Cooking and Meal Prep Recipes 8 Easy Low-Carb Skillet Chicken Recipes These quick-cooking dishes will make your weeknights easier By Laura Dolson Laura Dolson Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks. Learn about our editorial process Updated on November 06, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Fit articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and nutrition and exercise healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN Medically reviewed by Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Changing your eating habits, like starting a low carbohydrate meal plan, can often appear to be overwhelming especially in the beginning. It may require extra time and effort to prepare food in the initial stages. But the good news is that once you learn the basic concepts and find foods you like, things will get easier. Overview There are different reasons that you might choose to go on a low-carb diet. Some people choose this eating plan to manage type 2 diabetes. There is some evidence that restricting carbohydrate intake to a maximum of 40% may provide better metabolic control than a reduced fat diet in people with type 2 diabetes. Some people also choose low-carb eating to lose weight. The eating style has been used with success in the management of obesity. In some cases, however, adherence is an issue. Some studies have suggested that very low carbohydrate diets (5% of calories from carbs) are harder to maintain than low-carb (15%) or moderate low carb intake (25%) diets. It should be noted, however, that studies investigating low-carb diets (or any eating plan) generally have limitations. Study results often vary from one research project to another (based on study design and other factors) and low carbohydrate diets haven't been studied for more than two years, so the long-term effects are unclear. Given that it can be tricky to adhere to, having a collection of quick and easy recipes in your repertoire can make your life infinitely easier while low-carb dieting. And chicken, well, this white meat is not only super healthy and protein-packed it's also incredibly versatile: It can take on sweet, savory, spicy, or tart flavors, depending on your mood. Added bonus: It cooks quickly. Choosing Chicken Choosing the best available chicken you afford can make a big difference. Some people believe that kosher chickens, pasture raised, or organic chicken tastes better, and are also healthier (depending on how the chickens were fed and raised). If none of these are an option for you, opt to purchase chicken that has not been treated with antibiotics, or those that contain no added sodium or fillers. Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started. 1 Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Thai Chicken Curry. Photo © Paul Brighton This Thai Coconut Curry Chicken is a very simple one-skillet meal that's so delicious, it will make you forget you're even following a special diet. You can use any Thai seasoning mixture or curry paste you like. For a hearty rice replacement, try serving it over cauliflower rice. Also, when thawing boneless skinless chicken that you intend to cut up, don't let it thaw all the way. It will be easier to cut if it's still a little firm. 2 Chicken (or Beef) Fajitas Use low-carb tortillas, or just eat with a fork -- and don't forget the guacamole!. Jodi Pudge/Radius Images/Getty Images Fajita night just got easier. These fajitas can be made in a skillet or on a grill. Wrap the meat in a low-carb tortilla or simply eat it with a fork. Though it may be a little messier, you could also use green leaf or Boston lettuce leaves—or if you've been skimping on your dark greens, blanch a collard green or two and load it with the filling. 3 Apple Bacon Chicken Salad Apple Bacon Chicken. Enrique Gomez/Dreamstime.com The classic combo of apple and bacon shines in this easy-to-assemble Apple Bacon Chicken Salad. While bacon is not a food that should be consumed regularly, the sweet and salty combination works nicely with chicken, and the avocado adds a touch of creaminess to balance out the crunchy bacon bits. Time-saving tip: "Chicken tenders" are a flap of breast meat underneath the main piece of meat. Sometimes these are sold separately and are even faster to cut up since it is already partly done for you. Bacon Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits 4 Low-Carb Chicken Marsala Chicken Divan - Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms in a Cream Sauce. PoppyB/E+/Getty Images You can make this low-carb version of chicken marsala right on the stovetop. It is classic comfort food, but it omits the flour traditionally found in marsala recipes. 5 Creamy Southwest Chicken You can also bake this chicken in the oven. Lilechka75 This skillet chicken dish is one you can have on the table in 20 minutes, start to finish, using canned green chiles and shredded cheese. Alternately, you can pop the ingredients in your slow cooker before work, reducing your prep time, and come home to a delicious meal you can serve the whole family. Easy Green Chile Chicken Tacos 6 Moo Shu Chicken Moo Shu Chicken. cobraphoto/Dreamstime Often, Moo Shu pork or chicken in a restaurant has quite a bit of sugar in it, but this homemade recipe is sugar-free—and the most labor-intensive part of your dinner prep will be chopping the veggies. Savory with a bit of a kick, this healthier take on Chinese is better than takeout. Benefits of Leafy Green Vegetables 7 Greek Yogurt Almond Chicken Salad Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD Poultry and almonds are a match made in heaven. And cranberries can be a delicious addition. You might not guess it, but chicken goes well with this tart berry. And with a freezer, it's always cranberry season! Or, if it's the autumn, use fresh cranberries. This recipe doesn't necessarily require a skillet, but it's delicious enough that it deserves a mention. You could even use turkey thighs in your meal if you'd rather not use chicken. Recipes 8 Basil/Pesto Chicken Chicken, vegetables, and pesto - mix, match, and combine!. Photo © Beaucroft Essentially a chicken and vegetable stir-fry with garlic and basil, this Basil/Pesto Chicken recipe can be tweaked to include any veggies your heart desires. Alternately, you can throw the garlic and basil into a food processor with some olive oil and make a pesto to top the mixture with. 3 Sources Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Esther J van Zuuren, Zbys Fedorowicz, Ton Kuijpers, Hanno Pijl, Effects of low-carbohydrate- compared with low-fat-diet interventions on metabolic control in people with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review including GRADE assessments, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 108, Issue 2, August 2018 doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy096 Kelly T, Unwin D, Finucane F. Low-Carbohydrate Diets in the Management of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: A Review from Clinicians Using the Approach in Practice. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(7):2557. Published 2020 Apr 8. doi:10.3390/ijerph17072557 Harvey CJDC, Schofield GM, Zinn C, Thornley SJ, Crofts C, Merien FLR. Low-carbohydrate diets differing in carbohydrate restriction improve cardiometabolic and anthropometric markers in healthy adults: A randomised clinical trial. PeerJ. 2019;7:e6273. Published 2019 Feb 5. doi:10.7717/peerj.6273 By Laura Dolson Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from companies that partner with and compensate Verywell Fit for displaying their offer. These partnerships do not impact our editorial choices or otherwise influence our editorial content.