Chicken recipes: 3 easy recipes for people who can’t cook

  | 6 min read

Most Tanzanians like to eat chicken, but can they cook it?

According to AllAfrica, more and more Tanzanians will die due to ‘lifestyle diseases’ such as diabetes, cancer, and heart failure by 2020. The thing is, while death is unavoidable, you can definitely reduce your chances of suffering from these fatal health complications by simply having a healthy diet. However, eating healthy is not a nuanced idea. In fact, you probably know that you need to do it. So what’s holding you and other Tanzanians back?

Well, simply put, many Tanzanians do not cook. This is especially true for young adults between the ages of 20 to 35 who are single and live alone. It’s incredibly common for someone to buy some chapati and maandazi for breakfast, wali nyama for lunch, and have leftovers from yesterday’s heavy lunch for dinner. Moreover, even if someone knows how to cook, they will often opt for very starchy and fatty meals like rice and curry or chipsi mayai.

Moreover, it’s a common misconception that healthy food is tasteless, expensive, and leaves you hungry. So many people do not even try to incorporate it into their diet. To disprove this, we’ve got three simple and absolutely delicious chicken recipes that will help you start to cook more and eat better – even if you’ve never used a stove before.

  1. Chicken salad

Many people consider eating a salad a form of punishment. Well, this chicken salad is absolutely delicious and provides you with all the key nutrients your body needs.

Serves: 1 person

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts

  • 2 tomatoes

  • ½ white onion

  • ½ avocado

  • 2 cups of green lettuce or spinach

  • ⅓ cup of walnuts (optional)

  • ⅓ cup of diced black olives (optional)

  • Grated cheese (preferably feta) (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

  • Olive oil

  • 2 slices of whole wheat brown bread

Ingredients for the salad dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 1 ½ tablespoons of red wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons of honey

  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

  • 1 squeezed lemon


  1. Start by slicing the two chicken breasts into long narrow strips, then season them with salt, black pepper, and any other spices you want.

  2. You can either grill or bake the chicken (do not fry it). Whichever method you choose, drizzle some olive oil on the chicken and let each side cook for 5 -10 mins. If you are grilling, make sure to check on the chicken often (every 3 minutes), so that it doesn’t burn.

  3. Cut the white onion into thin slices and the tomatoes and avocado into medium sized squares. Add these, and the walnuts, olives, and grated cheese into a big bowl.

  4. Chop the lettuce leaves and let them sit in water mixed with vinegar for about 10 mins. This helps kill any bacteria in the lettuce.

  5. Add the lettuce to the bowl mixture.

  6. Once the chicken is done, let it cool down for 10 mins then add it to the bowl mixture.

  7. Toast the two slices of whole wheat bread and then cut the toasted bread into squares and add to the bowl mixture.

  8. In a smaller bowl, add all the ingredients for the salad dressing (olive oil, apple cider vinegar etc) and mix together with a spoon.

  9. Drizzle the salad dressing onto the bigger bowl mixture and toss the salad.

  10. You can serve the meal on a bowl or plate, depending on personal preference.

2. Baked chicken and potatoes

If you want a heavier meal than the chicken salad, but still don’t want to put much effort then this is the recipe for you.

Serves: 1 person


  • 3 white potatoes

  • ½ a chicken or 2 -3 boneless chicken breasts

  • 2 white onions

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

  • 2 teaspoons of rosemary or fresh rosemary leaves

  • 1 freshly squeezed lemon

  • Olive oil


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius for 20 mins

  2. Cut the chicken breasts into big chunky pieces, or cut the half chicken into its different parts (thighs, breasts, wings).

  3. Put the chicken pieces into a bowl and season with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, rosemary, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Let it marinade in the fridge for 20 mins

  4. On a chopping board, cut the onions and red peppers into thin slices, and cut the potatoes into medium sized chunks (peeling the skin is optional).

  5. Take a large baking pan and coat it with olive oil. Add the chicken, potatoes, and onions and drizzle olive oil on top. Make sure to space out the chicken pieces and potatoes on the pan so that they can cook properly.

  6. Put the pan in oven to cook for 45 to 50 mins at 180 degrees celsius. Make sure to check and turn the chicken and potatoes every 15 minutes.

  7. Once the chicken and potatoes are nearly cooked, add the red peppers to the pan. (You add the peppers at this stage as they don’t require much cooking time).

  8. Once done, let the chicken and potatoes cool for 10 minutes and then garnish with rosemary.

3. Chicken soup

This is a great meal to make in bulk and take to work throughout the week.

Serves: 4 people (or one person for multiple meals)


  • 1 whole chicken

  • 3 carrots

  • 3 stalks of celery

  • 1 white onion

  • 1 cup of chickpeas (you can get them in a can already made)

  • 2 teaspoons of salt

  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

  • 1 cube of Knorr’s chicken seasoning

  • Water


  1. Cut the chicken into its parts ( breasts, thighs, wings), and chop the carrots, celery and onions into chunky squares.

  2. Put the chicken pieces, carrots, celery, and onion in a large pot and add water until the midpoint of the pot. Season with salt, chicken cubes, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

  3. Turn on the stove to medium heat and let the brew cook for about 40 minutes until the chicken meat falls off the bone. Make sure to remove the foam that forms at the top of the brew.

  4. Add the chickpeas 20 minutes after you started cooking the broth, so that they don’t overcook.

  5. Once the chicken has cooked, sieve the mixture so that the chunky pieces of chicken and vegetables are separated from the broth (now mostly liquid).

  6. Remove the meat from the bones, and return all the chunky parts to the broth and mix together.

Take the first step to changing your health

You don’t have to make drastic changes like completely removing all the junk food from your diet, instead, start making small changes like cooking more, and this will surely impact your health in big ways in the long run. So, regardless of whether you can cook or not, these recipes will make it is easy for you to incorporate healthy home-cooked meals into your diet.

Try these chicken recipes and share a photo of your awesome meal with us on Instagram using the hashtag #zoomrecipes

Chapati*: Pan-grilled bread

Maandazi*: Fried dough, similar to a doughnut

Wali nyama*: Rice and meat

Chipsi mayai*: An egg pancake containing french fries


Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.