Harvest Chicken and Rice bowls. A warm hearty autumn salad with sweet, savory, nutty, crispy, and tender flavors and textures all in one bowl.
As much as I love the fall season, I am not much of a cold person. Even the slightest bit of cold has me running for a blanket, coat, and warm and cozy food. This harvest chicken and rice bowl has some of the familiar flavors of fall while providing the heartiness and warmth of classic comfort foods. Plus the variety of flavors and textures just makes it out of this world.
First, let’s talk about the protein choice. I used precooked frozen fajita strip chicken from Tyson. I really love using precooked frozen chicken that is this size because it is so quick to heat up and add to a meal for a good source of protein. I made this for lunch on Saturday, so I didn’t want to spend too much time preparing it. This was a perfect time for this chicken. You could swap it for raw chicken breasts you cook yourself and cut into small chunks or you could even use rotisserie chicken meat.
For the grains, I chose minute brown rice I had leftover from the night before. I frequently get asked or have clients imply that if they use minute rice it isn’t a good choice. I absolutely do not agree! Just like the precooked chicken, the minute brown rice makes for a faster meal. TIP- make a large batch of rice at the beginning of the week that you can reheat with multiples meals during the week for even quicker prep. You could use white rice, wild rice, farro, barley, quinoa, or any other grain you prefer. I do like to recommend trying a whole grain though for the added fiber, and the nutty heartier flavor and texture it provides is more harvest-y. (hence the name 😉 ).
These next two ingredients definitely give it the harvest feel and a subtle sweet flavor that pairs well with the salty savory flavor of the chicken. Apples and dried berries. I used honeycrisp apples because they are THE BEST, and I used dried blueberries because that’s what is in my pantry. I great swap would be dried cranberries.
The fats. Every good satisfying dish needs a little fat in it. This dish has olive oil and chopped pecans. The olive oil was used to sauté the chicken, onions, and spinach. The pecans topped the dish.
In order to have a balanced one bowl meal, it needs carbs, protein, fat, and veggies. We’ve got them all!
My prep was really simple because I already had minute rice cooked and I used the precooked chicken. Cooking rice and chicken would be the longest part of this dish. In one skillet I heated the chicken and sautéed onions. At the end I added a big handful of spinach leaves just until they were wilted.
While that all heats together, I diced up an apple and got the rest of my ingredients out. Then to assemble the bowl, add rice, the chicken saute mixture, pecans, dried berries, apples, and a poppyseed dressing. Mix it all up and enjoy!
Harvest Chicken and Rice Bowl
yield: 1 bowl
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
2-4 oz sliced or shredded cooked chicken ( I used frozen precooked fajita slices)
1/4 c white onion, diced
1/4-1/2 diced apple (honey crisp is my favorite)
1 tbsp dried craisins or blueberries
1 tbsp chopped pecans
handful fresh spinach
2 tbsp poppyseed dressing ( I used Kraft)
Sauté the onions in a skillet till translucent. Add the frozen chicken if using to heat through, then add spinach and cook just till wilted.
Reheat rice or cook rice.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.