Southwest Chicken, Brown Rice & Veggie Bowls

mains recipes Jan 27, 2023

If there's one meal my husband and I both get excited about, it's any sort of taco or burrito bowl situation. Mexican food is always my go-to as it includes all of my favorite flavors and is extremely easy to whip up.

Whether it's my Shredded Chicken Taco Bowls, Mexican Enchilada Casserole, Chili Lime SoupSheet Pan Chicken & Veggies Fajitas, Mexican Stuffed Peppers, or anything similar, you really can't go wrong.

Keeping these flavors in mind, I wanted to whip up a recipe that added some new textures and veggies to our usual rotation, and these Southwest Chicken, Brown Rice & Veggie Bowls are the perfect result.

They're super satisfying with a hearty, balanced punch of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats to keep you full and fueled.

First, let's start with the base of these bowls - roasted sweet potatoes and brown rice. I have these ingredients on hand almost always, and they create a nutritious foundation for any meal.

You can always swap for another rice you prefer or have in your pantry - white, jasmine, you name it. Same thing goes for the sweet potato - feel free to swap for a variety you love like Japanese if preferred!

When it comes to the chicken, I can't emphasize enough the power of spices. Here I use cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper which is no-doubt a flavor-packed combo.

Below I share two different methods for cooking your chicken breasts - either of which work great! Lately I've been loving using my air fryer, but feel free to grill, bake, etc. to your own liking.

For some added veggie-goodness, the kale, onion and red bell pepper combo provides tons of nutrients to these bowls. Plus the black beans add even more fiber and protein (and they're just one of my favorite ingredients in any meal).

To finish it all off, you simply can't forget the Cilantro Avocado Sauce. I've been making this since college as it's truly makes anything and everything taste absolutely amazing - veggies, chicken, fish, you name it. I also love it in my Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa & Cilantro Avocado Sauce.

Assemble your bowls with all of the above and enjoy. It's a recipe the whole family will love!

Yields ~ 3 servings


  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups de-stemmed and chopped kale
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
Cilantro Avocado Sauce
  •  3 ripe avocados
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, large stems removed 
  •  3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  •  4 limes, juiced 
  •  cayenne pepper to taste
  •  salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Cover with olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake for ~15-20 minutes, until soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the outside.
  • For the Cilantro Avocado sauce add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, salt, and pepper to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Cook rice according to package directions.
  • For the chicken, cover with a tbsp of olive oil (or avocado oil), cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat completely. 
    • Air fyer method - Place chicken in your air fryer basket. Bake for 9 minutes at 375 degrees. Flip and cook for another 8-9 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts.
    • Stove top & oven method - Heat a tbsp of avocado oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium/high heat. When hot, add chicken breasts, and sear on each side for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and place the skillet in a 400 degree oven for 17-20 minutes, depending on size.
  • Add a tbsp of olive oil to a large pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until beginning soften. Add garlic, kale, and black beans. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until kale is wilted. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Assemble bowls with brown rice topped with the veggie mixture, roasted sweet potatoes, and chopped chicken breasts. Top with Cilantro Avocado Sauce and additional fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

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