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10 Weeknight Chicken Dinners in 40 Minutes or Less

Hands put chicken wings in the baking dish


Let’s face it: cooking dinner after a grueling day at work is an unappetizing thought. We know you’re short on time, which is why we’ve compiled 10 weeknight chicken dinners you can have on the table in under 40 minutes. Imagine that! You can chow down on a delicious home-cooked meal in the same amount of time it takes to finish one episode of your favorite TV drama. Go ahead and get cookin’!

Complete Chicken Meals

1. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Total Time: 30 Minutes

The classic chipotle burrito bowl gets a makeover by swapping out rice for quinoa, a nutritious seed full of plant-based protein. You assemble your own bowl so you can have your way! Each protein-packed serving delivers 36 grams of high-quality protein from lean chicken, pinto beans and quinoa.

2. One-Pan Lemony Chicken with Green Beans 

Total Time: 20 Minutes

This high-protein recipe helps you whip up dinner in just 20 minutes. Basic chicken breasts are dressed up with zesty lemon and Dijon-style mustard, then served over tender green beans.

3. Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Veggies

Total Time: 30 Minutes

This Asian-inspired dish is lower in sodium than typical takeout. Creamy peanut noodles are served with skillet-seared chicken and tender veggies. All this comes together with just eight ingredients! The recipe calls for one teaspoon of fresh ginger, but you can also substitute with a quarter teaspoon of ginger powder.

4. One-Pan Roasted Chicken & Brussels Sprouts 

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Cut down on clean up with this low-carb, high-fiber sheet-pan dinner. All you have to is prep and combine the chicken, Brussels sprouts and seasoning, then roast to a toasty perfection. The hard part is waiting for the food to be ready!

5. Crunchy Chicken Tenders & Cauliflower Mash

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Chicken tenders are a crowd-pleaser for adults and kids alike! These are served with cauliflower mashed into Yukon potatoes—a great way to sneak in veggies.

Chicken Dinner Entrées

Pair these chicken entrées with your favorite sides to make a complete meal.

6. Chicken & Spiced Apples 

Total Time: 20 Minutes

You can enjoy a sweet and savory dinner without any added sugar. Crisp Braeburn apples add natural sugar to the dish and the sprinkle of cinnamon enhances that sweetness. You can make a complete meal by pairing with a cup of cooked wild rice, or use the leftover apples to make 10-minute red cabbage and apple salad.

7. Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Blackberry Mustard

Total Time: 20 Minutes

Both adults and kids will enjoy this finger-food dinner! Crunchy cornmeal chicken nuggets are dipped in a tangy berry sauce and contain less fat than their fast food counterpart. You can pair them with a side salad or this fancy Broccoli Almondine, ready in 30 minutes. Even microwaved broccoli will do if you’re short on time.

8. Paprika-Rubbed Chicken

Total Time: 25 minutes

Paprika-rubbed chicken bursts with flavor and lean protein. This recipe features aromatic herbs de Provence, but you can also swap in equal parts thyme and marjoram if you don’t have this fancy spice blend. Serve the chicken with this blue cheese and spinach salad, ready in just 15 minutes. Tip: If you’ve got leftover chicken, try it in this tasty Mediterranean wrap.

9. Lemon & Dill Chicken

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Juicy, lean chicken is pan-seared in garlic, lemon and fresh dill. Yum! With some multitasking you can enjoy this chicken alongside baked sweet potato fries and roasted cauliflower. Both side dishes bake at 425 degrees F, but have different cook times, so remember to set your timer.

10. Lightened General Tso’s Chicken

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Enjoy flavorful Chinese food without the extra grease with this version of General Tso’s chicken. Chunky bites of chicken thigh are cooked to a golden perfection before being dunked in sweet and savory sauce along with snow peas and scallions. Serve hot on a bed of brown rice or your favorite grain for added fiber.

For more quick dinner inspiration, check out Zipongo’s 30 Minutes or Less recipe category.

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