Baja Bowl – under 30 minutes – with fresh veggies, quinoa, chicken, black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and kale with a creamy zesty Salsa Verde Avocado dressing.
This Baja Bowl has the flavors of a favorite Mexican recipe in a lighter, healthier dish.
Ready in less than 30 minutes, a Baja Bowl is loaded with seasoned chicken, fresh vegetables and a brown rice-quinoa blend.
It’s topped with a creamy 5-ingredient Salsa Verde Avocado dressing whipped up in the blender you’re going to want to put on everything.
This simple make-ahead recipe is a great way to a delicious lunch or dinner.
WHAT IS A BAJA BOWL?
A Baja Grain Bowl is a Mexican inspired rice and quinoa bowl with black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and seasoned chicken.
Unlike rice bowls or other on-trend bowls, this Baja Chicken Bowl whips up in under 30 minutes from clean ingredients.
Bonus: this recipe makes two generous bowls for less than the cost of one Panera Bread Baja Bowl with Chicken.
TIPS AND FAQ:
- Take advantage of any of 90 second rice, quinoa or a blend like you see here. It’s makes enough for two bowls cooks perfectly in its pouch.
- Buy already shredded/chopped kale to save time.
- Go ahead and make the salad ahead for lunch or dinner – add avocado the salad until just before serving.
- The dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead of using it. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
There are many subs to this recipe. Take a look in fridge and see what you already have on hand.
Below are a few suggestions. Customize this salad with whatever you like best!
- Use just rice or just quinoa – or a blend like you see here – any brand or variety.
- Sub feta cheese or feta crumbles instead of cheddar.
- Sour cream can be used in place of yogurt in the dressing.
- Black bean corn salsa can be used instead of beans and corn.
- Use whatever kind of plain yogurt you normally buy, including whole milk greek yogurt.
- Add some diced red onions.
- Arugula or mixed greens can be used intead of kale.
- Try other proteins such as shrimp, fish or even steak!
- A delicious salsa instead of fresh tomatoes would work well.
- For added crunch and texture sprinkle on tortilla strips or a few crushed tortilla chips.
CAN I MAKE THIS BAJA BOWL AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes! The good news is that this healthy meal is the perfect way to meal prep for a quick lunch or dinner.
Assemble and store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 2 days.
Store the dressing in a separate container and add avocado just before serving so it doesn’t brown.
WHAT’S IN THIS BAJA GRAIN BOWL?
You’ll find similar ingredients to the Panera Warm Grain Bowl. Here’s the ingredient list:
- olive oil
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- store bought jar salsa verde
- salt and black pepper
- kale shredded/chopped
- cooked brown rice – brown rice combination
- canned black beans rinsed and drained
- fresh avocado
- grape or cherry tomatoes
- corn (frozen used, can use canned or fresh)
- shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- salsa verde
- half of one ripe avocado
- plain Greek yogurt
- fresh cilantro
HOW TO MAKE THIS BAJA GRAIN BOWL:
Cut the chicken into tenders. Add to a bowl. Top with 1/4 cup of salsa verde then toss to coat.
Refrigerate 15 minutes up to 2 hours.
Microwave or cook the rice/quinoa while the chicken cooks then set it aside.
To a large skillet over medium heat drizzle in the olive oil and once hot add the chicken.
Season with salt and pepper then cook 3 minutes letting the chicken sear.
Flip the chicken to the other side and cook 3 more minutes or until it’s cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
SALSA VERDE AVOCADO DRESSING:
While the chicken is cooking, make the dressing.
Add all of the ingredients to a blender then puree until smooth (add whole cilantro leaves/stems).
Add 1-2 tablespoons of water or to your desired consistency then pulse a few times.
Season with salt to taste.
ASSEMBLING THE BAJA BOWL:
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
Divide kale between the bowls. Top with brown rice-quinoa sharing between two bowls.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl along with a dollop of dressing then gently toss to combine well.
WHAT GOES WITH THIS BAJA CHICKEN BOWL?
You really don’t need anything else with this hearty dish but if you’re looking for something sweet, try a fresh fruit cup.
LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTHY RECIPES?
Grilled Salmon Kabobs
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Turkey Lentil Soup
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If you tried this Baja Bowl for a great make-ahead lunch or dinner — or any other on the blog don’t forget to leave a comment and star rating!
Baja Bowl with Chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts approx. 2 breasts
- 1/4 cup salsa verde jar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups kale finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked brown rice/quina blend 90 second rice used
- 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 large avocado (use half for salad, half for dressing)
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 2/3 cup corn frozen used, can use can or fresh
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/3 cup salsa verde jar
- half of one avocado peeled and pitted
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon honey or to taste
- small handful fresh cilantro add whole without chopping
- salt to taste
The salad and dressing can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Wait to add avocado and dressing until just before serving.
- Cut the chicken into tenders. Add to a bowl then top with 1/4 cup of salsa verde and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes up to 2 hours.
- Microwave or cook the rice/quinoa then set it aside.
- To a large skillet over medium heat drizzle in the olive oil and once hot add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook 3 minutes letting the chicken sear.
- Flip the chicken to the other side and cook 3 more minutes or until it’s cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside
- Add all of the ingredients except salt to a blender then puree until smooth.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of water or to your desired consistency then pulse a few times. CSeason with salt to taste.
ASSEMBLING THE BAJA BOWL:
- Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
- Divide kale between the bowls. Divide the brown rice-quinoa as well as the other ingredients between two bowls.
- Top with a dollop of dressing then gently toss to combine well.