Chicken is one of the most reliable and easy sources of lean protein for athletes and weight watchers.
Just because you want to eat some healthy chicken, doesn’t mean it has to have no flavor!
In fact, there are plenty of condiments, cooking styles, and seasoning ideas out there that can massively improve the taste profile of chicken without adding a ton of calories.
So, here’s the deal:
In today’s article, we’ll take a quick look at 15 great examples of healthy seasoning for chicken that you can try out. Let’s dive right in!
1. Oven Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken with Tuscan Seasoning
If you want a delicious yet healthy chicken seasoning for baking, try out this one!
We all know about lemon garlic butter seasoning, which is delicious but high in fats.
For a healthy seasoning for chicken breast, you can simply omit the butter or replace it with low-calorie alternative.
This recipe also uses Tuscan seasoning in the ingredients, which adds a rich peppery flavor with a subtle sweetness to the blend!
2. Chimichurri Marinade
Chimichurri is a unique spice mix that is quite popular in Argentina as a healthy chicken seasoning for grilling.
It contains a variety of herbs, such as oregano, coriander, parsley, cumin, and garlic.
You can make chimichurri into a dry spice mix, a liquid marinade, or even as a sauce by adding some olive oil, lemon, and vinegar.
The marinade deeply penetrates the tissues of the chicken and gives it a delicious tart flavor.
Meanwhile, the extra virgin olive oil also keeps it soft and tender after grilling.
3. Grilled Pesto Chicken
Pesto sauce is one of the best ways to enjoy the taste and fragrant scent of basil in your recipes.
Although a lot of people like to use it on pasta and bread, I always enjoy it as a seasoning for grilled chicken!
The marinade/seasoning brightens up the flavor profile of the chicken but is well-balanced due to the earthiness of garlic.
This also contributes to the healthiness of the pesto seasoning.
You can also add healthy cottage cheese to the pesto mix for some extra smoothness.
I’ve also used this when making chicken paninis, and the result is sublime!
4. Cajun Seasoning
Cajun seasoning is one of the most versatile spice mixes out there.
It’s remarkably bold flavor with notable spiciness due to the cayenne pepper and chili pepper content.
It’s also rich in various herbs and condiments that are flavorful and healthy.
Another huge advantage to using cajun seasoning is that it doesn’t require marinating, so you can prepare it right away.
I always keep a fresh homemade patch in my pantry but you can always buy it directly!
5. Honey Garlic Glazed Bites
This one is among the best healthy seasoning for chicken, if you like the sweet and sour flavor but still want to keep the recipe healthy and balanced.
Additionally, it doubles as a healthy chicken seasoning for meal prep because it’s easy to prepare.
The classic recipe uses low-calorie and low-sodium ingredients and the use of butter is quite optional.
Besides the sweet and sour flavor, you can also turn up the heat by adding chopped jalapenos or serrano peppers to the chicken bites.
6. Sumac and Red Onions
Sumac is a bright red spice that hails from the Middle East.
This intriguing spice has a noticeable tart flavor that often reminds me of freshly squeezed lemons.
The spice also has a subtle fruity note that often lingers in the mouth.
Moreover, studies link it with a variety of health benefits, such as balancing blood sugar levels!
One of the best ways to utilize sumac with chicken is to make “Musakhan”, which is a healthy Palestinian roast chicken recipe with red onions and hints of cinnamon.
7. Smoked Chicken
Smoking is one of the best cooking techniques that you can try if you’re looking for healthy chicken.
The versatility of smoking chickens means that you don’t have to use excessive butter to cook it perfectly, which yields a delicious low carb, low calorie dinner!
This video shows you how to perfectly smoke a whole chicken.
As you can see in 1:23, the main seasoning ingredients here are salt, pepper, and garlic, along with BBQ Rub.
The only grease used in the video was butter spray at 7:08, but it’s still optional if you want to keep the calories as low as possible.
8. Blackening Seasoning
The Blackened chicken recipe is a great way to enjoy bold flavors without racking up unnecessary calories.
