Buffalo chicken brown rice bowls are a delicious, high-protein meal that is perfect for meal prep. Tender bite-sized pieces of chicken breast are pan-cooked and coated in tangy buffalo sauce and then layered with garlicky green beans and brown rice. Fun twist! I mix cauliflower rice into my brown rice for an extra boost of fiber and veggie power!
Looking for a new way to meal prep dinner (or lunch)? Add these chicken rice bowls to the rotation. I just love meal prepping – it’s perfect for busy weeks or nights when the kids have a ton of activities. It’s also a great way to avoid take-out and enjoy more nutritious, budget-friendly meals at home.
These buffalo chicken brown rice bowls just happen to be one of our favorite recipes to use for meal prep because they are so tasty and the leftovers reheat wonderfully. They include brown rice mixed with cauliflower rice to sneak in extra nutrients, green beans, cherry tomatoes, healthy buffalo chicken bites, and ranch dressing.
My family loves any and all recipes made with buffalo sauce! I’ve made everything from buffalo cauliflower and buffalo wings to buffalo chicken meatballs and buffalo chicken chili. We just can’t seem to get enough buffalo sauce-inspired meals in my home!
These easy & delicious buffalo chicken rice bowls are filled with plenty of veggies, rice, and buffalo chicken bites for tons of different flavors and textures. To make them you’ll need:
- Brown rice: Feel free to use short, medium, or long-grain brown rice. Just be sure not to use the quick-cooking variety.
- Cauliflower rice: For extra vegetable goodness, we’re adding cauliflower rice in with the brown rice towards the end of cooking.
- Scallions: Adds color and a bit of savory flavor to the rice.
- Veggies: The base vegetables in this bowl are steamed green beans combined with crushed garlic, cherry or grape tomatoes, avocado oil, and salt & pepper.
- Chicken tenders: For the bites, we’re cutting a little over a pound of raw chicken tenders into bite-sized chunks. Feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but it will take a bit more cutting.
- Spices: A mix of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper adds a wonderfully bold, savory flavor.
- Oil: For cooking the chicken, I like to use avocado oil but olive oil would work as well.
- Buffalo sauce: The ingredient that really makes this recipe pop! I love the Primal Kitchen brand – but feel free to use what you love – mild, medium, or hot all work. You can even make homemade buffalo sauce if you’d like!
- Ranch dressing: We love to add a drizzle of ranch dressing just before serving these bowls. If I’m using store-bought dressing, I like Primal Kitchen brand, but this homemade buttermilk ranch dressing is really amazing too.
How to make this recipe
There are a few components to put these rice bowls together, but everything is fairly quick and easy to make. And once these are made you’ll have dinner for four nights! Here’s the simple method:
- Make the rice: Add rice to boiling water in a pot. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain a steady boil. Boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Right before the rice is done cooking (3-5 minutes) add the cauliflower, stir, and cook until tender. Drain and return to the pot. Cover the pot and let the rice rest, off the heat, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add in the chopped scallions, and set aside.
- Steam the green beans: In a steamer basket over a pot with water, steam green beans for 5-7 minutes or until tender (but still crisp). Transfer them to a medium-sized bowl. Add in crushed garlic, tomatoes, and avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the buffalo chicken: Coat bite-sized pieces of chicken in the seasoning blend. Heat avocado oil (olive oil would work as well) in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the chicken to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. Turn the heat to low and stir in 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce. Gently toss the chicken in the sauce until all bites are lightly coated in the sauce. Turn off the heat.
- Assemble the bowls: If meal prepping, use 4 containers with lids (these are the ones I am using) to evenly divide the rice mixture, buffalo chicken bites, and green beans amongst each container, layering them next to one another. When you’re ready to enjoy, drizzle ranch dressing over the top and dig in.
Healthy home-cook tips
- Heat level: The spices and sauce coating the chicken are intended to have some kick to it! However, pairing it with rice, green beans, and ranch dressing will help to cool it down. Be sure to buy mild buffalo sauce, if you’re sensitive to spice.
- Cutting the chicken: Cut your chicken into similar-sized pieces, so they cook at the same rate.
- Cook chicken batches: When cooking your chicken, make sure to keep the chicken bites in a single layer in the pan. Cook in batches as needed, so as not to overcrowd the chicken.
- For storage: I like to use the 3-cup Pyrex containers to prep and store these bowls.
Frequently asked questions
In case you’re wondering what makes this rice bowl recipe to the next level, it’s buffalo sauce. Buffalo sauce is traditionally made from the hot sauce (usually a cayenne pepper hot sauce), vinegar & extra spices. The flavor is a bit tangy and spicy.
Everything in these bowls (rice, chicken, and green beans) work great for making in advance. Some other foods that work great to make ahead: are proteins like chicken, fish, and beef; whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and farro; dried beans and legumes; and, hearty vegetables.
Depending on what foods are included in your meal plan, most meal-prepped foods (including these bowls) will keep fresh for up to 5 days when stored properly.
Once completely cool, store these rice bowls in airtight containers, in the fridge, for up to 5 days. Don’t add the ranch dressing until just before enjoying.
More healthy meal prep recipes
Thanks so much for reading! If you make this recipe I would love for you to give it a ★ rating below. And be sure to follow me on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook for more healthy food inspiration. Cheers!
Buffalo Chicken Brown Rice Bowls
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice (short, medium or long grain brown rice will work, as long as it’s not a quick-cooking variety)
- 8 cups water
- 1.5 cups frozen cauliflower rice defrosted
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1 pound green beans trimmed and cut into 1- inch pieces
- 1 cup baby tomatoes chopped
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1.25 pounds chicken tenders cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1.5 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/4 cup Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing
- In a 3-4 quart pot, bring the water to a boil. Rinse the rice under cold water for up to one minute, removing any excess starch.
- Add the rice to the boiling water. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain a steady boil. Boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Right before the rice is done cooking (3-5 minutes) add the cauliflower rice to the pot and cook until tender.
- Drain in a fine mesh strainer and then return to the pot. Cover the pot and let the rice rest, off the heat, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add in the chopped scallions and set aside.
- Fill a medium pot with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Put a steamer basket in the pot and place the green beans inside. Place a lid on the pot and steam for 5-7 minutes or until tender (but still crisp).
- Transfer the beans to a medium-sized bowl. Add in crushed garlic, tomatoes, and avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, transfer into a bowl and season with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss that together making sure all of the chicken is lightly coated with the spices.
- Heat avocado oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the chicken to the pan, making sure it is in a single layer. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and then flip the chicken bites and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked through.
- Turn the heat to low and stir in 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce (I am using Primal Kitchen). Gently toss the chicken in the sauce until all the chicken bites are lightly coated in buffalo sauce. Turn off the heat.
Build Your Bowl
- I like to use the 3-cup Pyrex containers to prep and store these bowl. Evenly divide the rice mixture, buffalo chicken bites, and green beans amongst 4 containers, layering them next to one and other.
- Drizzle 1 tbsp of ranch dressing over the top and enjoy! Or, place on a lid and store in the fridge for up to five days. Heat and enjoy when ready to eat. *Don’t add the ranch dressing until you are ready to eat.
Cathy Richardson says
Yum Yum Yum! This was exceptional. Couldn’t wait to eat it so I have only 3 more for meal prep. LOL. Thank you!
Dani Spies says
yay! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Cathy!! Thanks for letting me know.
This recipe is fabulous. I made it with soy curls and homemade buffalo sauce. The smoked paprika is a great addition. What a burst of flavor! Thanks again, Dani, for sharing this!
Dani Spies says
It’s my pleasure! So glad you enjoyed it, Kerri.