California Chicken, Veggie, Avocado and Rice Bowls. Also known as the non-boring chicken and rice dinner bowl that’s so darn GOOD. Spice rubbed grilled chicken served up bowl style with grilled peppers, zucchini, mashed avocado, tomatoes, and crumbled cheese. This easy, healthy, chicken and rice bowl is made almost entirely on the grill, all in under 30 minutes, using fresh from the market ingredients. It’s a great weeknight meal that can easily double as a delicious packed lunch the following day.
You guys! Yes, I have another chicken and rice bowl for you, and it’s SO GOOD. This bowl has been a staple in my kitchen for years and years. It’s kind of my form of summer comfort food. This recipe brings back all the childhood memories for me. While this is absolutely nothing like the chicken and rice my dad served my brothers and me as kids, it still has the core ingredients, grilled chicken and steamed rice.
I am not even joking when I say this, but we ate grilled chicken and rice at least twice a week during the summer months back in Cleveland. It was my dad’s go-to dinner. Probably because it was the easiest thing he could cook up after work and also because we all loved it. With a house of 6 boys and 2 girls (my mom and I…Asher hadn’t entered the world yet), it was a miracle if everyone actually agreed on a dinner, let alone loved it.
Point of the story? I grew up on dinners of chicken and rice. Looking back, Dad’s were a tad on the bland side, but regardless, I loved them. To this day chicken and rice is still a comfort food for me.
Enter in these California chicken, veggie, avocado and rice bowls. They’re kind of inspired by my dad’s grilled chicken. Kind of inspired by the fresh flavors and produce of California style cooking. And kind of DELICIOUS.
First up is the chicken. This is definitely not my dad’s style of grilled chicken, which was a very basic, olive oil, salt, and pepper situation. Nah, this chicken is well seasoned and so much more flavorful. Think lemon pepper with plenty of garlic, a little heat, a touch of paprika, and so much fresh parsley and basil (mostly because our garden is overflowing with herbs right now). It’s simple and subtle, but yet also flavorful.
Best part? You can most likely find all of the ingredients in your pantry. Well, with the possible exception of fresh herbs, which you may even be growing in your garden? YES.
I love a pantry staple recipe. Keeps weeknights stress-free.
OK. Moving onto the rest of the bowl…the rice, the veggies, and the avocado.
For the rice, I just did a super simple steamed rice. Steamed rice is my fall back and what I have loved forever. That said, you can certainly use brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice if you’re looking to bulk up your vegetable content. Any of these will honestly be great.
Next, the vegetables. I used a mix of bell peppers and zucchini. Now, before you dismiss the vegetables, let me explain something. Grilling vegetables gives them a whole new identity. They char up, turn sweet, and take on a nice smoky flavor. They’re so good, I could eat them every single day. Especially bell peppers, they’ve been my favorite since I was kid…again I was an odd little girl that loved her veggies. Nothing has changed.
The chicken and the vegetables are grilled at the same time. While that’s happening, your rice should be cooking away on the stove. By the time the rice is cooked, the chicken and vegetables should be coming off the grill. At this point, it’s time to assemble.
You need some mashed avocado first. More specifically, mashed avocado with lemon, parsley, and a good amount of flaky salt.
Ok, now we can assemble.
It goes like this, rice, chicken veggies, and a large dollop of mashed avocado. Add fresh cherry tomatoes and a little bit of cheese. I personally love blue cheese, but you can use crumbled goat or feta cheese if you prefer. And finally, toasted walnuts, because walnuts feel very “California” to me.
About 30 minutes after starting you’ll have the prettiest, tastiest, healthy bowl of chicken, veggies, avocado, and rice. I know it’s kind of simple, but trust me, the flavors are out of this world good. I couldn’t love this bowl more. It’s the chicken and rice dish I loved growing up, but much more “done up”.
Lastly, I feel like I should mention that this is without a doubt one of my mom’s all-time favorite recipes. I’ve never met someone who loves a simple chicken and rice dinner more than her. So every chance I get, I make this for her. She likes her bowls with double the rice, extra basil, more peppers than zucchini, and possibly a side of buttery grilled corn too. Oh, and bread, can’t forget the bread!
Hey…she knows what she loves.
If you make these California Chicken, Veggie, Avocado and Rice Bowls, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
California Chicken, Veggie, Avocado and Rice Bowls
Calories Per Serving: 522 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- kosher salt and black pepper
The Rice + Veggies + Avocado
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into fourths
- 1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 avocados, mashed very well
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 2 cups cooked basmati rice
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta, goat, or blue cheese
- 1. In a gallon-size zip-top bag or bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, onion powder, cayenne, smoked paprika, rosemary, parsley, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.2. In a gallon-size zip-top bag or bowl, combine the red peppers, zucchini, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.3. Set your grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat.4. Grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through and has light char marks. While the chicken is grilling grill the peppers and zucchini for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until charred. Remove everything from the grill and let cool 5 minutes. Once cool slice the red peppers into strips.5. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, lemon juice, parsley, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.6. To assemble, divide the rice among 4 bowls or plates. Top each bowl of rice with equal amounts of chicken, grilled peppers and zucchini. Add a large dollop of avocado and then add the fresh tomatoes and walnuts. Sprinkle with cheese (if desired). EAT!