When sunshine is scarce and long evenings are spent indoors, these fun chicken dinner ideas are a great way to bring the family together and spice up your day.
It won’t be long before the flowers start to bloom and the afternoon light stretches late into the evening, but for now, the brief moments of clear skies are here just to tease us. Jackets are still needed, and the grass is still perpetually damp.
Like the last two weeks of classes before a senior’s graduation, the last few weeks of winter seem to drag in the PNW. On days when it seems it will never end, dinner can be more than a meal–it can be a fun family activity to break up the day and actually enjoy your precious time together. Since you’ll likely be dining indoors for a little while longer, why not try one of these delicious chicken dinner ideas?
Homemade Individual Chicken Pesto Pizzas
Homemade personal pizzas are sure to please a wide range of diverse taste buds, because they’re as individual as the people making them! This foolproof, fun to make meal will help your kids gain confidence in their cooking skills or give you and your dinner guests something to do with your hands while you all catch up on life together.
Oil a baking sheet (you may have to use more than one sheet, depending on how many pizzas you make).
Start with a simple pizza crust. You can use a packaged pizza crust, or–if you’re feeling fancy–make your own with this simple recipe from Taste and Tell. Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce also carries cauliflower pizza dough as a healthier alternative to a traditional crust.
Whatever dough you use, divide it into four parts. This is where the whole family can get involved. Flour a large surface and your hands and stretch and roll each piece into a six-inch circle. Place on oiled baking sheets.
Spread a generous amount of pesto onto each circle, leaving at least half an inch around the edge bare.
Sprinkle your choice of cheese over the sauce, covering it completely. Add pizzazz to your pizzas with Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce’s wide variety of specialty cheeses. Fresh mozzarella and ricotta make an especially scrumptious combination.
Add toppings. The sky’s the limit with topping possibilities, but for a pesto pizza, consider pan grilling chicken from Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce’s fresh meat selections. Some other meat options are sausage and pepperoni. Don’t forget roasted tomatoes, olives, fresh basil, and red bell pepper.
Finally, bake pizza dough according to directions, checking on them early and often since they’re smaller.
Oven Baked Chicken Kabobs
Oven baked kabobs are a great way to bring the flavor of summer grill-outs to your table, no matter the weather outside. Kids love being able to build their own kabobs, and there’s just something special about dinner on a stick!
The trick to making kabobs in the oven is to soak wooden kabobs for 12 hours so they don’t burn in the oven. This is a great time to get your chicken marinating as well!
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Chop raw chicken into 1-inch pieces. Assume each person will eat about 4oz of chicken, so one small breast or half a large breast each. Place in a ziploc bag with teriyaki marinade and refrigerate. You can use store bought marinade or make your own with this recipe from Allrecipes. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, up to 24 hours prior to baking.
When the chicken is almost done marinating, preheat the oven to 450℉.
Chop bell peppers (the more colors, the better), fresh pineapple chunks, and purple onions into 1-inch chunks. Try to chop equal amounts of each ingredient.
Once the chicken has finished marinating, it’s time for assembly! This is the fun part. Place each ingredient in a separate bowl and let each person build their own kabobs, alternating ingredients until the kabob is almost full. Leave one inch on each end for easier handling.
Place kabobs on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken reaches 165℉ internally.
With summer on the way, this chicken dinner is a great way to prep those taste buds for all the meals you’ll soon be enjoying in the backyard!
Crockpot Chicken Tacos for the Whole Family
Prepare for a new family staple! This chicken dinner could not be simpler and is packed with flavor for the whole family to enjoy. Everyone can assemble their own chicken tacos to their taste, so all you have to do is prepare the ingredients!
Start with four or five chicken breasts in the bottom of your Crockpot. You can pick up fresh chicken breasts at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, or keep your freezer stocked with our bulk frozen chicken breasts!
Sprinkle a packet of taco seasoning evenly over the chicken breasts. You can use a premade packet, or make your own from Tacoma Boys and H&L’s bulk spices using this recipe from Gimme Some Oven. If you choose to make your own, use 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning, depending on your preference.
Pour one jar of Tacoma Boys Salsa over the top.
Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 7-8.
Shred chicken directly in the pot. Pro tip: use your handheld mixer to shred the chicken easily and quickly.
Enjoy on flour or corn tortillas. These tacos are great topped with cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, jalapenos, onions, and tomatoes, all of which you can find in our fresh produce section. This recipe makes plenty, so feel free to invite a crowd!
Personal Chicken Packets
These quick, easy-to-make chicken packets are comfort food without the extra work. Try this chicken dinner idea on warm on a cold evening, or–if by chance we get some sun–take them on the go after they’ve cooled!
Preheat oven to 350℉.
Mix 2 pounds of cooked, cubed chicken with 1 package of cream cheese and a tablespoon of milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
Oil a tin foil lined baking sheet and unroll 2 8oz packages refrigerated crescent rolls onto it.
Instead of tearing the rolls along the perforation, pinch the perforated line together, so you have four rectangles per tube.
Spoon ¼ cup of the chicken mixture onto the center of each rectangle. Fold up the edges and pinch together, forming a packet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
What’s not to love about chicken, cream cheese, and crescent rolls? Kids love being able to form their own packets, and they’re easily picked up and eaten by hand. These are great for dipping in whatever sauces or dressing you have on hand!
The pace of life will pick up soon with the frenzied activities of summer, so take this chance to slow down and enjoy creating–and eating–a meal together. Here at Tacoma Boys and H&L produce, we have everything you need to make dinner an event, so stop by one of our store locations today!