There's nothing better than the taste of sweet, tangy BBQ Sauce, smothered on top of juicy grilled chicken! In this BBQ Chicken Bowl recipe, Whole30 BBQ Sauce is brushed on lean chicken breasts to make a healthy meal!
The bowl is filled with fresh greens, grilled asparagus and whole30 creamy avocado ranch dressing, creating a flavorful, gluten free dish, packed with vitamins, fiber and protein!
I hate to play favorites with my recipes, but I do have to tell you that this is one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOWLS! From the sweet, smoky bbq chicken, to the creamy avocado ranch dressing, that pairs so perfectly on top of the grilled asparagus. I seriously can't get enough of all the good things going on in this bowl!
As with all of the bowls on the blog, you can easily make it your own by adding extra veggies or subbing in different proteins. But please just promise me that you'll make the Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing to go on top, it's JUST SO GOOD!!
This recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. It's also great for meal prepping to eat for lunch or dinner throughout the week!
Step by step instructions
- Prepare the Whole30 BBQ Sauce. Follow the link for the bbq sauce recipe. It's easy to make in 10 minutes and can be made ahead of time.
- Note: If you're not on a whole30 diet, you can use any bbq sauce you'd like, homemade or store bought. There are also plenty of whole30 bottled barbecue sauces on the market, if you'd like to skip the step of making your own bbq sauce!
- Prepare the avocado ranch dressing. Follow the link to prepare the avocado ranch dressing. This dressing can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. While you could use a store bought ranch dressing, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND making this dressing. It's so fresh and flavorful and really adds a lot to this recipe!
- Marinate the chicken. Combine the whole30 bbq sauce with water in a large bowl. Add boneless, skinless chicken breasts and marinate for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Quick tip! Combining the bbq sauce with water to create the marinade will thin out the sauce, making the chicken less likely to burn when it hits the grill.
- Prepare the asparagus. Toss one pound of fresh asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Grill the chicken. Preheat a grill to medium high heat (around 400°F). Place the chicken breasts on one side of the grill. Grill for 6-8 minutes, flip and continue grilling for an additional 6-8 minutes. During the last 2-3 minutes of grilling time, baste the chicken with more bbq sauce.
- Grill the asparagus. Place the asparagus on the other side of the grill and grill for 4-5 minutes, or until charred, turning every 1-2 minutes.
- Prepare the bowls. Slice the chicken and cut the asparagus into 1 inch sections. Divide the chicken between two bowls, add the grilled asparagus, chopped romaine lettuce, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes and sliced red onion. Drizzle with the prepared creamy avocado ranch dressing.
What else can I add to this bowl?
- Diced Bell Peppers
- Black Beans - drained and rinsed from a can is the easiest way to add beans to the bowls!
- Corn - grilled corn kernels, removed from the cob, would be a delicious addition to this dish!
- Diced Cucumbers
- Diced Jalapenos - for a little kick of spice!
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese - if you're not going dairy free, feel free to sprinkle a little cheese on top of these bowls!
- Kale Apple Slaw - what goes better with bbq chicken than slaw? Replace the romaine lettuce with kale slaw for a fun new spin on this bowl recipe!
- Coleslaw - for an even easier addition, simply add bagged coleslaw found in the produce section at the grocery store, in place of the romaine lettuce.
- Cooked Quinoa - for a healthy addition of carbs, try adding a ½ cup of cooked quinoa to each bowl. Follow this post for 3 easy ways to cook quinoa at home, in an instant pot, rice cooker or on the stove!
- Cooked Rice - turn these bbq chicken bowls into bbq chicken burrito bowls, by adding a base of 1 cup cooked brown or white rice to each bowl. Adding the rice will make these bowls more filling, which is great for stretching the recipe to create four bowls, instead of two.
What if I don't have a grill?
You can use an indoor grill or grill pan, or roast the chicken and asparagus in the oven. If roasting in the oven, preheat the oven to 450°F. Marinate the chicken as instructed and toss the asparagus with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
Arrange the asparagus in an even layer on a baking sheet. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and place on the baking sheet next to the asparagus. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
You will want to flip the chicken and asparagus halfway through the cooking time. Remove from the oven and brush the chicken with the remaining BBQ Sauce.
