26 Juicy Chicken Breast Recipes to Make for Dinner

florentine-butter-chicken-ft-recipe0919.jpg
Photo: Greg DuPree

Chicken breasts are convenient, but they can also be your worst enemy in the kitchen. They have potential to be tender, juicy, and flavorful, but if you're not careful they can turn out dry, rubbery, and tough. Have no fear! We're here to bring you 26 recipes that will reignite your love for chicken breast. Reimagine chicken with these flavor-packed, well-spiced, tender, and juicy cutlets.

01 of 26

Chai-Spiced Chicken Breasts

Culinary Director-at-Large Justin Chapple pulls chai from his spice cabinet for this satisfying chicken dish. The chai is mixed into a paste with oil and spread under the chicken skin to flavor the meat as it roasts.

02 of 26

Crisp Spiced Chicken

Ready in just 30 minutes, this Mediterranean-inspired chicken breast is coated in falafel mix and topped with tangy tahini.

03 of 26

Slow Cooker Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken and Black Lentil Stew

Slow Cooker Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken and Black Lentil Stew
© Sarah Bolla

In this intensely comforting spiced chicken and black lentil stew, fresh ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and white wine are infused with Berbere, an Ethiopian spice blend. If you can't get your hands on Berbere, you can substitute an equal amount of Garam Masala for a similar flavor profile.

04 of 26

Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Cutlets with Mustard Sauce

In this lovely riff on classic chicken cordon bleu, the heavy ham-and-Swiss-cheese filling is replaced with creamy havarti and thyme. Instead of weighing down the cutlets with thick breading, they are sautéed in a light flour-and-egg coating.

05 of 26

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Thyme

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Thyme
© Ben Dearnley

A bold mixture of red-pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, lemon juice, and olive oil serves as a spicy marinade for these bone-in chicken breasts.

06 of 26

Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Salsa Verde

In Italy, piquant salsa verde often accompanies poached chicken or fish and boiled meat. The tangy green sauce is also delicious on sautéed and grilled foods.

07 of 26

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Spinach

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Spinach
© Kristen Stevens

Salty, smoky, thick-cut bacon adds depth to this savory chicken pasta, while artichoke hearts and spinach help to lighten the dish.

08 of 26

Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts

Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts
© Peter Frank Edwards

"I admit that nothing can stand in for good fried chicken," says chef John Currence. "But this is a hell of an impostor." He adds sweet tea to his marinade; the tannins help tenderize the poultry while the sugar gives it a light cure. The accompanying gravy gets a ton of flavor from strips of caramelized onion.

09 of 26

Lime-Coconut Chicken

Tangy watercress balances sweet coconut milk in this quick skillet dish.

10 of 26

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Sautéed Mushrooms

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Sautéed Mushrooms
© John Kernick

Before grilling the chicken in this recipe, Francis Mallmann tucks orange zest and just-picked oregano under the skin. The fresh flavor of citrus and allium contrasts excellently with the crispy, smoky bird.

11 of 26

Garlicky Lemongrass Chicken

Garlicky Lemongrass Chicken
© William Meppem

Lemongrass is known for its citrusy and herbal flavors, and it works beautifully here paired with garlic to amp up the flavor of chicken breasts. This spicy lemongrass paste is also wonderful rubbed on pork tenderloin or any firm, white-fleshed fish, such as snapper, sea bass, or halibut.

12 of 26

Chinese Poached Chicken Breasts with Star Anise

Chicken breasts poached in a broth flavored with star anise, cinnamon, ginger, scallions, and soy sauce is a Chinese classic. Traditionally you would save, not serve, the broth—it improves each time you use it—but we can never resist serving it with the chicken as a light sauce.

13 of 26

Berber-Spiced Chicken Breasts

Berber-Spiced Chicken Breasts

Steven Raichlen rubs the chicken breasts with a blend of North African spices that, when cooked on the grill, form a crispy crust that is full of what Raichlen calls "gutsy in-your-face flavors."

