This may surprise you, but there are some really delicious chicken recipes under 200 calories that you can make easily yourself! Chicken is a great source of lean protein and is a very versatile ingredient to work with in the kitchen. It can be baked, broiled, grilled or used in salads and make perfect meals under 200 calories. The low-cal option can be dressed up with all types of flavorings.
Chicken is about 187 calories for each four ounce serving. In addition, chicken includes vitamins such as vitamin B3, selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, choline, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B12. Also, studies have found that chicken proteins can benefit blood pressure.
You can easily dress chicken with different condiments including mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, balsamic, olive oil, or coconut oil. In addition, you can pair it with veggies, rice, carbohydrates, and fruit. You can even use bread and make it into a sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes.
The good part about chicken is that it’s full of protein and does not have carbohydrates. To digest it, your body will have to burn up more calories than the chicken contains. The protein in the chicken makes it ideal for a post-workout meal. The protein helps build up and repair the muscles that need rebuilding after exercise.
The following are some of our favorite low calorie chicken recipes:
Spinach Chicken Parmesan
This spinach chicken parmesan makes a great main dish, another chicken recipe with 200 calories that pairs perfectly with a salad of fresh greens. The greens add another extra boost of protein, while the cheese adds calcium and some extra protein. Cook up a big batch of these each week to use as meals throughout the week. The ingredients are basic without preservatives or additives.
- ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup grated fresh parmesan
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 TBS flour (all-purpose)
- ½ cup skim or 2% milk
- 10 oz package chopped frozen spinach (thaw and drain)
- 1 TBS chopped pimento pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine in a small bowl the Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Roll chicken breasts in the mixture to lightly coat. Set aside the rest of the cheese mixture. In an 8x8x2” baking dish, arrange the coated pieces of chicken.
- Next, sauté in a small saucepan the butter and green onion. Stir in the flour then add all the milk. Simmer while stirring until it gets bubbly. Add drained spinach and pimento pepper; mix well. Spoon this mixture onto the chicken pieces and sprinkle the remaining cheese and seasoning mix over the chicken. Bake the dish for 30-35 minutes uncovered until the chicken juices run clear and chicken is tender.
Pineapple Chicken Tenders
These pineapple chicken tenders make a wonderful low-cal snack or as a light meal paired with a salad. You can even add the chopped tenders in with the salad for a fresh and delicious lunch on the go! Again, the ingredient list is small, so it’s basic, natural, and healthy. This can be paired with brown rice for a lunches or dinners.
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (light)
- ½ cup brown sugar (light, packed)
- 2 lbs chicken breast strips or tenderloins
- Bamboo skewers
- Over medium heat and in a small sauce pan, mix brown sugar, pineapple juice and soy sauce. Just before it reaches a boil, remove the marinade from heat.
- In a medium bowl, put chicken tenders in and cover with your marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Skewer the chicken pieces and lightly oil your grill if necessary. Grill the skewered chicken for 5 minutes each side or until chicken juice runs clear. They do cook fast, so you’ll need to watch them.
Braised Balsamic Chicken
Serve this braised balsamic chicken with quinoa and fresh green beans to pack even more low-cal nutrients into your meal! This makes for a fancy lunch or dinner option, and it’s easy to make. It includes spices, protein, and healthy fat.
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Coconut oil can also be used!)
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 1 can or 3 fresh diced tomatoes
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar* Note: some balsamic vinegars contain high amounts of sugar. If you are watching your sugar intake, choose a vinegar with low sugar. Read labels!
- 1 tsp each: dried basil, dried rosemary, dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- With the garlic salt and pepper, season both sides of chicken pieces
- Over medium heat, heat olive oil. Cook chicken until browned, or about 3-4 minutes on each side. Add onion to chicken and cook until it’s also browned, about another 3-4 minutes.
- Add diced tomato and vinegar to browned chicken; season with oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary. Simmer until chicken is fully cooked (juices will run clear) or about 15 minutes. If using a meat thermometer (recommended) the center of chicken pieces should be 165 degrees minimum when done.
Fun Chicken Bites
These fun chicken bites are great for kids and snacks, too and they’re well under 200 calories per serving. Chicken bites are fun to eat, but are also a healthy snack.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces, cut into ½” cubes
- 1 egg
- 2 cups crushed crackers or potato chips
- 2 TBS milk
- Sticks or skewers *Lollipop sticks can be found at a party or craft store
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet either grease or line with parchment paper to prevent chicken from sticking.
- Put crackers or chips in a gallon freezer bag and crush. Put crushed mixture onto a plate. In a separate bowl, whisk milk and egg together. Dip each chicken cube into the egg/milk mixture then coat evenly in the cracker/chip pieces. Place the “nuggets” on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. After fully cooked, insert skewer or lollipop stick. Make a light ranch dipping sauce using Greek yogurt, or some chickpea hummus for a low calorie and nutritious addition to these fun little bites!
Baked Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
This classic meal can used for weekday dinners or lunches.
Also Read: 18 Baked & Boneless Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Breast
- Sweet potatoes
- Coconut oil
- Salt as desired
- Pepper as desired
- Cinnamon as desired
- Set the oven to 350 degrees. Rub the chicken with coconut oil and add salt and pepper.
- Bake the dish for 30-35 minutes. While the chicken is baking, put coconut oil on the pan and add the sweet potatoes.
- Put them on medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes. If you’d like, you can bake the sweet potatoes with the chicken in the oven. You can also dust the sweet potatoes with cinnamon in order to give it a more sweet taste. If you’d like a more savory taste, go with the salt and pepper.
As you can see, there are many ways to get creative with chicken for less than 200 calories per serving. We hope you enjoy these chicken recipes under 200 calories as much as we have! They offer health benefits and delicious taste for weekday meals.
This article was originally published on 28th Sept 2015 & Updated on 25th July 2016.