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Meal IdeasView Slideshow

Forget Boring Chicken

Love chicken but tired of the same old recipes? In honor of National Chicken Month, we’ve gathered some of the cheapest, most convenient, and tastiest chicken recipes that can be made with a slow cooker, in the oven, or on the stove. There’s enough variety in these 50 dishes to incorporate chicken into the weekly menu and still keep the family from groaning, "Chicken again?"

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Chicken Enchilada Stack

Smothering hearty chicken in chili sauce and cheese and wrapping it in tortillas is a Tex-Mex staple. By layering the ingredients rather than wrapping them, you can complete the entire process in a slow cooker.

Chicken Caesar Salad3 / 51
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Chicken Caesar Salad

A low-carb recipe for this classic dish is full of flavor, thanks to a rich Caesar dressing, and full of protein from lean chicken breasts. Rotisserie chicken is a convenient option, although using a home-cooked chicken is cheaper.

Pulled Barbecue Chicken4 / 51
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Pulled Barbecue Chicken

This barbecue chicken dish is an inexpensive way to deliver satisfying party food for a crowd. A slow cooker does all the work — just add the ingredients, press a button, and wait. While this recipe calls for breasts, thighs work just as well, cost less, and add more flavor.

Thai Chicken Curry5 / 51
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Split Chicken Breasts6 / 51
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Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes

Cooks can use bone-in or boneless chicken for this crowd-pleasing recipe, but it’s important that the pieces still have their skin.The additional step of searing the chicken, skin side down, in a stovetop pan before cooking develops a deeper flavor.

Chicken Tikka Masala7 / 51
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Chicken Tikka Masala

The base of the sauce in this Indian restaurant favorite is made from household staples such as tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic, and onion. The only specialty ingredient is garam masala, which is easily found at most grocery stores. A slow cooker is used to make this inexpensive classic.

Chicken Cobb Salad8 / 51
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While a traditional Cobb salad depends on expensive ingredients such as avocado and bacon, emphasizing larger portions of cheaper ingredients such as chicken, eggs, and greens should offset the price. For the bite-size chicken pieces, it’s possible to use leftovers.

Spicy Chicken Legs9 / 51
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The butter and hot sauce used to season these spicy chicken legs is the same base used for a traditional hot wing sauce. Because the chicken is braised, the texture is tender rather than crisp, although finishing the legs in an oven or under the broiler helps crisp up the skin.

Mango Chicken Tinga10 / 51
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Sweet and Spicy Chicken11 / 51
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Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Adjust the heat level of a sweet-hot recipe by using a spicier or milder chili sauce. Serve over rice, toss with noodles, or create a fusion-style sandwich with pickled vegetables.

Chicken Tortilla Soup12 / 51
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Making this hearty and comforting Southwestern staple is an easy, three-step process, and makes use of inexpensive bone-in chicken thighs. Feel free to get creative with the toppings or offer a toppings bar so everyone can customize their own.

Chicken Noodle Soup13 / 51
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Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker14 / 51
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Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

The prep for slow-cooking a whole chicken is exactly the same as roasting. After the bird is washed, seasoned, and trussed, it cooks atop a bed of veggies. Finishing it in the broiler crisps the skin.

African-Style Braised Chicken in Peanut Sauce15 / 51
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African-Style Braised Chicken in Peanut Sauce

African flavors become easier by letting the slow cooker mimic the hours-long slow simmer that this dish would otherwise require. The combination of warm spices and curry powder with creamy peanut butter and chicken is worth the wait.

Whole Roast Chicken16 / 51
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Basic ingredients such as salt, herbs, garlic, and butter make a supremely juicy bird with instructions adapted from a Thomas Keller cookbook. The key is starting with a room-temperature bird, so don’t forget to take it out of the fridge in advance.

Jerk Chicken17 / 51
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Jerk Chicken

Jerk chicken has a reputation for being difficult to make, likely because of the vast array of spices needed for an authentic-tasting dish. But it uses aromatics as common as garlic, allspice, ginger, scallions, thyme, cardamom, and habanero chilis. A slow cooker make it easier.

