Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl – Skinnytaste

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This quick and easy high-protein Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl is perfect for lunch or dinner for my gluten-free, dairy-free friends!

Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl

I whipped up this healthy Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl for dinner the other night, and my family loved them, so I had to share. They’re like coconut curry chicken but without the red curry paste, which you can certainly add! They’re made with lean chicken breast, canned coconut milk, and spices served over jasmine or basmati rice, and I served them with some fresh cucumbers to make it a meal. I hope you enjoy them! More healthy dinner ideas like this, try these Chicken Brown Rice Bowls or these Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowls.

Why I love these Chicken Rice Bowls!

gina homolka headshot in kitchenMy oldest daughter Karina and my husband Tommy really love when I make this, and I love how easy it is! I aim to get around 120 grams of protein per day, so these bowls at 40 grams of protein per serving are perfect for dinner, or to meal prep for lunch. And if you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, even better!  Here’s a few more reasons to love it…

  • High Protein: Each serving has 40 grams of protein, which is really filling!
  • Good for Many Dietary Restrictions: This healthy chicken rice bowl recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: This meal supports overall health and well-being with anti-inflammatory ingredients like onion, garlic, ginger, and coconut milk.
  • Quick and Easy: These bowls come together quickly, as the sauce only takes about 5 minutes to simmer.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep: Make them in advance and reheat them in the microwave for a fast dinner.
Coconut Chicken in skillet

Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe, and substitutions. Find the complete coconut chicken rice bowl recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl Ingredients

  • Chicken: Skinless chicken breasts are diced as a lean protein option, but chicken thighs would also work.
  • Seasoning: I used smoked paprika, and dried oregano (or you can use a dried herb blend) over the chicken. If you want more flavor, add some turmeric, or Thai red curry paste.
  • Aromatics: Onions and garlic, for flavor.
  • Fresh Ginger: Depending on how much you love ginger, use anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon. We are divided in my house so I usually use less, then add more to my plate.
  • Liquid: The base of the sauce is chicken broth and light coconut milk. Using light coconut milk reduces the calories while keeping the sauce creamy and dairy-free.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds flavor and sweetness, which makes this coconut sauce resemble a coconut curry.
  • Salt brings the flavors together.
  • Cilantro: Garnish the bowls with fresh cilantro. You can also use scallions.
  • Rice: I like these bowls with basmati or jasmine rice the best. For a simple way to cook rice, check out my Instant Pot rice instructions.

How to Make Coconut Chicken Rice Bowls

Here’s the step-by-step photos and directions to make this easy chicken dish:

  1. Season the diced chicken breast with salt, paprika, and dried herbs.
  2. Cook the chicken in a large skillet over high heat. Remove the chicken, decrease the heat, and spray the pan with oil.
  3. Sauce: Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger for 1 minute. Then, add the broth to deglaze the pan. Simmer for a minute, then add the tomato paste, coconut milk, and salt.
  4. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes to thicken. Add the chicken with any juices and cook on medium heat for a few minutes.
  5. Assemble the Rice Bowls: Serve the chicken and coconut sauce over rice, garnishing with cilantro and a drizzle of coconut milk, if desired.

What to Serve with Chicken Rice Bowls

These high-protein chicken rice bowls are very filling, but if you’d like to eat them with a vegetable, here are a few ideas:

How to Meal Prep Rice Bowls

These easy chicken rice bowls are great for meal prep since they reheat so well.

  1. Prep the coconut chicken and rice the day before eating.
  2. To heat, fill your bowl with rice and chicken and microwave until warm.
  3. You can also pre-assemble the bowls in food-storage containers to take to work.


Leftover chicken and rice will last for four days in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl

More Chicken Breast Recipes You’ll Love

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Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup chicken, 3/4 cup rice

  • Season the chicken with salt, paprika and dried herbs.

  • Preheat a large skillet over high and spray with oil then brown the chicken in an even layer, 3-5 minutes.

  • Once browned, remove the chicken, reduce heat and spray with more oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and cook 1 minute, then add the broth to deglaze the pan.

  • Simmer about 1 minute then add in the tomato paste, coconut milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  • Bring the sauce to a simmer for a few minutes to thicken, add the chicken back along with any juices and cook on medium heat 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with cilantro and drizzle with more coconut milk, if desired.

Last Step:

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  • Chicken: Swap chicken breasts with thighs.
  • Protein: Try with tofu or shrimp, adjusting cooking time as needed.
  • Vegetarian Coconut Rice Bowls: Omit the chicken, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, and add some tofu, and veggies like broccoli, bell pepper, and snap peas.
  • Curry: Add red curry paste for a coconut curry.
  • Don’t like cilantro? Skip it or swap it with scallions.
  • Grains: Serve the coconut chicken over another type of grain, like quinoa or brown rice.

Serving: 1 cup chicken, 3/4 cup rice, Calories: 429 kcal, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Protein: 40 g, Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 124 mg, Sodium: 562 mg, Fiber: 1.5 g, Sugar: 4 g


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