5 Chicken Meals That Use Sweet Summer Fruit
Adding fresh fruit to your chicken dinner is an easy way to take advantage of precious summer fruit and make your everyday meals more exciting. The easy addition of a salsa, sauce, or glaze adds a sweet kick to chicken that always tastes great. We’re rounding up five chicken meals that use summer fruit to prove how the sweet produce can star in a savory dish.
1. Grilled Chicken with Fruit Salsa
For a fast and flavorful meal, try this grilled chicken with fruit salsa from Cooking Light. It’s an easy everyday meal that feels fancy thanks to the addition of a topping made with pineapple, kiwi, oranges, and mango. Instead of overheating your kitchen, take advantage of the good weather while it’s here and grill your chicken. Add your salsa, and you have the perfect meal for dining al fresco.
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- Cooking spray
- 1½ cups cubed pineapple
- ¾ cup cubed peeled kiwifruit (about 3 kiwifruit)
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped orange sections
- ½ cup chopped peeled mango
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
Directions: To prepare chicken, combine the juice, soy sauce, ginger, lemon pepper, and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning once.
Prepare grill or broiler. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place chicken on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.
To prepare salsa, combine pineapple and remaining ingredients, tossing gently. Serve with chicken.
2. Strawberry Balsamic Chicken
Like a sweeter version of the classic caprese combination, everyone will enjoy this chicken meal from Gimme Some Oven. First, marinate the chicken in balsamic vinegar before baking. After the poultry is cooked through, you can top it with the strawberry caprese combo, and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar. Just like that, dinner is done.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella ball (or shredded mozzarella), roughly chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine chicken breasts and ½ cup balsamic in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate for at least 5 minutes, or up to 5 hours. When ready to cook, place chicken in a baking dish and pour the remaining vinegar on top. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.
Meanwhile, bring the remaining 1/2 cup vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. Remove and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together strawberries, mozzarella and basil to make a caprese topping.
When the chicken is ready, transfer to serving dishes. Then top with the strawberry caprese topping, and then drizzle with the reduced balsamic vinegar.
3. Island Spiced, Pineapple-Glazed Grilled Chicken Breasts
This glazed chicken from Fine Cooking is a great alternative to your standard barbecue bird, as it has both a spicy rub and a sweet pineapple rum glaze. After you season and marinate your chicken, you’ll cook it on the grill until the glaze creates a nice coating. This is one sweet and savory meal no one will want to turn down.
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1-½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 oz. each), trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1-½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 scallions (white and green parts), minced
Pineapple rum glaze
- ¼ cup salted butter
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup dark rum
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
For the glaze: Combine the butter, brown sugar, rum, and pineapple juice in a heavy saucepan. Boil until syrupy, 7 to 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Don’t worry if the mixture starts to separate. Whisk it vigorously to combine.
To grill the chicken: Heat a gas grill to high or prepare a hot charcoal fire. Scrub and oil the grill grate.
Arrange the chicken breasts on the grill at a 45-degree angle to the bars of the grate. Grill until the chicken has grill marks, about 2 minutes, and then rotate the breasts 90 degrees Fahrenheit (to get a crosshatch of grill marks) and continue grilling for 2 to 4 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts and generously brush the cooked tops with glaze. Cook the second side the same way, for 4 to 6 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts again, brush with the glaze, and grill until the breasts are firm to the touch, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a platter. Serve at once, drizzled with any remaining glaze.
4. Grilled Chicken with Raspberry Sauce
Grilled chicken doesn’t have to be boring, and this recipe from Your Lighter Side proves it. The simply cooked chicken pairs with a sweet and zippy raspberry sauce that not only lends a depth of flavor, but also a pop of color. The recipe makes 6 servings and each clocks in at only about 185 calories, proving healthy eating can be both nutritious and delicious.
- 6 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons organic sea salt
- 2 teaspoons milled black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup sugar equivalent substitute
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
Place boneless skinless chicken breasts in a shallow pan. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons lemon juice. Set aside until ready to use.
In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine raspberries, sweetener, and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Mash ingredients together. Cook over medium heat until boiling, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn stove down to simmer, and cook just until liquid thickens. Remove from heat and strain out seeds. Set sauce aside.
Working two to three at a time, place chicken breasts on the grill, and cover each with a heavy aluminum-covered pan. Press down gently and cook for 2 minutes. Carefully remove the pans using a potholder and use a spatula to turn the chicken 45 degrees to create crosshatch marks. Place heavy pans back on top of the chicken, and allow chicken to cook for 4 more minutes.
Carefully flip chicken with a spatula. Again, cook for 2 minutes with the pan on top, rotate, and cook for 4 minutes longer, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat and allow to rest.
Plate grilled chicken with sauce drizzled over top.
5. Mixed Fruit Chicken Salad
For fruit lovers, this salad from Southern Living is the perfect chicken meal. We particularly like the orange raspberry vinaigrette, which adds a citrusy zing, and the crunchy nuts. It’s greens-free but feel free to serve it over a bed of your favorite lettuce.
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 4 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
- 2 cups seedless red and green grapes, halved
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Orange Raspberry Vinaigrette
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 7 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
Toss together chicken and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans, and serve immediately.