Time-Saving Family Dinner Recipes

There they are…everyday…watching…waiting.  Yes, it’s your family and they want dinner…AGAIN!   I’ve got your back with super easy dinner recipes that will save you time and prevent you from pulling your hair out!  

Hi! I'm Carrie, the woman behind TalkingMeals.com! Here are some of my favorite things!

Hey there! I’m Carrie – a food enthusiast, recipe developer, former caterer, & busy working mom.  I create EASY dinner recipes for busy families.  Click here to read more!

Easy Dinner Recipes for Fall & Winter

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Easiest Ground Italian Chicken Sausage Recipe

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This Homemade Ground Italian Chicken Sausage is so easy to make and tastes amazing!  It’s a healthy go-to for weeknight dinners, such as pastas, pizza, sheet pan dinners and more!  Save time by freezing ahead.

Have you ever made your own Ground Italian Chicken Sausage?  It is sooo incredibly easy, you won’t believe it!  You don’t need the casings, just ground chicken and a few simple ingredients and you can have delicious, salty, garlic-y Italian Sausage.  What give Italian sausage its unique flavor is fennel seed, combined with the garlic.  Mixed in just minutes and then cooked in a pan, it’s an easy and flavorful addition so so many quick dinner options.

Just a few Ingredients for Homemade Italian Chicken Sausage

  • Ground Chicken (or Turkey) raised without antibiotics
  • Garlic cloves, minced (save time by buying pre-minced garlic at the store!)
  • Dried Fennel Seed
  • Fresh Parsley chopped
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for cooking)

Easy Dinners to Use this Ground Italian Chicken Sausage in!

There are so many options for using this homemade chicken sausage!  Here are a few…

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

Equipment for this Italian Chicken Sausage Recipe

You will not need anything special for making this Ground Italian Chicken Sausage!

For mincing the garlic, I love to use a Garlic Press, which is so much faster than mincing with a knife.

Then you just need a large bowl to mix everything together and a frying pan or skillet for cooking the sausage.

Time Saving Prep Steps for Ground Italian Chicken Sausage

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

There really is not much to prep, so if you really want to get ahead, I suggest doubling or tripling this recipe and then portioning it out and freezing it for 3-6 meals!  To freeze it, just place it into a freezer bag or container and smush it down as flat as you can.  This will make it easier to store (stacking) and to thaw later. 

You can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days raw and up to 5 days once cooked.  

You can store it in the freezer raw for up to 5 months and cooked up to 3 months.

To prepare the ground italian chicken, simply place all of the ingredients into a bowl (raw ground chicken, parsley, minced garlic, fennel seeds, salt, black pepper). Then mix to combine. That’s it!

Ingredients in bowl for Ground Italian Chicken Sausage.
Ingredients in bowl for Ground Italian Chicken Sausage.

Cooking Your Homemade Italian Sausage

Preheat a frying pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, then add the Italian Sausage Turkey mixture. Break apart the meat and let it sear.

Continue to break it up into bite-size pieces and let it brown on all sides. Cook until there is no pink color left in the meat and it is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes total cooking time.

Italian Chicken Sausage Recipe FAQs

Can I make this with ground turkey, ground beef or ground pork?

You can make this sausage with any ground meat that you like, however, my recommendations are for either pork, chicken, or turkey for a more authentic sausage flavor. The directions for each will be the same.

Is this considered Sweet Italian Sausage?

This recipe is considered the Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage vs. the Hot variety. It is called sweet to differentiate it, but it really just means mild, not sweet. Hot Italian Sausage will have lot of red pepper flakes to give it the spicy flavor.

Is this Chicken Sausage Gluten Free?

This Ground Italian Chicken Sausage recipe is gluten free.

Is this Italian Sausage Low Carb?

This recipe for chicken sausage has only 1.6 grams of carbohydrates per serving by itself.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Ground Italian Chicken Sausage cooked in a frying pan..

