chicken wings on a grill

5 Unexpected Ways to Cook Chicken

Last Updated on March 11, 2024

Grilled or baked chicken breast recipes with a side of veggies are common weeknight dinners for a reason: They’re simple to make, on budget, and everyone likes them. Nothing wrong with that.

But once in a while, you want to shake things up — and that’s what we’ve done here. These recipes elevate weeknight chicken, bringing in unexpected flavors and combinations you’ll love, as well as using different cuts. Before you know it, “chicken night” will become the most exciting meal (or meals) of the week.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breast

Baked chicken breast is always a crowd pleaser — but stuff it with cheese and asparagus and wrap the whole thing in bacon, and now it’s something special. The rich, creamy filling includes ricotta, goat cheese, fresh basil, white wine, and garlic, which perfectly complements the earthy asparagus. Wrapping the cheese- and veggie-stuffed chicken breast in crisp bacon takes this chicken breast recipe to a whole other level.

Coconut Party Wings with Gluten-Free Ponzu Dipping Sauce

You don’t have to wait for a party to make this recipe. We love a meal you can eat with your hands, and wings are always fun. These chicken wings are ultra-rich and juicy, thanks to the green curry marinade that includes coconut milk, green curry paste, ginger, garlic, lime juice, and jalapeno. The spicy Ponzu dipping sauce is a pan-Asian symphony, with tamari, sambal, and fish sauce. Serve some rice on the side.

Fennel-Rubbed Drumsticks with Spinach and Apple Slaw

Here’s a low-carb meal that’s bursting with flavor. In this fennel-rubbed drumsticks with spinach and apple slaw, you dredge the chicken in a fennel-based spice rub and roast until they’re crispy and crunchy. While the chicken cooks, whip up a refreshing fennel and apple salad tossed in an orange vinaigrette. You won’t miss the starchy sides one bit.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Turmeric and Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or the bone-in, skin-on variety, depending on your taste. Either way, this recipe is loaded with flavor and good nutrition — and did we mention that it’s on the table in 35 minutes? Rub turmeric, cumin, and cayenne on the chicken, and while it roasts (with onions on the same baking sheet), you make some rice and the garlic-yogurt sauce. Add some sliced cucumber for freshness, and this is one colorful and enticing plate.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

On those nights that you’re craving chicken parm, but you don’t have time for all those steps, let these chicken parmesan meatballs come to the rescue in just 30 minutes. You get all the flavors you love in chicken parm — chicken, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning — in quick and easy meatball form. There’s even some tomato paste cooked right in. Enjoy them with a salad, pasta, or zucchini noodles for lunch or dinner.

Courtney Hamilton is a writer and editor with over seven years' experience in journalism, blogging, communications, and other media. She has written for publications like PaleoHacks, PaleoPlan, The Center for American Progress, OC Weekly, and more. 
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