These Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls are ready in 30 minutes and perfect for meal prep! All you need is rice, chicken, salsa, corn and bell peppers.
How to make fiesta chicken (step-by-step)
You really don't need much to spice up this recipe. Chop up a few peppers, some onions, add some chicken, salsa and rice and BOOM. Lunches ready for the work week.
Here's exactly how to make this fiesta chicken:
- Get rice cooking in a rice cooker while you prep the chicken and veggies.
- In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add the diced up chicken and stir fry for a couple minutes until lightly cooked. Add your spices (chili powder, cumin and garlic powder), then toss and continue cooking another 5 min.
- Add your veggies (red onion, corn and bell peppers), sauteeing for another couple minutes. Add the cooked brown rice and salsa, then mix in your cilantro.
- Sprinkle with feta cheese (an optional topping) and enjoy!
Ingredients in fiesta chicken
Pull that chicken out of the freezer and fry it up with spices you already have in your spice drawer, and veggies that are already in the fridge (and maybe about to go bad…am I right about that?)
Here's the basic formula of these Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls:
- Diced, seasoned chicken breasts or thighs
- Brown rice (you can also sub in brown rice or soba noodles)
- A variety of veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, scallions, cabbage…anything goes!)
- Some sort of low-calorie sauce/condiment (salsa is ALWAYS my go-to!)
- Herbs and spices (umm, hello, cilantro!!!)
- Rice: Instead of brown rice, feel free to use white rice or any other type of rice, really. Rice noodles and pasta also work, as well as quinoa. You'll cook your grains separately just like the rice, then add to the skillet along with the salsa when you're finishing up the cooking process.
- Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe but you can easily use chicken thighs or even ground turkey or ground beef. The options for protein are endless. Heck, even just canned black beans will work as a protein and will cut down on the prep time of this recipe.
- Veggies: You can literally use just about ANY type of vegetable in this recipe! I recommend corn and bell peppers because they have a tex mex flair but you could just add some spinach in if you don't want to do a bunch of prep work, and stirring in frozen veggies towards the end of cooking also works!
What type of salsa to use
I do prefer to use a fresh salsa such as Garden Fresh Gourmet (not an ad!) I just really like their salsas. You can find them at Costco or similar types of salsa in the fresh dips/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 with diced tomatoes, red onions and cilantro.
Meal prepping fiesta chicken
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 that is definitely these fiesta chicken bowls. They come together in just 30 minutes!
This fiesta chicken recipe also 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 the one pan so there's minimal clean up, and then it's just a matter of dividing the servings up and grabbing a bowl on your way out the door in the morning.
Freezing fiesta chicken
Yes you can freeze this recipe! All you have to do is divide up into individual servings in glass bowls and freeze up to 3 months.
When you're ready to enjoy, make sure to sprinkle a bit of water overtop 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.
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.
Reheating chicken fiesta bowls
If you plan on refrigerating this recipe and want to reheat the leftovers, use my tips to help make them taste fresh again:
- Add a tiny bit of olive oil to a skillet and saute an individual portion for about 5 minutes until heated through. This is the best way to avoid the leftover chicken taste
- Sprinkle 1 tbsp of water overtop of an individual portion and microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Water will refresh the rice and chicken, avoiding dryness
- Add a bit of extra salsa before microwaving for extra flavour and moisture
Why you'll love these bowls
Work day lunch hours can be so tricky! Trying to plan healthy, wholesome meals for the week can be a pain sometimes. You can feel frazzled, not know what to make or end up just grabbing takeout on the way home.
An easy one pot meal can double as the perfect meal prep lunch bowls, just like these meal prep fiesta chicken rice bowls!
More meal prep bowls
Meal prep containers 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!
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
- 2 small red onions, 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!