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Easiest Ground Italian Chicken Sausage

This Ground Italian Chicken Sausage is sooo incredibly easy, you won't believe it!  You don't need the casings, just ground chicken and a few simple ingredients and you can have delicious, salty, garlic-y Italian Sausage.  What give Italian sausage its unique flavor is fennel seed, combined with the garlic.  Mixed in just minutes and then cooked in a pan, it's an easy and flavorful addition so so many quick dinner options. Save time by freezing ahead.

Course

Main Course
Cuisine

Italian
Keyword

chicken, chicken sausage, ground chicken, Italian sausage

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes

Servings 4 servings
Calories 253 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1
    pound
    Ground Chicken, raised without antibiotics
  • 2
    cloves
    garlic, minced
  • 1
    teaspoon
    Fennel Seed
  • 3
    Tablespoons
    Fresh Parsley chopped
  • 1
    teaspoon
    Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1
    teaspoon
    Salt
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    (for cooking)

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Chop the Parsley. Mince the garlic cloves.

  2. Add the Ground Chicken to a large mixing bowl. To the turkey, add the minced garlic, 3 Tbls of the chopped parsley, 1 tsp of fennel seed, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper. Mix to combine. (Note: at this point you can freeze or store in the fridge in an airtight container)

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat a frying pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, then add the Italian Sausage Chicken mixture. Break apart the meat and let it sear. Continue to break it up into bite-size pieces and let it brown on all sides. Cook until there is no pink color left in the meat and it is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes total cooking time.

Recipe Notes

  1. Can I make this with ground turkey, ground beef or ground pork?  You can make this sausage with any ground meat that you like, however, my recommendations are for either pork, chicken, or turkey for a more authentic sausage flavor. The directions for each will be the same.
  2. Can I make this into a Hot Italian Sausage?  This recipe is considered the Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage vs. the Hot variety. It is called sweet to differentiate it, but it really just means mild, not sweet. Hot Italian Sausage will have lot of red pepper flakes to give it the spicy flavor.
  3. How should I freeze this sausage?  You can double or triple this recipe and then portion it out and freeze it for 3-6 meals! To freeze it, just place it into a freezer bag or container and smush it down as flat as you can. This will make it easier to store (stacking) and to thaw later.  You can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days raw and up to 5 days once cooked.  You can store it in the freezer raw for up to 5 months and cooked up to 3 months.

Easy Chicken Goulash with Quick Dumplings

Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings, red pepper, and parsley in a bowl with a spoon and sour cream on top.
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This Easy Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings will blow your mind!  This Hungarian dish takes 10 minutes to prep and only 30 minutes to cook, but still tastes like it cooked all day.  Make ahead for busy weeknights.

Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings, red pepper, and parsley in a pot with a wood spoon.

This is an easy version of a traditional Hungarian Chicken Goulash recipe – and it’s DELICIOUS!  It’s quick and easy, cooks in one pot, but still tastes like it cooked all day.  And you will not believe how incredibly easy and quick-cooking these homemade little dumplings are.  You get warm peppery (not hot) flavors combined with tangy tomato, sweet bell peppers, and hearty chicken and dumplings.  This is an easy chicken dinner that my family loves and I know yours will too!

EASY CHICKEN GOULASH RECIPE VIDEO

EASY INGREDIENTS THAT MAKE GOULASH A GOULASH

The primary ingredient that really makes a goulash taste like a goulash is the Paprika!  Paprika is a spice that’s made from ground dried red peppers. There are different varieties of Paprika.  There is Hungarian Paprika, Spanish Paprika, Smoked Paprika, or just Paprika.  Typically, Hungarian and Spanish will have a spicy kick to them.  Whereas Smoked Paprika and anything simply called Paprika will generally be more smokey and warm vs. hot spicy.  This recipe used both Hungarian Paprika and Smoked Paprika to tame the heat level.  If you like Goulash, then you have to try my Weeknight Paprika Pork Stew Recipe , this delicious Chicken & Rice Stuffed Cabbage (Golumpki!)  or my Hungarian Paprika Chicken with Paprika Aioli

Next are the caraway seeds.  These are the seeds that you may know from Rye bread that give it its unique flavor.  These tasty little seeds also impart wonderful flavor notes to this soup.  You can use either the dried whole seeds or ground seeds.  I used whole in this recipe.

