20 Quick Chicken Recipes for Fast Weeknight Meals

They're Ready in a Snap

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

The Spruce/Leah Maroney

Chicken is one of the fastest cooking meats on the planet. But it's easy to overcook chicken breasts, and thighs typically take longer. What to do? Well, follow these recipes! They turn chicken breasts into irresistible feasts, treat chicken thighs so they cook in under 30 minutes, and use lots of different vegetables, herbs, spices, and fruits to make delicious meals in a snap. Once you've mastered a recipe, try tweaking it to your family's preferences. Add more of your favorite ingredients or swap in other seasonings. Remember, in the kitchen, you're in control. Now enjoy!

  • 01 of 20

    Buffalo Chicken Casserole

    Buffalo Chicken Casserole

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Buffalo chicken casserole is an outrageously tasty family meal that will satisfy all your spicy chicken cravings. Loaded with that amazing Buffalo wing flavor you love, plus crispy tater tots, crunchy celery, and shredded pepper Jack cheese, it's insanely easy to whip together with leftover cooked chicken, or a purchased rotisserie bird.

  • 02 of 20

    Instant Pot Whole Chicken

    Instant Pot Whole Chicken

    Diana Rattray

    Who ever thought it would be possible to prepare a perfectly-cooked whole chicken in less than an hour? Pull off this culinary magic trick any day of the week with this essential recipe, and your Instant Pot appliance. Serve with mashed potatoes,and the included five-minute gravy, for weeknight meals or Sunday dinner.

  • 03 of 20

    Jamaican Jerk Chicken

    Jamaican Jerk Chicken

    Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    Jerk means Jamaican barbecue and this easy chicken dinner packs in Caribbean flavor like no other. Use common pantry ingredients to create a sweet-and-spicy marinade for skinless chicken breasts (besides adding flavor, this will keep the meat juicy on the grill). Enjoy them as an entree with rice and veggies or slice and serve in wraps.

  • 04 of 20

    Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

    Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Chicken cordon bleu stuffed with ham and cheese is a beloved dish that traditionally takes a lot of assembly. This clever weeknight chicken pasta recipe cuts down the steps, adding tender noodles right to the pan with breaded chicken breasts, diced ham, and a luscious, creamy sauce, for a one-dish gourmet meal that is ready in well under an hour.

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  • 05 of 20

    Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

    Sheet pan chicken fajitas on the roasting pan and plated in a tortilla

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo

    Sheet pan fajitas are a fantastic way to treat your family to a Northeastern Mexican-inspired feast any night of the week, with minimal cleanup required. Simply load up a single baking sheet with seasoned chicken, onion, and bell peppers, pop into the oven to bake, and serve in warmed flour tortillas, drizzled with the easiest-ever sour cream sauce

  • 06 of 20

    Herbed Dill Pickle Chicken Burgers

    Herbed Dill Pickle Chicken Burgers

    Gareth Morgans/Getty Images

    Transform ground chicken from your fridge or freezer into the juiciest chicken burgers ever. Dill pickles add their fun, tangy flavor to these herb-flecked burgers that make a delicious weeknight dinner, or budget-conscious cookout main. Serve on toasted buns, topped with the included tarragon mayonnaise, for a mouth-watering burger experience.

  • 07 of 20

    Spring Minestrone With Chicken Meatballs

    Spring Minestrone With Chicken Meatballs

    Molly Watson

    When you're craving comfort, this springtime soup with chicken meatballs will warm your soul. With a fragrant, lemongrass-scented broth, easy meatballs, asparagus, and edamame beans, it makes a filling one-bowl meal, and is virtuous enough to enjoy guilt-free.

  • 08 of 20

    Chicken Spaghetti

    Chicken Spaghetti

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

    If you grew up eating chicken spaghetti, you probably crave it weekly. This foolproof 30-minute recipe with only five ingredients (plus water and seasonings) makes it quick and easy to indulge your nostalgic cravings. Serve it with garlic bread, or a green side salad, for a complete family meal.

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  • 09 of 20

    Grilled Bruschetta-Style Chicken

    Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

    Annabelle Breakey/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Not an appetizer but a cookout main, this grilled chicken breast dish bursts with fresh, Italian flavors. Topped with a colorful medley of tomatoes, avocados, garlic, and basil, and drizzled in a lemony vinaigrette with Parmesan cheese, it's the perfect summer dinner to enjoy with a glass of chilled white wine.

