Chicken Taco Bowl
These Chicken Taco Bowls are the best easy dinner or meal prep lunch! Packed with seasoned chicken, rice, black beans, and all your favorite taco toppings. Ready in 30 minutes!
If you are looking for an easy and healthy meal that works for everyone, these Easy Chicken Taco Bowls are it!
In less than 30 minutes, you have deliciously tender chicken served with rice, beans, avocado salsa, cilantro, and shredded cheese.
When I need a quick and easy weeknight dinner, tacos and taco bowls are one of the first meals on my list. It's a meal everyone loves and is easy to customize. Let everyone build their own taco bowl with whatever toppings they like.
The other great thing about this recipe is that it is perfect for meal prep. Make a double batch and store the leftovers for quick and easy lunches. Or make these bowls with this slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken for another easy meal prep option.
Why We Love Chicken Taco Bowls
- Healthy and filling: This meal checks all the boxes with plenty of lean protein, fiber, whole grains, healthy fats, and veggies.
- Versatile: Think of this recipe as a blueprint for making your own taco bowls with different proteins, grains, and toppings. Make a dish that works for your dietary needs and preferences.
- Shortcut friendly: Need to make this meal in under 15 minutes? Grab a rotisserie chicken, precooked or frozen rice, and your favorite store-bought salsa. Add cheese, canned beans, and cilantro. Dinner is done!
Building the Perfect Chicken Taco Bowl
Just like a burrito bowl, taco salad, or classic chicken taco - we all have our own preferences for building the perfect bowl. Here are all the ways to build it!
- Chicken: Almost any type of chicken can be used for a taco bowl including the delicious lime chicken in this recipe that can be made with chicken breasts or thighs. Feel free to swap in chicken tinga, slow cooker salsa verde chicken, grilled cilantro lime chicken, grilled pollo asado, or leftover rotisserie chicken.
- Taco seasoning: To flavor the chicken breast, this recipe uses a combination of taco seasoning and lime juice. Lime juice is a great option since it helps the chicken stay tender and is a fast-acting marinade since the acid quickly penetrates the chicken.
- Base: The base of taco bowls is normally cooked white or brown rice, sometimes tossed with lime and cilantro. Quinoa is another popular option and adds some extra protein and fiver. For a low-carb option, use cauliflower rice or a bed of greens.
- Beans: Beans add fiber and nutrients to this taco bowl. Use canned black beans or pinto beans. Or swap in some homemade black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans. For a low carb taco bowl, leave out the beans.
- Salsa: This bowl uses a quick and easy salsa that combines pico de gallo (homemade or store-bought) and avocado. We also love these bowls with avocado cilantro dressing, jalapeno ranch, and creamy chipotle sauce.
- Toppings: The topping options are endless but some favorites include corn or corn salsa, fajita veggies, shredded cheese or queso cotija, cilantro, guacamole, pickled onions, lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream or Greek yogurt, and green onions.
Make a Taco Bowl in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot
If you prefer to make these bowls in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, it’s easy to adapt the recipe.
- Slow cooker: Add the chicken breast to the slow cooker with the lime juice, taco seasoning, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Cook the chicken on low for 3-4 hours until cooked through. Shred with two forks and let it hand out in the liquid for 20-30 minutes to soak up the flavor if you have time. Note: Many times I will double this if I am making the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Instant Pot: Place the chicken breast in the Instant Pot in a single layer. Sprinkle with the taco seasoning and add 1 cup of chicken broth. Stir to combine and then make sure the chicken is in a single layer. Cook on high for 5 minutes and let naturally release for 5 minutes. Shred the chicken and return to the liquid. If possible, let sit for 5 -10 minutes on Keep Warm to soak up some of the juice and flavor. Note: This works great for more chicken, normally I make this with 2-3 lbs of chicken breast. You only need 1 cup of chicken broth even with more chicken.
All the Best Toppings
One of the best parts of any taco bowl is all the toppings! It is also a great way to create variety if you are using this recipe for meal prep and will be eating it more than once.
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Shredded cheese
- Queso fresco
- Diced onions or pickled onions
- Fresh or pickled jalapenos
- Avocado or guacamole
- Salsa: pico de gallo, red salsa, green salsa, or mango salsa
Recipes Tips and Ideas
There are so many ways to customize these taco bowls and make them your own.
- Protein: Switch up the protein and make this with ground turkey, ground beef, ground chicken, chicken thighs, chicken birria, pork carnitas, carne asada, or shredded Mexican beef.
- Vegetarian: Make a vegetarian taco bowl using only beans and corn. Add some sauteed zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, or cauliflower.
- Make it spicy: Add some sauteed poblano peppers or sliced jalapenos to add more heat to this dish.
- Low carb: Use cauliflower rice (like in these cauliflower rice taco bowls) or a bed of greens instead of rice. Skip the beans or use black soy beans, which are lower in carbohydrates.
- Melt the cheese: There is just something delicious about melted cheese. Instead of simply adding shredded cheese on top, add the cheese and then microwave the bowl for 30 seconds to melt the cheese before adding your toppings,
- Add crunch: Serve this with some baked tortilla chips on the side.
Meal Prep and Storage
This recipe is great for meal prep and the leftovers keep well in the fridge.
Once the chicken and rice have cooled, add them to the containers. Top with the black beans rice, and drained pico de gallo. Add the cheese and cilantro if you like.
Warm the taco bowls in the microwave and then add the avocado right before serving.
Leftover ideas: Mix things up by serving the leftovers in different ways. Wrap everything up in a large flour tortilla to make a burrito. Use corn tortillas to make tacos. Serve it on a big bed of greens for a salad. Turn it into lettuce wraps. Or stuff the fillings into hollowed-out zucchini or bell peppers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making this recipe.
How to make a low carb chicken taco bowl?
To make low carb taco bowls, swap in cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or lettuce instead of the rice. Leave out the beans and corn.
What can I use in place of a taco packet or taco seasoning?
This recipe uses taco seasoning to add flavor to the chicken. Homemade taco seasoning is easy to make with spices most of us have in our pantry. Just combine
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or a pinch of cayenne, optional)
If you don’t like taco seasoning, you could use fajita seasoning or blackening seasoning. Or simply season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cumin.
Chicken Taco Bowl
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- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 lime, juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning (or homemade spice mix in notes)
- 2 cups cooked white rice (or brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or greens)
- 2 cups canned black beans, drained (or pinto beans)
- 1 cup pico de gallo (or chopped tomatoes and onions)
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 cup corn
- 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cups cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper
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- Nutritional Information
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Make this recipe with chicken breast, chicken thighs, ground turkey, ground beef, or shrimp.
Make a creamy cilantro sauce to serve on top by combining 2 cups fresh cilantro, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 garlic clove, 2 tbsp lime juice. 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Add 1/2-1 jalapeno or poblano pepper for spice.
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