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Top 10 Budget Chicken Meals

In every kitchen around the world, the humble chicken often plays the starring role. I love creating chicken dinners for our family because it’s so versatile, affordable and most of all, the kids actually eat it! We’ve all had those moments, staring into the refrigerator, wondering how to transform that chicken into a delightful dish without resorting to the same old recipes. Well, fret no more! I’ve scoured every corner and cooked up a storm to bring you a delectable collection of chicken recipes that not only dance on the taste buds but also keep your wallet happy.

First on our list is the zesty Lemon Chicken Risoni, a sunny fusion of tangy lemon and tender chicken that’ll whisk your senses straight to the Mediterranean coast. Speaking of Mediterranean vibes, wait until you try the Mediterranean Chicken Tray Bake—it’s a symphony of flavors that come together in one tray. Effortless and exquisite!

Craving something with a bit more kick? Dive into the aromatic world of the Chicken Adobo, a Filipino classic that marries the deep richness of soy with the zing of vinegar. Or my Crispy Sesame Chicken with Fried Rice is my go to recipe when we are craving take away.

Wrap lovers, we haven’t forgotten about you! My Chicken Tzatziki Wraps are a refreshing treat, perfect for those light lunches or picnics in the park. And speaking of crispy delights, the freezer-friendly Crispy Baked Chicken Schnitzel is a crunchy wonder that’s sure to be a hit at any dinner table.

For those who swear by the magic of slow cooking, my Slow Cooker Chicken Satay offers creamy, peanutty goodness with every bite. And if you’re in the mood for comfort, nothing beats the classic Chicken Stroganoff or homely Chicken Mushroom Pie.

Perfectly cooked chicken and rice in one pan? My One Pot Paprika Chicken and Red Rice challenges the norms and delivers a delicious, fuss-free meal that’ll have you asking for seconds.

Here 10 are my top 10 budget chicken recipes:

Creamy Lemon Chicken Risoni Orzo

Creamy Lemon Chicken Risoni (Orzo)

Creamy pasta is my go-to comfort food at the best of times, but when it’s as easy as this recipe and made in one pan, it takes on a new level of amazing. This Creamy Lemon Chicken Risoni (Orzo) requires very little preparation but is incredibly delicious to eat. It cooks quickly and easily in the one pan making it the perfect family dinner for busy weeknights when you don’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen! Risoni (or orzo) are small, oval-shaped pasta that take on a risotto-like texture and taste in this recipe. The dish is loaded with delicious lemon-garlic flavours and then finished with lashings of Parmesan cheese. I add spinach in the last few minutes of cooking because it requires no chopping, but don’t feel limited by this. Any vegetables of choice can be added directly to the pan just after the butter. Think asparagus, peas, broccoli or green beans. Once prepared, the dish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated ready when you need it!

Chicken Tzatziki Wrap

Chicken Tzatziki Wraps

Chicken Tzatziki Wraps – It has ‘chicken kebab’ and ‘chicken gyros’ vibes with minimal effort and maximum flavour! Every time I make these I am blown away by how good they taste. The marinade on the chicken is sticky and sweet, filled with flavours of garlic, oregano and lemon. The kids can load up with whatever salads they like which is always a bonus, but I love the combination of tomato and parsley. It reminds me of a cheats tabouli.

Years ago I ate the best tzatziki of my life in a Greek restaurant in Santorini and I was determined to recreate it at home. And this is the product of that venture. The flavour of this tzatziki is INCREDIBLE and it is well worth the extra effort, but store-bought tztaziki or hummus are great substitutes if you are wanting to make this an even faster dinner for busy weeknights. Try the chicken with these two ingredient flatbreads or simply load up some store bought wraps. These are fantastic for entertaining (make them ahead), busy weeknight dinners or for long, relaxing weekends. These Chicken Tzatziki Wraps are sure to land on your weekly dinner rotation! 

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo is one of the most popular Filipino dishes. I was introduced to it by my mother-in-law, and I have loved it ever since! I love the garlicky, vinegary and peppery marinade, it is addictive. There are so many variations (they are all fantastic!), but this is how I do mine. This dish tastes even better the next day!

