Blackened chicken and wild rice are the perfect pair in these flavorful, gluten free bowls! Topped with THE BEST Spicy Cashew Dressing, these healthy bowls are delicious and easy to make in 25 minutes!
You may already be familiar with wild rice casserole or chicken wild rice soup, but this Chicken and Wild Rice Bowl is a whole new way to enjoy the healthy grain!
Tender and spicy blackened chicken, fresh and crunchy veggies, peppery arugula, and the most amazing healthy cashew dressing are complemented perfectly by the earthy taste of wild rice. You can also customize it and add even more healthy toppings to make it your own.
This easy recipe is packed full of whole grains, fiber, protein, potassium, and vitamin C for a healthy meal that will keep you full for hours!
It can be completely prepared ahead of time for grab and go lunches or busy weeknights. Or simply make the wild rice in advance to make this a quick 25 minute recipe. Additionally, these bowls are easily made vegan by swapping the chicken breasts for blackened tempeh.
- Blackened chicken
- Chicken - choose either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs. You can even make this bowl with turkey breasts, but the cook time will need to increase slightly. I recommend slicing the chicken breasts, lengthwise through the middle, if they're thicker than 1 inch. This will allow them to cook more evenly.
- Blackened seasoning <-- click the link to learn how to easily mix up your own in minutes! Making your own allows you to adjust the taste and spice level to your preferences, as well as reduce the salt to make it low-sodium. Or, use your favorite store bought blackened seasoning spice blend.
- Olive oil - extra virgin olive oil is preferred, but you can use any you have on hand. Other mild tasting oils such as avocado oil or vegetable oil may also be used if you do not have olive oil.
- Carrots - freshly shred your own carrots with a cheese grater, or salad shooter. Or purchase already shredded carrots from the refrigerated produce department to save time.
- Cabbage - you can either buy a head of cabbage and thinly slice it into shreds yourself, or buy packaged shredded cabbage in the produce department.
- Cucumber - dice up the cucumber with the skin on for added texture and nutrients. You may also peel the cucumber first if you prefer.
- Cilantro - pick the fresh leaves off of the stems before using.
- Almonds - sliced almonds add a great texture to the bowl without being too overpowering. Feel free to use almond slivers or chopped almonds.
- Wild rice - in a pinch, if you can't find wild rice, you can use a wild rice mix, which will generally be a combination of brown rice and wild rice. Cook the rice ahead of time to have on hand for an even faster and easier meal. Click the link to the left for instructions on how to cook wild rice on the stove, in a rice cooker, or in an Instant Pot. Cooked wild rice can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Arugula - these leafy greens have a distinct peppery flavor that goes wonderfully with the other ingredients. You can also try spinach, kale, spring mix, chard, or your favorite greens.
- Spicy cashew dressing <-- click the link for the recipe to easily make it in 5 minutes. This spicy and creamy sauce has amazingly fresh flavors you will not want to miss!
- Lime - cut a fresh lime into wedges and serve on the side of the bowls. Squeeze it over the top just before serving.
Step by step instructions
- Prepare the chicken. Rub the blackened seasoning all over the chicken breasts so they are evenly covered.
- Cook the chicken. Preheat a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Drizzle the olive oil into the pan, then add the seasoned chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side. The chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from the pan and allow the chicken to rest before dicing.
- Build the bowls. Divide the carrots, cabbage, cucumber, cilantro, almonds, wild rice and arugula in four separate bowls, then place the cooked, diced chicken on top.
- Finish and enjoy! You can either drizzle the spicy cashew dressing over the bowls, stir it into the bowls, or serve it on the side. Serve a lime wedge on the side to squeeze over the bowls just before eating.
Make it low carb
- Omit the wild rice. By leaving out the wild rice you will reduce the total carbs from 30, down to 13, and the net carbohydrates down to 8 grams per bowl.
- You can also use cauliflower rice instead of wild rice. Replacing ½ cup of cooked wild rice in each bowl with ½ cup cooked cauliflower rice will reduce the carbs per bowl from 30 grams, down to 15 grams per bowl. The net carbs will also be reduced from 24 grams per bowl, down to 10 grams per bowl.
Make it vegan
- Replace the chicken with blackened tempeh.
- Grab two 8 ounce packages of prepared tempeh strips, like Lightlife, my favorite!
- Coat the outside of the tempeh strips in the blackened seasoning.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook the tempeh for 3-4 minutes per side.
- Remove the tempeh from the skillet and dice into 1 inch cubes.
Meal prep it
- For storage
- Prepare the chicken and wild rice.
- Divide the rice and chicken between four airtight storage containers.
- Combine all of the carrots, cabbage, cucumbers and cilantro, then divide the veggies into four separate storage containers or zipper bags.
- The almonds will keep best if stored in their own containers or bags.
- Split the spicy cashew sauce into four small containers.
- Keep all containers in the fridge until you are ready to eat.
- To reheat and eat
- Uncover and microwave the chicken and rice mixture for 2 minutes, if you'd like to enjoy this bowl warm.
- Add the veggies, almonds and sauce, then dig in!
Feel free to customize this bowl with more tasty toppings. Try any of these.
- Sautéed white button or cremini mushrooms
- Shredded kale
- Diced apples
- Cherry tomatoes
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Finely diced onion
- Diced bell pepper
- Black beans
- Roasted garlic
- Fresh parsley
Frequently asked questions
- How many calories are in the bowl? This recipe makes four bowls and each bowl contains 421 calories.
- Can you use leftover rotisserie chicken in the bowl? Sure! If you already have a cooked rotisserie chicken on hand and cooked wild rice, you can toss these bowls together in 10 minutes or less!
- Do you need to soak wild rice before cooking? No, dried wild rice can be cooked directly in an Instant Pot, rice cooker or on the stove, with no need to soak the rice ahead of time.
- Is this recipe gluten free? Yes. All of the ingredients in this bowl are naturally gluten free. If you purchase blackened seasoning, instead of making your own, always check the label to make sure it doesn't have any ingredients that contain gluten.
- Can I make it with a different sauce? Sure! This Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream Sauce would also be delicious on these bowls, and it's also dairy-free.
More healthy chicken bowls
Next up on the menu, try these other healthy chicken bowls!
- Tex Mex Egg Roll In A Bowl
- Whole30 Chicken Teriyaki Bowl
- Chicken Shawarma Bowl
- Harissa Chicken Bowl
- Caribbean Jerk Chicken Bowl
- Keto Buffalo Chicken Bowl
- Whole30 Grilled BBQ Chicken Bowl
Blackened Chicken and Wild Rice Bowls
- 1 pound chicken breasts or chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon blackened seasoning click link for recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Rub the blackened seasoning evenly over the chicken breasts.
- Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 6-7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and rest on a cutting board while preparing the bowls.
- Divide the carrots, cabbage, cucumber, cilantro, almonds, wild rice and arugula between four bowls.
- Dice the blackened chicken and divide it between the bowls.
- Drizzle the spicy cashew dressing over the bowls, or serve it in a small bowl on the side.
- Serve a lime wedge on the side of each bowl for drizzling over the bowls.
- To make these bowls low-carb, eliminate the wild rice. This will reduce the total carbs from 30, down to 13, and the net carbs down to 8 grams per bowl.
- These bowls are naturally gluten free. If you purchase blackened seasoning, instead of making your own, always check the label to make sure it doesn't have any ingredients that contain gluten.