These Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls will spice up your meal prep – they’re ready in just 30 minutes and are packed full of Tex Mex flavours.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – or another neutral cooking oil like avocado or canola oil.
- Chicken breasts – boneless skinless chicken thighs would also be good or you can swap out for ground turkey or beef.
- Chili powder – use a blend of paprika, cumin and cayenne.
- Salt – to taste.
- Garlic powder – use a bit of garlic salt instead and omit the rest of the salt from the recipe.
- Cumin – coriander would be the best substitute here.
- Corn – either canned, fresh or frozen corn would work or you can swap out for another veggie of your choice.
- Red onions – white or yellow onions can be used but won’t have the same Tex Mex flavour.
- Bell peppers – swap out for another veggie of your choice like spinach or a frozen veggie blend.
- Fresh salsa – jarred salsa or pico de gallo would also be good here.
- Cilantro – leave this out altogether if you don’t have any on hand.
- Feta cheese – or another type of cheese of your choice like Monterey Jack or cheddar.
- Brown rice – use any type of grain you want like white rice, pasta, quinoa or rice noodles.
How to make chicken rice bowls
- Make the rice.
- Stir fry the chicken.
- Season the chicken with spices.
- Sauté the veggies.
- Add in the rice and salsa.
- Toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with cheese, serve and enjoy!
Best salsa for rice bowls
I prefer to use a fresh salsa such as Garden Fresh Gourmet – this isn’t an ad, I just really like their salsas. You can find them at Costco or similar types of salsa in the fresh dips and salad dressing section of the grocery store. These kinds of fresh salsa are usually stocked beside the pre-made guacamole and are way better than jarred salsa in my opinion.
However, that's not to say you can't use jarred salsa! Go with what you have on hand at home. You can even make your own fresh salsa using diced tomatoes, red onions and cilantro. It’s the perfect addition to any chicken and rice bowl!
Frequently Asked Questions
A chicken fiesta bowl is a delicious Tex-Mex inspired chicken and rice bowl. It’s typically made with chicken, rice, veggies like corn and bell peppers, Tex Mex seasonings and salsa.
The options are pretty much endless for what you can put in these rice bowls! The basic formula includes chicken, some kind of grain like brown or white rice, a variety of veggies, a low-calorie sauce or condiment like salsa and herbs or spices. Customize it to include whatever you’re craving or whatever veggies you need to clear out of the fridge. You can even use frozen veggies, they just won’t be as crisp.
There are 454 calories in this recipe. These chicken rice bowls are a super filling and nutritious lunch or dinner option!
Storing and reheating
When you're meal prepping your lunches for the week, you ideally want something that's going to take a minimal amount of time – and these fiesta chicken bowls definitely fit the bill. They come together in just 30 minutes!
This recipe works perfectly as a weekly meal prep option because it still tastes good even 4 or 5 days later! You can make a huge batch in one pan so there's minimal clean up. Then, it's just a matter of dividing the servings up and grabbing a bowl on your way out the door in the morning.
These are my best tips for reheating:
- Add a tiny bit of olive oil to a skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes until heated through.
- Sprinkle 1 tbsp of water over top and microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Water will refresh the rice and chicken to avoid any dryness.
- Add a bit of extra salsa before microwaving for extra flavour and moisture.
Freezing this recipe
You can totally freeze this recipe! All you have to do is divide individual servings into glass bowls and freeze up to 3 months.
When you're ready to enjoy, make sure to sprinkle a bit of water over top then reheat in the microwave for 6-7 minutes, stirring halfway through. You may need a bit more time depending on the microwave, but this is a good ballpark figure. Add some fresh salsa and cheese on top and you’re good to go!
Of course, this fiesta chicken won't taste quite as good as when enjoyed fresh, but if you need to make a bunch of meals ahead of time, this recipe does freeze and reheat fairly well.
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Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Get your square glass meal prep bowls here!
- This is my favourite brown rice.
- And this is my fave taco seasoning if you don't feel like making your own!
- And of course I get my free-range chicken from Butcher Box – for a limited time get two free ribeyes and bacon when you sign up!
Meal Prep Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breasts (about 3-4 medium-sized breasts)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 3/4 cup fresh salsa
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional, divided)
- 1 cup dry brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp butter
- Get rice cooking in a rice cooker while you prep ingredients for this recipe.
- In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add chicken and stir fry for 2-3 min until lightly cooked. Add chili powder, cumin and garlic powder, then toss to coat and continue cooking another 5 min.
- Add red onion, corn and bell peppers, sauteeing for 2-3 min. Add cooked brown rice and salsa, tossing to coat. Cook for 5 min. Mix in cilantro and remove from heat. Sprinkle with feta cheese if desired and serve!