10 Ways to Make Your Chicken Dinner a Lot More Exciting (PHOTOS)

Maressa Brown | Nov 7, 2014 Food & Party

couple cooking dinner with babyIf the question "what's for dinner?" makes you not only want to pull your hair out but also triggers visions of chickens dancing through your head almost every time, you're not alone! Preparing poultry for weeknight dinners is so popular, it might as well be a national pastime! But admit it: You and your family can easily get SO bored by eating the same darn recipes night after night.

Well, believe it or not, there are inspiring -- dare I say exciting -- ways to prepare chicken for a quick, easy weeknight dinner. We rounded up 10 of the most colorful and delicious.

chicken pesto dinner 

Check them out, and then tell us: Would you ever try #9?! What's your go-to way of making chicken more thrilling?


Images © Mika/Corbis & © Steven Krug/Corbis

  • Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts


    Image via © Rees, Peter/the food passionates/Corbis

    Admit it -- any food stuffed with other food is probably better than that original food all by its lonesome. Hence why you totally need to try stuffing your chicken breasts with a cheese of your choice (although soft goat cheese is especially perfect for spreading) and chopped fresh spinach (or any other similar leafy green, like kale).

    Just preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound breasts as thin as you can, then sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder on one side, flip, spread cheese and sprinkle chopped greens, then roll 'em up. Place seam side down on a greased pan, and pop in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Serve with steamed asparagus. Yum!

  • Chicken Mole

    Image via © Mark Dye/Star Ledger/Corbis

    This complex, flavorful Mexican sauce made by combining olive oil, onion, garlic, chili powder, unsweetened cocoa, ground cinnamon, chicken broth, creamy peanut butter, tomato paste, and raisins can add serious panache to plain ol' chicken. You can buy a pre-made version or make your own mole at home. Serve with tortillas or rice. 

  • Green Chicken Curry


    Image via © Harry Bischof/the food passionates/Corbis

    Even if you don't think curry is your thing, this mild Thai dish will bring an exotic twist to your dinner regimen. Simply combine 1 can of coconut milk, 1/3 cup of chicken stock, and green curry paste in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Add chicken cut into strips and veggies of your choice and let simmer for however long it takes the meat to cook through. Serve with rice.

  • BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese


    Image via © Chelko, Kevin/the food passionates/Corbis

    BBQ chicken is a weeknight staple, and so is grilled cheese. Why not combine the two for a mind-blowing mash-up?! Grill up your chicken, coating in BBQ sauce as you normally would. Cut into chunks and add into your go-to grilled cheese recipe. Yeah, wow!

    You can also make this quesadilla-style by using a flour tortilla instead of bread!

  • Greek Chicken


    Image via © Mascarucci/Corbis

    Try marinating your chicken with Greek herbs (like garlic, oregano, and thyme) and a generous amount of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and salt. You'll have the perfect meat to serve with Greek salad, or in a pita with hummus or tzatziki (yogurt) sauce!

  • Chicken Salsa Verde Bake

    Image via © Philip Nealey/Somos Images/Corbis

    This Tex-Mex recipe is as zesty as it is easy. Preheat your oven to 350, line a baking pan with chicken breasts, pour over lots of salsa verde, bake for 25-30 minutes, take pan out (carefully, of course!), and sprinkle your cheese of choice on top. Turn the oven up to 400, then bake for another 5-10 minutes. Boom!

  • Brown Sugar Baked Chicken


    Image via © Viel/SoFood/Corbis

    If you're in a seasonal mood or just have a sweet tooth, this is one to try. Preheat your oven to 425 and coat your chicken with a blend of brown sugar, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic. Bake for 20 minutes, and you have a beautiful savory and sweet dinner!

    More from The Stir: 8 Dinner Shortcuts Using a Rotisserie Chicken

  • Autumn Salad With Chicken


    Image via © Foodcollection/the food passionates/Corbis

    Even if you're skeptical about serving salad as an entree, you'll be fully converted by this autumn salad. Just spruce up your chicken breasts with some cajun spices and serve on top of leafy greens, pear and apple slices, goat or feta cheese, and trail mix or your favorite nuts (walnuts work!). Toss in a maple-mustard vinaigrette for the perfect seasonal flavors.

  • Chicken Marengo


    Image via Sean Dawson/Flickr

    Talk about comfort food! Portabello mushroom, tomatoes, and, of course, chicken are at the heart of this seriously cozy, simple Italian dish. Serve with rice, pasta, or a baguette.

  • Cheddar Garlic Oven-'Fried' Chicken


    Image via Candy Beauchamp/Flickr

    Who needs regular fried chicken when oven-fried (okay, baked, but still super-crispy outside, and tender inside) tastes this good?! This recipe is for garlic and cheese lovers alike.

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