Chicken is an excellent choice for those looking to shed pounds due to its high protein content and relatively low-calorie count. Protein-rich meals can help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the possibility of overeating. In addition, specific cooking methods, such as grilling, baking, or poaching, can further lower the calorie count of your chicken dishes without sacrificing flavor. To help you on your path to successful weight loss, we’ve compiled a list of 4 diet chicken recipes that are both nutritious and delicious. These recipes showcase various cooking techniques and flavorful ingredients to create satisfying meals that align with your weight loss goals. Read on to explore these delectable options and discover how enjoyable healthy eating can be.
Simple Healthy Chicken Recipes
Have you been looking for some simple diet chicken recipes to try out at home? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place.
These assorted simple healthy chicken breast recipes offer a range of options, including dash diet chicken recipes, Mediterranean diet chicken recipes, and low-calorie chicken recipes for weight loss.
Mediterranean Chicken Skillet (5)
This recipe delivers a simple yet tender and juicy meal that is full of flavor. The bonus? It only takes 30 minutes to prepare.
- 1.5 lb chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise to cook faster
- 2 tbsp gluten-free flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz can of roasted artichoke hearts, drained
- 3 oz sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 tbsp capers, drained
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp gluten-free flour
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
- Start by mixing 2 tablespoons of flour with salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Proceed to coat each piece of chicken lightly with the seasoned flour.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil using medium heat.
- Add in the chicken and let it cook for about 12 minutes on each side. You can cook it in batches if needed, to avoid overcrowding. Then set aside on a plate and cover them.
- Now whisk the other tablespoon of flour with almond milk in a small bowl. Ensure there are no visible lumps.
- Add the artichokes alongside the sun-dried tomatoes and capers in the preheated skillet and saute for about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the milk mixture and the lemon juice. Whisk until it is well combined.
- Return the chicken to the pan once the sauce starts to thicken and let it simmer for a couple of minutes until hot.
- Garnish with parsley and serve warm.
Nutritional information per serving (recipe makes 6 servings): Calories: 236 kcal, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Protein: 27 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 73 mg, Sodium: 665 mg, Potassium: 917 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 6 g, Vitamin A: 220 IU, Vitamin C: 10 mg, Calcium: 77 mg, Iron: 2 mg
This recipe is courtesy of healthyfitnessmeals.com.
Read More: How Many Carbs A Day To Lose Weight?
Healthy Chicken Breast Recipe For Weight Loss (4)
While it’s true there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to weight loss, being on a healthy balanced diet will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.
There are several healthy chicken recipes to lose belly fat that you can use without compromising your caloric deficit goals.
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 tsp olive oil or cooking spray
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- ¼ onion, finely chopped
- ¼ tomato, chopped
- ¼ red and yellow bell peppers, chopped
- ¼ cup cabbage, shredded
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked
- Start by cutting the chicken into small cubes.
- Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a pan, and then add the chicken pieces, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook the chicken until they are well done.
- Remove the chicken pieces and add another teaspoon of olive oil in the same pan.
- Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, then saute. Throw in the chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, and shredded cabbage.
- Add the salt and pepper; mix and saute for a couple of seconds.
- Add the cooked chicken and tomato sauce; mix well and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and cooked brown rice; mix until well combined.
- Serve it hot and enjoy!
Nutritional information per serving (recipe makes 1 serving): Calories: 330, Fat: 10 g, Cholesterol: 145 mg, Sodium: 903 mg, Potassium: 1204 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 50 g, Vitamin A: 1249IU, Vitamin C: 52 mg, Calcium: 50 mg, Iron: 2 mg
This recipe is courtesy of yummyindiankitchen.com.
Easy Chicken Stew (3)
This low-fat recipe delivers a delicious, hearty, and filling chicken stew that stays within your caloric goals.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch of spring onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1 small swede (350 g), peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 400 g potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 200 g savoy cabbage or spring cabbage, sliced
- 2 tsp cornflour (optional)
- Crusty bread or cheese scones, to serve (optional)
- Start by heating the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Then fry for about a minute or until soft.
- Add in the swede and potatoes, and let them cook for an extra 3 minutes before adding the mustard, chicken, and stock.
- Cover and let it cook for 35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Add in the cabbage and let it simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Season to taste before spooning the stew into deep bowls.
