Chicken and pea skillet recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner idea with just 7 simple ingredients.
Healthy and budget friendly, this easy chicken pea recipe is so easy to make and is perfect for busy nights where it’s important to get something hearty on the table fast!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Getting dinner on the table fast is always a win! This recipe takes just 15 minutes to make and uses easy to find ingredients that you likely already have on hand!
- Diced chicken and peas with a simple Italian marinade are all you need to make this naturally gluten free, paleo and Whole30 friendly meal! Simple enough for weeknights but fancy enough for company!
- Serve this healthy chicken and pea skillet meal with your favorite side dish for an extremely filling meal! This recipe goes great with rice, pasta, quinoa, cauliflower rice or even mashed potatoes!
- Chicken breast (or boneless, skinless chicken thighs) – cut into bite size pieces for a quick and easy meal!
- Green peas (fresh or frozen) – green peas don’t get enough love! They are quick to cook and have such a unique flavor!
- Olive oil – This helps to ensure the chicken doesn’t stick to the skillet, you could also use avocado oil or ghee.
- Lemon Juice – helps to elevate the flavors and caramelizes when cooked in high heat, helping the chicken brown.
- Spices: Italian seasoning, Salt, Garlic powder – these all help add flavor and depth to the dish.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1: Cut the chicken into cubes using kitchen shears (or a sharp knife and a plastic cutting board). You want to make bite sized cubes that are relatively the same size so everything cooks equally.
Step 2: Preheat a large skillet (stainless steel or cast iron) over medium high heat.
Step 3: Make the marinade by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, salt and garlic powder. Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Step 4: Pour about ¾ of the marinade over the chicken and stir well, making sure that all the cubes are well coated.
Step 5: Add the chicken to the hot skillet and let sit 5 minutes before stirring, this will allow the chicken to caramelize.
Step 6: After 5 minutes of cooking, you can stir the chicken around to continue to cook 3-4 more minutes. Once the chicken has cooked about 8-9 minutes total, add the peas and the rest of the marinade to the skillet.
Step 7: Cook the chicken and peas together for 2-3 more minutes until the peas are fully defrosted and warmed through.
Serve hot with your favorite side dish.
- How to caramelize the chicken: The lemon juice in the marinade has natural sugars in it. This means that it will help the it to caramelize in the pan if you allow it to sit undisturbed during the first few minutes of cooking.
- Preheat the skillet: It’s also important that you start with a really hot pan, so allowing the skillet to preheat over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes before adding the chicken will help create that sear you are looking for.
- Budget Savings Tip: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are often less expensive per pound than chicken breast. You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe without any modifications for a more budget friendly meal!
- Time Saving Tip #1: Cubing up chicken can be a bit time consuming (takes about 4-5 minutes). If you are really short on time, you can cube it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for 24 hours.
Time Saving Tip #2: You can also buy chicken cut into tenders at the store (typically these are more expensive than chicken breast). The tenders are very easy to quickly cut into bite size pieces in about 1 minute.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS SKILLET MEAL
This healthy chicken peas skillet meal is filling on it’s own but would go even further with a side dish!
Some great budget friendly sides include:
- Jasmine Rice (you can easily cook this in the instant pot)
- Roasted potatoes
- Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Mashed potatoes
- Cauliflower Rice
- Instant Pot Yellow Rice (Lemon Turmeric Rice)
- Creamy Tahini Pasta
OTHER FLAVORS TO TRY
The combination of Italian seasonings with chicken and peas is so flavorful and simple!
Some other great combinations include:
- Ranch: Use 1 tbsp. Ranch seasoning + 1.5 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (to replace the Italian seasoning and lemon juice)
- Greek: Add 1 tsp dried oregano to the Italian seasoning and lemon juice combination
- Cajun: Use 1 tbsp. cajun seasoning + Juice from 1 lime (to replace the Italian seasoning and lemon juice)
Fridge: Store leftover chicken pea skillet meal in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Store leftover chicken and peas in the freezer in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months.
- Chicken breast: This recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken breast but you could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken tenders or even boneless skinless turkey breast in place of the chicken breast.
Simply cut the chicken or turkey into bite size pieces and follow the recipe as instructed.
- Green Peas: To keep the recipe easy to make year round, I use frozen green peas. If you have fresh green peas, you can use those as well.
You may need to cook them 1 minute longer than frozen. If you don’ have peas or don’t love peas, you could also use asparagus or finely chopped broccoli in place of peas.
- Olive oil: Using olive oil in the marinade helps the chicken stay juicy and also helps keep it from sticking to the skillet. You can also use avocado oil in place of olive oil.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds vibrancy and acid to the recipe. You can also use about 1.5 tablespoons of: apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or red wine in place of lemon juice.
- Italian seasoning: If you don’t have Italian seasoning on hand you can use about 1 tsp. dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano and ½ tsp. dried parsley in place of Italian seasoning. If you want a different flavor profile, check out the ideas above.
- Garlic powder: I like to use garlic powder in recipes like this to ensure that the garlic does not burn when cooking. If you love using fresh garlic, finely mince 1-2 cloves and add them to the marinade in place of or in addition to the garlic powder. To make this low FODMAP friendly, omit the garlic powder and use 1 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil in place of the olive oil above.
- Salt: Salt helps to balance the flavors and enhance the overall flavor of the dish. You can omit the salt or reduce the amount according to your preference.
CHICKEN AND PEA SKILLET RECIPE
GUIDED RECIPE VIDEO
- 1.5 pounds chicken breast (or boneless, skinless chicken thighs) – $8.99
- 1 tbsp. olive oil – $0.22
- 1 medium lemon, juiced – $0.44
- 2 tsp. italian seasoning – $0.20
- 1 tsp. garlic powder – $0.10
- 1 tsp. salt – $0.05
- 1.5 cups frozen peas (or fresh) – $1.50
Start by cutting the chicken into bite size pieces. I like to use sharp kitchen shears for this but you could also use a knife and a plastic cutting board.
Preheat a large skillet (stainless steel or cast iron) over medium high heat.
Make the marinade by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, salt and garlic powder in a bowl. Stir well.
Pour about 3/4 of the marinade over the chicken and stir well. Reserve the rest of the marinade for the peas.
Add the Italian chicken to the hot pan, try to get it all in one even layer than don’t touch the chicken for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes of cooking, the chicken can be stirred/sautéed in the pan. Continue to cook 3-4 minutes until the chicken is almost done cooking.
Add the frozen peas and the rest of the marinade to the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes until the peas are defrosted and warmed through.
Serve hot with your favorite side dish.
- Store leftover chicken and peas in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- You can also store cooled chicken and peas in the freezer in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months.
Budget Friendly Tip: Use boneless skinless chicken thighs in place of the chicken breast and the cost of this recipe would be: $9.90 Recipe/$2.47 Serving.
Low FODMAP substitution: To make this recipe low FODMAP friendly, omit the garlic powder and instead use garlic infused olive oil in place of the olive oil. You will also want to make your own Italian seasoning by combining 1 tsp. dried basil, 1 tsp. dried oregano and 1 tsp. dried parsley.