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Easy chicken taco bowls

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If you’re looking for a super easy dinner that everyone loves, these easy chicken taco bowls are where it’s at! 

easy chicken taco bowls for a crowd pleasing dinner

This is a great build-your-own, smorgasbord time dinner, which makes it nice for large crowds, or picky eaters, because everybody gets what they want. The optional cilantro lime sauce makes it even better, and can be blended together while your rice cooks. 

I love to do build-your-own bowl type dinners like this, both because, as I said above, it’s great for a picky kids, but also because it’s great for those with food allergies. Nobody misses out, and nobody puts anything they shouldn’t have on their plate. 

I also usually switch the rice for quinoa, or make it alongside the rice for my husband who doesn’t typically eat rice. We even do this for egg roll in a bowl

These chicken taco bowls are budget friendly

I’m a huge fan of saving money on groceries, which you already know if you’ve followed this blog for long, and the taco bowls are part of that. 

I usually buy whatever chicken is on sale, and cook and shred it for recipes like this. That includes chicken breast, chicken thighs, whole chicken, and even those big bags of leg quarters that are cheaper than everything else, but also smaller. 

You can just cook the whole bag in a crock pot, then skin and debone them. Shred the meat, then freeze it in  ziplock bags to use in meals like this and a version of slow cooker chicken tacos. 

Rice is also a very frugal ingredient. Whether you prefer white or brown rice, a pound of rice costs mere pennies, and feeds a lot of people. 

The other ingredients fluctuate depending on what you use, and sales cycles. 

For instance, using a can of beans vs. cooking dry beans. Or canned corn vs. frozen corn. 

Regardless of which you choose, these ingredients still pencil out to be pretty frugal. 

Main ingredients for chicken burrito bowl

ingredients for chicken burrito bowls

I’ve already mentioned the chicken and rice. The other main ingredients for the base of your chicken taco bowls are the spices mixed into your chicken, which are essentially a homemade taco seasoning, and filled with flavor.

  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • onion
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • salt
  • red pepper (optional)

Toppings for chicken taco bowls

You can customize the toppings that you put out for your bowls, of course, but I’ve listed my preferred toppings, both here, and below in the recipe card. 

  • sweet corn
  • black beans
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • cheese (I like to use sharp cheddar cheese, but a Mexican blend or cotija are also good)
  • olives
  • tomatoes
  • tortilla strips
  • salsa

Other toppings that are good include lettuce, such as romaine lettuce, tortilla chips, and subbing guacamole for avocados.

I also like to add a homemade cilantro-lime sauce for pizazz, though not absolutely necessary (especially if you’re a hurry). 

bowl of chicken, rice, and mexican toppings

The ingredients for that are: 

  • cilantro
  • garlic
  • lime juice
  • cumin
  • salt
  • greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • olive oil

How to make chicken taco bowls

If your chicken isn’t already cooked, your first step will be to cook it. Put your rice on to cook at the same time to get things going. 

You can cook your chicken in a skillet with a little olive oil, in the instant pot, or in the oven, brushed with a little olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. 

In any case, cook until done through, then shred with a fork. 

chicken with taco seasonings

When chicken is done, combine it with tacos seasonings. 

Then serve with toppings. 

To make the cilantro lime dressing:

Add cilantro to a food process with garlic, and blend until pretty fine.

ingredients for cilantro lime dressing

Add lime juice, cumin, salt, yogurt, and olive oil, and blend until smooth.

cilantro lime dressing in a food processor

Pour into a bowl for serving.

Assemble your chicken taco bowls as desired, by filling with chicken and rice, and then stacking toppings over them. 

serving chicken burrito bowls

How to store leftovers

One of the best things about this meal is that it’s easy to make a double batch and have leftovers for another day, or sack lunches. 

  • To store leftovers, you can store each topping or ingredients in a separate airtight container or jar. 

Alternatively, you could combine ingredients in meal prep containers to have quick meals ready to go. 

Either way, your leftovers should keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days. 

To reheat, transfer to a heat proof dish, and heat in the oven at 350º until hot,

Or microwave at 15 second intervals. 

More recipes to try

Print

Easy chicken taco bowls

  • Author: Elise New
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Tex-Mex

Ingredients

Scale

Chicken:

  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Toppings: 

  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn (about 1 can, drained)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese such as cheddar or colby
  • cilantro
  • tortilla strips
  • sliced olives
  • diced tomatoes

Green sauce:

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumiin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. To make the green sauce, place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth
  2. Heat chicken, and combine with seasonings (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, oregano, and salt)
  3. Serve with toppings

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