Bell Peppers are the next common ingredient.  You can find a variety of other veggies in various versions of goulash, but pretty consistently, you will find red peppers, green peppers, or both.  They bring a sweet peppery flavor and also provide a nice texture to this soup.

And finally, dumplings.  The dumplings are traditional in Hungarian goulash and this recipe is so incredibly quick and easy, you have just got to try them!  All it takes is flour, egg, and salt.  Mix in a bowl, then roll out and either pinch off into the soup or cut small pieces.  They only take 2-3 minutes to cook! 

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

RECIPE EQUIPMENT NEEDED

I made this Goulash in a dutch oven. However, any large bottom pot will work. You could also make this in a slow cooker. See the FAQ section for more on using a slow cooker.

Oh, and mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

RECIPE PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THIS CHICKEN GOULASH

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes.

Slice the Bacon into thin strips. PRO TIP: Freeze your bacon slices before cutting them.  It makes is so much easier to cut through.

Peel and cut the onion into 1 inch chunks, then separate layers. Cut the red and green peppers into similar size pieces. Mince the garlic.

Measure out the seasonings and spices. Open the diced tomatoes. Measure out the flour for the dumplings.

COOKING YOUR CHICKEN WILD RICE CASSEROLE

Preheat a large Dutch oven over high heat and add the bacon. Cook to render the fat, about 5 minutes, and then add the onions. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Bacon and diced onions in pot cooking with wooden spoon for Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings.

Add the chicken, garlic, bell peppers, caraway seeds, and the paprika powder . Stir to combine and cook for another 2 minutes.

Wood spoon stirring red and green peppers, chicken, bacon and diced onions in pot cooking for Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings.

Add the bouillon cubes, water, and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Bring the goulash to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Hand adding can of diced tomatoes to pot on stove with red and green peppers, chicken, bacon and diced onions for Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings.

While the goulash is cooking, make the dumplings by adding the flour to a large bowl, then the egg, and a pinch of salt. Mix together until it forms a ball and then knead together with your hand for 1 minute. Split into 3 sections and then roll each section out into a thin cord. Then pinch off small pieces with your fingers or using a knife to create dumplings.

Flour in a bowl on counter with whole egg next to it and salt in bowl for Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings.

Dumpling dough in clear bowl on counter for Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings.

Knife cutting dumplings from 3 slender dough ropes on a plate on counter for Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings.

During the final 5 minutes of the goulash cooking time, add the dumplings and stir to submerge and distribute them. Let them cook during the final minutes (they only require about 3 minutes).

Uncooked dumplings on a plate being added to Chicken Goulash cooking in a pot on stove.

Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings, red pepper, and parsley in a bowl with a spoon and sour cream on top.

RECIPE FAQS

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

Yes, this can be made in the slow cooker!  To do so, you can simply add all of the ingredients under Chicken, Onions, and Spices and Rest of Goulash Ingredients at the same time to the slow cooker insert.  Mix to combine and set the slow cooker to 6 hours or 8 hours, depending on your schedule.  Wait to make and add the dumplings until the end of the cooking time.  Follows Cooking Steps 4-6 to finish.  

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

Yes, you can use chicken thighs, but I recommend sticking with boneless skinless thighs for easy prep and cooking. Consider the amount of thighs that you will need as well. Generally, I estimate 16 ounces or 1 pound of chicken for 4 servings. That will likely mean 5-6 boneless skinless thighs, depending on their size. The recipe instructions will be the same for thighs as the breasts.

