This Mexi-Chicken and Lentil Rice Bowl recipe is such a nice change from all the holiday dinners and desserts. I’ve loved every bite, but I’m definitely feeling a renewed desire to eat cleaner and more nutritiously as we move into the new year.
Lentils, which are packed with protein, fiber and minerals, are a step in the right direction, and I’m grateful that I’ve been partnering with Canadian Lentils on this #LoveALentil campaign and learning more about cooking with pulses. I do believe my tummy hollered out a “thank you” when I made these lentil rice bowls for dinner!
Remember when I made this Beef and Lentil Shepherd’s pie? I mentioned in that post that the two most common types of lentils are whole green lentils and split red lentils. I used the split red lentils in the shepherd’s pie recipe, and I used whole green lentils for this rice bowl recipe.
I always have both kinds of lentils in the pantry, because they’re an amazing source of protein and fiber. In a 100 gram serving of whole green lentils, there are 26 grams of protein, and in the same size serving of split red lentils, there are 18 grams of fiber.
Another perk to lentils is that they’re simple to cook (rinse, simmer, serve), but did you know you can also puree and freeze lentils? If you freeze them in specific portions, then all you have to do when you need them for a recipe is to thaw the right amount!
For the Mexi-chicken and lentil rice bowl, I rinsed then simmered whole green lentils in some chicken broth until they were tender, about 30 minutes. I told you it was easy! Of course, you could use water rather than chicken broth, if you desired. Not a problem. They’re drained after cooking anyhow.
While the lentils were simmering, I sauteed some peppers and onions, then tossed in some fire roasted corn as well.
I also cubed, seasoned and cooked some chicken.
At the same time all of this was happening, I had some brown rice cooking on that fourth burner, and just before serving, I added the drained and cooked lentils, lime juice and some chopped cilantro.
When everything was ready, the only thing left to do was build a Mexi-chicken and lentil rice bowl and eat!
To make mine, I lined a bowl with the lentil rice, then added some chicken, chopped romaine lettuce, freshly diced tomatoes, salsa and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. You could top with sour cream and guac if you wanted, and some people may enjoy a pinch of salt and pepper.
Mexi-Chicken and Lentil Rice Bowl
- 1 cup whole green lentils
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- Brown or white rice, prepared according to pkg directions
- 2 Tbsp cilantro
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ sweet onion, chopped
- 1 14.75-oz can fire-roasted corn, drained
- 1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed and chopped
- 1 tomato, washed and diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In medium saucepan, add soup broth, water and lentils. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until tender.
- In medium saucepan, cook rice according to package directions. Set aside and keep covered when done cooking.
- Heat 2 Tbsp oil in sauté pan over high heat, and sauté peppers for about 4 minutes. Add onions, sauté for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside. Cover to keep warm.
- In frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat. Add chicken, chili powder, cayenne, black pepper and salt. Sauté about 6 minutes. Add garlic. Continue to cook until chicken is done.
- Build your own bowl with the ingredients and enjoy!
Lentils are easy to cook and eat, heart smart and rich in nutrition, so I love featuring them in this Mexi-chicken and lentil rice bowl recipe. Enjoy!
Visit the Canadian Lentils website for more lentil recipe inspiration!