Dump Chicken Recipes That Are (Almost) Completely Hands-Off

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Ziti with Italian Chicken Sausage and Sweet Peppers
Photo: Andy Lyons

When you don't have the time for a lot of chopping and prepping, make one of our chicken dump recipes for dinner. These dishes keep it simple. All you have to do is stir the ingredients together and bake, slow cook, or pressure cook. Since they're mostly hands-off, these dump chicken dinners will save you some clean-up time afterward, too.

01 of 16

Pressure Cooker Chicken Salsa Tortas

Pressure Cooker Chicken Salsa Tortas
Marty Baldwin

Dump chicken recipes are fast, but Instant Pot dump recipes with chicken are even speedier because they cook lightning-fast. These chicken tortas (a sandwich in Mexican cuisine) require barely any prep and using a pressure cooker means they'll need just 15 minutes to cook. That allows you to stack up your bolillo roll with chicken, lettuce, and queso fresco and dig in that much sooner.

Buy It: 6-quart Instant Pot Duo, $100, Amazon

02 of 16

King Ranch Crunch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Crunch Chicken Casserole
Jason Donnelly

This chicken dump casserole is layered with spicy salsa verde, chicken, and crispy tortilla chips. It's a Tex-Mex classic, and while it's unclear exactly where it got its name, it's thought to come from a large ranch in Texas called King Ranch. No matter where the name originated, it is delicious and easy to prep.

03 of 16

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup
Jason Donnelly

Italian night just got easier. When you don't have time for a homemade pasta sauce, this dump chicken soup recipe can sub in as a hearty, delicious Italian dinner that makes its own alfredo-flavored "sauce" while it cooks. Cheesy tortellini, chicken thighs, and spinach all come together with a thick, creamy broth for a meal that's satisfying and easy.

04 of 16

Barbecue Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Barbecue Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Andy Lyons

Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, no matter what spin the recipe gets. With the help of your slow cooker, this dump chicken recipe has all the gooey cheesiness we love about macaroni and cheese, plus chicken thighs and crispy bacon to give it more protein and flavor. Stir in a splash of barbecue sauce and chopped dill pickles, and this grown-up version of mac and cheese complete.

05 of 16

Hot and Cheesy Chicken Casserole

Hot and Cheesy Chicken Casserole
Andy Lyons

Any dump and bake chicken recipe with "cheesy" in the name instantly has us on board. This dish delivers, too! Fiesta nacho cheese soup, cheddar, and mozzarella unite to make this dump casserole ultra-gooey and yummy. It's not completely about the cheese though; broccoli and peas help make it a little healthier, and of course, chopped chicken bulks it up for dinner with plenty of protein.

06 of 16

Gyro Nachos with Tzatziki Sauce

Gyro Nachos with Tzatziki Sauce
Karla Conrad

These nachos won't quite make themselves, but you can set-and-forget the chicken thighs for a few hours thanks to your slow cooker. Just toss the chicken in alongside garlic, onion, red wine vinegar, and a few other seasonings. When this dump chicken recipe is done cooking, you can spend as much (or as little) time as you want creating a sky-high stack of nachos, or even wrapping the chicken up in pita bread.

07 of 16

Pressure Cooker Indian-Spiced Chicken

Indian-Spiced Chicken
Jason Donnelly

Add this Instant Pot chicken dump dinner to your menu this week. As you guessed from the name, it'll be ready fast thanks to your pressure cooker, but it also follows Paleo guidelines. On top of all that, cayenne pepper and curry powder bring delicious heat to every bite of this Indian-inspired chicken dinner.

08 of 16

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken and Noodles

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken and Noodles
Andy Lyons

Sometimes we already know it's going to be a takeout night before we're even out the door in the morning. But if you find yourself craving a bowl of noodles and General Tso's chicken, you can get it cooking in the morning so you don't have to wait on delivery or make a stop for carryout later. This dump chicken slow cooker recipe tastes exactly like your go-to order (shout out to the homemade garlicky sauce the chicken cooks in), but lets you leave the takeout menus in the drawer.

09 of 16

Slow-Cooked Moroccan Chicken

Slow Cooked Moroccan Chicken
Andy Lyons

Bring the bold flavors of North Africa to your table with this Moroccan dump chicken recipe. Tender chicken thighs take on Moroccan flavors courtesy of a curry and cinnamon spice mix. With baby carrots and dried plums tossed into your slow cooker alongside the chicken and spices, you end up with a side dish, too.

10 of 16

Pressure Cooker Ziti with Italian Chicken Sausage

Ziti with Italian Chicken Sausage and Sweet Peppers
Andy Lyons

Follow the slow cooker instructions for this pasta dish if you want a super easy chicken dump dinner. Italian chicken sausage provides the protein for this version of baked ziti while fresh basil, garlic, and Italian seasoning dress up canned tomato sauce. Letting mozzarella cheese melt on top for the last few minutes of cook time makes this simple dump recipe totally irresistible.

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Smoky Chicken and Cheesy Potato Casserole

Smoky Chicken and Cheesy Potato Casserole

Hello, comfort food! This slow cooker chicken dump casserole is low on prep and ingredients (you only need six), but big on cheesy chicken and potato goodness. Start with sour cream and a can of cream of chicken soup to keep it ultra-moist, then pile on chicken, cheddar cheese, and hash brown-style potatoes for the best comfort food dinner you can make with a slow cooker.

Buy It: Hamilton Beach 4-quart Electric Slow Cooker, $55, Amazon

12 of 16

Pressure Cooker Moo Shu Chicken

Moo Shu Chicken
Jason Donnelly

Chinese takeout is usually a quick dinner option, but believe it or not, this homemade version of moo shu chicken is even faster. It pressure cooks in just five minutes, and the only prep involves stirring together a quick sauce and mincing a few garlic cloves (assuming you're starting with pre-shredded cabbage and carrots). The rest of the ingredients-like shredded cabbage, chicken thighs, and carrots-you can just add to your pressure cooker.

13 of 16

Buffalo Chicken and Rice

Buffalo Chicken and Rice
Jacob Fox

Bring sports bar flavors to your dinner table by making spicy buffalo chicken in your slow cooker. The trick to creating your own buffalo-style sauce at home is a combo of dry ranch dressing mix, hot pepper sauce, and a fresh Anaheim pepper. To make it a meal, serve this spicy dump chicken recipe over rice (you can use leftovers or even quick-cooking microwave rice to keep dinner super simple).

14 of 16

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Andy Lyons

Dump five ingredients in your slow cooker and dinner's done. This might be our easiest recipe of the bunch because there's no chopping, no ingredients to add at the end, and no stirring midway through. To make this chicken tortilla dump dinner so simple, we relied on chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, shredded chicken, and frozen veggies to cut out all the prep work.

15 of 16

Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Stew
Blaine Moats

Our spiced Indian stew comes with a long cook time (it can take up to 10 hours if you set your slow cooker on low), so it's a great chicken dump dinner to toss in your slow cooker before you head out the door in the morning. When you get home, the fragrant smells of curry, ginger, and garlic will instantly have your stomach growling for dinner. Stick with chicken thighs for this dump recipe, because they'll stay tender and moist during those long hours in the slow cooker.

Buy It: Crock-Pot 6-quart Manual Slow Cooker, $115, Walmart

16 of 16

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili
Kritsada Panichgul

Comforting chicken chili is an even better meal when you can just put the ingredients in your slow cooker and walk away. Plus, this dump chicken recipe comes with an extra boost of protein thanks to three full cans of Great Northern beans (it comes out to a whopping 38 grams per serving!). Cozy up with a bowl and let this easy chicken chili warm you from the inside out.

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