Can this be turned into a Beef Goulash instead of chicken?

You can definitely make this with beef.  There are a couple options.  For a super tender, fall-apart beef, you will want to use beef chuck cubed.  If you make in the dutch oven or large pot, then you will need to simmer for 2+ hours until the beef is tender.  

You can also do a quick-cooking option with Beef filet cubes.  In this option, you will want to season and sear the beef cubes in the pot first.  Transfer them to a plate while you make the rest of the dish.  Then add them back for the final 10 minutes of the cooking time.  

Your final option is to use beef chuck in the slow cooker.  See the slow cooker steps in the question above.

Is this soup healthy?

Yes, this Chicken Goulash recipe has many healthy ingredients and is therefore, a good source of protein, vitamins, and nutrients.  The chicken breast is a lean source of protein and with tomatoes and peppers, you get tons of veggie!  

Is this recipe gluten free?

This recipe is gluten free with the ingredients listed.  However, as with any recipe that you find online, make sure that you double check all packaging ingredient labels to ensure that it does not contain gluten.

Can I make this in advance?

Absolutely!  This dish reheats beautifully and is a great meal prep option for enjoying several days during the week!  To reheat, you can place it in a microwave safe bowl and warm it for 1-2 minutes.  Or you can place it back in a sauce pot covered on the stove and warm it on medium heat.  It will take about 10-15 minutes.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Chicken Goulash with quick homemade dumplings, red pepper, and parsley in a bowl with a spoon and sour cream on top.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Easy Chicken Goulash with Quick Dumplings

This is an easy version of a traditional Hungarian Chicken Goulash recipe – and it's DELICIOUS!  It's quick and easy, cooks in one pot, but still tastes like it cooked all day.  And you will not believe how incredibly easy and quick-cooking these homemade little dumplings are.  You get warm peppery (not hot) flavors combined with tangy tomato, sweet bell peppers, and hearty chicken and dumplings.  This is an easy chicken dinner that my family loves and I know yours will too!

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Hungarian
Keyword chicken, goulash, paprika, red peppers, soup, stew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 388 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Onions, Chicken, Spices

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices Bacon
  • 1 Large yellow onion
  • 1 pound Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian Hot Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Rest of Goulash Ingredients

  • 1 green pepper sliced
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 3 cubes Chicken Bouillon
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Dumplings

  • 1 Egg, large
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Pinch Salt

Garnish

  • 1/4 cup Sour cream
  • 1 bunch Fresh Italian Parsley

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. PREP CHICKEN & BACON. Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes. Slice the Bacon into thin strips.

  2. PREP VEGGIES. Peel and cut the onion into 1 inch chunks, then separate layers. Cut the red and green peppers into similar size pieces. Mince the garlic.

  3. PREP REST INGREDIENTS. Measure out the seasonings and spices. Open the diced tomatoes. Measure out the flour for the dumplings.

Cooking Steps

  1. BACON, ONIONS. Preheat a large Dutch oven over high heat and add the bacon. Cook to render the fat, about 5 minutes, and then add the onions. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

  2. CHICKEN, PEPPERS. Add the chicken, garlic, bell peppers, caraway seeds, and the paprika powder . Stir to combine and cook for another 2 minutes.

  3. COOK GOULASH. Add the bouillon cubes, water, and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Bring the goulash to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  4. MAKE DUMPLINGS. While the goulash is cooking, make the dumplings by adding the flour to a large bowl, then the egg, and a pinch of salt. Mix together until it forms a ball and then knead together with your hand for 1 minute. Split into 3 sections and then roll each section out into a thin cord. Then pinch off small pieces with your fingers or using a knife to create dumplings.

  5. ADD DUMPLINGS. During the final 5 minutes of the goulash cooking time, add the dumplings and stir to submerge and distribute them. Let them cook during the final minutes (they only require about 3 minutes).

  6. SERVE. Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Recipe Video