Last Minute Chicken Recipe

If you’re in a crunch for an easy weeknight dinner, this Last Minute Chicken Recipe is what you need! 

This Last Minute Chicken Recipe is the perfect quick and easy recipe to get dinner or lunch on the table in a hurry!pinterestI can’t tell you how many times I have been so busy during the day that I forget to plan our dinner. Yup, that happens… even to a food blogger.

Since chicken is one of my family’s favorite proteins, I always keep it stocked in my freezer and some fresh in my fridge too. That’s why I’m loving this Last Minute Chicken Recipe out of my friend Mary’s new cookbook, “The Weekday Lunches & Breakfasts Cookbook.” The chicken ready in about 15 minutes and goes perfectly with just about any side dish, in salads, sandwiches or just by itself!

The Weeknight Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook by Mary Younkin is perfect for quick and easy recipes!

This chicken is ready in a flash and perfectly seasoned.

Last Minute Chicken Recipe:

  • Start with fresh boneless skinless chicken thighs. Boneless skinless chicken breasts would also work with this recipe!
  • Combine all the seasonings in a small bowl and sprinkle on both sides of the chicken.
  • You can cook the chicken on a grill pan, over a traditional grill or even in your oven!
  • This chicken is ready in about 15 to 20 minutes!

Our family loves this Last Minute Chicken Recipe!

Make Ahead Chicken Recipe

  • The recipe makes 3 pounds of chicken, but if you’re just serving for a smaller family, you can scale back the amount of chicken and seasoning you use.
  • Make a big batch of this chicken in the beginning of the week and use it throughout the week for easy lunches and dinners!
  • Store cooked chicken in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer until ready to enjoy.

This recipe calls for paprika or smoked paprika. I love the smoky flavor that you get when you use the smoked paprika, but if you’re wanting to keep this recipe pretty basic for everyday use, I would stick with regular paprika.

Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, pepper and salt in a small dish and sprinkle over the chicken.

One of my favorite things to do with this chicken is prep it all on Sunday night and have cooked chicken ready for easy lunches throughout the week. Mary’s cookbook is filled with amazing easy lunch recipes just like this one. From salads, to soups, skillet meals, make ahead breakfasts and even her go-to spice mixes in the back, this recipe book has what you need to streamline your week!

Easy Side Dishes To Pair With This Chicken Recipe:

This easy Last Minute Chicken Recipe is just what you need to put dinner on the table in a hurry!

Get started with this easy chicken recipe, then grab her new cookbook and get excited!


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This easy Last Minute Chicken Recipe is just what you need to put dinner on the table in a hurry!
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4.91 from 21 votes

Last Minute Chicken Recipe

This Last Minute Chicken Recipe is the perfect way to get dinner on the table in a hurry! Recipe from The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook by Mary Younkin
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 180 kcal
Author: Shawn


  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika OR smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


  • Combine the garlic, onion, paprika, oregano, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle half the spices over the chicken. Turn the chicken pieces over and sprinkle the remaining spices over them. Rub the spices into the chicken, if needed, to coat well.

Grill Pan Directions:

  • Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium heat. Drizzle with the olive oil. Place half the chicken in the grill pan, making sure there is a gap between the pieces. Cook the chicken without touching it for 5 minutes. Flip the pieces over and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until they're cooked through. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Broiling Directions:

  • Preheat oven to broil.
  • Place an oven rack 6 inches from the top of the oven. Put a wire rack over a large baking tray and arrange the chicken on the wire rack. Place the chicken in the oven and broil for 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, turn each piece of chicken over, and then broil for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Let the cooked chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the pieces with cilantro, if desired.
Recipe can be made with chicken breasts as well. Simply watch the cooking time and adjust as needed. Chicken breasts will cook faster than thighs, depending on their thickness.


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: Chicken Recipe, Grilled Chicken
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?don't forget to share a picture and mention @iwashyoudry on Instagram or tag #iwashyoudry!


This Last Minute Chicken Recipe is the perfect quick and easy recipe to get dinner or lunch on the table in a hurry!

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
69 Responses
  1. Sandi

    4 stars
    I had to improvise with a couple things. Had no onion powder, instead of oregano used italian seasoning and instead of olive oil used avocado oil. Will update when done. Smells fantastic though!

  2. LMack

    Delicious!! So flavorful and juicy! I sliced it up and served it over a green salad!
    (Also, I had to sub my Italian blend of herbs for the oregano because I ran out!)

    1. Ashley

      I told my husband we were having chicken for dinner and he kinda groaned… took a bite of this and said “Wow, this is really good chicken!” So five stars from us!

