Main Dish Recipes

Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Rice Bowls with Guacamole and Ranch

September 11, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, we went on a little picnic to the Duke Gardens.

Which are amazingly beautiful. When we came in April for Blue Devil Weekend, we had a Sunday afternoon lunch with Bart’s assigned Fuqua buddy and her boyfriend, which was delightful. The weather was perfect, Ani slept in her stroller almost the entire time, and the food was amazing.

This time, there were no sleeping babies, but the weather, the food and the company were all equally stellar.

(You wanted to see pictures of my children before we got to the food, right? I thought as much. Too bad. I’m showing them anyway).

Right. On to the food.

So, I’d seen this amazing looking recipe for rice bowls on Half-Baked Harvest, but we had no grill. I figured I’d roast the vegetables instead.

And then I didn’t have any blue cheese (because I’d looked at the blue cheese at the grocery store and thought, “more expensive than I’m willing to pay”) but I did have queso fresco.

And when I was pulling out my vegetables, I noticed half a red onion in the fridge, which seemed like it was begging to be included.

And I thought, “maybe some smoky flavor would help these out since I’m not grilling.” On went the chipotle chile powder (leftover from when I made these hummus tacos).

And then I realized, “You know this could really use a dressing” because if there is one thing that I’ve learned about Bart in eight years of marriage, it is that he loves sauce in every kind of food you can imagine.

I prepped everything, packed it up, and we went on our merry picnicking way. I hoped it’d all turn out well because if not, we were going to feel preeeeetty jealous of all the people in our group who brought Wendy’s or pizza.

But, behold, we were not at all jealous. We had second helpings of ours, instead, because it was so ridiculously good.

(By the way, obviously when we took these on a picnic, they’d sat in their containers for about an hour by the time we ate them. The next time I made them, they weren’t QUITE as good when we ate them right out of the oven, but the next day, they were JUST as good. So, if you can, roast the vegetables about an hour before you serve them so they have time to sit afterward. If not, no worries; just a tip)

Serves 4-6


Vegetables and Chicken:
1-2 chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1 red pepper, seeds removed and sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 zucchini, halved and sliced
1/2 yellow squash, halved and sliced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (depending on how spicy you like things)
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Rice and Toppings:
3 cups cooked jasmine rice (I used brown)
2 tomatoes, diced (or 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
Guacamole
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
Ranch dressing


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, then spread the chicken and vegetables across the sheet and drizzle with olive oil (I usually use my hands to mix it all around so things are evenly coated). Sprinkle with garlic salt, chile powder, dried basil, and add a bit of salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

Roast for 25-40 minutes, or until your vegetables are browning in spots, and the chicken is cooked through. Let sit for 10-15 minutes (or an hour, if you can swing it), then dice chicken and salt and pepper everything to taste.

Serve the vegetables and chicken over the rice, then top with fresh tomatoes, guacamole, crumbled queso fresco, and ranch dressing.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Kimberly F. September 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Oh Janssen. We *always* want to see pictures of your children. How is it even possible they are so darling?

  • Reply Stephanie September 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    HOW did you transport that to a picnic?! I don't think I have those life skills. Yesterday I brought salad and chicken and hummus in a container to scarf down (I mean eat) between classes (grad school, man) and, while it was delicious, it was not pretty looking.

    It makes me smile to see how you sub and add and make recipes your own.

  • Reply Stephanie September 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    HOW did you transport that to a picnic?! I don't think I have those life skills. Yesterday I brought salad and chicken and hummus in a container to scarf down (I mean eat) between classes (grad school, man) and, while it was delicious, it was not pretty looking.

    It makes me smile to see how you sub and add and make recipes your own.

  • Reply Morris September 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    This is definitely going on the menu next week. Thanks for the inspiration. It will even be perfect to go in my husbands lunch the next day.

  • Reply Katie September 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I am so going to make this for dinner tonight! I'll probably sub butternut squash, because I have it on hand, but other than that, I have all of the other ingredients. It looks delicious!

  • Reply authorcaitlinjacobs.com September 12, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Oh man, this looks AMAZING! Happily, I think I can even find most of the ingredients – at least, the important ones (I just moved to China and things are a little tricky food-wise over here). This is going on the menu for sure, especially since I finally found somewhere where I feel safe buying chicken so we can finally eat meat again. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Allison October 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    made this – loved it!

  • Reply Katie February 21, 2014 at 1:38 am

    I made this for dinner again tonight, and just had to share what I used. For the roasted veggies I used broccoli, brussels sprouts, onion, and leek. It was so delicious! My husband loved it too!

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