Low Carb Chicken Recipes: Chicken has to be a firm favorite in most people’s homes, I know it definitely is in mine. If we don’t have it with salad, then we are having it in a casserole or even a curry.
When I started my low carb lifestyle changes, I was fairly confident I could adapt some of my favorite chicken recipes to ensure they were low carb.
Chicken, along with turkey, is usually naturally low in carbs as long as you don’t eat the skin.
In this section I plan to share some of my favorite low carb chicken recipes, as well as those of my family too.
Is Chicken Good For You?
Chicken is one of the world’s most popular meats, with the average American eating around 50-pounds of it every year. However, while chicken provides a number of health benefits, eating too much of the poultry can have potentially bad side effects. According to the American Heart Association, an individual should not eat more than 170-grams of chicken or turkey a day.
Chicken is a fantastic source of protein, which is important for people following a low carb diet.
Including a healthy source of protein in your diet is important to reduce chances of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Chicken is also a great source of minerals, such as potassium, iron and phosphorus all of which helps keep an individual’s blood oxygenated and aids good bone development. This means low carb chicken recipes are particularly beneficial for children.
As well as looking for low carb meals, you also need to bear in mind the amount of calories you are taking in at any one sitting.
Following a low carb diet for weight loss is going to be relatively fruitless if you are taking in lots of calories too. Chicken, in comparison to other meat choices, contains relatively little in the way of calories, with half a breast containing, on average, 140 calories.
Which low carb chicken recipes you choose, will determine how many calories is in the final meal.
Cholesterol levels are something most people of a certain age need to consider, especially as being overweight or obese does not necessarily mean your cholesterol level will be high. In fact, people who are at their ideal weight, can still have a high cholesterol level because of the food they eat.
Because high cholesterol rarely has symptoms, you should seek advice from your doctor about having your level checked before following a low carb diet.
Chicken is low in carbs and fat, to reduce the content further – remove all the skin and use spices to flavor, as oppose to cooking in oils or butters.
If done correctly, you could build up a collection of low carb chicken recipes, that are also low in cholesterol and calories.
Potential Health Benefits
As well as making numerous tasty low carb chicken recipes, it is thought that chicken can also have significant health benefits.
According to researched covered by the American Journal of Gastroenterology, individuals who have a higher intake of chicken have a significantly lower chance of developing colon cancer.
The very first “proper” home-made low carb meal I enjoyed with my family was chicken. It tasted so much like our usual fare, I had trouble convincing them I was actually on a diet.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
You will need –
Four Chicken Breasts (remove all skin)
One Pound of Broccoli (Cut into Bite size Chunks)
1/3 Cup of Heavy Cream
1/3 Cup of Water
1/3 Cup of Cream Cheese
Two Cups of Shredded Cheddar
• Grill your chicken until cooked, each breast should be a golden brown in color. Ensure your chicken is cooked through by cutting slightly with a knife.
• Cook broccoli for around 15 minutes or until tender yet crisp.
• Place your cream, water and cream cheese in a pan over a medium heat and melt slowly, keep stirring and wait until it forms a sauce.
• Cut your chicken into bite size pieces and mix with the broccoli and cheese sauce.
• Bake in an oven proof dish at 350-degrees for 30 minutes.
• Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before serving with a seasonal salad.
This dish is beautifully creamy and very deceiving, as it doesn’t taste any different to the higher carb alternative. Each serving contains around 3-grams of carbohydrates and 176 calories.
As far as low carb meals go, this is one of my personal favorites, as it is easy to prepare – I can usually do most of the prep before I go to work if it is a busy day.
When I am asked by people for a few low carb chicken recipes, this one always makes the list.
I have always been a big lover of food in general, and therefore didn’t really have one particular dish I ate a lot of or often.
Of course, when I decided to reduce my carbohydrate intake I had to decide which foods I needed to change or say goodbye to altogether.
I have always loved a good curry, usually making my own although I was partial to a curry from our local takeaway too.
Lamb, beef, chicken or king prawn, I loved absolutely any type of curry with a hefty portion of fried rice.
So when I decided to compile some low carb chicken recipes, I decided to find a curry dish that would satisfy my curry craving the next time it came.
My husband, by the way, is a HUGE lover of curry and spicy food in general, so it was important I found one we could both enjoy together.
Extra Tasty Low Carb Chicken Curry
You will need –
One Pound of Chicken Fillets
1 1/3 Cups of Spinach
½ Cup of Coconut Milk
Four Tablespoons of Curry Powder (I used Medium)
Two Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
One Large Onion (Chopped)
• Cut the chicken fillets into small cubes and cook in the coconut oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. When the chicken begins to turn a golden brown, add the chopped onion and gently sautee together.
• Add the spinach, coconut milk and curry powder to the pan and allow to cook gently over a medium heat. This should take around 20 minutes, although if you lower the heat you can leave it for longer.
• Serve hot with boiled or pilau rice.
Fried rice, such as that found in my favorite Chinese takeaway, is high in fat, carbs and calories.
Boiled rice contains little carbs and you can add flavor using black pepper, paprika or thyme.