    1. Shawn

      Hey Renee! Yes, you can definitely bake just like my chicken breast recipe. Chicken thighs cook a little differently than breasts, so just use an instant read thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 🙂

  3. Janice

    I recently bought an air fryer, and I absolutely love it. So I am going to try this in the air fryer. Mine is a fairly large one (five quarts), but still it is not going to hold three pounds of chicken thighs, but since there are only two of us, that’s okay. I have tried and enjoyed quite a few of your recipes, and have enjoyed them. The seasonings for this chicken sound so good, I just have to try it. Thanks so much, and wish me luck cooking this in my air fryer.

  4. Cathy

    Mom and I are so excited to try this but we don’t have a grill pan . I don’t want the chicken to stick ; us there any way to do this wo buying a grill pan? Our broiler is a bottom ine

    1. Shawn

      You can definitely make this in a skillet on the stove top too. Just make sure to coat the pan with either non-stick spray or a little oil before cooking.

  5. Darlene Coplen

    5 stars
    Wow, I made a small amount for me and the hubby. Let’s just say I need get back to the store to get us some more chicken! The spices were wonderful, (I used smoked paprika). This would have saved me on the nutricken diet back in the day.
    I need a better broiler though. I think I saw my hubby tear up a bit, haha! Thank you so much Shawn!

    1. Shawn

      The temperature settings are listed in the first step of both the grill pan instructions and oven instructions. For the grill – medium heat, for the oven – broil (if your oven does not have a broil setting, use the highest temperature setting available).

    1. Shawn

      Hi Samantha, the best way to defrost chicken is to put it in the fridge overnight. If you want to defrost your chicken quicker, try placing it in a zip close bag, in a bowl of warm water. Rotate the water every 15 minutes until your chicken is defrosted. Hope that helps!

    2. Kristie

      Never in warm or hot water do you put frozen meats at all! Always cold from tap/faucet and change out every 30 minute increments. Done this many many times myself. Warmth/heat creates bacteria and will make your meat tough. A very big No No

  6. Ashley

    Monday back from Spring Break, I forgot to get dinner out of the freezer and did not get home from work until after 7. I was tired and hungry and not in the mood to cook, found your easy recipe and served it with corn on the cob and green peas, the chicken was so good, the whole family was upset I didn’t make more, it was requested this get added to our family recipe book! Thank you for the great dinner idea, just what I needed after this long day!

  7. Rohit Sahu

    5 stars
    Mesmerized, will definitely try this out!
    I also have a great recipe to share, Honey Glazed Chicken is an easy, fast and delicious recipe for dinner that will be loved by all of your family members. This creamy recipe for Honey Glazed Chicken is packed with great flavors and is extremely delicious.

  8. Irma

    What are some good sides to go with this? Also, how do i keep the chicken breast from drying out? My kids love chicken breast but it always ends up being dry, no juiciness whatsoever ☹

    1. Shawn

      You can pair this chicken with just about anything, but my favorites are Garlic Parmesan Rice, Greek Salad or my Strawberry Pecan Salad!

      As for keeping chicken breasts from drying out here is what you need to do: Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use a heavy rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet and pound the chicken breast to an even thickness. This will help the chicken breast cook evenly and prevent it from getting overcooked on one side. THEN, once the chicken is cooked, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. You’ll be shocked at how juicy the chicken is!

    1. Shawn

      Really? My whole life story, huh? I don’t believe you actually read what I wrote then, cause I talked about this recipe… not my life. But I’m glad you found your way to the bottom of the page, got the recipe AND had time to make a comment. 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

  9. happy wheels

    I’m actually planning to do something very similar since one of my friends convinced me to do so, so I’d also greatly appreciate any advice that anyone has on this topic!

  10. Launa

    I made this tonight for my husband, and he absolutely loved it! I’m just beginning to learn how to cook, so the compliment was great to hear! The flavor was wonderful, and the chicken was so juicy. Thank you for sharing! This one is definitely going to go into the rotation.

  11. Milette

    I made this tonight and it tasted really delicious. Easy and simple. The only thing different I did was bake the chicken pieces after browning in the skillet. I used all the parts of the chicken so I wanted to make sure the chicken is fully cooked, hence, baking. Time saver and a hit in the house. Thank you for the recipe.

  12. roll the ball

    Thanks for sharing. I see the novelty of your writing, I will share it for everyone to read together. I look forward to reading many articles from you.

  13. Maria Madrazo

    Hi I have a question for Shawn or anybody. It’s regarding Broiling. So my broiler is on the bottom of the oven and of course the whole oven gets extremely heated when broiler is on. Are the instructions to place chicken 6 inches from the top of the oven for people that have a top broiler?? Thanking anyone in advance for responding!! From the cooking novice!

    1. Shawn

      Yes, the instructions for the broiler would be for a top broiler. I’ve never tried this with a bottom broiler, so I can’t really give you any tips on that. But you could use a skillet, grill, or even a george forman type grill! Hope that helps!

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Shawn Syphus

Hi, I’m Shawn and I’m a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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