Chicken Fajita Rice bowls are an easy for option for weekly meal-prep
I’m a strong believer in weekly meal prep for lunches, and these Chicken Fajita Rice Bowls are the perfect lunch option. The rice provides a good amount of mass to make you feel full, the chicken is high in protein and tastes great pan fried, and the vegetables make the meal healthy and colorful. When stored in tupperware, they’ll hold all week, and you can quickly reheat them in the microwave.
Can I make rice bowls without a pressure cooker?
I prefer to cook this meal with my pressure cooker/ instant pot. This allows the rice to cook perfectly, while absorbing and blending the other flavors of the fajita bowl.
That said, you can make this meal without a pressure cooker. Simply prepare the skillet portion of the meal as written but be sure to use a pan big enough to hold everything including the cooked rice. Then prepare the rice on the side, either in a rice cooker or in a pot. When the rice is finished, mix into the pan with the chicken and vegetables and let it cook for a couple minutes.
Customization options for these rice bows
An easy customization turns this Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl into a copycat recipe for Chilis chicken Fajita rice bowl. Simply substitute white rice for my yellow rice recipe and add 1 cup of corn kernels while frying the vegetables.
You can also change up the protein for these bowls. Turkey will work similarly to chicken in terms of calories and nutrition. For slightly more calories, you could use steak chucks or pork.
What kind of peppers should I put in a Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl?
In general, this meal should be made with mostly sweet peppers, and 0-2 spicy peppers depending on how much heat you like. Traditionally you would use sliced bell peppers for a Fajita mix, but since its pepper harvesting season, I used a mix of fresh peppers from my garden. Some of these include sweet hungarians and fully ripened shishito peppers.
I like to use non-bell peppers because by comparison, grocery store bell peppers are almost tasteless. Shishito peppers for instance have a much stronger pepper flavor, while still being completely mild. It’s important to remember that peppers have flavor aside from heat.
How should I spice a Fajita Rice Bowl?
Perhaps obviously, I recommend going with a fajita spice mix. Generally this is a mix of pepper powders, onion, garlic, and importantly cumin. If you don’t have the time or interest in making your own, an off the shelf fajita spice packet will work well too.
If fajita spice isn’t your thing, you can also go a lot of other directions with the flavoring. Here are some examples:
- Latin American: A small amount of chipotle with adobo sauce will add a wonderful smokey heat to the dish, while keeping the meal latin american themed.
- Middle Eastern: For a middle eastern theme, try using seven spice or shawarma spicing. I recommend marinating the chicken in some of the spice for a few hours as well as adding some to the vegetables while frying.
- Indian/Asian: Try using curry powder. I feel like curry powder is way under utilized in American cooking, and works particularly well as a chicken rub.
What sauces pair best with this meal?
Chicken Fajita Rice bowls can be treated somewhat like a burrito bowl. By this I mean a small dollop of sour cream or shredded cheese on top goes really well. Salsa is another good option, though I tend not to use it here. My husband prefers to douse his in hot sauce like tabasco or sriracha.
If you want to make this meal really special, try a smoked green enchilada sauce!
Other easy meal prep lunches
How to make Chicken Fajita Rice Bowls
Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl
- 1 Pressure Cooker
- 1 Skillet
- 1.5 lb Chicken Breast
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1-2 cups Sweet/Mild Peppers
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 32 oz Canned Whole Tomatoes (try our smoked tomatoes) 1 quart
- 1.5 cups uncooked white rice
- 1.5 tsp Chicken Bouillon
- 1.5 cups Water
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- ½ tsp Cumin
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Onion Powder
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Powder (try our smoked Gochugaru powder)
- Start by preparing your ingredients. Slice the chicken, onions, and peppers into thin strips.
- Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add canola oil. When hot, fry the chicken strips until they’re browned. They don’t need to be completely cooked through at this point, as the dish will cook in the pressure cooker. Salt and pepper the chicken as it fries.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and add in the onions and peppers. Add a bit more oil if needed, and fry the vegetables until the onions are translucent or golden.
- Add the chicken back to the skillet and add the minced oregano, garlic, and spice mix. Mix well and let cook for a minute.
- Drain off most of the liquid from your can of tomatoes, and then add the tomatoes to the pan. Let it simmer for a couple minutes.
- Now set up your pressure cooker and add the skillet mixture, 1.5 cups of water, 1.5 tsp of chicken bullion, and the uncooked rice. Mix briefly before cooking on low pressure for 12 minutes. When finished, manually release the pressure rather than naturally releasing.Serve into Tupperware and enjoy throughout the week. 🙂