Find the best chicken recipes for babies and toddlers, plus a super flavorful and tender poached chicken that’s a nutritious (and fast) finger food option.

Chicken for baby on purple plate with sides.

Chicken for Baby

I know that it can be a challenge to prepare baby-friendly chicken that’s easy to eat and also flavorful enough (but not too much!), so this recipe and list of ideas is here to help. The real key is to use cooking methods that deliver soft, tender chicken that’s easy for a baby to eat as a finger food—which you can do by poaching, slow cooking, or baking with a few tips in mind.

I’m also including my easy method for flavorful poached chicken, which is one of my very favorite chicken recipes to share.

(You may also like my Chicken Recipes for Big Kids.)

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Ingredients You Need

To make the poached chicken, here’s a look at the ingredients you’ll want to have on hand and ready to go.

Ingredients for chicken for baby on countertop.
  • Reduced-sodium chicken broth: You can use reduced-sodium chicken broth or no-salt-added chicken broth to keep the sodium down. You can also use my Vegetable Broth if you prefer.
  • Chicken breast (or thighs): You can use either chicken breast or chicken thigh meat in this recipe.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic or jarred garlic adds pleasant flavor to the chicken.
  • Lemon: A little fresh lemon juice at the end of cooking adds pleasant flavor, too.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is a preview of how to make this easy chicken recipe so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of this post for the full recipe, including the amounts and timing.

how to make chicken for baby in grid of images.
  1. Add the broth and garlic to a small pot or skillet over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken.
  2. Simmer gently.
  3. Turn the chicken over and cook until the center of the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool slightly. Slice up into finger-size pieces to serve baby-led weaning style or dice or shred into very small pieces to serve as a finger food.
Chicken for baby on purple plate with sides.

How to Store

Store leftover chicken in the broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain tenderness. Heat gently to serve.

Serving Suggestions

Try serving this chicken with Roasted Carrots, Sweet Potato Baby Food, Broccoli Fritters, Baked Apples, Quinoa Fritters, or Pesto Pasta with Peas as easy recipes to serve along with this chicken.

More Baby-Friendly Chicken Recipes

Below are a few more favorite chicken recipes that work well to feed a baby who’s eating finger foods. (You can find my Chicken Puree baby food recipe to help, too.)

Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Forget takeout—deliver this popular Indian dish to your table instead. Shredded chicken thighs are coated in a rich, buttery sauce with hints of tomatoes, ginger, and garam masala—a messy but very flavorful finger food. Adapted from The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook.
Get the recipe
instant-pot-butter-chicken
Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Tacos
With a short ingredient list and a veggie-loaded sauce, these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos are such a delicious family meal. (You can even make it in the Instant Pot for dinner in just 25 minutes.)
Get the recipe
Slow cooker chicken tacos on plate with sides.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets (with Sweet Potato)
Crispy on the outside and tender in the middle, these Homemade Chicken Nuggets are both easy and delicious. You can prep the sweet potato up to 5 days ahead if that's easier for you, too. Try serving these with ketchup, ranch, or marinara sauce.
Get the recipe
Chicken nuggets on baking sheet after cooking.
4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Meatballs
With just four simple and affordable ingredients, you can make tender Baked Chicken Meatballs to share with the kids. Bonus: You can tuck a veggie into the mix, and they are perfect to batch-cook and stash in the freezer!
Get the recipe
baked chicken meatballs on cookie sheet.
Chicken and Stars Soup
With a quick cooking time, a veggie-loaded base, and most comforting texture and flavor, this Chicken and Stars Soup is an all-time favorite family meal. It's soothing when illness strikes and just makes for a fast and yummy meal when you need it.
Get the recipe
Chicken and stars soup in two white bowls.
Creamy Chicken Pasta
Creamy Chicken Pasta with veggies that blend right into the sauce? Win! This pasta recipe is legit delicious and is so crazy comforting. See the Notes for variations and storage information.
Get the recipe
creamy chicken pasta in three bowls.
Easy Chicken in Tomato Sauce (with Pasta)
This is the absolute easiest way to cook flavorful chicken—it simply poaches right in the marinara sauce. This Chicken in Tomato Sauce is perfect with pasta or with a side of Italian bread and is a great easy family meal.
Get the recipe
Chicken in tomato sauce in pan with cheese on top.
Leftover chicken in pink tupperware container.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use chicken thighs as an easy alternative to chicken breast.
  • Do this in the slow cooker for the entire family with 1 quart chicken broth and 2 pounds chicken thighs. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, then shred and serve.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper for older kids and adults as desired.
  • To make a simple chicken puree baby food, add 1 cup cooked chicken to a blender and blend with broth, starting with ¼ cup and adding more as needed to make a smooth puree.

Related Recipes


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Chicken for baby on purple plate with sides.

Chicken for Baby

Find the best chicken recipes for babies and toddlers, plus a super flavorful and tender poached chicken that's a nutritious (and fast) finger food option.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Baby Food
Calories 68kcal
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 garlic clove (sliced)
  • 1 chicken breast (or two thighs)
  • 1 slice fresh lemon
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Instructions

  • Add the broth and garlic to a small pot or skillet over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the chicken and simmer gently (reducing the heat if the broth starts to boil) for 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook for an addition 4-6 minutes, or until the center of the chicken reads 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool slightly. Slice up into finger-size pieces to serve baby-led weaning style, or dice or shred into very small pieces to serve as a finger food.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dollop of marinara or pesto, or any other flavorful sauce you like to the chicken before serving.

Notes

Store leftover chicken in broth to maintain tenderness. Heat gently to serve.
Use chicken thighs as an easy alternative.
Do this in the slow cooker for the entire family with 1 quart chicken broth and 2 pounds chicken thighs. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, then shred and serve.
Season to taste with salt and pepper for older kids and adults as desired.
To make a simple chicken puree baby food, add 1 cup cooked chicken to a blender and blend with broth, starting with ¼ cup and adding more as needed to make a smooth puree.

Nutrition

Serving: 1oz, Calories: 68kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.3g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 298mg, Potassium: 229mg, Fiber: 0.01g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 17IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 0.3mg
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