  • 10 of 20

    Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

    Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

    Leah Maroney

    Sweet, savory, fruity, and ultra-craveable, this pineapple chicken stir fry deserve a regular spot on your weeknight dinner rotation. It's a complete dinner in one pan that even picky eaters will like, comes together in no time, and leaves you with little cleanup.

  • 11 of 20

    Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

    Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

    The Spruce

    Meaty honey mustard chicken thighs are mild enough for kids, and spicy enough for adults. Serve them over some hot cooked rice, couscous, or pasta for a quick and delicious dinner that is a nice change from plain old chicken breasts.

  • 12 of 20

    Chicken and Pasta With Lemon Pesto

    Chicken and Pasta With Lemon Pesto

    Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    You'll swoon for the bright, herbaceous flavor of this 30-minute creamy chicken pasta that's fancy enough for guests, but fast and easy enough for busy weeknights. Start with store-bought basil pesto, boosting it with a little fresh lemon juice and zest, and lots of heavy cream, to make a heavenly sauce for juicy chicken chunks and tender pasta noodles.

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  • 13 of 20

    Poached Chicken Thighs in Coconut Curry

    Poached Chicken Thighs in Coconut Curry

    Jonathan Lovekin/Getty Images

    In half an hour, you can cook up an ultra-flavorful, creamy chicken curry that tastes like it took all day long to make. Canned coconut milk, and fresh or frozen sweet potato cubes, add plenty of texture, nutrition, and flavor to this budget-friendly dinner that you could easily serve to company.

  • 14 of 20

    Oven-Fried Chicken Drumsticks

    Oven-Fried Chicken Drumsticks

    The Spruce

    Crispy chicken drumsticks without tons of added fat and calories from frying can be yours, with this essential oven-fried chicken recipe that uses a seasoned flour coating, and melted butter, to mimic a fried texture. You won't believe how easy it is to prepare perfectly crunchy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside drummies.

  • 15 of 20

    BBQ Chicken Pizza

    BBQ Chicken Pizza

    Leah Maroney

    Wow your family by whipping up a delicious BBQ chicken pizza like the one made famous by the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant chain. This recipe is a clever way to use up leftover cooked chicken, and couldn't be easier to assemble and bake in 20 minutes, with prepared pizza dough, jarred sauce, and pre-shredded cheese.

  • 16 of 20

    Chicken Enchiladas With Salsa Verde

    Chicken Enchiladas With Salsa Verde

    Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    In less than an hour, you can bake a big dish of chicken enchiladas from Central Mexico for a filling family meal. With only seven ingredients, including jarred salsa verde, and shredded rotisserie chicken, it's an easy, budget-friendly way to get dinner on the table. Freezes well for a make-ahead meal, too.

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  • 17 of 20

    Crunchy Middle Eastern Chicken Salad

    Crunchy Middle Eastern Chicken Salad

    Anita Schecter

    Use leftover chicken to assemble this summery main dish chicken salad with a symphony of Middle Eastern flavors. Shredded carrots, almonds, fresh cilantro, and za'atar seasoning are tossed with chicken in a creamy, garlicky tahini-yogurt dressing, for a palate-pleasing plate that won't weigh you down on warmer days.

  • 18 of 20

    Instant Pot Butter Chicken

    Instant Pot Butter Chicken

    Diana Rattray

    America's favorite Indian chicken dish just got easier to make. Use your Instant Pot to drastically reduce the cooking time for butter chicken, the famously indulgent dish with a creamy, velvety sauce made with butter, tomatoes, Indian-inspired spices, and cream. Serve over hot cooked rice for a filling family meal.

  • 19 of 20

    Roasted Chicken Thighs With Brussels Sprouts and Pears

    Roasted Chicken Thighs With Brussels Sprouts and Pears

    Diana Rattray

    Use a cast iron skillet, or a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, for this stunning one-dish roast chicken and vegetable dinner. You start it on the stovetop, pan-sauteeing brussel sprouts and pears, and searing chicken thighs, before transferring the pan to the oven. The ingredients caramelize together as they cook, for a sweet and savory entree that can't be beat.

  • 20 of 20

    Chicken and Dressing Casserole

    Chicken and Dressing Casserole

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    Enjoy favorite Thanksgiving flavors any time you like, with this quick and easy chicken casserole that bakes to perfection in 30 minutes. Combine all the ingredients, including diced cooked chicken, canned condensed soups, and packaged stuffing mix, and bake until hot and bubbling. An optional topping of melted cheese adds extra, crunchy appeal.