14 Seriously Flavorful Chicken and Spinach Recipes
Chicken is an iron-rich, accessible protein that lends itself to all sorts of different flavor profiles. It’s also full of protein, and it’s a heart-healthy choice loaded with B and E vitamins, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, and copper. When included in a vegetable-rich diet, consuming poultry is associated with a lower risk for becoming overweight. Spinach brings just as many health benefits to the table. We already expect spinach to contain a great deal of iron (and it does) but it also provides vitamins A, K, C, beta-carotene, magnesium, and is a significant source of lutein, an excellent antioxidant that prevents vision loss.
These two ingredients happen to play especially well together, too — cultures across the globe use this one hem in tandem in everything from breakfast omelets to one-pan dinners. We’ve gathered fourteen healthy, flavorful chicken and spinach recipes that make the most out of these nutritional powerhouses.
Lemongrass and chicken are an irresistible flavor combination, commonly presented in Vietnamese and Malaysian dishes. This fragrant Lemongrass Chicken and Spinach Salad may seem like a light meal, but it packs a big nutritional punch with chicken breast, two varieties of greens, nutrient-dense herbs, and fresh chili to awaken the senses. You can remove red chili seeds to reduce heat, or enjoy the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that red chili provides (not to mention the brilliant flavor).
Noodles gain a hearty texture when tossed with this spinach almond pesto — not to mention the added bonus of vitamin E for our skin and hair coming from those almonds. If you’re trying to avoid refined carbs, we love light zucchini noodles with this dish, too. For a lighter best of both worlds approach, you may also split a small portion of pasta with light zoodles. (So much texture — you might like it this way the most!) This recipe calls for Swiss chard in the pesto, though spinach would work well, too.
Slow cooker meals are such an easy way to handle weeknight dinners, and they’re a great way to make chicken and spinach recipes as easy as possible. This mild Moroccan stew is aromatic with cinnamon, cumin, and sweetened with apricots. The addition of chickpeas is also common in North African cooking, which is great for your health because legumes like chickpeas pack plenty of protein and fiber. This is a whole meal in one pot, but if you have the time, serving whole grain pita alongside this bowl would be a classic choice, perhaps with some Tahini Dressing. Be sure to save extra tahini dressing to top a salad another day.
4. Arroz Verde with Peruvian Roast Chicken
Spinach lends itself to sauces, infusing them with color. This vibrant green rice, Arroz Verde, is made with blended spinach and cilantro that cooks with the rice, and together they offer a super vitamin C boost for the immune system. Roast Chicken made the Peruvian way is both spice- and citrus-forward, and you can add further green power with garlic, herb, and jalapeño sauce. To lighten the sauce, use plain yogurt in place of the sour cream and mayo used in the recipe. In combination with Arroz Verde, this meal is one that would impress guests — or make a great date night dinner at home.
We love one-pan dinners for busy weeknights, like this skillet chicken and farro with spinach. Here, simple components make a delicious meal that’s more than the sum of its parts. Farro is an ancient grain packed with fiber — it has five times more fiber than brown rice! — and it’s a good source of B3, which helps your body break down food into energy. Big flavors come together in this skillet chicken dinner with the addition of sweet sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, and a finish of fresh dill. If you would like to hold back on the feta cheese to reduce your daily fat intake, grate fresh lemon zest and drizzle olive oil for a bright, zingy finish instead.
6. Swimming Rama (Spinach and Chicken With Peanut Sauce)
This classic Thai takeaway dish tastes just like the restaurant version. (Peanut sauce really is delicious on everything.) Make Swimming Rama at home with an option to use your slow cooker for ease. This also can be made on the stove-top using a dutch oven. A low temperature protects coconut milk from splitting. This tender chicken in sauce may be served over fresh or steamed spinach. A cup of the nutrition superhero black forbidden rice would be perfect on the side, too.
With spinach, chicken, and orzo working together, this soup is a meal in one. Although this recipe reads vegetarian, we like to add two boneless, skinless chicken breasts in with the stock, then simply shred them when they’re cooked through. Make this soup extra creamy – without adding real cream — by tempering two egg yolks. Ladle one cup of hot stock slowly over yolks while stirring vigorously. Return the tempered eggs to the pot for an extra-silky result.
Chicken Palak is seemingly decadent, though in fact, its richness comes from a very healthy source: vegetables. Spinach takes center stage here, lending its bright color and glossy, sleek texture. This Indian restaurant favorite does not disappoint when made at home. The recipe includes a plant-based way to make the sauce rich and creamy — without using real cream — utilizing pureed onion. Enjoy with whole-grain chapati on side. When making the chapati dough, make sure your water is boiling hot when added. These require no rising time, and just a hot skillet to cook.
This is a Pakistani recipe, with roots connected to Persian flavors. It’s a great fit for an especially busy week — it saves perfectly in the fridge, and may be served either hot or cold. Topped with a portion of harissa, this chicken is a winning meal. While the beans cook, prepare a sheet pan of Harissa Chicken. Toss four boneless skinless chicken thighs with a drizzle of olive oil, a heaping spoon of harissa paste, salt & pepper. Roast in the oven at 400°F until cooked (about the same amount of time as the beans!). This will be aromatic, popping red in color, and will pair well with Black Eyed Peas with Spinach.
Congee is a traditional Chinese rice porridge, cooked slowly until the rice releases its form and becomes smooth in broth. So comforting — and versatile — congee is popping up all over restaurant menus, as well as continuing to be a staple in many homes. Mild and creamy in texture, a bowl simply awaits varietal toppings. Steamed spinach and chicken are popular ways to finish this dish. Finish with a blast of chili oil, and perhaps some crispy shallots.
We step into the flavors of Mexico City with this family-favorite chicken and spinach meal. This one can be made in the Instant Pot for added time-saving benefits, but of course, the stove top works, too. We love the bright, healthy garnishes to be savored atop this rich, chili spiced Tortilla Soup. Serve over brown rice for added health benefits. To finish, tear ample cilantro leaves over top and squeeze lime juice bringing additional vitamin C. Slice avocado, add a spoon of plain yogurt, then a flash of fresh red chili or jalapeño.
We love this sheet-pan dinner that includes ground chicken, roasted vegetables, and a flourish of antioxidant herbs poured in a tasty green tahini sauce, bright with parsley, which brings anti-inflammatory, anti-viral properties to the table. When Turmeric Chicken Meatballs and Green Tahini Sauce are served over a bed of steamed spinach, you feel like you have done yourself a favor, creating a meal that is flavorful, easy to prepare, and ticks all the boxes for daily nutrition.
The perfect option for a light meal — or your weekly meal prep, couscous is delicate and delicious. But we also recommend using the more nutrient-rich grain, split farro, if you want to make an easy substitution for a more healthful dish. Your prepped Mediterranean salad will keep in the fridge for up to four days. Add easy protein to the dish with grilled chicken. Use your grill pan, or barbecue, to grill boneless, skinless chicken thighs seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil. Serve with the grilled chicken right on top.
One of the easiest chicken and spinach recipes that looks the most impressive, this Spinach and Polenta Pie requires you to simply mix then put into the oven. The polenta is a mild, comforting ingredient that provides a soft backdrop to rich flavors. Dill is fantastic in this, but don’t hold back on the herbs — parsley would be wonderful, too! We recommend Mediteranean Grilled Chicken Skewers, light and fresh with citrus, to accompany the homestyle baked dish.
Heather Anderson is a food writer based in Seattle, WA. After working in restaurants around the world, she has devoted herself to making refined food accessible to the home cook. Follow her on Instagram @heatherscottagekitchen.
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