Herb and Lemon Roasted Chicken18 / 51
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Chicken Paillard19 / 51
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Chicken and Rice20 / 51
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Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice can be made in virtually infinite ways, but this dish distinguishes itself with basil, broccoli, and shredded Parmesan. The broccoli pesto adds an unexpected dimension of flavor and nutrition.

Chicken Parmigiana21 / 51
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Fried Chicken22 / 51
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Fried Chicken

There are countless fried chicken recipes, from Nashville hot to extra-crunchy Korean-style. While it may not be a staple, getting comfortable with a good fried chicken recipe is handy for special occasions.

Baked Chicken Wings23 / 51
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Chicken Tacos24 / 51
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Chicken Tacos

This recipe makes a spicy chicken mixture to fill tortillas, although simple shredded rotisserie chicken would also work in a pinch. Try simmering the chicken in the sauce for 10 minutes before serving for maximum flavor.

Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs25 / 51
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Mediterranean Skillet Chicken26 / 51
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Chicken Fingers27 / 51
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Chicken Burger28 / 51
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Baked Chicken Breasts29 / 51
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Kung Pao Chicken30 / 51
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Kung Pao Chicken

Kung pao chicken can be so easy to make and customize to a family’s preferences that picking up takeout might lose its allure. Most of the complexity comes in picking up ingredients ahead of time; once you’re stocked, you should be able to eat with 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cooking.

Chicken and Broccoli31 / 51
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Chicken and Broccoli

This one-skillet recipe is so quick and easy it can be made in less time than it would take to get it delivered from the closest Chinese restaurant. The combination of chicken and broccoli is kicked up a notch with a tangy sauce.

Chicken Rollatini32 / 51
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Chicken Eggrolls33 / 51
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Buffalo Chicken Dip34 / 51
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The buttery and spicy flavors of Buffalo chicken have been turned into countless dishes, from classic wings to pizza and pasta bakes. This dip (which includes chicken breast) works with everything from celery and carrots to toast and tortilla chips.

Chicken Soup35 / 51
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Chicken Burrito36 / 51
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Chicken Quesadilla37 / 51
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Chicken Shawarma38 / 51
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Chicken Fried Rice39 / 51
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Using leftover rice and vegetables to make a batch of fried rice is a clever way to create a dish out of on-hand ingredients, and adding chicken makes it a complete meal. This recipe calls for frozen veggies, another cheap way to add fiber and nutrients.

Spicy Orange Chicken Stir-Fry40 / 51
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Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake41 / 51
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Chicken Gumbo42 / 51
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Chicken Kebabs43 / 51
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Chicken Pot Pie44 / 51
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Chicken Salad45 / 51
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Oven Barbecue Chicken46 / 51
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Oven Barbecue Chicken

Oven-baked barbecue chicken is a convenient alternative to grilling during winter months. Using thighs keeps this dish juicy, flavorful, and inexpensive. Bonus savings for using homemade barbecue sauce.

Chicken Foil Pack47 / 51
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For a simple one-dish meal, wrap the contents in a foil pack before placing on a hot grill, making cleanup and preparation effortless. Choose chicken parts, as well as other vegetables, based on what’s already in your fridge.

Chipotle Chicken Fajitas48 / 51
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Chipotle Chicken Fajitas

Use chicken breasts and vegetables seasoned with spicy chipotle chilis in a piquant and flavorful Mexican-inspired meal. Chicken parts such as thighs and legs can be substituted for extra savings.

Grilled Chicken and Squash Kebabs49 / 51
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Chicken Tetrazzini50 / 51
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Coffee-Brined Drumsticks51 / 51
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Coffee-Brined Drumsticks

Try something different by marinating chicken in a rich and completely unexpected mixture of coffee, brown sugar, red pepper, and other spices. Try using drumsticks, but any dark meat works well. If serving the whole family, consider skipping the spicier ingredients.