50 Easy Christmas Chicken Recipes That Are Perfect for the Holidays

christmas chicken holiday recipes universal
Erin McDowell

Things you love: sweater weather and family dinners. Things you hate: washing dishes and standing over a hot stove for hours—especially on Christmas. We feel you. So, here are 50 chicken recipes to whip up for the holidays (and all winter long) that are mind-blowingly easy to pull off and way speedier than roasting a whole turkey. That way, you can focus on what matters: presents.

The 75 Best Christmas Party Appetizers

1. Balsamic Cranberry Roast Chicken

It tastes as glorious as it looks. Even better, it cooks to crispy perfection in a single skillet.

2. Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken

Minimal effort, maximum flavor. Can you believe this stunner is only seven ingredients away? (And that's *including* salt and pepper.)

3. Chicken Pot Pie

Baked in a skillet for crispy brown edges, of course. Store-bought frozen puff pastry makes it a breeze to assemble.

4. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

A crowd-pleasing appetizer if we’ve ever seen one. Serve them with blue cheese dressing, celery, carrots and lots of toothpicks.

5. Garlic-Breaded Roast Chicken Breast

Warning: This one will go fast, even at the picky kids' table. It's prime for casual holiday dinner with a few friends or relatives.

6. Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken Legs

Their juiciness is a Christmas miracle all its own. The acidic Greek yogurt marinade helps tenderize the chicken pieces.

7. Cheater’s White Wine Coq au Vin

Who invited Julia Child to dinner? (OK, it was us.) This French classic is ridiculously impressive, and our version is ready in less than an hour.

8. Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata

Crockpot season is a big-time blessing for busy hosts. This crowd-pleaser basically prepares itself, people.

9. Parmesan-Ranch Chicken Thighs

So crispy, yet no messy frying required. You probably have nearly all the ingredients you need already in your kitchen, too.

10. Cider-Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese and Grapes

This stunner doubles as a gorgeous centerpiece. Serve it once and crown yourself the hostess with the mostest—your guests sure will.

11. Chicken Potpie Hand Pies

Pastries at cocktail hour? Don’t mind if we do. Shred a store-bought rotisserie chicken for the filling to speed things along.

12. Chrissy Teigen's Cheesy Chicken Milanese

Pan-fried chicken stuffed with gooey cheese is our idea of festive. Feel free to fall-ify the arugula salad with sweet potatoessquash or candied nuts.

13. Greek Chicken and Rice Skillet

Easy, gorgeous and delicious are our three favorite food groups. You won't need to boil the rice separately either; it cooks right in the skillet with the chicken.

14. Sheet Pan Sticky Pomegranate Chicken

Complete with honey-roasted kabocha squash and coconut rice, this main couldn't be more wintry if it tried.

15. Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Dates

Oh hi, caramelized Medjool dates and briny olives. This dish is equal parts savory, briny and sweet.

16. Roasted Drumsticks with Tomatoes

All you need are seven ingredients, one casserole dish and one hour. While the drumsticks cook, prepare your sides on the stovetop.

17. Whole Roasted Chipotle Chicken

Your guests won't ever see this Insta-worthy wonder coming (and they'll have no idea that it only required four ingredients).

18. Chicken Satay with Coconut-Peanut Sauce

Fact: Appetizers just taste better on a stick. Make the zingy, creamy dip ahead to save time on the big day.

19. One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Carrots

If you’re only serving four this year, look no further than this mess-free meal. (Dirty dishes kind of kill the post-dinner mood, no?)

20. Chicken with Feta Cheese, Dill, Lemon and Harissa Yogurt

Skip the tricky bird carving in favor of these skin-on chicken thighs. They're basically impossible to overcook.

21. Crispy Za’atar Chicken and Cauliflower

The perfect pairing for roasted sweet potatoes, if we do say so ourselves. The star ingredient is za'atar, a savory, aromatic Middle Eastern spice blend.

22. Air Fryer Peruvian-Style Chicken

No rotisserie required—you're welcome. Nearly all the ingredients are pantry staples you likely have on hand right now.

23. One-Pan Lemon Sage Chicken and Cauliflower

Because dirty dishes are not on your holiday wishlist. Serve with dinner rolls or biscuits so not a drop of the creamy lemon sauce goes to waste.

24. Ina Garten’s Updated Chicken Marbella

In the Barefoot Contessa we trust. (The recipe calls for one-and-a-half heads of garlic, so you know it's delicious.)

