Best Ever Chicken Breast Recipe

Best ever simple, gluten-free, chicken  breast recipe |

I would like to take a moment to thank chicken.

I know I love a lot of types of foods.  I know I aim to eat a mostly plant-based diet.  But chicken – chicken has really helped me get through some tough times.  I don’t know how I would have made it without you, chicken.

Why chicken?  Well, in the recent past, as you may know, I participated in my first bikini competition.  I shared a lot about my preparation, thoughts, and experience with it in a series of posts, but what I ultimately took away from the whole shebang was a new personal perspective on diet and exercise. (List of bikini competition-related posts at the bottom!)

This was a real learning experience for me as I dove into a foreign world of carb-manipulation, higher protein diets, and eating at particular times to better fuel my workouts.  Basically, I underwent a mini eating-revolution.  No funny fad-diet schemes.  Just real science and getting’ it done. 

And it was totally what I needed – I met my goals, I felt great, and made a lot of progress with my training. 

Best ever simple, gluten-free, chicken  breast recipe |

But before I started this little journey, I didn’t have a lot of chicken in my life.  I was honestly super-duper proud of any day I could go completely vegan, and meat was probably a once-a-week indulgence.  Actually, those days still make me proud for a lot of reasons – it feels to me a bit like going “off the grid” would, in an ecological sense – but now I just feel the need for more protein and fewer carbs to reach my goals.

(Side note: I’m currently munching on a mix of half Quest Protein Chips and half Nearly Naked Popcorn – which is probably some kind of indicator of how my carb-protein balance looks these days.)

Anyway, chicken breast is a staple of many bodybuilders/ active people/ lean people, because of how the metabolism is effected by thermogenic (calorie-burning) protein and the right amount (as opposed to excessive) carbohydrates.  Other kinds of meat or protein sources are great, too – don’t get me wrong.  I especially love fish! 

But if you can do chicken breast right, you can sure go a long way with your healthy meal prep – without going diet-insane.

This chicken recipe is deeee-lish on its own, but you can make it into anything from Chicken Salad to crusted chicken to pasta to sandwiches.  Whatever the heart desires.

So again, thank you chicken.  Thank you for your exceptional nutritional composition and wide variety of uses!

Best ever simple, gluten-free, chicken  breast recipe |

Best Ever Chicken Breast Recipe

gluten-free {makes 8 servings}


  • 4 whole chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and chopped into large chunks
  • ½ c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. each: onion powder, garlic powder, pepper (white or black), curry powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp. salt


Place all ingredients into a thick plastic bag, seal tightly, and squish all the ingredients around the chicken, gently massaging into the meat.

Place the bag in a bowl and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight to marinate.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a wide non-stick or cast iron pan to a little higher than medium heat.  Spray the pan with cooking spray.

Put each piece on the hot pan, careful not to overcrowd it.  Without moving the pieces around, let them all cook for at least 3 minutes per side, possibly longer, depending on how big your chunks are.  Remove the chicken to a bowl or plate when the largest piece of chicken has cooked all the way through (you can test first by poking with a finger for increased resistance and clear juices coming out, but cut into it if need be.)

Serve the chicken… with anything!  It should be excellently flavored and very juicy, even when well cooked.

Makes 8 servings

Nutrition per serving: 148 calories; 3 g fat (1 g saturated); 1 g carbs; 27 g protein

Some of my first bikini competition posts, in order, here:

  1. Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes
  2. My BIG Decision
  3. Pre-Workout "Powerballs"
  4. Chocolate Post-Workout "Powerballs"
  5. Blackened Mahi-Mahi Salad + Pre-Contest Musings
  6. Perfect Low-Carb Protein Pancakes + a Day in My Pre-Contest Diet
  7. One Day Out (And All You Got Was This Novel)
  8. Europa Expo Recap
  9. Smoked Salmon Butternut Salad + more on bikini prep
  10. Mashed Butternut Sweet Potatoes + more bikini prep
  11. Two Carb-Conscious Fall Recipes + Bikini Diet Prep