Crispy Sesame Chicken

Crispy Sesame Chicken and Fried Rice

The perfect mid-week meal, hearty, tasty, easy to make and on the table in under 20 minutes. Skip the takeaway and enjoy homemade crispy chicken coated in a thick, sticky, soy and sesame glaze and served with simple fried rice. Two meals in one, you can serve the sesame chicken with noodles or steamed rice if you prefer, and the fried rice is the perfect accompaniment to your favourite stir-fries.

Chicken Stroganoff

Chicken Stroganoff

Whenever times feel extra busy I lean into recipes that are going to make life that little bit easier, without having to break the bank! Good quality, free-range chicken thigh fillets always make it into my shopping cart whenever they are on special so that I can batch cook my favourite meals for the freezer. This creamy chicken and mushroom stroganoff is up there on the favourites list. It’s a meal that comes together quickly and with minimal effort, yet the flavour of the pan sauce is just heavenly. It’s completely customisable (you can leave out the mushrooms completely and add any veggies you like in the last 5 minutes of cooking) and can be served with rice, pasta or mashed potato, making it nice and versatile meal, perfect for your family to enjoy any night of the week.

Slow Cooker Chicken Satay

Slow Cooker Chicken Satay

This Slow Cooker Chicken Satay is the ultimate meal for busy weeknights. “Set and forget” and free up time while your dinner simmers to perfection! I’ve tried several versions of this recipe and have finally found the ultimate combination of family-friendly flavours that really make this dish special. I’ve found in the past slow cooker recipes can lack in flavour but this one is incredible. Tender pieces of chicken and your family’s favourite vegetables are cooked in a homemade peanut and coconut sauce before being served with fluffy rice and crushed peanuts. This one is sure to make it to your weekly meal plan rotation!

One Pot Crispy Chicken and Red Rice Recipe

One Pot Paprika Chicken and Red Rice

This One Pot Paprika Chicken and Red Rice is such a delicious recipe perfect for busy weeknights. With juicy, perfectly cooked chicken and flavourful tomato and garlic rice, you won’t believe it all comes together in just one pan with minimal effort and minimal preparation! Add all the ingredients to the pan with chicken stock and let it all simmer to perfection. Top with fresh coriander or parsley for a final touch of freshness. This meal is sure to be a hit with the whole family!

Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Chicken Mushroom Pie

If you’re a fan of the traditional Chicken Pot Pie or a Cottage Pie, then this Chicken Mushroom Pie is perfect for you. Browned and buttered mushrooms practically melt into a cheesy, herbed, chicken filling that’s topped off with a flaky puff pastry crust. Chicken Mushroom Pie is ideal for a Sunday dinner or an autumn and winter meal. Although savory pie recipes can be labour intensive, this easy Chicken Mushroom Pie can be made in just over an hour with only a few simple steps. This comforting cold weather meal can even be prepped ahead of time to make it even easier.

Mediterranean Chicken Tray Bake

Mediterranean Chicken Tray Bake

If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner the whole family will love, you need to try this Mediterranean Chicken Tray Bake. The ingredients are so simple – you probably have many of them in your pantry already. The perfectly cooked, crispy chicken juices mingle with the red onions and the sweet, roasted tomatoes, while the potatoes soak up all of the flavour. This one-pan meal is not only delicious and healthy, but also easy to prepare and clean up. This is sure to become a new family dinner favourite on your meal plan rotation!

Baked Chicken Schnitzel

Crispy Baked Chicken Schnitzel

One of our all time family favourite recipes is this Crispy Baked Chicken Schnitzel. I love buying free-range chicken breast on special and making a batch of this delicious chicken schnitzels to freeze for a rainy day. There are a few tips in the recipe that stop the chicken drying out during baking and get that crispy coating evenly golden all over. These chicken schnitzels can be served with whatever salad you like, but we love a classic coleslaw with potato wedges. 

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