Mediterranean Grain Bowls with Chicken combine quinoa, hummus, fresh veggies, seasoned chicken and a delicious Tzatziki Sauce! These are healthy and delicious, and are perfect for meal prepping.
These bowls are customizable according to your taste buds and what you like best. Prep a variety of grains, proteins, veggies, and sauces/dressings – and make them all week long.
What are grains?
According to Wikipedia, a grain is a small, hard, dry seed, with or without an attached hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption.
All types of grains are good sources of complex carbohydrates, but WHOLE GRAINS (the healthiest kinds of grains) are an especially important part of a healthy diet. Naturally high in fiber, grains help you feel full and satisfied and aids in maintaining a healthy weight. They are also linked to a lower probability of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, as well as other problems.
Some examples of whole grains include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgar, millet, oatmeal, popcorn, and whole wheat breads and pastas.
Quinoa is technically a seed, but also classifies as a (gluten-free) whole grain. It’s a good source of protein and fiber. It may take awhile for you to adjust to the texture of quinoa (it did for me) but now we love it!
Ingredients needed for the chicken:
- Chicken Breast – Use about 1.5 pounds of chicken breast, and cut into large bite-sized pieces. You can, of course, cut them smaller if you wish.
- Thyme and Rosemary – These add some “mediterranean flavor” to the chicken.
- Other seasonings – Onion Powder, salt, and pepper.
- Olive Oil – You’ll need oil to sauté the chicken. You can also substitute other oils, if desired.
To make the chicken:
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.
- Add the seasoned chicken chunks to the skillet, and cook completely, turning occasionally to get a nice brown sear on the outsides.
- Remove chicken to a clean plate to rest.
What makes a great Tzatziki Sauce?
- Greek yogurt – Use a full-fat version for an extra creamy consistency.
- Cucumbers – Finely diced (as pictured below) and squeezed of excess moisture.
- Fresh Dill – This is the KEY ingredient and you’ll need to mince up plenty – about 1 1/2 tablespoons.
- Fresh Lemon Juice – A hearty squeeze of a lemon is all you need here.
- Seasonings – Garlic powder (or use fresh), kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Olive Oil – Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the finished Tzatziki sauce. SO good.
How to make Homemade Tzatziki Sauce:
I recommend making the Tzatziki Sauce at least an hour in advance to get those flavors melding together.
- Prep cucumber. Finely dice the cucumber, and then squeeze the excess moisture out with some paper towel.
- Mince the dill. Remove the smaller branches of dill and finely dice it.
- Combine ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, cucumbers, dill, seasonings, and fresh lemon juice. Top with a drizzle of olive oil.
To prep the remaining ingredients:
- Make the quinoa. You can make the quinoa on the stovetop, according to package directions. Or use your instant pot (my fav way to make quinoa!) and pressure cook for one minute with a 10 minute natural release. Make sure you rinse the quinoa before cooking.
- Make some Crispy Chickpeas (optional!) – see blog post for how to do this.
- Slice veggies – Slice the cucumber and onion.
Don’t like quinoa? Substitute farro or brown rice instead!
How to assemble the grain bowls:
- Layer the quinoa and hummus. On the bottom of the bowl, spread some quinoa and hummus (homemade hummus is the BEST and lasts for days in the refrigerator!).
- Add chicken. Then add the chicken. We prefer this at room temperature or slightly warmed.
- Add veggies. Add some sliced cucumber and red onion, and some cherry tomatoes.
- Top with sauce. Then add a generous dollop of Tzatziki sauce, a drizzle of olive oil, and some extra salt and pepper!
- Optional topper! We love some crispy chickpeas on these bowls. But they are totally optional. 😀
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Mediterranean Grain Bowl with Chicken
For the chicken:
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast – cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
- 1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
For the Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt – 2% or full-fat
- 1/2 medium English cucumber – seeds removed and diced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh dill – finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh garlic) – minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup hummus – homemade recipes on the blog
- 1/2 medium English cucumber – sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion – thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- crispy chickpeas – optional, but delicious!
- Cut chicken into large bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with the seasonings.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat, and add olive oil. Add chicken to the skillet and cook on all sides, making sure you get a nice sear. Continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked. It should read 165 degrees on a digital thermometer. (You may need to cook the chicken in batches. Don't crowd the pan.
- Set the chicken aside.
Make the tzatziki sauce:
- De-seed the cucumber, and dice. Add to mixing bowl, with remaining ingredients. Mix well.
- Refrigerate at least an hour before serving so flavors absorb. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
Prep remaining ingredients:
- Make the quinoa. Prepare the quinoa according to package directions for stovetop. If using instant pot, combine the chicken broth and the rinsed quinoa and cook on high pressure for one minute. Then do a natural release for 10 minutes, before releasing vent and removing lid. Set aside to cool.
- Make some homemade hummus (recipes on the blog) or use store-bought.
Assemble grain bowls:
- To the serving bowls, add quinoa and hummus to bottom of bowl. Then add some chicken, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion. Top with some tzatziki sauce, and some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- You can also add some delicious crispy chickpeas, if desired! These are best fresh and hot.