Healthy Mediterranean Grain Bowl

This Mediterranean grain bowl is a staple in our household, my go-to meal whenever I don’t feel like looking up new recipes for the week. It’s just a meal that feels fresh and healthy – with the anti-oxidants from the veggies, fiber from the quinoa and beans, and healthy fats from the olive oil and chopped walnuts. 

A close-up of a Mediterranean grain bowl on a cutting board.

Plus, it stores really well in the fridge and can be meal prepped in advance (it’s gluten-free as well). 

Reasons to Try This Mediterranean Grain Bowl

  • Full of fiber: Fiber is one nutrient often lacking in most diets – and this dish has 8 grams per one serving.
  • High in protein: This recipe contains 30 grams of protein, for meal satiation and satisfaction.
  • Simple flavors with crunch and texture: The flavor profile is simple, and the texture of this dish is perfection. The cucumbers and walnuts add a delicious crunch with the soft quinoa. 
  • Well-balanced meal with lots of veggies, protein, whole grains and healthy fats! All the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. 
Ingredients for the Mediterranean Grain Bowl all lined up and measured out.

INGREDIENTS

  • Raw Quinoa (one cup): Quinoa is a healthy whole grain that is also considered a “complete” protein. You could also substitute with rice, farro, barley. 
  • Red Onion (1/2 cup, diced).
  • Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas, rinsed (15.5 oz. can)
  • Chicken Breast (1/2 pound): Lean chicken breast increases the protein content of this bowl, however, salmon would make a great substitute. I ensure the chicken is cut thinly for faster cooking. Omit the chicken, and add some hemp hearts for a vegetarian option.
  • Cucumber (one whole cucumber).
  • Red Bell Pepper (two whole peppers).
  • Chopped walnuts (1/2 cup): the walnuts add nice texture and crunch to this dish, while also being high in healthy fats including the omega-3 fatty acids alpha-linoleic acid.  
  • Feta Cheese (~1/2 cup). 
  • Olive oil and vinegar: Any olive oil based dressing would work with this recipe – I have used Greek and Italian dressing and it’s delicious. 

How to Make This Mediterranean Grain Bowl

A filling, healthy, delicious grain bowl that you won’t be able to get enough of! This recipe makes about 4-5 servings. It works well for meal prepping – I love to eat the leftovers for lunch. 

Feel free to adjust or customize to your preferences, and check out my suggestions under recipe tips. 

Birdseye view of Mediterranean grain bowl on a cutting board.

Assemble all ingredients along with a cutting board, knife, pot for cooking the quinoa and pan to roast the chicken. I love using this vegetable chopper to ensure all the veggies are in small, bite-sized pieces! Season the chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Cook quinoa according to package directions.

While quinoa is cooking, heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil or avocado spray to the pan, and sear the chicken breast on both sides until cooked through. This should be about 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken.

As the chicken and quinoa are cooking, use the vegetable chopped to dice red onion, cucumber, and red bell pepper. The bell peppers could also be chopped and cooked at the same time with the chicken, if you prefer.

Make the dressing: measure 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Whisk until combined.

Assemble the bowl: Place about a 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa in a bowl and top with diced chicken breast, red onion, cucumber, bell pepper, feta cheese, chickpeas and chopped walnuts. Drizzle 1/4th of the dressing over the bowl and combine. 

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Mediterranean grain bowl in a bowl, with everything combined and a forkful of it.

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Recipe Tips:

  • Add olives for even more flavor.
  • Change the vegetables: artichokes, zucchini, or squash would work well in this dish.
  • To make this recipe easier, use microwaveable rice or quinoa packets. Use frozen or already cooked chicken. Instead of making homemade dressing, drizzle with already prepared Greek or Italian dressing.
  • Substitute the chicken for salmon or tuna for even more benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Use this vegetable chopper, it’s a game-changer – for this recipe especially! You could even prep more veggies for additional meal prep for the week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Eat As Leftovers?

This meal makes great leftovers, and can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe due to the combination of raw and cooked ingredients.

Is This Recipe Gluten-Free?

Yes, this recipe IS gluten-free! 

What Makes This Grain Bowl So Healthy?

This recipe is based on the Mediterranean diet – which is one of the healthiest diets recommended by nutrition experts. It’s also been widely researched – the diet has the potential to decrease cardiovascular disease, risk of stroke, cognitive decline, inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease (1). 

The ingredients in this recipe promote a healthier lifestyle through fresh vegetables, whole grains with fiber, beans, lean quality protein, and healthy fats. 

A Mediterranean grain bowl in a large white bowl on a cutting board.

Healthy Mediterranean Grain Bowl

Alex Evink, MS, RD
This healthy, delicious Mediterranean grain bowl makes the perfect well-balanced meal, packed with lean quality protein, fiber, anti-oxidants, and healthy fats. The combination of the crunch from the raw vegetables to the texture of the chopped walnuts, with the tangy dressing just makes this dish feel tasty and fresh. {Gluten-Free}
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 4 servings
Calories 472 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Bowl

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked (or 3 cups cooked)
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 large cucumber, diced small
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced small
  • 1/2-1 lb. chicken breast, raw – diced into pieces
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Instructions
 

  • Assemble all ingredients along with a cutting board, knife, pot for cooking the quinoa and pan to roast the chicken.
    I love using this vegetable chopper to ensure all the veggies are in small, bite-sized pieces!
  • Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  • While quinoa is cooking, heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil or avocado spray to the pan, and sear the chicken breast on both sides until cooked through.
    This should be about 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken.
  • As the chicken and quinoa are cooking, use the vegetable chopped to dice red onion, cucumber, and red bell pepper.
    The bell peppers could also be chopped and cooked at the same time with the chicken, if you prefer.

Make the Dressing

  • Measure 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Whisk until combined.

Assemble the Bowls

  • Divide the ingredients evenly across 4 bowls, or add to large bowl and combine.
    Place about a 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa in a bowl and top with diced chicken breast, red onion, cucumber, bell pepper, feta cheese, chickpeas and chopped walnuts. Drizzle 1/4th of the dressing over the bowl and combine. 

Notes

  • You only need a drizzle of this dressing for all the flavor.
  • This recipe is a great leftover lunch. 
  • If you’re a busy mom and looking for shortcuts, I recommend microwaveable rice or quinoa pouches, already cooked or frozen chicken, or using store-bought Italian or Greek dressing!
  • For a lower calorie option, use 1/2-3/4 pound of chicken. 
Nutrition facts are an estimation, and individual ingredients and preparation can cause discrepancies. 
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving  
Calories 472
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17.5g 22%
Saturated Fat 4.2g 21%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 500mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 44.4g 16%
Dietary Fiber 7.6g 27%
Total Sugars 5.3g  
Protein 33.8g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 173mg 13%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 932mg 20%
Keyword 30-minute meal, Mediterranean Diet Recipe, Quinoa Bowl

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this absolutely delicious and healthy Mediterranean grain bowl! If you try it, please rate and review.

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