Who else is guilty of buying the individually packaged chicken breasts and then neglecting them in the back of freezer?

It’s okay, we all do it. Chicken is boring, and what’s worse is that it seems to have some sort of power over your creativity so that you can’t think of anything to do with it.

But we’ve been looking at this all wrong. Yeah, chicken is bland, but that’s the best part about it. It’s a blank canvas for you to put all sorts of delicious stuff on it. To borrow a word from Guy Fieri, chicken is your express ticket to Flavortown. So let’s get moving.

1. Tandoori Chicken


Photo by Eunice Choi

It’s amazing what one spice packet will do to an incredibly dull ingredient. Plus, it’s so much cheaper than ordering takeout. Craving Thai? They have a packet for that. Want Indian or Chinese? There’s a packet for that, too. You get the picture.

And if you don’t, here’s a recipe for chicken stir fry that uses pre-made sauces.

2. Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

chicken burger

Photo by Abigail Wilkins

If you’ve ever had the Chili Lime Chicken Burgers from Trader Joe’s, you know how good this recipe is going to be. If you haven’t, believe me when I tell you that these are real tasty.

A lot of people don’t realize that you can make a burger out of any sort of meat — salmon, shrimp, pork, turkey, etc. But chicken is by far the most versatile. It can look at any flavor profile and just say, “Bring it on.

3. Better Than Wings Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip

Photo by Hana Ezaldein

This is, by far and away, my favorite football snack. The first time my roommate made this, we devoured it and another batch within the first quarter.

And for all those who don’t like buffalo wings because they’re too spicy, you can adjust the spice level to your liking depending on how much hot sauce you put in. Trust me, I won’t touch buffalo wings but I’ll eat this stuff with a shovel.

4. A Simple Chicken Pot Pie

Photo by Peter Cheng

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those classic comfort foods that only Mom or Grandma knows how to make. Well, not anymore. It’s actually super simple to hack these comfort staples; and no, this doesn’t mean heating up some Marie Calendar’s.

The hardest part of a pot pie is making the creamy base, or the rue, but it’s still pretty easy. The key to a no-fail rue is to bring the liquid ingredients to room temperature, and then slowly pour them into the onion-flour-oil mixture.

5. Chicken Piccata

Photo by Kelda Baljon

This is the easiest and fanciest-looking chicken dish I’ve ever made. It requires few ingredients, one pan, and very little skill. And for all of its minimalism, it’s still incredibly flavorful.

#SpoonTip: If you don’t want to use wine (because you subscribe to the belief that wine is for drinking) or you can’t buy wine yet, replacing it with chicken stock is perfectly fine. That’s how Giada does it.

6. Rotini with Goat Cheese, Kale, and Chicken Sausage

Photo by Elizabeth Tadie

I discovered chicken sausage in my senior year of college and it was a godsend on days when I was at the library until 8 or 9. Pasta + chicken sausage = a lot of possibilities. It comes together fast and it’s filling — plus, leftovers!

7. Waffle-Battered Chicken Wings

Gif by Alex Waxenbaum

If you’re feeling ambitious and want to get rid of half a packet of chicken wings you bought for a football party (does anybody know where I can find something other than the value size?), then this is the recipe for you.

If you don’t have a waffle maker in your college kitchen, try making chicken and pancakes. Same recipe sans waffle iron. It’s a little messier, but worth it if you’re saving the $20 you could have spent on a waffle iron for your fantasy football league. #priorities

8. Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

Photo by George Farah

The slow cooker is king for those days that you know you’ll be on campus all day and the only thing that will soothe your over-educated soul is a hot meal. Just prep this in the morning (or even the night before) and get going.

9. Chicken Alfredo

Photo by Hannah Giardina

Fettucine alfredo is one of my favorite things to eat — probably because it’s the grown up version of mac and cheese and I have an unabashed love for mac and cheese. Or just cheese.

#SpoonTip: If you’re interested in lightening this up (let’s face it, this packs on the calories), substitute the milk for skim and the butter for veggie (calling all vegans) or chicken broth.

10. Super Simple Caprese Chicken

Photo by Megan Prendergast

This dish requires very little prep and effort. Just throw the chicken in the oven, take it out, top it with the caprese, and put it back in. In 40 minutes, you’ve got a gorgeous meal and a non-bland chicken breast.

11. Crock-Pot Chicken Chili

Photo by Analiese Trimber

This is another amazing Crock-Pot recipe. And when it starts getting cold, there is nothing more comforting than having your place smell like chili while you sit on the couch and drink hot chocolate and do absolutely nothing.

12. Rosemary Balsamic Chicken

Photo by Mackenzie Barth

Balsamic is a great ingredient that often gets overlooked as a simple dressing for salads. The truth is, you can use balsamic on a lot of things — like chicken.

It creates a great tangy flavor and with very few ingredients, and you’ll have a chicken breast that’ll make all your roommates jealous.

13. Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Photo by Sarah Silbiger

Even though Labor Day marks the official end of summer, there’s still enough summer weather left to justify some BBQ. This is also one of the easiest and fastest barbecue recipes you’ll ever come across.

14. Chicken Cucumber Pita Pocket

Photo by Abigail Wilkins

Chicken isn’t just for dinner — it’s a great, easy lunch too. This recipe is pretty quick, but if you’re in a huge hurry, just use store-bought tzatziki sauce and those pre-sliced, pre-cooked chicken breasts.

I’m all about food that is ready in five minutes because this lazy bum only gets up when she’s starving and needs food now.

15. Chicken Fajita Salad

Photo by Megan Prendergast

If you’re like me and eating veggies is a painful chore, then this salad is for you. It’s so good that you can actually forget about the fact that you’re eating rabbit food.

This is also great for when your grocery store is having a sale on lettuce (2 for 1 baby spinach at Giant all the time) and you convince yourself that this is a sign you’re going to start eating healthy. We all know that is going to sit in your fridge until it rots. This recipe can help you #savethelettuce.