These Chipotle Chicken, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Bowls are the perfect lunch recipe packed with healthy veggies and drizzled in chipotle sauce.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – or any other neutral cooking oil like avocado or canola oil.
- Sweet potato – butternut squash or pumpkin would also work.
- Chicken breasts – feel free to replace the chicken with turkey for a leaner option or tofu for a plant-based alternative.
- Chili powder – use a blend of paprika, cumin and cayenne to make your own chili powder.
- Quinoa – couscous or brown rice would also be good as a base for these bowls.
- Corn – use riced broccoli or another veggie of your choice.
- Bell peppers – any colour bell peppers will work or you can add in some carrots for that extra crunch.
- Fresh salsa – you could also use your favourite jarred variety or diced tomatoes and onions if that’s all you have on hand.
- Kale – spinach or Swiss chard would also work.
- Cilantro – if you’re not crazy about cilantro, swap out for basil or parsley instead or leave this out altogether.
- Chipotle peppers – chipotle powder would be the next best thing.
- Sour cream – you could use low-fat sour cream or even non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon juice is best but the bottled variety will work in a pinch.
- Salt – to taste.
How to make quinoa bowls
- Sauté the sweet potato and chicken.
- Cook the quinoa.
- Make the chipotle dressing.
- Add the veggies to the skillet.
- Assemble your bowls and dig in!
Health benefits of sweet potatoes and kale
These bowls are a super-healthy lunch idea and are packed full of nutrients thanks to the sweet potatoes and kale.
Sweet potatoes are high in fibre in addition to vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B5 and vitamin E. Kale is considered a super food since it’s such a good source of important nutrients and vitamins including vitamin B6, calcium, folate and iron.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can put pretty much whatever you want in a quinoa bowl! For these bowls, I added in some chicken, sweet potatoes, kale and a chipotle dressing. They’re super healthy but still delicious. You can mix and match the veggies to include whatever you have in the fridge or swap out the kale for another dark leafy green like spinach.
Yes! Quinoa is a healthier alternative to rice because it’s higher in protein and rice, has less calories and carbs, and is higher in minerals and nutrients like calcium, iron and potassium.
This recipe has 517 calories per bowl and is a nutrient-packed lunch idea. You’ll feel full for longer and will be getting tons of your nutrients for the day thanks to all the healthy ingredients like kale and quinoa.
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Storing and reheating
These quinoa bowls can be stored in the fridge in airtight glass containers for up to 5 days. Just make sure to store the chipotle dressing separately to avoid a soggy mess – I recommend serving with the dressing on the side and adding it on right before you’re ready to eat.
I typically eat the leftovers cold since the salsa doesn’t reheat too well and you don't want the chicken to be overcooked. That said, if you're really hankering for a hot meal, you can microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Sprinkle a bit of water over top of the chicken to keep it from drying out!
Freezing components of this recipe
While I wouldn't recommend freezing these bowls as is, you can definitely freeze components of the bowl. The main thing to keep in mind is that the kale will develop a slimy texture after it defrost, so I wouldn't recommend putting it in the freezer.
The chicken, quinoa, and sweet potato, however, will each keep for up to 3 months in the freezer, so just be sure to remove the bits of kale first. You can also set aside some of the chicken, quinoa and sweet potato while cooking up these bowls, then freeze them.
When you’re ready to enjoy your bowls, let the ingredients defrost in the fridge overnight, then toss them with the remaining ingredients fresh.
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More quinoa bowl recipes
- 30 Minute Steak and Quinoa Burrito Bowl
- Chicken Ranch Kale & Quinoa Bowls
- Warm Tahini Kale and Quinoa Bowl + Roasted Chickpeas
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Here's some of the quinoa I like to use.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on packing these bowls up for lunch!
Chipotle Chicken, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Bowls
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 each red and green pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh salsa
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp chipotle peppers, minced
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add sweet potato, sauteeing for 8-10 min until browned and softened. Add chicken, chili powder and salt and cook for 8 min until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water on the stove or in a rice cooker, and make chipotle sauce by mixing all ingredients together under the chipotle dressing heading.
- Add corn and bell peppers to skillet, sauteeing for a couple min. Add quinoa and fresh salsa. Stir in kale and remove from heat. Serve immediately or pack into reusable containers. Serve with chipotle sauce on the side and cilantro on top.
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Comments & Reviews
Hi, can you advise what is in the “fresh salsa”?
Taylor Stinson says
Hey London – this is the exact salsa I use, though you can use jarred salsa too in a pinch! https://www.gardenfreshgourmet.com/products/10/jack%27s-special-medium-salsa
Can I freeze this?
Taylor Stinson says
Hey Taylor! I have never frozen it before so I wouldn’t recommend it. You could try though – I’m just not sure how well it would thaw and what the textures would be like after!
I just finishing making these for the week!! I follow your blog and meal prep every week, so I love seeing everything you post and I’ve tried a bunch of things!
I switched my bowls up a little from yours, no reason really just used what I had! I added squash and jalapeno to the quinoa, and then I cooked the chicken in the oven and added it to my meal prep bowls at the end. I only did this because I might not need all of that chicken one day so I can add it when I’m feeling like I need a little more protein. For the sauce, I went with plain Greek yogurt instead and it tasted amazing! Keep the recipes coming because I LOVE them…PS, I just followed you on Insta on my food account…@squidroskitchen. I’m just starting, not quite up to your status yet but hopefully someday!!
Taylor Stinson says
OMG just saw the pic on Instagram Sydney, LOVE IT!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your process with me and the kind words <3 I love these bowls because they are so versatile. I'm in a huge squash mood myself lately so good sub in on your end! Love the idea of leaving the chicken on the side too, there's already protein with the quinoa and these bowls are so filling. So happy you've had the chance to try some of my recipes, you've seriously just made my day!!!
Taylor, I just wanted to inform you that there were no instructions for the sweet potato in the recipe. I also noticed corn in the picture, and there was no mention of corn. I ended up cooking the sweet potato in a skillet with some cumin and chili pepper and adding some frozen corn I found in my freezer.
I too <3 quinoa bowls, and wanted to pass along my thoughts to make the recipe more clear for everyone else. Ended up tasting great though.
Taylor Stinson says
Hey Taylor – thank you SO much for letting me know, I’m so sorry about this!!! Believe it or not I had trouble updating an earlier draft of this post and thought the recipe had been updated after a couple tries. It looks like that didn’t happen 🙁 You are right, the corn is missing and there are no instructions for the sweet potatoes, but you actually did the right thing! I used 1/2 cup frozen corn and sauteed the sweet potatoes before adding the chicken. I am updating this recipe again and ensuring there are no more issues – thank you so much for your feedback and for trying the recipe! I’m glad it turned out for you 🙂