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13 Easy Chicken Breast Recipes for Busy Weeknights & an Easy One Week Meal Plan

Chicken breast recipes, like this delicious Chicken Parmesan, are quick and easy to cook. Chicken is one of the most affordable proteins. Every cook needs several tried-and-true family favorite chicken recipes they can count on for busy weeknights. This collection of chicken breast recipes provides lots of variety in palate-pleasing flavors and textures that will bring your family running to the table. Best of all, they’re simple for you to prepare. Pair them with your favorite salads and side dishes for spectacular weeknight dinners.

Pineapple Chicken Recipe

Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowl with Pineapple Salsa in a white ceramic bowl on a marble countertop with turquoise and white checkered napkin
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Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken and Rice Bowl with Pineapple Salsa. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken is one of the most versatile, easy chicken dinner recipes you’ll love for Spring. The chicken is juicy and tender, and it’s bursting with bright, tangy, sweet flavor from the pineapple glaze it cooks in. Serve it as-is for your main dish, or slice it and serve it in wraps, on salads or in delicious Pineapple Chicken and Rice Bowls like this one with a refreshing Pineapple Salsa. Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

Chicken Street Tacos

Three Chicken Street Tacos on a turquoise stoneware plate.
Chicken Street Tacos. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

Chicken Street Tacos are tender, juicy chicken, some crunchy red onion, cilantro, queso fresco and tangy lime juice in freshly charred corn tortillas. This yummy street taco recipe is delicious proof that dinner in minutes is possible when you cook from planned leftovers or use a rotisserie chicken! Get the Recipe: Chicken Street Tacos

Italian Chicken Cutlets

Italian Chicken Cutlets on a white plate next to a blue print fabric napkin.
Italian Chicken Cutlets. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

Italian Chicken Cutlets are a scrumptious, quick, and easy weeknight dinner. Thinly sliced chicken breasts cook up tender, juicy, and extra crispy, and they can be cooked in your air fryer. The simple ingredients pack a flavor punch that will leave everyone wanting just one more bite. Italian Chicken Cutlets are done in under 30 minutes whether you choose to air fry, pan fry or bake them. Get the Recipe: Italian Chicken Cutlets

Million Dollar Chicken Casserole

Million Dollar Chicken Casserole in a white dish with cucumber and tomato salad.
Million Dollar Chicken Casserole. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

Million Dollar Chicken Casserole is savory, tangy, and creamy chicken comfort food. It’s an easy, kid-friendly weeknight dinner with tons of delicious serving options. This Chicken Casserole is perfect for busy weeknights, and leftovers are fantastic for lunch the next day. Get the Recipe: Million Dollar Chicken Casserole

Chicken Pastina Soup (Chicken and Stars)

Chicken Pastina Soup (Chicken and Stars) in a blue ceramic bowl garnished with a slice of lemon.
Chicken Pastina Soup. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

Chicken Pastina Soup is chicken & stars all grown up. It’s a quick, easy & comforting hug in a bowl. Everything chicken soup should be. Use up leftover chicken (or grab a rotisserie chicken) and have dinner on the table in 20 minutes! Yum! Get the Recipe: Chicken Pastina Soup

Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu

Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu on a White Plate with House Salad
Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu. Photo Credit: Glenda Embree Blog.

Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu is tender chicken breast, coated in crispy Panko bread crumbs that’s been stuffed with smoky ham and melty Swiss cheese. The creamy mustard sauce is to-die-for. This easy chicken dinner recipe makes a simple, but special, homemade chicken supper that everyone will rave over. Chicken Cordon Bleu is juicy and tender. Truly a winning chicken dinner whenever you decide to serve it. This is a scrumptious 30-minute-easy air fryer recipe. that can also be oven-baked. Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu

Easy Southwest Chicken Recipe

slow cooker southwest chicken stored in a refrigerator container for meal prep throughout the week
Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

My easy slow cooker Southwest Chicken recipe is savory, tangy, spicy, deliciousness! You’ll love that it is juicy, melt-in-your-mouth tender! The spicy kick you need for game-day tacos, burritos and white chicken chili is this Southwest Chicken recipe! It’s perfect in your favorite Mexican food dishes and you can make enough to last all week or to save in the freezer for future meals. It’s the best spicy chicken you’ll ever want another bite of! Get the Recipe: Southwest Chicken

Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts

Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts on a white plate with garnish
Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

This Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts recipe is one of my main go-to quick-fix weeknight suppers. This scrumptious chicken comes out tender and juicy every single time, and it’s so easy to prep. Get the juicy secret to perfectly baked white meat chicken. Get the Recipe: Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Chicken Pot Pie Soup in a blue stoneware bowl.
Chicken Pot Pie Soup. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup is homey and comforting chicken deliciousness. It’s everything you love about chicken pot pie without the bother of making pie crust. Chunks of tender chicken leftovers, rotisserie chicken or precooked chicken in a flavorful broth that generously coats the veggies and meat. Delish! Get the Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts

A slow cooker chicken breast sliced on a white plate with parsley garnish.
Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

Learn the secret to tender, juicy, boneless and skinless white meat chicken in a slow cooker. Get this easy chicken recipe and have it prepped and in your crock pot in minutes. Let your slow cooker do the work while you go on with your day. Perfect as a main dish or for meal prep. This chicken is tender, juicy and delectable! Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts

Chicken Crunchwrap Supreme

Chicken Crunch wrap supreme cut in half and resting on a marble counter
Chicken Crunchwrap Supreme. Image Credit: Glenda Embree.

Chicken Crunchwrap Supreme grilled sandwiches are crispy, crunchy, cheesy. Takeout that’s affordable AND easy to make at home is a winner at my house, every time! Think savory, spicy and creamy fillings, plus, fresh veggies that are so easy to customize and change up. Plus you get that crazy-good crunch of tostada inside the shell. Serve with your favorite toppings and it’s a whole meal in one portable package. They’re SO easy to make! (Full picture tutorial in the post.) Crunchy palate pleasing texture and your favorite crazy good Mexican food flavors! Win! Win! Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts

Creamy Chicken and Noodles

creamy chicken and noodles in blue bowl
Creamy Chicken and Noodles. Photo Credit: Glenda Embree.

Swoonworthy Creamy Chicken and Noodles are tender egg noodles and chunks of chicken smothered in luscious, creamy, chicken broth gravy. Homemade Chicken and Noodles are simple comfort food your family will ask for over and over, again! If you thought you couldn’t make homemade chicken and noodles you were mistaken. You’ve got this! It’s easy with my step-by-step instructions. And I even give you a 30-minute shortcut version! Get the Recipe: Creamy Chicken and Noodles

Make Weeknight Dinners Easy

When you know that a certain night of the week is always hectic, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate the chaos and make dinner a stress-free time for everyone. Choose easy recipes like the chicken recipes above. Try these simple tips for planning healthy, affordable and simple-to-prepare weeknight dinners.

1. Write Down Five Recipes

Plan your meals a week at a time instead of scrambling to find something to make each night and running to the store. It doesn’t need to be an elaborate plan.

On the weekend, take five or ten minutes to write down five main dishes that you know your family likes. Make a shopping list for the groceries you’ll need, and then buy them.

Choose a few that will come together in minutes or can be popped in the crockpot in the morning so it’s ready to serve when you’re ready to eat.

Choosing only five main dishes means you’ll have two nights where you clean up leftovers or go out to eat.

There’s nothing worse than that five o’clock feeling in the pit of your stomach: “Oh my gosh, what am I going to make for dinner?” Having a plan relieves that pressure—even a loose plan, five recipes written on the back of an envelope and stuck to the fridge, can make all the difference in how your busy evenings go.

2. Keep the Freezer Stocked with Frozen Vegetables and Fruit

Frozen vegetables cook in minutes and they are an instant side dish with minimal effort required.

Put 1/2-inch of salted water in the bottom of a pot, and add a bag of frozen veggies.

Bring the pot to a boil and boil for two minutes with the lid on.

Turn off the heat and leave the lid on.

Let the veggies steam for 5 to 10 minutes until they have the texture your family prefers.

This simple, mostly hands-off process happens while your main dish is cooking, so everything is ready at the same time.

Even if you didn’t have a specific vegetable or side planned, having a well-stocked freezer makes it easy to add something quickly. So, when you shop, always add several bags of frozen vegetables to your cart.

3. Make a Salad

Sometime over the weekend, make a BIG salad. Make something that lasts two or three days in the fridge (some last even longer). Then, pull it out on the busiest nights of the week, already prepared and ready to eat. Instant side dish!

loaded baked potato salad in a gray rectangular pottery bowl

I recommend choosing from these easy salad recipes to get you started.

4. Plan One Protein that Will Make Several Meals

Having pre-cooked protein in the fridge means your meals can be ready in a fraction of the time. For me, the easiest way to do that is to bulk cook some protein at the beginning of the week or on the weekend.

Cook Some Chicken

That process can be as simple as seasoning both sides of several pounds of chicken breasts and popping them in the oven for 20-25 minutes, like with my Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts. The process works just as well with Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts, too. Choose the cooking method that works best for you.

