Chicken Ideas and Health Benefits

A photo of chicken kebabs layed out on a wooden board.

Chicken is one of the most versatile foods for incorporating into a healthy eating plan. It’s rich in protein and very satisfying, making it a solid choice for any meal. Protein helps maintain muscle mass and promote satiety, or fullness. Chicken is also high in nutrients like vitamin B12, zinc and iron. There are so many ways to prepare chicken and use it in a variety of dishes, so no wonder it’s an everyday favorite!

Chicken Nutrition

Is all chicken the same? Not really. Depending on the kind of chicken you choose, the nutritional profile can vary. The National Chicken Council provides the following information on chicken nutrition. For leaner options with less fat and calories, trim the fat from your chicken. Dark meat has more calories, but the added iron and increased moistness may make up for it in the end. Still, swapping other protein choices for chicken is typically a lighter choice. Lean chicken is generally lower in calories than beef.

  • Boneless, skinless grilled chicken — 165 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 31 grams of protein
  • Boneless, skinless, dark meat — 205 calories, 10 grams of fat, 27 grams of protein
  • Thigh, with skin — 232 calories, 15 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein

Chicken Ideas

There are so many ways to prepare chicken and make new, tasty dishes your whole family will love. Don’t be afraid of falling into a rut! Try a few of the ideas below.

Season Things Up

Instead of plain chicken, take some time to season it to perfection. Making your own dry rubs and marinades can be an exciting kitchen activity that results in delicious dishes. Dry rubs and marinades are excellent at adding flavor to your chicken while keeping its nutritious qualities intact. The longer your chicken can marinate, the better!

The Best Dry Rub for Chicken

Source: SimplyRecipes.com


  • 1/4 cup paprika, smoked or sweet
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Best Grilled Chicken Breast

Source: Delish.com


  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic and dried herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup.

Step 2: Add chicken to the bowl and toss to combine. Let marinate at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.

Step 3: Preheat grill to medium high. Add chicken and grill, basting with reserved marinade, until cooked through, 6 minutes per side.

Step 4: Garnish with parsley before serving.

What You Can Make With Chicken

There are so many ways you can add chicken to your diet. Incorporating this into a meal or two can give you a boost of protein and leave you feeling satisfied without sacrificing taste. Substituting a traditional high-fat meal or two each week with a dish involving chicken can slowly help you make lifestyle changes that will benefit your weight and health.

  • Grilled chicken with vegetables
  • Chicken tacos
  • Chicken salad
  • Eggs with shredded chicken
  • Grilled chicken strips on salad
  • Chicken and rice casserole
  • Sliced chicken on whole grain brain
  • Chicken with whole grain pasta




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