Delicious BBQ ranch chicken quinoa bowls loaded with black beans, crunchy red cabbage, sweet corn, tomato, onion, jalapeño, avocado and your choice of creamy ranch dressing. The BBQ chicken for these healthy chicken quinoa bowls can be made in the slow cooker or grilled for the perfect meal prep dinner or lunch!
How to cook the best fluffy quinoa
- Use a 1:2 ratio for quinoa to liquid. In this recipe you’ll cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water, which will make about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
- Bring the water to a boil then stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for exactly 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and let stand covered for another 5-10 minutes.
- Quinoa will pop upon cooking and expand. To help separate the grains, use a fork and fluff the quinoa.
Customise your BBQ chicken quinoa bowls
- Make it vegetarian by using tofu or chickpeas
- Grill some BBQ shrimp or salmon to swap the chicken
- Keep it dairy free by using a dairy free greek yogurt or ranch
- Top with this delicious avocado lime sauce, guacamole or fruity salsa
- Get wild with a chipotle ranch instead of regular!
- Make it grain free with homemade cauliflower rice
SERVES 4 | TOTAL COOK TIME = 15 mins | PREP TIME = 3 hours
Per Serving (without any sides) = 611 Cals | Fat 16g | Carbs 72g | Protein 46g
- For the slow cooker:
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup low sugar BBQ sauce (We love Primal Kitchen Mango Habanero)
- Optional: 1/4 cup water if you have a thicker bbq sauce
- For the quinoa:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- For the bowls:
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup sweet corn (can use fresh or frozen or off the cob)
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, diced or sliced
- For the dressing:
- 1 batch healthy greek yogurt ranch (or ranch of choice)
- To garnish:
- Fresh chopped coriander
- SLOW COOKER CHICKEN: Place chicken and BBQ sauce in a slow cooker and stir so the BBQ sauce coats the chicken. Cook on high for 2.5-3 hours. Then remove chicken from the slow cooker, shred with two forks and then place back in the slow cooker, stir and turn the heat to warm until you are ready to serve.
- TO GRILL CHICKEN: marinate chicken in a bowl with BBQ sauce for 1 hour, then grill chicken over medium high heat for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Remove from grill and allow chicken to sit for 5 minutes to retain juices, then cut into strips or dice into bite sized pieces
- Once chicken is done cooking (or close to it), you can cook your quinoa: add water and quinoa to a medium pot and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Once quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and place the lid back on to allow the quinoa to stay warm and steam in the pot for 10 more minutes while you chop your veggies and make the greek yogurt ranch dressing (or feel free to use store bought ranch).
- To prepare bowls: add about ¾ cup quinoa to each bowl, top with about ⅓ cup black beans, ½ cup shredded cabbage, ¼ cup corn, 1 tablespoon diced red onion, diced roma tomatoes, a few sliced jalapeños and avocado. Drizzle the bowls with 1-2 tablespoons ranch dressing. Garnish with fresh cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!