These quick and Easy Mediterranean Bowls with chicken, quinoa, fresh vegetables, and tahini dressing are healthy and filling. Great for meal prep, lunch, and dinner.
When it comes to easy healthy meals, grain bowls are one of the best options. These Mediterranean Bowls are packed with fresh and healthy ingredients including the tastiest lemon chicken, fluffy quinoa, and tons of veggies.
When it comes to bowl recipes, we are here for them. Whether it is these Asian Rice Bowls, Chicken Taco Bowls, or Kofta Bowls, bowls are one of the best ways to pack tons of healthy ingredients in one meal.
And for those who love Mediterranean flavors, today I have the perfect bowl recipe for you. It starts with a base of protein-packed quinoa. Then there is marinated lemon herb chicken, crunchy cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, parsley, feta cheese, and an herby tahini dressing. Yum.
But the best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to customize. Try it with different proteins. Add hummus or tzatziki. Pile it with Kalamata olives and roasted ped peppers. Make it spicy with a dollop of harissa. This Mediterranean Bowl is the ultimate build-your-own recipe.
Ingredients to Make Mediterranean Bowls
Here's everything you need to make these tasty bowls.
- Chicken: Boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs are best for this recipe. Swap in rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken if you prefer. Cut the chicken thinly so they soak up lots of the marinade and cook quickly. Alternate and vegetarian protein options can be found below.
- Mediterranean marinade: The chicken marinade has lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, dill, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, and coriander. Switch up the spices if you like different herbs. Swap in dried dill or parsley if that's all you have.
- Quinoa: This bowl recipe uses cooked quinoa as the base, but you could swap in rice, greens, cauliflower rice, barley, farro, or chickpeas.
- Vegetables: Any raw or roasted vegetables work in this bowl. Classic options (inspired by Mediterranean and Greek recipes) include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, parsley, and dill. We also love this with roasted sweet potatoes, green beans, and cabbage.
- Tahini dressing: To drizzle on top, make a quick tahini dressing with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, dill, and garlic. Find more dressing ideas below.
Assembling the Perfect Bowl
Any good grain bowl or buddha bowl is built around 4 key components. It starts with a base to which you add protein, veggies, and dressing.
- Protein: Although this recipe is made with chicken, you could swap in salmon, shrimp, canned tuna, ground turkey, or meatballs for a lean protein source. You could also use falafel, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, or vegetarian meat.
- Vegetables: Any good rice bowl has lots of vegetables. Choose a variety of fresh vegetables and cooked vegetables for different textures. Tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, red onions, bell peppers, and parsley.
- Base: Start with a base of cooked white rice, brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley, cauliflower rice, or greens.
- Make it special: Get creative with additional toppings like kalamata olives, feta cheese, hummus, capers, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini, or pita chips.
- Dressing: Use the tahini dressing in the recipe or swap in hummus, tzatziki, green goddess dressing, or Greek salad dressing.
Tips for Making Mediterranean Bowls
Follow these tips to speed up the preparation when making these tasty bowls.
- Shortcuts: Save time and use rotisserie chicken. Toss with some lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and dill to add more flavor.
- Fewer spices: Speed up the prep work with a store-bought Mediterranean or Greek spice rub for the chicken.
- Use precooked rice or grains: To save time, swap in frozen or precooked grains so you aren't making the quinoa or rice from scratch.
- Be creative: This recipe should be treated like a blueprint! Bowls are meant to be customized. Add all your favorite ingredients.
Variations and Recipe Ideas
There are so many ways to customize these bowls. Here are some favorites.
- Vegetarian: This recipe easily becomes vegetarian, just make sure to include a protein source like chickpeas, hummus, lentils, or tofu.
- Hummus bows: Instead of making the tahini dressing, just add a few spoonfuls of your favorite hummus as the dressing, like in these Hummus Bowls.
- Spicy: Add red pepper flakes to the chicken marinade or add some Calabrian chilies or pepperoncini to the bowls. We also love adding the cilantro mint sauce in these Shrimp Rice Bowls.
- Low carb: Leave out the quinoa and use a base of greens or cauliflower rice.
Meal Prep and Storing Leftovers
These bowls are great for meal prep and keep well in the fridge. For best results, do not add the dressing to the bowls until it is ready to serve. Keep the cherry tomatoes whole if prepping in advance so they don't get soggy.
Store leftovers in an airtight container once they are fully cooled. If planning on hating up the chicken and quinoa, store the raw vegetables separately.
What else can you add to Mediterranean bowls?
Almost anything can be added to these Mediterranean bowls including different proteins, vegetables, and additions. Consider trying them with zucchini, avocado, bell peppers, tabouleh, or a spicy sauce like zhoug or harissa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these easy Mediterranean Chicken Bowls.
These bowls are a great meatless meal. Just leave out the chicken. For additional protein, add chickpeas, hummus, lentils, or tofu.
This bowl can be made with any grain you like or a combination of grains and legumes. Consider using white rice, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley, farro, or bulghur. You can also add lentils, chickpeas, or white beans.
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- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, juice
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Preparing the chicken: In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, chopped dill, chopped parsley, olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, thyme, and ground coriander. Toss the thinly sliced chicken in the mixture and allow it to marinate for 15 minutes. Place the chicken on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before cutting it into slices or chunks.
If using the tahini dressing (see notes): Mix together the lemon juice and tahini in a small bowl. Slowly mix in the water. The dressing will start out thick but thin out as you add the water. Whisk in the olive oil, dill, garlic powder (if you are using it) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Season to taste. If the dressing is too thick for your liking, add a little more lemon juice or water.
* 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.
Optional dressing: Dressing: Juice from 1 lemon, 2.5 tbsp. tahini paste, 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1.5 tbsp. water, 1 tbsp. chopped dill, 1 tsp garlic powder, Kosher salt and pepper
The photos include roasted sweet potatoes, which are optional. Preparing the sweet potatoes: Toss the sweet potato cubes in olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-covered sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes. Give the pan a shake and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender on the inside and golden on the outside.
Preparing the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa and place it in a pot along with the chicken broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat so the liquid is simmering, and cover the pot. Allow the quinoa to cook for 12-14 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and allow the quinoa to rest for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
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