This recipe may seem basic and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t, but it does pack a flavor punch and lets face it, after a busy day you don’t want to be sweating for hours in the kitchen making a chicken curry.
Each serving contains around three-grams of carbs and 199 calories.
You can add things to this recipe, herbs and spices are a good idea or you could serve with a topping of pecan nuts, which add flavor and texture and are low in carbs too.
Easy Spicy Chicken Breasts
This next recipe was one I kind of made up as I went along, after growing tired of my husband’s constant moaning about the lack of spicy food in the family’s diet.
Of course, I am more than willing to try hot and spicy food, but as most parents know – this type of food doesn’t really go down well with the children.
So, one evening I prepared something for the children and decided to come up with something new to add to my low carb chicken recipes, as well as something my husband would enjoy eating.
You will need –
Four Chicken Fillets (take all the skin off)
Two Tablespoons of Garlic Powder
One Tablespoon of Onion Powder
One Tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
One Tablespoon of Ground Thyme
One Tablespoon of Black Pepper
One Tablespoon of Salt
• In an appropriate bowl mix together your garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme and cayenne pepper. Take around three tablespoons of the powder out of the bowl and leave to one side for your chicken. Store the remainder of the powder in a suitable container – it is ideal seasoning for fish or vegetables.
• Rub the set aside seasoning onto the chicken fillets, ensuring each one is well coated.
• Place chicken fillets on a medium-heat grill for around eight minutes or until you notice the juices from the chicken have begun to run clear.
• Serve with seasonal vegetables or a suitable salad.
I also made a cheeky tarragon dip (two tablespoons of tarragon and low-fat yogurt) to go with the chicken. My husband was both impressed and amazed – impressed that something that tasted so good could be a healthy low carb dish and amazed that I had managed to cook up something spicy would could both enjoy together.
Again, this is one of the healthier of the low carb chicken recipes I have in my collection with each serving (minus the dip) containing less than two-grams of carbs and just 170 calories.
Missing Your Sandwiches?
I have already spoke about my love of sandwiches, my absolute former favorite being huge wedges of warm white bread, covered generously in butter, with a couple of strokes of honey-mustard and generous pieces of roast chicken.
Now, I knew that my favorite sandwich would not make it into any low carb meals collection any time soon but I was surprised when a friend gave me one of her low carb chicken recipes – a club sandwich.
I dare any serious sandwich fan to tell me the following recipe is not as good as any “normal” sandwich they have eaten. – Prepare to be blown away!
A Cheeky Low Carb Chicken Club Sandwich.
You will need –
Two Sliced Grilled Chicken Fillets with the skin removed (cut into cube pieces)
½ pound of lean cooked bacon ( grill or oven bake)
Two Large Tomatoes (cut into cube pieces)
One Cup of Shredded Lettuce
Two Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
Six Pieces of Whole Grain Bread (you can also use low-fat tortilla)
• You can toast the bread or leave it – the choice is yours but I always choose to toast.
• Spread a generous amount of mayonnaise onto each piece of bread.
• Add Chicken, Bacon, Tomato and Lettuce to two slices of bread, leaving enough aside to make a second layer.
• Place a piece of bread on each slice and repeat the layering (adding salt and pepper to taste)
• Place the final piece of bread onto each of the sandwiches and cut into large triangle pieces
• Use a cocktail stick to hold the layers together, serve with a small side salad or low carb coleslaw.
One of my favorite low carb chicken recipes because it is healthy, quick and easy to transport making it a great low carb picnic treat. The low carb chicken sandwich is also ideal for a quick lunch, seen as you can prep most of the ingredients before time and leave in the refrigerator.
You can add or remove anything you don’t like, for example, my friend makes hers using taco shells and another uses huge ramone lettuce leaves to replace the bread element altogether.
Create Your Own Low Carb Dinner Recipes
As with many diets, what most suits your new low carb lifestyle will be largely trial and error for a while, as you get used to the good and bad carbohydrates in different foods.
Using something like chicken, which you already know is low in carbs and calories, gives you a great base to create your own delicious low carb chicken recipes. Think of it as a blank canvas, the worse that can happen is you end up with something that doesn’t taste great – the best that can happen is you add another string to your low carb diet bow!
I have found the following things have become essential in my kitchen –
• Sesame seed and olive oil – whether used to cook something or as a dressing for a salad, both of these oils are low in carbs and calories making them an important piece of kit for your kitchen.
• Herbs and spices – I have always had a good supply of spices, but since starting to make low carb dinner recipes I have added a lot more. Cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary, paprika, mustard powder and more, can all add flavor to something that needs a little extra kick.
• Black pepper – I can not recommend enough that people invest in a pepper mill, one that crushes whole black peppercorns. The taste difference is not just noticeable, it makes the difference between an average meal and an awesome meal.
I found that once I became more confident of my knowledge, I was more open to trying low carb chicken recipes – with my own twist.
You don’t have to stick to safe low carb meals to get through your diet, in fact the more you add your own personality to the low carb dinner recipes you find, the more your dietary changes will become second nature.
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