4 Quick and Easy Healthy Ground Chicken Recipes
Adding ground chicken to your meal routine can be a fantastic way to add protein without the fat and ground chicken often imparts a better flavor than even shredded chicken. Here are four quick and healthy ground chicken recipes to tickle your tastebuds.
Some basics first. Ground chicken can come in a variety of forms. Often, skin is added back to the chicken when it’s ground. In that case the fat content goes up but the chicken becomes stickier and you can form it into patties and balls, a lot like ground beef. Don’t purchase this kind however, the added chicken fat is not a healthy fat and is not needed.
Nutrition facts of ground chicken with skin added:
Per half cup serving:
170 calories, 10 grams fat, 18 grams protein, 0 grams carbohydrate
There are however, good options for healthy ground chicken that don’t contain added skin. I have seen brands like Jennie-O and Foster Farms offer these products but they can be hard to find. Most grocery stores that have a butcher counter will make this for you. I asked at two stores in my smaller-ish town and both were happy to grind up boneless-skinless chicken breasts for me at no charge. This option is much better. The recipes listed here work great with this super healthy ground chicken!
Nutrition facts of ground chicken with without skin:
Per half cup serving:
100 calories, 2 grams fat, 21 grams protein, 0 grams carbohydrate
You can’t get a much better form of protein than this. And because its ground, it takes on flavors of food much better than you might think. And yes, you can keep this in the fridge for up to a week – in the freezer for up to 3 months. When re-heating you can add some water and a pinch of salt if needed. And if you’d like to make the skin-less ground chicken into patties or form it in some way (you can make killer ground chicken meat loaf this way), just add an egg or two and sticky will happen, without the added chicken fat.
Here are some of my favorite (and easy!) healthy ground chicken recipes. Every one below is easy, quick, full of nutrients and a recipe the whole family will love!
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- 1 pkg. Long Grain & Wild Rice Mix
- 1 envelope Noodle Soup Mix (optional)
- 2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup, undiluted
- 1 c. Cooked ground or shredded Chicken
- ¼ c. Diced Onion
- 2-3 Celery Rib, diced
- 3 Med carrots or a cup of baby carrots – diced
- 7 c. Water
Simply combine all ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally!
Nutrition Information – 110 calories per cup, 13 g carbs, 4 g fat and 9 g protein.
Super Chicken Tacos
The flavor on this one can’t be beat. . and it’s not really spicy, it takes on the flavor of the pepperoncini without all the heat.
- 3 cups ground chicken
- 2 cups sliced pepperoncini peppers
- 1 cup juice from pepperoncini jar
- 1 sweet onion (sliced)
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 2 cups romaine lettuce or spinach chopped taco size
- 1 cup cheese (shredded)
- 1 cup tomato (diced)
- 1 package whole wheat tortilla or any kind your family enjoys!
Combine ground chicken, pepperoncini, juice, onion, and taco seasoning in crock pot or simmer on the stove until hot – in the crock pot I leave it for a couple hours and the smell drives everyone crazy!
Serve on warmed tortillas with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.
With a whole wheat tortilla the nutrition information – 240 calories per taco, 27 grams carbs, 8 grams fat and 9 grams protein.
Southwest Ground Chicken 3 Bean Chili
This one takes a bit longer but it’s not too bad. I am always a bit afraid when I see so many ingredients but there is a lot of spices in this one and most are optional. Don’t be afraid – go for it!!
- 3 cups ground chicken
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (or a couple T from the jar of already minced!)
- 3 14 oz cans chicken broth
- 16 oz can black beans, drained
- 16 oz can red kidney beans, drained
- 16 oz can cannellini beans (or other white bean), drained
- 15 oz can Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 6 oz tomato paste1 Tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce (optional – I leave this out and let people add if desired)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 heaping Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 heaping Tablespoon cumin
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ground chicken breast; cook for 1 minute then stir in chicken broth, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, hot sauce, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes then reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to serve.
Nutrition information per cup – 190 calories, 18 g carbs, 7 grams fat, 8 grams protein.
Chicken Salad Base
I call this a base recipe because you can do so much with it and change it up. When I make it at home I add in carrots, extra celery and even broccoli and I love it. Some people are not trying to cram every possible veggie into their life and like this recipe just as it is! You can add cranberries, nuts, almonds or whatever your heart desires. The ground chicken gives it more flavor I think and when using less mayo this becomes a great healthy ground chicken recipe.
- 2 cups cooked ground chicken, cold
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup to ¾ cup mayonnaise (I lean toward ¼ cup but the recipe can call for up to ¾ cup)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
Mix chicken, celery, lemon juice, salt and pepper.2. Add mayonnaise, mix well.3. Fold in chopped eggs, blending throughout.4. Serve on rolls, in a hollowed out tomato, or my favorite is rolled up in large romaine leaves – very good!
Nutrition information per ½ cup of salad – 150 calories 12 grams carbs 11 grams fat and 6 grams protein.
Crock Pot Santa Fe Healthy Ground Chicken
Always good to have one of these “throw it into the pot and forget it” recipes. And when you get home, the whole house smells sooo good! A hearty healthy ground chicken recipe for sure!
- 2 cups ground chicken1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies*, drained
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) chicken broth
- 1 cup (8 oz.) frozen corn
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon each*: chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 6 scallions, chopped
Serving options include serving over cooked brown or white rice, tortillas, lettuce leaves (make a wrap!)
Additional scallions and/or cilantroShredded reduced-fat cheddar cheeseChopped red onionLight sour cream or fat-free plain yogurt
Combine all ingredients except cilantro and scallions in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
When ready adjust salt and seasoning to taste. Stir in cilantro and garnish with scallions.
Serve over rice, tortillas, or large lettuce leaves to make a lettuce wrap. Add your favorite toppings.
Makes approx. 8, 1 cup servings. Each serving has 190 calories, 18 gram carbs, 8 grams fat and 8 g protein.