This Mediterranean grain bowl is a fast, easy, super satisfying meal that can double as lunch or dinner on a busy week. It’s packed with good-for-you ingredients and is so flexible, it will keep the whole family happy.
These bowls were inspired by my love for CAVA. Have you ever been to a CAVA? It’s a fast-casual chain where you build your own Mediterranean grain bowl. It’s a simple concept, but what makes their bowls so incredibly satisfying is the toppings. It’s all about the toppings.
The wonder of the grain bowl
We are a big fan of grain bowls, and if you follow me on instagram, you’ll see a lot of them in our meal rotation. There are a few reasons I love grain bowls:
- They are a blank canvas for almost any flavor you are in the mood for. You can make Italian-inspired bowls, Asian-style bowls, Mexican-style bowls (hello taco and burrito bowls!), and more.
- They move well between seasons — in the summer you might crave a lighter, cold grain bowl, wherein the winter you can make it heartier.
- They’re the perfect balanced meal all in one bowl. There’s something about a one bowl meal that makes this busy mama have all the heart eyes.
- They are flexible. You can switch out the grain, veggies, protein, or sauce. You can add different toppings. Basically you can make it your own once you have the basic template down.
- Because they are so flexible, I always have what I need to make a delicious grain bowl in my pantry and fridge. It’s truly the best in-a-pinch kinda meal.
- They work for lunch or dinner (or even breakfast!).
Mediterranean Grain Bowl Basics
Here’s what you need to make this Mediterranean grain bowl with chicken. You’ll notice in the recipe that I don’t give exact amounts of some of the toppings — that’s because it’s totally up to you!
- Farro or another whole grain. Almost any whole grain works well here. I personally recommend brown rice or whole wheat pearl couscous if you want to switch it up.
- Some greens: baby spinach, arugula, baby kale, or any salad greens you prefer.
- A protein of choice. I share grilled chicken here but you can make it vegetarian with chickpeas or falafel. Grilled salmon works well, too.
- As many toppings as you like. The ones I list her are my favorites, but you can mix and match almost any Mediterranean-style dips (babaganoush would be delicious), other fresh vegetables, or other Mediterranean toppings like kalamata olives.
- Tomato and cucumber salad
- Sliced red bell peppers
- Pickled onions
- Feta cheese
- Dressing. This recipe calls for a squeeze of lemon and olive oil because the dips add so much flavor and act as a dressing. But you can also use a lemon tahini dressing like this one or some red wine vinegar.
Want more grain bowl ideas? Here’s a basic formula for making a grain bowl you’re going to love!
Ways to repurpose leftovers
Make your life easy by making extra of each ingredient and the serving it in different ways.
- Turn the bowl into a chicken gryo. Grab some pita. Spread your dips, and fill it up with chicken, spinach, and any toppings you like. Use this recipe as a guide.
- Make farro salad with spinach, chopped tomatoes, and a lemon vinaigrette.
- Use the dips on a snack platter.
- Use leftover chicken to make a chicken salad or serve on a salad for a lighter meal.
If you love this bowl, you’ll also love:
Did you make this Mediterranean grain bowl with chicken?
Leave a comment letting me know what you thought about it and rate it in the recipe card below! Save it to your Pinterest board so you can find it later, and don’t forget to share a picture of your creation on instagram and tag me (@busy.mom.nutrition). I love seeing what you’re up to!
- 1 lb chicken thighs or breasts
- 3 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup diced English cucumber
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Optional: chopped fresh dill, mint, or basil
For the bowls
- 1 cup dry farro (I recommend 10-minute farro)
- 4 cups baby spinach
- Sliced bell pepper (optional)
- Quick pickled onions (optional). See notes for recipe link.
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 1/2 cup tzatziki (store bought or see notes for link to recipe)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Optional: fresh chopped herbs like dill, parsley, basil, or mint
- Optional: lemon wedges for serving
- Marinate the chicken. Mix together all dressing ingredients. Add chicken, mixing it around with the marinade. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. This can be done up to 24 hours in advance (store in fridge).
- Cook the farro. This can also be done ahead.
- Make the salad. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion to a bowl. Toss with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. This can be done up to 24 hours in advance as well. Store in the fridge.
- Cook the chicken. Grill, bake, or sauté - whatever you prefer. When it’s done, slice into strips for the bowls.
- Assemble the bowls. Start with baby spinach and farro. Top with chicken, salad, peppers and onions (if using), and finish with a spoonful of each dip. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.
1. Save leftovers in separate container and repurpose into other meals as noted in the blog post.
2. You can find recipes for both the tzatziki and pickled onions in this post.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 683Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 741mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 11gProtein: 41g