Recipe: Greek Chicken Grain Bowls

Recipe: Greek Chicken Grain Bowls

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Kelli Foster
Jul 23, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Want to make a killer grain bowl you look forward to eating again and again? It's as simple as drawing inspiration from a recipe you already love, and pairing it with a really good sauce. I love a classic Greek salad, so for this grain bowl I started with vibrant, crunchy salad ingredients (crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, sharp red onion, and briny olives), partnered them with lemony, herby Greek-style chicken and a scoop of quinoa, and finished it off with a generous drizzle of tangy feta dressing.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Turn Your Feta into a 3-Ingredient Sauce

No Greek-style bowl is complete without feta, but why top the bowl with crumbles when you can blend the salty cheese into a creamy sauce? The feta dressing is the star of this grain bowl, and it requires just three ingredients: feta, water, and olive oil. Blitz until smooth in your food processor.

Everything in these bowls — the chicken, the quinoa, the vegetables, and the sauce — can be cooked in advance during your meal prep session. While the chicken cooks in the oven and the grains simmer on the stovetop, you can chop the vegetables and make the dressing.

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 some of the ingredients soak up the briny flavor of the feta. Or, take the sauce with you and add it just before digging in.

Greek Chicken Grain Bowls

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes to 15 minutes ; cooking time: 20 minutes

  • For the sauce:
  • 4 ounces

    feta cheese, drained

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons

    water

  • 1 tablespoon

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • For the bowls:
  • 1/2 medium

    red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 medium lemons), divided

  • 1 clove

    garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons

    dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried marjoram

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4

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

  • 1 1/4 cups

    quinoa, rinsed well

  • 2 cups

    water

  • 2

    Persian cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

  • 1 cup

    grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

  • 1/2 cup

    pitted Kalamata olives

Make the sauce:

Crumble the feta into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse several times to break it into very small pieces. With the machine running continuously, gradually pour in the water and oil and process for 30 seconds. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Process again until smooth, about 30 seconds; set aside.

Make the bowls:

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.

Place the onion and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice in a small bowl and toss to combine; set aside.

Place the garlic, oregano, marjoram, pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 18 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa.

Place the quinoa, water, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Fluff the quinoa, cover again, and let stand for 5 minutes.

To assemble, divide the quinoa between 4 bowls. Top each bowl with a chicken thigh. Divide the red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives between the bowls. Drizzle with the sauce and serve.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead and storage: The sauce, chicken, and quinoa can be made ahead and refrigerated in separate containers and stored for up to 5 days.

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