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BBQ Ranch Chicken Quinoa Bowls

Delicious BBQ ranch chicken quinoa bowls loaded with black beans, crunchy red cabbage, sweet corn, tomato, onion, jalapeño, avocado and your choice of creamy ranch dressing. The BBQ chicken for these healthy chicken quinoa bowls can be made in the slow cooker or grilled for the perfect meal prep dinner or lunch!

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
3 hours
Total Time
3 hours 15 mins

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If you’re looking for a healthy meal prep lunch or dinner that’s easy, delicious, nourishing, protein-packed and full of flavor… like always, I’ve got you.

I started making these BBQ chicken quinoa bowls as an easy dinner when Sidney was a newborn. They remind me of Panera’s BBQ chicken salad with southwest flavors, bbq sauce and a simple ranch dressing. Just throw the chicken in the slow cooker (or pop in on the grill), cook your quinoa in 15 minutes, chop your veggies while the quinoa cooks, and that’s it! Dinner is served.

Bonus: you can use any ranch dressing you’d like or try my go-to greek yogurt ranch that’s filled with flavor and SO easy to make!

bbq chicken quinoa bowls with veggies and ranch dressing

Ingredients in BBQ chicken quinoa bowls

These easy & delicious BBQ chicken quinoa bowls are filled with a rainbow of veggies for tons of different flavors and textures. To make them you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast: options to grill or cook your chicken in the slow cooker below for ease! To keep them vegetarian, simply swap for tofu or chickpeas.
  • BBQ sauce: I like to use a low sugar BBQ sauce and love Stubb’s Spicy or Primal Kitchen’s Mango Habanero. These are other great ones from Primal Kitchen!
  • Quinoa: add a boost of protein from one of my favorite grains. You can also use regular, brown or cauliflower rice if you’d like.
  • Black beans: the beans add plenty of fiber and protein to these bowls and give them that burrito bowl flavor.
  • Veggies: these bowls are packed with a true rainbow of veggies. I like to add shredded red cabbage for crunch, sweet corn cut off the cob (or thaw some from frozen), red onion for some zing, juicy roma tomatoes and a kick of heat from jalapeño. Don’t forget to top your bowls with creamy avocado!
  • Ranch: feel free to drizzle with your favorite ranch, or try my greek yogurt ranch or chipotle ranch!
  • To garnish: for additional freshness, I like to add chopped cilantro & scallions on top.

two healthy chicken quinoa bowls with beans, avocado, corn and cabbage

Two ways to cook your BBQ chicken

See below for simple ways to cook your BBQ chicken, and be sure to check out all of our go-to ways to cook chicken here!

  1. Slow cooker chicken: Place chicken and BBQ sauce in a slow cooker and stir so the BBQ sauce coats the chicken. Cook on high for 2.5-3 hours. Then remove chicken from the slow cooker, shred with two forks and then place back in the slow cooker, stir and turn the heat to warm until you are ready to serve.
  2. Grill your chicken: marinate chicken in a bowl with BBQ sauce for 1 hour, then grill chicken over medium high heat for 6-9 minutes per side, or until the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Remove from grill and allow chicken to sit for 5 minutes to retain juices, then cut into strips or dice into bite sized pieces.

BBQ chicken quinoa bowls with veggies and drizzled with ranch dressing

How to cook the best fluffy quinoa

Remember to get all of our best tips & tricks for cooking quinoa here! For the basics:

  1. Use a 1:2 ratio for quinoa to liquid. In this recipe, you’ll cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water, which will make about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
  2. Bring the water to a boil then stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for exactly 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and let stand covered for another 5-10 minutes.
  3. Quinoa will pop upon cooking and expand. To help separate the grains, use a fork and fluff the quinoa.

healthy chicken quinoa bowl with veggies and ranch dressing

Customize your BBQ chicken quinoa bowls

BBQ ranch chicken quinoa bowl with avocado, cabbage, corn, tomato and black beans

Storing tips

I recommend storing the chicken, quinoa, veggies & ranch dressing separately in airtight containers in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your bowl and enjoy it. That way everything stays nice and fresh!

More ways to use this BBQ chicken

If you make these healthy chicken quinoa bowls, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram. We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below and rate the recipe. We appreciate you! xo.

BBQ Ranch Chicken Quinoa Bowls

5 from 32 votes
bbq chicken quinoa bowl with avocado, black beans, corn and cabbage
Course Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nut Free
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq chicken quinoa bowls, chicken quinoa bowls
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Serves 4

Delicious BBQ ranch chicken quinoa bowls loaded with black beans, crunchy red cabbage, sweet corn, tomato, onion, jalapeño, avocado and your choice of creamy ranch dressing. The BBQ chicken for these healthy chicken quinoa bowls can be made in the slow cooker or grilled for the perfect meal prep dinner or lunch!

Ingredients

  • For the slow cooker:
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup low sugar BBQ sauce (I love Stubb’s spicy or Primal Kitchen Mango Habanero)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup water if you have a thicker bbq sauce
  • For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • For the bowls:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup sweet corn (can use fresh or frozen but I love it off the cob)
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced or sliced
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 batch healthy greek yogurt ranch (or ranch of choice)
  • To garnish:
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Scallions

Instructions

  1. SLOW COOKER CHICKEN: Place chicken and BBQ sauce in a slow cooker and stir so the BBQ sauce coats the chicken. Cook on high for 2.5-3 hours. Then remove chicken from the slow cooker, shred with two forks and then place back in the slow cooker, stir and turn the heat to warm until you are ready to serve.

  2. TO GRILL CHICKEN: marinate chicken in a bowl with BBQ sauce for 1 hour, then grill chicken over medium high heat for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Remove from grill and allow chicken to sit for 5 minutes to retain juices, then cut into strips or dice into bite sized pieces.

  3. Once chicken is done cooking or close to it, you can cook your quinoa: add water and quinoa to a medium pot and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Once quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and place the lid back on to allow the quinoa to stay warm and steam in the pot for 10 more minutes while you chop your veggies and make the greek yogurt ranch dressing (or feel free to use store bought ranch).
  4. To prepare bowls: add about ¾ cup quinoa to each bowl, top with about ⅓ cup black beans, ½ cup shredded cabbage, ¼ cup corn, 1 tablespoon diced red onion, diced roma tomatoes, a few sliced jalapenos and avocado. Drizzle the bowls with 1-2 tablespoons ranch dressing. Garnish with fresh cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

See the full post for easy ways to customize your BBQ chicken quinoa bowls!

Nutrition
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 bowl with all toppings
Calories: 551kcal
Fat: 11.7g
Saturated fat: 1.5g
Carbohydrates: 77.2g
Fiber: 14.2g
Sugar: 16.5g
Protein: 37.5g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on July 21, 2020, and republished on March 8th, 2022.

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