This Healthy Chicken Burrito Bowl is perfect for lunch meal prep or easy weeknight dinners. Gluten Free & Paleo options!
My new healthy chicken burrito bowl is as much of a concept as it is a recipe.
I'm sharing the recipe below but this is the kind of dish you can (and should!) vary to make it your own. Use whatever meat you have in your freezer. Add whatever veggies you need to use up. Serve over roasted potatoes or over a salad for a paleo-friendly version.
One reason I love meals like this? They are so perfect for family dinners. While I'm a big believer in challenging kids' palates, not just serving them “kid food,” I also know that dinnertime can be stressful if you have a picky eater in your house. With a meal like this though, you can simply lay out the different components and let everyone build their own bowl. Feel free to set parameters like everyone needs to choose at least one protein and one veggie so you don't have one kiddo with a bowl full of rice and shredded cheese 🙂
Whether you use this for an easy weeknight dinner or a meal prep lunch for work, I hope you love it! And if you have any topping ideas, please share them and tag me on Instagram @prepdish or share on Facebook!
Healthy Chicken Burrito Bowl
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 2 avocados
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 # boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup rice
- 8 oz sliced black olives
- 1 jar salsa
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 3/8 tsp garlic powder (separated)
- S&P to taste
- 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Place chicken breasts on parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle S&P + 1/4 tsp garlic powder evenly over all pieces. Bake ~25 mins or cooked through, 165 F.
- Allow chicken to cool and then cut/shred chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
- In a medium pot, add 1 cup rice + 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover w/ lid and turn down heat to simmer ~25min or until water is absorbed and rice is cooked. Add 1/4 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp cumin + 1/8 tsp garlic powder and stir in until well combined.
- Halve 1 pint cherry tomatoes & store. Set aside.
- Chop 2 avocados and chop cilantro.
- To build bowls: Layer rice + chicken + cherry tomatoes + black olives + avocado + shredded cheese (optional) + cilantro + salsa.
What is the nutrition like in this healthy chicken burrito bowl?
Adding a variety of toppings not only ups the flavor in these healthy chicken burrito bowls, it also ups the nutrition! You get so many valuable vitamins and nutrients from this meal. Here's an overview:
Cilantro (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Manganese)
Cilantro supports the health of your brain, possibly reducing the risk of Parkinsons and Alztheimers disease as well as anxiety. In addition, one of cilantro's biggest benefits is its prevention of blood sugar spikes. Finally, cilantro has antimicrobial elements and thus may help prevent food poisoning. It's worth noting that many studies on cilantro use cilantro extract, rather than the leaves.
Avocado (Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, B Vitamins, Potassium, Folate, Healthy Fats)
Loaded with nutrients like potassium, folate and healthy fats, avocados are good for your heart, your eye health, and even your mood. Moreover, they also benefit your brain, bone density and blood sugar levels.
Tomatoes (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Antioxidants)
Due to their high antioxidant content and their high lycopene content, in particular, eating tomatoes may help reduce cancer risk. Redder tomatoes tend to have more lycopene so make sure yours are nice and ripe. Furthermore, eating tomatoes along with a source of fat, like the avocado in this recipe, can help you absorb up to four times as much lycopene.
Chicken (B Vitamins, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, Protein)
Eating more protein, like that found in chicken, can lead to greater feelings of satiety and potentially weight loss. Protein is also important for building muscle. The B vitamins in chicken are also great for energy.
Olives (Vitamin E, Iron, Calcium, Antioxidants, Healthy Fats)
The healthy fats in olives make them beneficial for heart health. Olives are also quite low carb, so great for any keto or low carb eaters. Eating olives may help reduce inflammation and support bone health.
Cumin (Iron, Antioxidants)
Cumin is known for a variety of healthy benefits including aiding in indigestion. This spice is also an excellent source of iron and antioxidants.
Meal Prep Chicken Burrito Bowl Variations
Meal prep chicken burrito bowls are the kind of recipe that begs for variations. It's just so easy to make this one your own. Vary the base, the protein, the toppings or all three! Here are some suggestions for how to mix it up:
- Change up the base: Use brown rice, quinoa, cauli rice, roasted potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes or salad greens as your burrito bowl base.
- Use a different protein: Ground beef, ground turkey, sliced steak, black beans or shrimp would all be delicious in place of the chicken here.
- Get creative with the toppings: Any of your favorite taco toppings will work here. Feel free to amp up the veggies with anything lingering in the fridge as well. The following are particularly tasty in burrito bowls: sauteed zucchini, diced bell peppers (cooked or raw!), quick pickled onions, guacamole, chopped romaine lettuce, diced green onions, cotija cheese, corn and roasted sweet potatoes.
Want to take it to the next level? Make my tomatillo salsa to top your bowl!
How to meal prep burrito bowls
To meal prep burrito bowls, make each of the components ahead. All you'll have to do on the day you want to serve is reheat and let everyone build their bowls!
If you plan to use these for a meal prep lunch, layer rice and chicken in one container and bring toppings in a separate container. This way you'll be able to easily heat up your chicken and rice before adding toppings.
Alternatively, use a grain that's tasty cold (like quinoa) or choose salad greens for your base. Then simply layer all of your toppings in the same container and enjoy the meal cold like a tex-mex salad!
Want more meal prep lunch options? Check out my mix and match lunch guide here!
More Chicken Breast Meal Prep Ideas
Chicken breast meal prep doesn't have to be boring! There's absolutely no reason you need to eat plain poached chicken with broccoli every day. Trust me, these recipes are easy, but also delicious, so you'll actually enjoy the lunch you've prepped.
Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Chicken salad is made for meal prep! It only tastes better the next day. My version uses avocado mayo and I include a bit of bacon to give it some major flavor.
Pecan Crusted Chicken Collard Wraps
Okay, this one is a little more involved, but I had to include it because it's SO good! Any time you feel like giving yourself a treat, prep these collard wraps. You'll have something delicious to look forward to all morning at work 🙂
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken
This wonderfully spiced chicken makes a fantastic lunch!
Enjoy it atop a salad, stuff it in a wrap or pita pocket or heat it up with some rice and roasted veggies. You can't go wrong!
Looking for more meal prep resources? Check out my freezer breakfast burritos for a prep-ahead meal that works just as well for lunch (or even dinner)!
If you're interested in trying out our Prep Dish meal prep meal plans, sign up for a free trial here or watch my short video walking you through our popular super fast meal plans.