Welcome to one of the most flavorful meal preps I’ve ever made in my life. This rice is everything and yes, I built the entire meal around making green rice. So if you’re not up to making all the elements, at least try the rice!
The rest of the meal is super simple: chicken cooked in salsa, roasted bell peppers and black beans right from the can. Easy! I can’t wait for you to try this one.
How To Customize This Rice Bowl
For the Salsa
You can use mild, medium, or hot salsa depending on what you enjoy. You get to use up a whole jar, making this meal so easy. If you feel like taking it a step further and making your own, here is a recipe from House of Yum!
If you don’t want to use chicken breast, turkey breast, shrimp, steak or ground meat would also be delicious in this. The rice is the star of the dish, so don’t overthink the protein.
With the exception of ground meat, if you go for other proteins, the cooking method has to change. I would do a simple saute for shrimp or beef, then toss it in salsa.
Change up the beans
Not into black beans? Use any bean of your choice or skip them! Pinto beans would be so good in this too.
Here the beans are mainly for texture. I thought this meal might be too filling with beans AND rice, but it ended up being fine.
Use a different grain
We used white rice, but brown would also work. You could also use quinoa or farro!
Veggies that can work in this meal
- summer squash
- red onion
- sweet potato
- red cabbage
- avocado (added before eating)
You can also put the chicken and veggies in a tortilla to make tacos and serve the rice on the side! Or wrap it up and make it a burrito. Yum!
Make it Dairy-free
Use your favorite dairy-free milk for the rice! Don’t use canned coconut milk though – that will mess with the flavor profile.
Storage & reheating notes:
This salsa chicken, rice, and beans meal lasts in the fridge for up to four days. This meal can last in the freezer for 2-3 months. I recommend reheating it in the microwave or on the stove.
Salsa Chicken & Green Rice Bowls
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
- For the chicken
- 1 TBSP olive oil sub oil of your choice
- 16 oz chicken breast chopped into big chunks (this just helps it cook faster)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16 oz salsa
- For the rice
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth, sub water
- 1 cup cilantro chopped roughly, sub parsley,
- 3 scallions discard the roots, chop the green and white parts
- 1 clove garlic no need to mince
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk of your choice any kind will work except canned coconut milk
- 2 tsp olive oil optional, sub oil of your choice or butter
- 1 cup rice
- For the bell peppers & black beans
- 2 yellow bell pepper sliced into strips
- 1 jalapeno chopped and deseeded (optional)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 15 oz can of black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 limes chopped in half, optional for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 400 F. See notes below if you want to cook the peppers on the stove instead of the oven!
- For the chicken: Add the olive oil to a deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. After 2-3 minutes (the pan should be hot), add the chicken breast and a generous amount of salt. Sear the chicken on both sides for about 3 minutes. It's ok if the chicken doesn't cook all the way through. Pour in all of the salsa and bring the dish to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes over low heat.
- Prepare the rice: to a blender, add the chicken broth, cilantro, green and white ends of the scallions, garlic and salt. Blend well so that the herbs are fully incorporated. Pour in the milk and stir.
- Cook the rice: add 2 tsp (4 if doubling) of oil to a pot over medium low heat. Add the rice and stir. Let the rice toast for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the blended mixture and bring the pot to a boil. Cover the pot tightly and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes (15-17 if doubling) or until you see little "craters" at the top of the rice, then turn off the heat. Let the rice steam for an additional 10-15 minutes. No peeking or stirring!!
- Roast the bell peppers: Add the bell peppers, jalapeno, oil, cumin, paprika and oregano to a baking sheet. Toss the bell peppers well with your hands, tongs or a wooden spoon until well coated. Roast for 20 minutes.
- After 20-30 minutes, transfer the chicken from the salsa to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the chicken to the salsa in the pan and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. **If you want black beans to be more cooked, add them to the pot with the salsa and allow them to cook with the chicken.
- Assemble: Divide the rice, black beans, bell peppers and shredded chicken between four meal prep containers. Garnish with lime halves. Allow the meal to cool and then pack them up to store in the fridge!
Summer cooking notes:
If you don't want to turn your oven on - you can cook the bell peppers on the stove in any pan. Ideally, a cast-iron skillet or grill pan to get some char on them. Cook over high heat (keep the seasonings in the recipe above the same) for about 10 minutes, stirring once every few minutes.