2 Easy, Healthy, and Tasty Chicken Recipes

  • 4 Minutes Read
  • Jul 12, 2016

Instead of spending a ton of money on take-out and restaurant food, learn how to make a few tasty options at home. These are fast and easy chicken recipes that have been modified to be a bit healthier and lower in calories.

2 Easy, Healthy, and Tasty Chicken Recipes

It's hard to commit to eating healthier meals at home when tasty food is already prepared and available near us every day of the week.  To combat this problem, I decided to learn how to make a few quick and easy meals that satisfy my craving for comfort food yet still meet my goals for calories and nutrition.  The two recipes listed here are so easy that even my non-cooking husband can make them without complaint.  Both of these recipes do well with meat swaps - lean pork tenderloin is an easy swap in both recipes and the calories will stay low.

KAI Chicken Veggie Fried Rice

This is a simple recipe that makes great use of either leftover chicken or supermarket rotisserie chicken.  I modified Cooking Light's Tofu Fried Rice to get the flavor and nutrient content the way I wanted it.  Note that the original recipe is delicious too so try that one as well.

Yield = 4 servings

1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 2 cups of cooked brown rice)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup frozen peas & carrots
1 tsp chopped garlic (garlic paste works fine too)
2 tsp chopped ginger (ginger paste works fine too)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 cups of chopped skinned chicken breast

  1. Cook 1 cup medium brown rice according to package directions, but omit oil and salt. Instant brown rice also works in this recipe.  You need 2 cups of cooked brown rice.
  2. While rice is cooking, put oil in skillet, heat to medium-high, and sauté green onions and peas & carrots for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for another 1 - 2 minutes. 
  3. Mix sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.  Have ready near your skillet. 
  4. Add cooked brown rice to skillet and sauté for 2 minutes while continuing to stir
  5. Add sauce mixture and 2 cups of chopped chicken to the skillet and continue to stir for another minute so that the entire mixture is heated through.  Turn off heat and serve immediately.   You can freeze or refrigerate leftovers. 

Nutrition per serving: 310 Calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 31 grams total carbs (4 g fiber), 27 grams protein, 514 mg Sodium, and is a good source of Vitamins A, B6, and K, iron, and magnesium.

Note: Pair with a large garden salad to have a satisfying meal.  If you want to extend the volume it makes without increasing calories very much, you can add more non-starchy veggies (e.g. broccoli, peppers, spinach, etc.).  But even if you eat 2 servings for a meal, the caloric intake (620 kcal) would still be about half as many calories as the typical restaurant version (about 1200 kcal).

KAI Modified Cortez Chicken Enchiladas

I love enchiladas but ordering them from a restaurant was throwing my calories intake way over budget.  Instead of giving them up, I decided to find a lower caloric version I could make at home.  You can find the original recipe (Cortez Chicken Enchiladas) in this book: The Best of Simply Colorado Cookbook.

Yield = 6 servings or 12 tortillas

1 cup chopped raw onion
1 cup chopped sweet pepper (any color)
4 oz canned or jarred chopped green chilies
1 tsp Sodium-free chicken bouillon powder (or broth)
2 cups prepared green chili enchilada sauce (or green chili sauce)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves chopped raw garlic (1 tsp garlic paste works fine)
1 lb (16 oz) of chopped, skinned chicken breast
12 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded part skim low moisture mozzarella cheese
Spray oil

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Oil a shallow baking dish (I use a 13 in x 9 in Pyrex dish). Spray oil is easiest.
  3. Combine onion, green pepper, green chilies, chicken broth, and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in large nonstick skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add chili powders, pepper, garlic, and chicken to skillet, stir, cover, and then simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Place wet paper towel on the pile of 12 tortillas and warm in the microwave for 1 minute for a minute so that they are easier to roll. Or use a microwavable tortilla warmer if you have one.
  6. Spread 1/3 cup on each tortilla, roll, and place seam down on baking dish.
  7. Spread the rest of the enchilada sauce over tortillas and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes - top should be browned but not burnt.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes and then serve. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition 2 tortilla Serving: 330 Calories, 8.5 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 33 grams total carbs (5 g fiber), 32 grams protein, 544 mg Sodium, and is a great source of Vitamins C, B6, B12, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Tips for this recipe:

How to Copy Recipes in MyNetDiary

Both of these recipes can be copied from me, "Dietitian" in MyNetDiary. Login to MyNetDiary via web, go to Community, and then search "Dietitian" with "People" chosen in the drop down box. Scroll down the page until you find Dietitian in blue font, and click on that name. Scroll down Dietitian Personal Page and find Custom Catalog. You will find both recipes in that list: "KAI Chicken Veggie Fried Rice" and "KAI Modified Cortez Chicken Enchiladas." Copy each recipe by clicking "copy" link on the right side of the screen. Once you do that, you can use those recipes in your own log without having to enter it yourself. It is easy to search for those copied recipes if you use "from dietitian" in your name search.

Premium membership benefit: you can copy and customize recipes or foods. Bring up recipe in web program (Food tab), tap "Food Details" (top middle bar), and then choose "copy & customize" option. You can then modify any field to fully customize the recipe (ingredients, yield, name, etc.).

Enjoy these fast, easy, and healthy chicken recipes. Leftovers reheat well for either lunch or dinner on another day.

Foods & Recipes->Chicken & Turkey Meal Planning & Diets->Dinner
Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDE - Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

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