Blackening involves a combination of spices and herbs that are rubbed all over the chicken and then seared on high heat.
This develops a characteristic dark crust after cooking.
Although the original blackening recipe calls for butter, you can swap it for some vegetable oil or healthier alternatives to reduce the calorie count even further.
9. Balsamic Glazing
If you want to instantly add flavor to your chicken, all you have to do is glaze them with some balsamic vinegar.
The dark color of the vinegar will instantly give the chicken a more aesthetically pleasing look and the acidic, tart flavor of the vinegar will make it more enjoyable.
With that being said, I usually like to balance out the excessive acidity by adding some rosemary and 1 tablespoon of honey.
10. Chicken Tikka Masala
Indian-insprired cuisine is your best bet if you want to spice up your chicken without adding unhealthy fats and carbs.
Standard chicken Tikka Masala uses curry sauce and yogurt marinate.
However, this recipe right here is a much healthier alternative.
Not only that, but it’s also dairy and gluten free!
Tip: when it comes to garam masala, I usually prefer store-bought options over homemade alternatives.
11. Pan Seared Chicken
Pan searing is a great way to quickly cook chicken breasts without adding too much grease.
It also doesn’t require preheating like oven baked chicken.
This cooking technique is also ideal if you’re low on spices and condiments, as it mainly requires salt and black pepper for seasoning.
This recipe also uses Portabella mushrooms, lemon zest, and thyme for additional flavoring, but you can use any pantry spices or dry herbs you have.
12. Mesquite Seasoning
Nothing says delicious and healthy like Mesquite seasoning.
This one yields juicy and tender grilled chicken with a sweet and smoky flavor.
Of course, this recipe is more suitable for those who like to take their time while preparing the chicken.
The reason is that you’ll need to marinade the chicken for at least 2 hours before cooking them.
Some recipes might call for molasses to give the recipe its characteristic dark brown color.
However, this recipe uses brown sugar instead.
This lowers the total calorie count while maintaining the original sweet and smoky flavor of the recipe.
13. Chicken Stir-Fry
Stir-frying your chicken is another brilliant way to enjoy a delicious meal without piling up the calories.
I also like that it doesn’t require a lot of grease like deep fried food.
As you can see in the video, you’ll need to marinate the chicken in soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper for around 20 minutes.
In 0:16, the recipe calls for cornstarch, but you can swap it for equal amounts of rice flour because it has fewer calories while having the same properties.
14. Air Fried Chicken Breasts
If you like the taste of southern fried chicken, the closest healthy alternative you can go for is air frying.
This recipe is a great way to recreate the crispy effect of the fried crust!
Although it still has relatively high calories when compared to pan-seared options, this one has as little as half the calories of deep fried chicken!
15. Rosemary Citrus Glazing
Rosemary is a great choice for those who like peppery and piney notes, and they’re perfectly balanced out by citrus glazing
This recipe is ideal for keto diets because it’s remarkably low in carbs.
Also, several studies found that rosemary helps in keeping blood sugar levels low.
There you have it!
A simple guide that shows you a wide variety of healthy seasoning for chicken along with various cooking styles to improve its flavor without adding too many calories!
As you can see, there are plenty of herbs, spices, and even sauces that are quite healthy, with some of them even boasting some impressive health benefits!
Healthy Seasoning for Chicken: 15 Super Delish Choices
- Lemon Garlic Chicken with Tuscan Seasoning
- Chimichurri Marinade
- Grilled Pesto Chicken
- Cajun Chicken
- Honey Garlic Glazed Bites
- Sumac and Red Onions
- Smoked Flavored Chicken
- Blackening Seasoning
- Balsamic Glazing
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Pan Searing
- Stir-Fry Blend
- Seasoned Breading for Air Fryer
- Rosemary Citrus Glazing
- Choose your desired healthy seasoning.
- Gather and organize needed ingredients.
- Create a tasty seasoning and cook your chicken dish!