14 of 26

Chicken Parmesan Heros

Hero sandwiches at the sub shop are usually served on untoasted rolls, but we prefer to brush the bread with olive oil and run it under the broiler for a minute or two. If you like, put a slice of mozzarella on the top half of each before broiling.

15 of 26

Chicken-and-Andouille Étouffée

Chicken-and-Andouille Etouffee
Photo © Quentin Bacon

Étouffée-from the French word for smother, stew, or braise-is a classic Cajun dish of shellfish (or sometimes chicken) served over rice. Grace Parisi uses chicken breast, whole wheat flour, and only three ounces of andouille sausage to make the recipe lighter.

16 of 26

Hot-and-Crunchy Chicken Cones

Hot-and-Crunchy Chicken Cones

Chef Jeff Blank has put Hot-and-Crunchy Cones on the map. Fried chicken is coated in an ingenious mix of cornflakes, slivered almonds, and sesame seeds, then wrapped in a tortilla with a mango-jalapeño slaw and a spicy ancho "paint."

17 of 26

Florentine Butter Chicken

florentine-butter-chicken-ft-recipe0919.jpg
Greg DuPree

This recipe is inspired by Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis' trip to 150-year-old Trattoria Sostanza in Florence. The butterfat gives cultured butter a slightly higher smoke point and, when combined with olive oil, gives enough cooking time to finish the chicken and the sauce simultaneously.

18 of 26

Pickle-Brined Chicken

Pickle-Brined Chicken
© Simon Watson

"When you have leftover pickle juice, isn't it a waste not to use it to make chicken taste delicious?" asks Frank Falcinelli. He brines chicken breast in dill-pickle juice to flavor it and keep it moist in the oven, then serves it on top of super-tender leg meat he's shredded and mixed with sautéed chard.

19 of 26

Maple-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Mustard Jus

Maple-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Mustard Jus
© QUENTIN BACON

Chef David Slater glazes chicken breasts with maple syrup, sherry vinegar, and orange juice infused with anise and other spices. Then he serves them with a confited chicken leg, caramelized root vegetables, braised kale, and crisp Benton's bacon. At home, glaze the chicken breasts with a sweet-tangy blend of syrup and vinegar and skip the confited leg and root vegetables.

20 of 26

Herb-Marinated Chicken Skewers with Harissa

Andres Barrera briefly marinates chicken in herbs and cumin before skewering and grilling it; then he serves it with a cool chickpea puree and fiery harissa. His harissa is a knockout, scented with toasted and ground cumin seeds, coriander, and caraway seeds, but jarred harissa also works.

21 of 26

Twice-Glazed Barbecued Chicken

Instead of the usual smoky-sweet tomato-based barbecue sauce, Mike Sheerin bases his version on oyster sauce, soy sauce, and roasted garlic, with toasted black peppercorns added for heat. The sauce is superb glazed on chicken, but it would also be great on pork or steak.

22 of 26

Middle Eastern-Inspired Chicken with Tahini Sauce

Tahini is made with sesame seeds, which are rich in essential minerals. Blended with nonfat Greek yogurt, it becomes a luscious sauce for cardamom-spiced chicken breast.

23 of 26

Harissa Chicken with Green-Chile-and-Tomato Salad

Grilling gives foods a great smoky flavor, but for even more of that flavor, turn to wood-fired ingredients like smoked paprika and chipotle chiles.

24 of 26

Thai Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Cilantro stems get in the act in this recipe; they're pureed with the leaves, jalapeños, garlic, fish sauce, and sesame oil to make a flavorful coating for grilled chicken. The dipping sauce, which also contains cilantro, is a classic Thai sweet-and-sour sauce.

25 of 26

Thai Chicken with Basil

An abundance of whole basil leaves joins chicken and fiery red chiles for a quick, delicious, and decidedly spicy stir-fry. Holy basil is the most authentic choice, but any variety will do.

26 of 26

Chicken and Smoked-Sausage Gumbo

The flavor of browned roux is essential to the traditional taste of Louisiana gumbo. So don't worry if the flour mixture looks like peanut butter by the time the vegetables have softened. That's just as it should be.

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