Easy chicken black rice bowls are the perfect balance of fresh greens, tamari honey glazed chicken and nourishing black rice. All topped with a creamy cashew tahini herb sauce! Gluten free and dairy free, these bowls are a great quick healthy dinner.
I’m addicted to my cashew tahini herb sauce, and these easy chicken black rice bowls are my latest way of incorporating this sauce into my meals. The tamari honey glazed chicken combined with the herb sauce is SO good, and ensures there’s lots of flavour to stir through the rice and greens.
What’s good about black rice?
Black rice is sometimes called “forbidden rice”, a namesake dating back to ancient China. The dark rice was apparently reserved for consumption by royalty only, hence it being “forbidden” for everyone else.
- Nutritionally, black rice is similar to brown rice. It is a wholegrain variety of rice, meaning the outer bran layer has not been removed from the rice (vs white rice where this layer is removed). The outer bran layer contains fibre, vitamins and minerals, so it’s GOOD to get this into our bellies.
- In black rice, the outer layer also contains a type of plant pigment called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins also occur in fruits like blueberries and blackberries – notice they have a dark purple/black colour too! Anthocyanins act as antioxidants in our bodies, helping to protect our cells against damage from free radicals. (Such damage has been associated with certain diseases including heart disease and cancer. If you’d like to know more about antioxidants there’s a nice overview of antioxidants here).
Now that you’re all clued up about black rice, let me show you how to eat it in these easy chicken black rice bowls. I love these as a quick healthy dinner; and the leftovers make a pretty good lunch too. (Conveniently, this recipe makes two bowls, woop!) They’re totally customisable in terms of the vegetables you want to add in; I love broccoli in mine but really whatever you’ve got hanging about in the fridge will do. Roasted pumpkin, green beans, grilled eggplant, sauteed kale…so many tasty options.
To make your meal prep even more efficient, I also highly recommend making double the quantity of black rice you need for this recipe. The leftovers can be used to make up another meal, whether that’s something similar to these bowls or perhaps pair it with a curry or make it into a black rice porridge (YUM). Then you can have easy chicken black rice bowls and a second antioxidant-boosted meal in no time, it’s a meal prep win!
Easy Chicken Black Rice Bowls
- 300 grams chicken breast or thigh, skinless
- 1 tbsp tamari or gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 cup black rice measured uncooked
- 1 bunch broccolini
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- coconut oil or olive oil for cooking the chicken
- salt and pepper to season
- sprinkle of chilli flakes - OPTIONAL
- 1 serve cashew tahini herb sauce *see notes for link to this recipe!
- If you don't have the cashew tahini herb sauce ready, start making this while you make these bowls. You can soak the cashews while the rice is cooking. You will make a large jar with the sauce recipe, so consider it meal prep for the week, yay!
- Start cooking black rice according to packet instructions; this should take about 30-40 minutes. (If your rice didn't come with instructions - try the absorption method on the stove, which is use 1 cup of water to 1/2 a cup of rice, and then simmer on a low heat, covered, until absorbed).
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the chicken. Combine the tamari, honey and 2 tablespoons of water together in a cup and set aside. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces that are easy to cook; if using thick chicken breasts slice them lengthways to produce two thinner pieces.
- Heat up a fry pan or grill pan and cook the chicken pieces (about 5 minutes on either side should cook it through). During the last minute or so of the cooking, pour the tamari honey mixture over the chicken and turn the chicken around in the pan so it's evenly coated. Season with a little salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
- Steam the broccolini and the peas until tender (steam them on the stovetop or use the microwave).
- Assemble the bowls. Divide rice, broccolini, peas and chicken between two bowls. Drizzle over any pan juices from the chicken. Spoon over cashew tahini herb sauce. Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper, and some chilli flakes if desired. Serve!