BBQ Chicken Grain Bowl

Today I had square pizza for lunch. Yes, I’m talking about cafeteria pizza that you get in elementary school.  As a kiddo it brought me tremendous joy to walk through the food line and carry a square slice back to my table. It was typically the only time that I ate school lunch, and looking back I’m so grateful for all of the fresh homemade meals that my parents put into my lunchbox each week.   I opened my lunchbox each day and enjoyed sandwiches ranging from pb&j to ham and cheese with snacks from carrots to grapes and treats like ladyfingers or the occasional oreo. This required some true #mealprep and set a high bar for the meals that I now prepare myself.

bbq chicken grain bowl meal prep lunches make ahead brussels carrots red cabbage

Typically for lunch I’ll make myself a salad or I’ll pack up some leftovers from the night before.  But recently I’ve been getting more and more excited about grain bowls after being inspired by the Sweet Peas and Saffron blog. Her site is filled with mouthwatering recipes and ideas and it was because of her that I set out to prep this dish.

A bit more research led me to Food 52 and their article on how to make a grain bowl without a recipe.  Their key premise is that you need a grain, a protein, a veggie, and a dressing.  They note that you are allowed to use spinach as a veggie but “be careful not to add too many leaves here, lest you end up with a salad.”

chipotle chicken burrito bowls farro meal prep_4

Previously I’ve made a chipotle burrito bowl and I am so excited to have this new BBQ Chicken Grain Bowl in the mix.  The dish was filled with roasted brussels sprouts, shredded carrots, red cabbage, and grilled bbq chicken and topped with a garlic barbeque dressing. The flavors were strong and it was a notably filling and fresh lunch.

BBQ Chicken Grain Bowl

  • Servings: 3
  • Print

A hearty and versatile egg bake that is a great addition to a brunch table or can be made ahead as a morning grab-and-go breakfast option!


  • 3 chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
  • 3/4 cup of bbq sauce
  • 1 cup of farro (dried)
  • 1/2 bullion cube
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts (about 18)
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 1/4 red cabbage grated

Steps & Notes

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Marinate the chicken for 1 hour in BBQ sauce in the fridge
  3. Dissolve the bullion cube into the water and bring to a boil. Add the farro and cook for 20-25 minutes until tender
  4. Trim the end off of the brussels sprouts and cut them in half.
  5. Place them onto a baking sheet face down and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Grill the marinated chicken breasts for about 12 minutes per side (depending on thickness) until the internal temperature is 165.
  7. Once the chicken is fully cooked set aside. Pour the remaining marinade sauce into a food processor and mix with 1 garlic clove and a 1/4 cup of water.
  8. Cook the sauce in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes until it comes to a quick simmer. Then, remove from the heat and let cool.
  9. Layer each bowl with cooked farro, roasted brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, and chicken. When eating drizzle with some of the bbq dressing.


Possible Modifications

  • Alter the dressing to be a lemon mustard, tahini, sesame, soy, or chipotle variation.
  • Adjust the protein to be fish, steak or portobello mushroom
  • Use veggies such as roasted sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli, or cauliflower rice




  1. Love the idea of a bowl that’s healthy but not quiet at the salad stage 😄


  2. […] In my efforts to meal prep I have a special place in my food notebook for dishes that will make, store, and pack well for lunch.  While my low-prep go-to is a spinach salad with some hard boiled eggs and assorted veggies, I also appreciate changing that up every now and then.  Some of my favorite stand-out lunches have included chipotle chicken burrito bowls, curried lentils, and a BBQ chicken grain bowl.   […]


  3. […] looking forward to adding more new lunch creations this fall. For now I’m happy to share a few grain bowls, some cold soba noodles, and a curried chicken salad (which drastically needs a photo update – […]


  4. Delicious…


  5. […] the course of almost 200 recipes I’ve built a battery of weeknight dishes, learned how to prepare healthy lunches for the week, experimented with the instant pot, and become more and more comfortable […]


  6. […] Favorite lunch dish – BBQ Chicken Grain Bowl! […]


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