Recipe: Peanut Chicken Power Bowls

Recipe: Peanut Chicken Power Bowls

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Kelli Foster
Aug 30, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

If power bowls and Buddha bowls aren't already part of your weekly meal plan, this is the recipe that will convince you they should be. The crispy chicken bites are coated in a soy sauce-spiked peanut sauce, and served in a bowl with a rainbow of vibrant, crisp veggies. It's a nourishing meal you may just start making every week.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Meal Prep These Bowls

One of my favorite things about Buddha bowls is how well they lend themselves to meal prep. This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes from beginning to end, and everything in these bowls — the chicken, the quinoa, the vegetables, and the peanut sauce — can be made in advance during your meal prep session. While the quinoa cooks, whisk together the sauce and cook the chicken in a skillet. You can also use pre-shredded carrots and cabbage to cut down some of the prep work.

Assemble and store the bowls in lidded containers, and keep the dressing stored separately. Then, pour it over your prepped bowl before heading out the door in the morning so the peanut sauce can seep into the grains and over the veggies. Or, take the sauce with you and add it just before digging in.

Peanut Chicken Power Bowls

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes ; cooking time: 15 minutes

  • For the peanut sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons

    tamari or soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 1 tablespoon

    rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons

    honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    sambal oelek or Asian chili-garlic paste

  • 1/3 cup

    creamy peanut butter, preferably regular and not natural

  • 2 tablespoons

    toasted (Asian) sesame oil

  • For the bowls:
  • 1 cup

    quinoa, rinsed well

  • 1 3/4 cups

    water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups

    finely shredded purple cabbage

  • 1 cup

    shredded carrot

  • 1/2

    medium English cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 1/4 cup

    unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

  • Lime wedges, for serving

Make the sauce:

Place the tamari or soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, honey, and chile-garlic paste in a pint-sized glass jar, seal, and shake to combine. Add the peanut butter and sesame oil. Seal again and shake vigorously until well combined, about 30 seconds; set aside. (Alternatively, whisk together in a medium bowl.)

Make the bowls:

Place the quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside to steam for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with the pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high until shimmering. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the peanut sauce and stir to coat the chicken; set aside.

Divide the quinoa between 4 bowls. Top with the chicken, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, and peanuts, then drizzle with the remaining peanut sauce. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The sauce, quinoa, and chicken can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated in separate airtight containers.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 4 days.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
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