How to make the bowls vegan
- Replace the chicken with extra firm tofu or tempeh. Marinate the tofu or tempeh, just as you would the chicken. Grill the tofu or tempeh over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and brush with the remaining bbq sauce. Slice and place the tofu or tempeh in the bowls.
- Replace the chicken with grilled zucchini slices. Slice one pound of zucchini into thick slices. Place the slices of zucchini on the grill over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and brush the zucchini slices with the bbq sauce.
How to make the bowls low carb
- Follow the instructions in the Whole30 BBQ Sauce recipe to make the sauce low carb by using monk fruit instead of dates in the sauce.
- Omit the sliced avocado in these bowls. Since the bowls are already topped with creamy avocado ranch dressing, the sliced avocado can be left out to save 15 grams of carbs.
- When using the low carb version of the BBQ sauce and omitting the sliced avocado, it reduces the carbs per bowl by 16 grams. Taking each bowl from 40 carbs, down to 24 carbs, or 15 net carbs.
How to meal prep the bowls
- For storage: Prepare the chicken and asparagus according to the recipe. Divide the grilled chicken and asparagus between two large plastic containers. Divide the romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and red onion between two plastic zipper bags. Place the bags of veggies in the large containers with the chicken and asparagus. Wrap the avocado slices in plastic wrap and add them to the containers, along with small containers holding the creamy avocado ranch dressing.
- To reheat and eat: the chicken and asparagus can be eaten hot or cold. If you'd like to reheat them before eating the bowls, remove the plastic bag of veggies, avocado and ranch dressing from the containers. Place the containers of chicken and asparagus in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove them from the microwave and add the lettuce, tomatoes, onion and avocado. Drizzle the avocado ranch over the bowls.
Add a plant-based protein to the bowls
- These bowls are already packed with protein at 59 grams per bowl. No additional protein is needed. If omitting the chicken to make a plant based bowl, add a vegan protein substitute like tofu, tempeh, hemp seeds or black beans.
More whole30 recipes to try
Looking for more delicious Whole30 recipes? Check out these blog favorites!
- Low Carb Vegan Fajita Bowl
- Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Salad
- Low Carb Italian Sausage and Zucchini Bowls
- Charred Cauliflower Bowls
- Greek Cauliflower Rice Salad
- Whole30 Teriyaki Salmon Bowls
- Low Carb Fish Taco Bowls
Whole 30 BBQ Chicken Bowl
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup whole 30 bbq sauce divided - click link for recipe
- ¼ cup water
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- ½ avocado sliced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ cup red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup avocado ranch dressing click link for recipe
- Place the chicken breasts in a bowl with ¼ cup whole 30 bbq sauce and ¼ cup water.
- Marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
- Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken breasts on one side of the grill, basting every 2-3 minutes with the remaining ¼ cup bbq sauce.
- Flip the chicken breasts after 6 minutes.
- Cook for an additional 6 minutes on the other side, then remove from the grill.
- While cooking the chicken, place the asparagus on the other side of the grill over medium high heat.
- Grill, turning occasionally, until the asparagus is charred, 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and asparagus from the grill.
- Slice the chicken and cut the asparagus into 1 inch sections.
- Divide the chicken between two bowls, add the grilled asparagus, romaine lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes and red onion.
- Drizzle with additional whole 30 bbq sauce or avocado ranch dressing
- The Whole30 BBQ Sauce and Avocado Ranch Dressing can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- If you don't have a grill, you can prepare the chicken and asparagus in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Marinate the chicken as instructed, then remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on a baking sheet.
- Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, salt and pepper, as instructed in the recipe, then place it in an even layer on the baking sheet with the chicken.
- Place in the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping the chicken and asparagus half way through.
- Remove the chicken and asparagus from the oven, brush the remaining bbq sauce on the chicken.