Ever look in the fridge and have food left over from other recipes that you don’t know what to do with? Making a “vegeta-bowl” dinner using the veggies you have on hand is quick and easy. Bowls are also the perfect way to combine mismatched leftovers and create a delicious dinner your whole family will love.
Dinner bowls can be as quick as you want to make them. If you use leftovers that are already cooked, you can throw one together in the microwave in about 5 minutes. No leftovers? No problem. All you really need to do is put ingredients together that taste good. Even with ingredients, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. And forget the messy cleanup! You can cook the protein and vegetables in the same pan. Serve over rice or pasta and you’re ready for dinner!
What Makes a “Dinner Bowl”
In order to create a tasty, healthy bowl for your family, choose at least one ingredient from each of the following categories.
- Whole grain: These provide lots of fiber to keep you full for hours.
- Brown Rice
- Pasta (spirals or bowties work great, but any shape will do!)
- Lean Protein: Protein helps keep you full and strong.
- Chicken (boneless, skinless)
- Ground beef (look for lean 90/10 or 93/7)
- Beans: black, pinto, chickpeas
- Vegetables: Veggies make a great base for your bowl, meaning having more of them than anything else. Add them to the bowl first, then use all other ingredients as toppings. This has all of the vitamins and minerals your family needs to stay healthy. Fresh, frozen, and canned options all count!!
- Bell peppers
- Cauliflower or riced cauliflower (find it in the freezer section)
- Riced cauliflower (found in the freezer section, this mixed well with rice when you need to be a sneaky chef and hide veggies from picky eaters)
You can choose from these options or try out any others you might have on hand. When it comes to bowl dinners, the options really are endless! Try seasoning your bowls with dried herbs and spices you have in the cabinet to change it up and add a different flavor. We love cumin and chili powder for a Mexican flair, or basil, oregano and parsley for an Italian bowl.
Also, try adding toppings to spruce things up. Chili sauces like sriracha and reduced-sodium soy sauce can bring a twist to your meal! Non-fat Greek yogurt, guacamole, and salsa also make great toppers.
Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started!
Not ready to make your own bowl yet? Here are a few of our favorites to get your juices flowing!
- Adobo Chicken Bowl
- This veggie-filled bowl brings all the flavor of the popular “burrito bowl” and is ready to go in under 30 minutes.
- Sweet and Sour Chicken Bowl
- This delicious bowl puts a twist on a takeout classic. This dish can be served warm or cold making it great for quick leftovers.
- Moroccan Apricot Chicken Bowl
- If you’re looking for new flavors, this bowl is a must-try! Cleanup is also a breeze since it only uses one pot to cook.
- Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Bowls
- Summer is the perfect time to make this fresh and flavorful recipe. Pair it with chips and salsa for even more tasty veggies!
Whatever ingredients and flavors you choose, your dinner bowl is sure to save you time and get a hearty, healthy meal on the table quickly. Let us know what quick combinations you came up with and how they turned out!