Double the recipe, if needed, in order to have enough for the week. That means you have protein for that night’s dinner and extra to put away for one or two other meals. Doubling a recipe doesn’t take any more time but reaps double the reward. The extra chicken can be bagged and frozen if you won’t use all of it that week.

On the first night, serve the chicken sliced with some steamed frozen veggies and pre-made mashed potatoes from the store. I use Bob Evans mashed potatoes on nights when I don’t have time to make my own. Having a package in the fridge means I have mashed potatoes for my meal in 6 minutes. So in the time it takes to bake the chicken, your mashed potatoes and veggies are done. Easy, delicious and nutritious meal.

On the second night, use leftover chicken to make scrumptious Chicken Street Tacos. Add a premade Mexican Macaroni Salad or Broccoli Cauliflower Salad, and your meal will be ready in ten to fifteen minutes.

For the third night, use whole wheat Greek pitas or your favorite flour tortillas to make mini BBQ chicken pizzas. Spread on BBQ sauce, add slivered red onion and pre-cooked chicken. Top with some grated Mozzarella and bake at 400° in the oven or air fryer until your pizza is cooked through and the cheese is melted. Tortillas will brown and crisp more quickly than the pitas, but both will only take minutes. Tortillas make crisp crusts, while pitas taste more like a delicious raised pizza crust. Again, it’s dinner in minutes and a pleasant experience instead of a mad scramble.

Make Slow Cooker Meatloaf

On the fourth morning, break out your crock pot [affiliate link] and make a delicious Stove Top Stuffing Meatloaf that will be ready and waiting at dinnertime. If you follow my recipe, you’ll have sweet potatoes that cook right along with it. Add a steamed frozen green veggie from your freezer stock and it will be a glorious meal.

TIP: Mix up the meatloaf on the weekend when you have more time. Pop it into a zip-top bag, push out all the air and seal it tightly. Store in the fridge until the morning you want to pop it in the slow cooker. Voila! Stess-free dinner prep on the night you need it most

On the fifth night, pop some frozen garlic bread into the oven. Then, add crumbled leftover meatloaf to your favorite marinara sauce with some Italian seasoning and minced garlic. Heat it all in a pot on the stove while you boil some spaghetti. Put together a simple green salad while the sauce and bread are cooking. Perfect Italian Dinner!

On the sixth and seventh nights, plan to clean up any remaining leftovers or enjoy eating out. Think chicken salad sandwiches or buffalo ranch chicken sandwiches for any leftover chicken. Leftover meatloaf makes great filling for tacos or quesadillas. You can also add air-fried or roasted onion and bell pepper strips to warmed leftover meatloaf in a hoagie roll. Top with some melty cheese sauce for a Philly Meatloaf Sandwich.

The Value of a Plan (even a very loose one)

You can see how having a plan can cut out the chaos of preparing dinner every night.

I get it. I’m like you. I’m not great at sticking to a plan every night.

But here’s the thing: If I have one and I already have the groceries, I can mix it up a little and change up the order as the week goes on.

I know I have everything to make an easy, delicious and healthy meal for my family. I don’t have to figure it out. I don’t have to run to the store. I can just easily get a meal on the table. The order is up to me.

It takes a while to build a new routine, but you have totally got this! You can make it happen and your life is going to be so much easier. P.S. Dinner will be, too.

Hugs, Friend. I’m for you! You’re a rockstar!

glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

10 thoughts on “13 Easy Chicken Breast Recipes for Busy Weeknights & an Easy One Week Meal Plan”

  1. These chicken breast recipes are lifesavers! Quick, tasty, and perfect for hectic evenings. Plus, the meal plan takes the stress out of weeknight dinners. Helped me a lot during those busy work from home days.

  2. I tried the Italian Chicken Cutlets recipe for dinner and it turned out amazing! The chicken was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and the flavors were spot on. And it was so easy to make in the air fryer. My husband requested that we try the Chicken Pastina Soup next.

    • Marie, thanks so much for letting me know. I’m so happy you loved it and the recipes are helpful. That Italian Chicken Cutlets recipe is one of our go-to recipes because the flavor is just sensational. You’ll love how easy that Chicken Pastina Soup is, too.

  3. I tried the Southwest Chicken recipe, and it was delicious! The flavors were strong and spicy, just like I like it. Plus, it was so juicy and tender. Perfect for tacos or burritos. Definitely adding this to my list of go-to recipes!

  4. So many great ideas here, I cook with chicken breasts a lot and always looking for new recipes. I can’t wait to try the million dollar chicken casserole!


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