- Sprinkle over the green spring onion slices. You can also serve it with warm cheese scones or crusty bread if desired.
Nutritional information per serving (recipe makes 4 servings): Calories: 354 kcal, Fat: 12 g, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Sugars: 7 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 31 g
This recipe is courtesy of bbcgoodfood.com.
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Honey Garlic Chicken (1)
This simple recipe is arguably among the top 10 healthy chicken recipes available out there. It also comes with a delicious sauce that completes the wholesome flavor.
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (or canola oil)
- 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes (about ½ inch)
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional, adjust for heat)
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil using medium-high heat.
- Lightly season the chicken using pepper and salt.
- Add the chicken to the skillet, and then cook for about 4 minutes until brown on one side.
- Make the glaze by whisking the soy sauce, honey, and garlic in a small bowl until well combined.
- Add the sauce to the pan before tossing until the chicken pieces are well coated. Cook for an extra 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with some steamed rice, top with green onions, sesame seeds, or a squeeze of lime juice, if desired.
Nutritional information per serving (recipe makes 4 servings): Calories: 360, Total Fat: 8 g, Sodium: 665 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Sugar: 13 g, Protein: 54 g
This recipe is courtesy of familyfoodonthetable.com.
How To Eat Chicken For Weight Loss?
Consuming protein-rich foods like chicken can increase feelings of fullness and help reduce overall calorie intake. Protein also has a higher thermic effect than carbs or fats, meaning that your body burns more calories digesting it.
To eat chicken for weight loss, it’s essential to consider the following factors:
Choose Lean Cuts
Opt for skinless chicken breast, which has the highest protein content and the least amount of fat compared to other cuts like thighs and wings. Using these cuts in low-calorie chicken recipes for weight loss can save you hundreds of calories per serving.
Choose Healthy Cooking Methods
When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, the way you cook your food is just as important as the ingredients you choose.
Specifically, for chicken dishes, selecting cooking methods that minimize added fats and oils while preserving nutrients can significantly impact your overall health and weight loss goals.
Here are some healthy cooking techniques for chicken:
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Lightly coat the chicken with a small amount of olive oil or cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Season the chicken with herbs, spices, or marinades that are low in sodium and sugar.
- Place the chicken on the grill, ensuring it is not too close to the heat source to avoid charring.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) using a meat thermometer, turning occasionally for even cooking.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- Coat the chicken with a thin layer of olive oil or cooking spray and season with your choice of herbs and spices.
- Place the chicken on the lined baking sheet and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). This usually takes 20-30 minutes for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, depending on their thickness.
- Fill a large pot or deep skillet with enough water or low-sodium broth to cover the chicken pieces.
- Add aromatic ingredients, such as onion, garlic, bay leaves, or fresh herbs for extra flavor.
- Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
- Add the chicken, ensuring it is fully submerged, and reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), which typically takes 15-20 minutes for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Fill a pot with about 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of water and bring it to a boil.
- Place the seasoned chicken in a steamer basket or on a heat-proof plate, ensuring that it doesn’t touch the water.
- Lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer, then place the steamer basket or plate over the pot and cover with a lid.
- Steam until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), approximately 15-20 minutes for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
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- Heat a non-stick wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add a small amount of oil, such as olive or avocado oil, to lightly coat the pan.
- Cut the chicken into thin, uniform slices or small cubes for even cooking.
- Add the chicken to the pan, stirring and flipping frequently to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
- Cook until the chicken is no longer pink and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), which should take around 5-7 minutes.
- You can also add plenty of vegetables to make a complete meal.
Practice Portion Control
Be mindful of portion sizes, aiming for 3-4 ounces (85-113 grams) of cooked chicken per serving. Note that this is about the size of a deck of cards.
To make meal times less complicated, you can use the hand-size portioning guide: one palm-sized serving of lean protein, one fist-sized serving of veggies, and one cupped hand-sized serving of starchy carbs.
How Much Chicken Should I Eat Per Day To Lose Weight?
Determining the exact amount of chicken to eat per day for weight loss depends on various factors, including your age, gender, activity level, and overall calorie intake. However, we can provide some general guidelines based on research and expert recommendations.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that adults consume 5-6.5 ounces (142-184 grams) of protein foods per day, depending on their age, sex, and activity level (2). This includes not only chicken but also other sources of protein, such as fish, lean meats, eggs, legumes, and nuts.
