN LEGS

The butter and hot sauce used to season spicy chicken legs in a recipe posted on AllRecipes 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 the oven or under the broiler helps crisp up the skin.
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MANGO CHICKEN TINGA

Try a recipe for mango chicken tinga from Midwest Living over rice, or use it 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 also less expensive than boneless chicken.
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SWEET AND SPICY CHICKEN

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

Making this hearty and comforting Southwestern staple is an easy, three-step process with a recipe from Country Living that 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.
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CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

This comforting classic requires only a few steps. The simplicity of a recipe posted on Food.com 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.
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WHOLE CHICKEN IN A SLOW COOKER

The prep for slow-cooking a whole chicken with a recipe from the blog The Little Kitchen 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.

Related: Quick, to the Slow Cooker! 11 Cheap and Healthy Recipes
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AFRICAN-STYLE BRAISED CHICKEN IN PEANUT SAUCE

A recipe posted on Food.com makes African flavors easy, with the slow cooker mimicking 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.
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WHOLE ROAST CHICKEN

Basic ingredients like salt, herbs, garlic, and butter make a supremely juicy bird with instructions from the blog Simply Recipes, 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.
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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 Bakers Royale also uses a slow cooker to make it easier.
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HERB AND LEMON ROASTED CHICKEN

A versatile and basic recipe from Food & Wine 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.
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CHICKEN PAILLARD

This crispy chicken breast dish from Bon Appétit 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.
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CHICKEN AND RICE

Chicken and rice can be made in virtually infinite ways, but a dish from Delish distinguishes itself with basil, broccoli, and shredded Parmesan. The broccoli pesto adds an unexpected dimension of flavor and nutrition.
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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 Food Network chef Bobby Flay is pan frying the chicken before layering it with cheese and marinara, but it’s well worth the effort.
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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 recurring staple, getting comfortable with a good fried chicken recipe like one from Bon Appétit is handy for special occasions.
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BAKED CHICKEN WINGS

Baking wings on high heat in the oven, as a Bon Appétit recipe suggests, 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.
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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. Cook’s Illustrated suggests simmering the chicken in the sauce for 10 minutes before serving for maximum flavor.
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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 Damn Delicious suggests searing the chicken thighs in a pan for extra crispness, although they will still be tasty if this step is skipped.
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MEDITERRANEAN SKILLET CHICKEN

Mediterranean flavors like olives, fresh veggies, and herbs are trendy, healthy, and inexpensive. Combined with chicken on the stove top, these ingredients become a quick and easy low-carb meal when combined in a recipe from the blog 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, a recipe posted on Food.com can become a go-to party favorite.
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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. A Food Network recipe can be customized with different spices and flavors, too.

Related: 10 Cheap, Healthy Alternatives to Red and Processed Meat
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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. A recipe from the blog Gimme Some Oven uses a brining technique for extra flavor, along with a few other basic tips.
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KUNG PAO CHICKEN

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

Related: 21 Takeout Meals Made Cheaper at Home
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CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI

A one-skillet recipe from the blog Dinner at the Zoo 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.
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CHICKEN ROLLATINI

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

Packing eggrolls with the lean protein from chicken makes them a filling addition to any meal or a tasty appetizer. A recipe from the blog Just a Taste uses aromatics like garlic and sesame oil for extra flavor.
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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. A dip from Taste of Home works with everything from celery and carrots to toast and tortilla chips.
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CHICKEN SOUP

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

Made from inexpensive chicken thighs, a chicken burrito recipe from chef Jamie Oliver is a filling and surprisingly healthy meal. This protein-packed burrito also gives home chefs another way to use leftover rice.
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CHICKEN QUESADILLA

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

Chicken shawarma can be found at inexpensive street food carts, but making it at home with a recipe from The New York Times lowers the cost even more. Although shawarma is usually made on a rotisserie, baking creates a juicy and tender version.
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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. A recipe from the blog The Recipe Critic calls for frozen veggies, which are another cheap way to add fiber and nutrients.
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SPICY ORANGE CHICKEN STIR-FRY

Bon Appétit’s riff on a Chinese takeout favorite is made from common ingredients like orange juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Because the chicken is sautéed rather than fried, this recipe is healthier than its restaurant counterpart.
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CHEESY CHICKEN PASTA BAKE

A rich and creamy baked pasta dish from the blog Plain Chicken 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.
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CHICKEN GUMBO

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

A mixture of yogurt and spices infuses savory chicken kebabs with maximum flavor and tenderness. While a recipe from the blog Once Upon a Chef isn’t complicated, remember that the chicken needs to be marinated overnight.
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CHICKEN POT PIE

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

A Martha Stewart 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.
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OVEN BARBECUE CHICKEN

An oven-baked barbecue chicken recipe from The Pioneer Woman is a convenient alternative to grilling during the winter months. Using thighs keeps this dish juicy, flavorful, and inexpensive. Bonus savings for using homemade barbecue sauce.
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CHICKEN FOIL PACK

A simple one-dish meal from Delish wraps 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.
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CHIPOTLE CHICKEN FAJITAS

Chicken breasts and vegetables seasoned with spicy chipotle chilis in a Country Living recipe create a piquant and flavorful Mexican-inspired meal. Other chicken parts like thighs and legs can be substituted for extra savings.
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GRILLED CHICKEN AND SQUASH KEBOBS

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

A creamy, decadent dish that relies on mushrooms for flavor, chicken tetrazzini can be time-intensive but is worth the effort. A recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen suggests the time-saving step of using rotisserie chicken.
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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. MyRecipes suggests using drumsticks, but any dark meat works well. If serving the whole family, consider skipping the spicier ingredients.