Herby Chicken Grain Bowls with Feta Dressing

published Mar 20, 2022
Herby Chicken Grain Bowl with Feta Dressing Recipe

Feta dressing upgrades this hearty and refreshing grain bowl.

Serves4

Prep35 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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Herby chicken grain bowl on countertop
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

When spring officially arrives, I am more than ready for warmer weather. The sunshine, budding trees, and short sleeves (or at least lighter jackets) give me new energy. But it’s the return of spring produce I look forward to the most.

It’s easy to get overly excited by the first spring veggies you see and maybe buy a bit too much. Grain bowls are one of my go-to ways to use everything up and really show off the beautiful produce. This version, served on a bed of quinoa and brown rice, features sliced chicken breast, spring vegetables, and a light feta dressing. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

I opt for a more hands-off cooking approach, letting the oven do most of the work. The chicken and vegetables — a colorful mix of sugar snap peas, asparagus, and carrots — are tossed in an herby, lemony olive oil before heading into a 425°F oven to cook hot and fast. This method creates perfectly juicy chicken and crisp-tender vegetables.

The feta dressing, flecked with chopped parsley and sliced scallions, comes together in a food processor. It’s creamy, herby, and tangy and really brings the dish together. Once all the components are assembled into the bowls, I add some sliced fresh radishes for freshness and finish everything with a good drizzle of dressing.

Tips for Making Herby Chicken Grain Bowls with Feta Dressing

  • Use smaller chicken breasts. To ensure that all the components finish cooking at the same time, look for chicken breasts that weigh about 8 ounces each.
  • Spread out the vegetables. Be sure to spread out the veggies evenly on the sheet pans so they cook evenly.

Herby Chicken Grain Bowl with Feta Dressing Recipe

Feta dressing upgrades this hearty and refreshing grain bowl.

Prep time 35 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    carrots (3 large or 6 small)

  • 1 pound

    thick asparagus

  • 8 ounces

    sugar snap peas

  • 3 tablespoons

    extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1

    large lemon

  • 1

    large clove garlic

  • 4 sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • 3/4 cup

    quinoa

  • 3/4 cup

    long grain brown rice

  • 2 1/4

    plus 1/3 cups water, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/2

    plus 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more as needed

  • 3

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 6 ounces

    feta cheese

  • 1/3 cup

    water

  • 3

    medium scallions

  • 4

    red radishes (about 8 ounces total)

Instructions

  1. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven in thirds. Heat the oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and cook the quinoa and rice.

  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Peel 1 pound carrots and cut crosswise into 1/2-thick rounds. Transfer to one of the baking sheets.

  3. Trim the woody ends from 1 pound thick asparagus and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Trim the stem ends and strings from 8 ounces sugar snap peas. Transfer the asparagus and sugar snap peas to the second baking sheet.

  4. Place 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Finely grate the zest from 1 large lemon into the bowl; reserve the lemon. Finely grate 1 large garlic clove into the bowl. Pick and finely chop the leaves from 4 sprigs fresh parsley until you have 2 tablespoons. Add 2 teaspoons of the parsley to the olive oil mixture and stir to combine; reserve the remaining parsley.

  5. Place 3/4 cup quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, rinse under cool running water, and drain well. Place the quinoa, 3/4 cup brown rice, and 2 1/4 cups of the water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until the grains are tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, roast the vegetables and chicken.

  6. Drizzle the asparagus and sugar snap peas with 2 teaspoons of the parsley mixture, season with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer.

  7. Drizzle the carrots with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the parsley mixture, season with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange a single layer around the edges of the baking sheet, leaving space in the center for the chicken. Place 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the center of the baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining parsley mixture, and season with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  8. Roast the chicken and carrots on the lower rack until the chicken begins to turn opaque, about 10 minutes. Add the asparagus and sugar snap peas to the upper rack and continue to roast until the vegetables are brightly colored and tender, and the chicken registers at least 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, make the dressing.

  9. Crumble 6 ounces feta cheese into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Juice the zested lemon until you have 2 tablespoons juice. Add the juice, remaining 1/3 cup water, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 30 seconds.

  10. Transfer to a medium bowl. Thinly slice 3 medium scallions. Add the scallions and 1 tablespoon of the parsley to the dressing and stir to combine.

  11. When the grains are ready, remove the pan from the heat. Fluff the grains with a fork, cover again, and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice 4 red radishes into rounds (use a mandoline if you have one). Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and thinly slice crosswise.

  12. Taste and season the quinoa-brown rice mixture with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Divide between 4 bowls. Top with the chicken, carrots, asparagus, sugar snap peas, and radishes. Drizzle with the feta dressing and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dressing, chicken, quinoa-brown rice, and vegetables (carrots, asparagus, sugar snap peas) can be made ahead and refrigerated in separate containers and stored for up to 5 days. The radishes can be sliced and refrigerated in a container filled with cold water for up to 5 days; drain and pat dry before using.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 5 days.