25. Dijon Maple Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash

Bury us in the savory-sweet glaze, please. It helps the veggies and chicken caramelize just right. Serve with rice or risotto.

26. Family-Style Chicken Caesar Salad

The dressing uses olives and Worcestershire sauce, two vegetarian alternatives that offer just as much punchy flavor as traditional anchovies.

27. Slow Cooker Rosemary Chicken

Just set it and forget it on Christmas Eve, then let it cook overnight. Set out some cookies for Santa so he's not tempted to investigate the herby aroma.

28. Pomegranate-Sumac Chicken with Roasted Carrots

Save your carrot greens for garnishing. They look luxurious and pretty next to sliced rainbow radishes.

29. Chicken Thighs with Pancetta and Green Olives

Low and slow = crackly, crispy skin. This one-pan delight also only requires six ingredients, believe it or not.

30. Southern Baked Chicken

Talk about a soul food essential. The recipe calls for using chicken wings, but you could substitute legs or thighs if you'd prefer.

31. Honey Mustard Sheet-Pan Chicken with Brussels Sprouts

The sprouts soak up allllll the pan juices, resulting in the most autumnal, drool-worthy veggie side of all time. Thank us later.

32. Spicy Lemon-Ginger Chicken Soup

This starter is bound to warm your bones. The broth is already flavorful, but adding turmeric root will offer both vibrant color and anti-inflammatory perks.

33. Antoni Porowski’s Chile-Maple Roast Chicken

Be sure to use pure maple syrup instead of pancake syrup here. It's the only sweet element in the butter rub (and arguably the most important).

34. One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Fall Vegetables

Thyme, rosemary and oregano, oh my! Bring on the red potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots and butternut squash.

35. Sheet-Pan Balsamic Chicken with Baby Potatoes and Mushrooms

If you have a crowd coming (or if you want leftovers), simply double the recipe and use two pans. Thanks, Dorie Greenspan.

36. One-Pan Creamy Chicken Fricassee with Sage

Nonna will be so proud, even if you skip the whole cauldron-over-a-fire thing that they did in the old days. (This take cooks in a single skillet instead.)

37. Honey-Mustard Chicken Bake

Pro tip: Reserve half the honey-mustard sauce and drizzle it over the chicken and veggies just before broiling to caramelize the top.

38. Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Between the tender rice, juicy chicken, creamy broth and toasty ciabatta, this app just might outshine the main course. Pass the Parm, please.

39. Bruschetta Chicken

Come on, it’s already sporting a Christmas color scheme. Serve it with pasta, Caesar salad or garlic bread.

40. Slow Cooker Whole Chicken with Potatoes

Winner, winner, magazine-caliber chicken dinner. Your Crockpot really can do anything.

41. Baked Ginger and Lemon Chicken

This citrusy, honey-kissed gem is only one hour away. Whether you use thighs, drums, wings or even pork ribs, plate them with salad, pasta or rice.

42. Greek Chicken with Feta and Kalamata Olives

Bye-bye, tedious cleanup. We'll pick crumbled feta cheese over dirty dishes any day. Might we suggest making a big Greek salad to serve alongside?

43. Piri Piri Chicken

The key to this Portuguese main is spatchcocking the chicken to reduce the cooking time and maximize the crispness of the skin.

44. Potato Chip-Crusted Chicken with Arugula Pesto

An easy, kid-friendly meal for a casual Christmas. If you want to play it extra chill, serve the chicken on sub rolls with extra pesto, arugula and lemon juice.

45. Skillet Roast Chicken with Shmaltzy Potatoes

A buttermilk marinade ensures luscious, tender meat and a shatteringly crisp exterior. Just be sure to leave yourself plenty of time for brining the chicken.

46. Baked Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is delicious, but the O.G. method of making it can be a time suck. This version is almost totally hands-off, since it cooks in the oven.

47. Mini Mason Jar Chicken Potpies

Are these not the cutest little casseroles you ever did see? We have a feeling the kids will gobble them up in ten seconds flat.

48. Easy, Lazy Chicken Soup with Beans and Greens

Don't let the homemade stock intimidate you. It's pared down for the sake of simplicity, so it won't be as fussy to prepare as you think.

49. Chicken Parmesan Bites

We're betting that if this was the sole dish you served on Christmas, not one guest would complain. Such is the power of warm marinara and crisp, cheesy chicken.

50. Garlic-Confit Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

It doesn't take much to create this soul-soothing entree. Twenty garlic cloves + five thyme sprigs + 1 lemon = pure holiday magic.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...