Mediterranean chicken meal prep bowls are a tasty way to stay on track and eat a nutritious, flavorful lunch. A few minutes of planning ahead and you will have a week’s worth of lunches ready for the work week.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
Dedicating a few extra minutes on weekends to set up your meals for the week is time well spent. Whether it be lunches, dinners or both – chicken with Mediterranean vegetables is a healthy and nutritious choice.
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Why you should make this recipe
- Make ahead – This recipe is designed to be made ahead, giving you easy lunches for the week.
- Fast & Easy – A bit of light chopping, cooking a handful of chicken breasts and blending up a tasty dressing is all that is required to assemble these meal prep bowls.
- Versatile – You can easily swap out ingredients, increase or decrease quantities to suit your needs and preferences.
Chicken meal prep ideas
You probably had chicken for dinner at least one night this week, right? So, why not cook extra and make a few Mediterranean lunch recipes to set yourself up for the week ahead.
Focused on lean protein, leafy greens and vegetables, this is a tasty lunch that is also good for you.
Vegetarians can leave out the chicken and make a chickpea lunch bowl and still get protein, vegetables and greens.
No matter what you substitute, as long as you are keeping it in the Mediterranean diet lane, you’re in for a nutrient-dense and delicious lunch.
- Baby spinach – Swap out for any green that you prefer
- Grape tomatoes – I like to use these tiny tomatoes so I can either leave them whole or cut them in half.
- English cucumber – This cucumber is long and thin, the skin is thinner than a regular cucumber and it is sweeter.
- Feta cheese – Buy a block of cheese and crumble it yourself, it tastes better.
- Kalamata olives – Look for pitted olives that you can toss right into your chicken meal prep bowl.
- Bell peppers – Any color will do, I don’t care for green peppers, so I opt for red, yellow or orange.
- Grilled chicken – Make as much or as little as you need for 5 servings.
How to make
- Toss chickpeas with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast in the oven.
- While the chickpeas are in the oven, make the tahini dressing and portion into cups.
- Add spinach, chicken, cheese, vegetables, and cooled chickpeas to the containers.
- Secure the lids and refrigerate.
Mediterranean Meal Prep
Stocking up on fresh vegetables and staples like chickpeas and lean proteins make meal prep a breeze.
As long as your meal prep lunches are focused on leafy greens, lean proteins, fresh vegetables and a whole grain, you can’t go wrong. This Mediterranean bowl recipe has a scoop of quinoa, which bumps up the protein in this healthy meal.
If you aren’t a fan of feta, substitute it for something you like. Ricotta salata is a crumbly cheese similar to feta but milder in flavor. Not an olive lover? Leave them off.
Roasted chickpeas are crunchy and delicious when they are warm. After they’ve cooled, they are chewy and nutty which gives great texture to this salad.
Chicken meal prep Q&A
Many store brands of tahini can be bitter. This brand of tahini is not bitter and it is one that I recommend.
If you have a different brand of tahini and you find it to be bitter, add a tablespoon of agave or honey to your dressing.
Another option is to omit the lemon juice if you find the dressing too tart.
Absolutely. To make this even easier and quicker, use store-bought rotisserie chicken and add it to your bowls.
In general, lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Lean proteins like chicken and fish are favored over red meat. Whole grains like quinoa and brown rice are also a part of a healthy eating plan.
Meal prep lunch ideas
Mediterranean recipes are focused on leafy greens, lean proteins and whole grains.
With a little planning and a little time spent prepping, you can stay on track and weekday meals become one less thing to worry about. Personally, I can attest to this. When I don’t have a plan, I stand in front of the fridge and scrounge for whatever I can find.
Finding a way to work these foods into your routine is the key to eating nutrient-dense meals, at least most of the time. Because, let’s face it, none of us are perfect and life can get hectic.
By having a stash of fresh vegetables and lean proteins in the fridge, you are already ahead of the game.
Variations and substitutions
- Swap out the grilled chicken for chicken meatballs. Make a double batch to make meal prep easier and freeze what you don’t need for next time.
- Trade chicken for lamb – these Mediterranean meal prep lamb meatballs are a favorite in our house.
- Swap feta cheese for another crumbly cheese, like ricotta salata, if you prefer.
If you are looking for a few Mediterranean lunch recipes to help get you through the work week, this link has everything from fish to salads to grains and everything in between. There are lots of delicious and healthy weekday lunches to help keep you on track.
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For the Bowls
- 10 cups baby spinach
- 2 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup English cucumber, diced
- 5 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup yellow/red bell peppers, diced
- 20 ounces grilled chicken, thinly sliced
- Roasted chickpeas (recipe below)
- 4 tbsp. tahini
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 5 tbsp. water, more or less to achieve desired consistency
- salt and pepper to taste
- 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
Make Roasted Chickpeas
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20 - 30 minutes, until crunchy. Set aside to cool.
Make Tahini Dressing
- Combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk until smooth. You may want to add more or less water depending on how thick you'd like the dressing. Portion dressing into cups and set aside.
- Place a handful of spinach in each of the 5 containers. Top with 4 - 5 tomatoes, diced cucumber, 1 ounce feta, 1/4 cup roasted chickpeas, 4 olives, approximately 5 ounces of grilled chicken and some bell pepper.
- Add a dressing cup to each container, put the lid on and refrigerate.
- Lunches are DONE!
For the tahini dressing
Some brands of tahini can be bitter. I've provided links to the brands that I use.
If the flavor of raw garlic is too sharp for you, consider using roasted garlic instead, or sauté the garlic for a few minutes just to take the bite out of it.
If you need a little sweetness with your dressing, add a tablespoon of honey.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 468Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 968mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 47g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 8/6/2019
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