For instance, a moderately active woman aged 19-30 should aim for at least 5.5 ounces (156 grams) of protein foods daily, while a similarly active man in the same age range should target at least 6.5 ounces (184 grams).
Therefore, if you plan to get most of your protein from chicken, a reasonable guideline would be to consume around 3-4 ounces (85-113 grams) of cooked chicken per meal. This equates to approximately one small-to-medium-sized chicken breast. This portion size will provide about 21-28 grams of protein, depending on the size of the cut.
These are just general guidelines, and individual requirements may vary.
Have Healthy Pairings
Increasing the nutritional value of chicken recipes for weight loss is easy when you use nutritious side dishes and complements. Furthermore, the right accompaniment can aid your weight loss goals by lowering the overall calorie content of your meal.
For example, you can pair grilled chicken with a fresh vegetable salad made from leafy greens and low-sugar dressings.
Roasted chicken can be served with a side of steamed or mashed vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Poached chicken is great accompanied by quinoa, brown rice, or whole-grain pasta for a more complete meal.
Avoid Ultra-Processed Options
Steer clear of highly processed chicken products, such as nuggets or breaded patties, as they often contain unhealthy additives and excess calories.
In fact, the Nutrition Facts label of certain ultra-processed chicken products may list up to three times more calories per serving than standard chicken breasts.
In addition, most of these products are fried in low-quality oils that contain unhealthy fats, which have been linked to an increased risk of weight gain and heart disease.
If you crave processed chicken products, look for healthier versions made with whole-food ingredients and little or no added sugar. Alternatively, you can try making your own homemade chicken nuggets by baking or sautéing cubes of chicken breast with a crunchy coating.
Be Mindful Of Sauces And Condiments
Choose low-calorie, nutrient-dense sauces and condiments like salsa, mustard, or lemon juice instead of calorie-laden options like creamy dressings or barbecue sauce.
Experiment with different seasonings, herbs, and spices to add flavor without adding extra calories. This will keep your meals interesting and prevent boredom, making it easier to stick to your weight loss plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes?
Healthy chicken breast recipes typically use lean cuts like skinless chicken breasts and incorporate wholesome ingredients and cooking methods that minimize added fats.
Some examples include:
- Grilled Chicken with a Lemon Herb Marinade
- Baked Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
- Poached Chicken in Tomato Sauce
- Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
- Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach and Feta Cheese
Is Chicken Okay For Weight Loss?
Yes, chicken is an excellent choice for weight loss due to its high protein content and relatively low-calorie count. It helps promote satiety, which can reduce overall calorie intake.
Choosing lean cuts like skinless chicken breast and using healthy cooking methods will further support your weight loss goals.
What’s Healthy To Have With Chicken?
Pairing chicken with the following healthy options can create a balanced meal:
- Fiber-rich vegetables (e.g., broccoli, spinach, or kale)
- Whole grains (e.g., brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta)
- Legumes (e.g., lentils, chickpeas, or black beans)
- Leafy green salads with a light dressing
- Fresh fruit as a side or dessert
How Much Chicken Should I Eat Per Day?
The exact amount of chicken to consume per day depends on factors, such as age, gender, activity level, and overall calorie intake.
Generally, adults should aim for at least 5-6.5 ounces (142-184 grams) of protein foods daily, including not only chicken but also other sources like fish, lean meats, eggs, legumes, and nuts.
A reasonable guideline for most people is to consume around 3-4 ounces (85-113 grams) of cooked chicken per meal, which equates to approximately one small-to-medium-sized chicken breast. However, individual requirements may vary, and consulting with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional is recommended for personalized advice.
Incorporating chicken into your weight loss journey can be both delicious and effective, as long as you choose lean cuts, use healthy cooking methods, and maintain portion control.
The 4 diet chicken recipes provided in this guide offer a variety of flavors and techniques to keep your meals interesting and satisfying. By making these healthy choices, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your weight loss goals while still enjoying tasty and nutritious meals.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 15-MINUTE HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN (2023, familyfoodonthetable.com)
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 (2020, dietaryguidelines.gov)
- Easy chicken stew (n.d., bbcgoodfoods.com) c
- healthy chicken breast recipes to lose weight (2022, yummyindiankitchen.com)
- MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN SKILLET (2022, healthyfitnessmeals.com)