This Chicken Quinoa Mediterranean Bowl has so many of my favorite things: creamy hummus, delicious grilled chicken, feta cheese, and a homemade tzatziki sauce; it tastes almost identical to my favorite Panera mediterranean bowl. It comes together quick and it’s SO filling thanks to protein + fiber! One of my favorite easy lunch recipes to meal prep!
I have been on a buddha bowl kick lately, especially with my meal prep lunches.
Bowls – like this tasty Burger Bowl or this Chipotle Bowl – are the perfect meal when you don’t feel like cooking or following an exact recipe. They are easy and customizable, and, with just a little meal prep, you can assemble them easily at the beginning of the week or on demand if you work from home.
I decided to add one bowl recipe to the blog each month in 2023, and first up is this Chicken Quinoa Mediterranean Bowl! This recipe first appeared on the blog as a salad, but it’s new and improved and back as a bowl! And it reminds me so much of my favorite grain bowl from Panera.
Why I love this bowl recipe
- It’s basically a copycat recipe for Panera’s Chicken Mediterranean Grain Bowl, but cheaper and no door dash delivery charge. Also, I serve it with quinoa instead of brown rice for extra protein power.
- It’s customizable and easy to swap your favorite ingredients or use what you have on hand.
- Total sauce goals – not only does it have a delicious homemade tzatziki dressing, it also has creamy hummus. Gimme all the sauce.
- It’s super filling and high protein – a total of 58 grams of protein per serving!
This bowl is full of fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavor. You will need:
For the Chicken
- boneless skinless chicken breast or tenderloins – to save time, you can use a store bought rotisserie chicken or use leftover chicken from my Air Fryer Whole Chicken, or Air Fryer Chicken Thighs.
- for juicy chicken, I do a quick marinade with little olive oil, lemon, dill, and some salt and pepper.
For the Bowl
- cooked quinoa – it’s so easy to prep quinoa in the instant pot. I do this often on meal prep days and will also freeze extra quinoa for later!
- baby spinach, romaine, salad greens – I like to chop my greens so this feels more like a bowl than a salad. Short on time? Grab pre-washed bagged salad!
- cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes – if you don’t like tomatoes, you can sub red bell peppers or roasted red peppers.
- cucumber – diced up small. I use english cucumbers but whatever you gave on hand will work.
- diced red onion – picked red onion would also be delicious.
- feta cheese – my favorite cheese.
- kalamata olives – not everyone loves olives, but I cannot get enough. A great way to get in those healthy fats.
- fresh mint and or fresh parsley – optional garnish, but I love the surprise fresh flavor of the mint in this bowl and reminds me of my fave – falafel!
- Hummus – you can use a homemade hummus or your favorite store bought hummus. I generally use an original flavored hummus, but again, use what you love!
For the homemade Tzatziki sauce
- low fat Greek yogurt
- fresh cucumber
- lemon zest and fresh lemon juice
- fresh dill – fresh is key! It makes this dressing so delish.
- salt and black pepper
Step one: if you haven’t done so already, prep quinoa – rinse, then place one cup of quinoa and one cup of water in the instant pot. Cook for one minute on high pressure. Manual release for 10 minutes after cook time, release the rest of the pressure and fluff with a fork.
Step two: prep Chicken – season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, then rub with2 tsp olive oil, juice from ½ lemon. Sprinkle of dill. Marinate in the refrigerator for ten minutes if you have it, otherwise grill, air fry, or bake chicken until cooked through – an instant read meat thermometer. Let chicken rest, the sliced into bite sized pieces.
Step four: prep veggies – chop salad, dice cucumber, and slice grape tomatoes in half.
Step five: assemble bowls
Make it vegetarian: sub chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) in this yummy bowl or make my Falafel bites!
Make it pescatarian: sub salmon, tuna, or shrimp
Make it dairy free: sub a tahini based dressing and dairy free cheese for the Tzatziki and feta (Violife feta is YUM!) or sub pine nuts
Use a variety of colorful veggies: add roasted red peppers, banana peppers, radishes, leftover cucumber salad, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash, artichoke hearts and whatever other veggies you love or you have on hand to use. This Roasted Red Pepper Hummus would also be a delicious addition.
Meal Prep and Storage
To prep ahead: This salad is reason #953 to prep grilled chicken and quinoa for use throughout the week. In fact, it was born out of me doing just that. Basically this entire buddha bowl can be prepped ahead. Cook quinoa and let cool. Grill chicken. Prep dressing. Chop veggies. Everything can be stored in separate containers in the refrigerator or in meal prep containers all together. I would just keep the dressing and the hummus separate until you are ready to eat.
To store: Store this salad and it’s ingredients in airtight containers in the refrigerator until
To freeze: You can actually prep your quinoa and freeze to use in this salad whenever you have a craving! Just let the quinoa cool, then store it in a ziplock freezer bag or freezer safe container for up to three months. You can do the same for the chicken.
More delicious and healthy Mediterranean Recipes:
Chicken Quinoa Mediterranean Bowl
For the Salad
- 1 cup quinoa cooked
- 4 cups spinach, romaine, or other salad greens
- 2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 2 cup cucumber diced
- 2-4 tablespoons red onion, diced or more to taste
- 1 lb grilled chicken, cooked and sliced I seasoned mine with dried dill, lemon, salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup feta cheese
- 40 kalamata olives diced, 10 per serving
- 1/2 cup hummus
- Chopped fresh mint optional garnish
- 1 cup chickpeas (optional add-in) 1/4 cup per serving
For the dressing
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup cucumber seeded, finely grated and drained
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Himalyan salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- In food processor or blender, pulse ingredients for the salad dressing. You could also mix by hand for a thicker consistency.
- Assemble salads. Divide greens into 4 bowls. Add diced chicken and cooked quinoa. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion. Sprinkle on feta and olives. Add two tablespoons of hummus.
- Top each bowl with 2 Tbsp dressing and enjoy!