This High Protein Chicken Bowl is a nutrient-packed dish, including spicy chicken, savory sweet potatoes, black beans, and toasted pumpkin seeds. It’s drizzled with a cashew lime crema and will soon become one of your favorite go-to dishes for extra protein.
The older I get, the more I’ve come to learn how much I enjoy different textures and flavors in my food. There’s something about the variation in what I’m eating — that no bite is the same — that I really enjoy.
I like creamy with crunchy, hot with cold, chewy with sour. All of it.
It’s for that reason that I think I absolutely adore bowls. With a bowl, you can pile on all the things, but in a neat and orderly fashion. Are you kidding me? Yes, please!
This High Protein Chicken Bowl does just that. On top of all that, it’s loaded with healthy, lean proteins and fats, making it a well-balanced and satisfying meal.
How to Make a Cashew Lime Crema
So you read the title of this recipe and you can’t stop thinking about how delicious a cashew lime crema sounds, right? Knew it. The good news is that it’s super easy to make a cashew lime crema using just a few simple ingredients.
Here’s how you do it:
- Soak the cashews in boiling hot water for about an hour to soften them.
- Drain the cashews.
- Add all of the cashew cream ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Add enough milk to get desired smooth consistency.
See? You just blend those soaked cashews right on up in the food processor and they make a smooth, creamy texture that’s perfect for this crema. So easy to make a cashew lime crema that goes perfectly on top of this chicken protein bowl. Or over just about anything.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EATING PROTEIN?
This High Protein Chicken Bowl With Cashew Lime Crema ticks all the boxes, right? Scrumptious textures and tastes, and loads of healthy, good-for-you protein!
And you know, protein plays a critical part in the functioning of the body. It helps to structure and support cells, and aids in the transport of molecules throughout the body. These types of functions we aren’t really aware of, but some of the benefits of eating protein that we do see as we maintain a healthy lifestyle are:
- After a workout, protein helps to boost muscle building and increase muscle mass
- Protein helps to repair muscle in the event of an injury or overwork
- A protein-packed diet can help lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
- When your meal contains protein, you feel full and more satisfied
- Protein helps to refuel your body every day
Remember to balance your meals, though. A diet excessively high in protein can be hard on the liver and kidneys. That’s why it’s essential to round out every meal with complex carbs, nutrient-dense vegetables, and heart-healthy fats like avocado.
How to Make Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
I love the added crunch and flavor that the toasted pumpkin seeds add to this protein chicken bowl.
To make the pumpkin seeds, you’ll need raw pumpkin seeds (AKA pepitas) and then just a few ingredients. Toss it all together, lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then pop in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Be sure to watch them closely so they don’t burn.
I like to make extra so that I can store them and enjoy as a quick savory and crunchy snack, too!
TIPS FOR THE BEST HIGH PROTEIN CHICKEN BOWL
Now that you have added the High Protein Chicken Bowl With Cashew Lime Crema to your repertoire of favorite dishes, I bet you are going to want to have it often! Tips for ensuring this dish comes out perfect every time are:
- Although squash is lower in fiber and protein than sweet potato, you can still make the switch now and then if you want a variation. Both of them are high in vitamins A and C.
- In place of the brown rice, you can substitute quinoa as a wheat-free choice, or cauliflower rice if you are on a weight-loss regimen.
- When shopping for ingredients, make sure the avocado is not bruised. A ripe avocado is brown with just a hint of green remaining in the skin and yields just a bit to the touch.
- Buy fresh organic pumpkin seeds and roast them yourself. Over-roasting can change the healthy fat content in the seeds. Store them once roasted in an airtight container for up to two months.
- The raw cashews you need for the recipe can be bought in bulk and stored in the fridge for up to six months, or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a year.
How Much Protein is in this High Protein Chicken Bowl?
Okay, okay…so we have tasty pumpkin seeds, roasted sweet potatoes, spicy chicken, and a creamy cashew lime crema. How much protein is in this protein chicken bowl?
I’m so glad you asked 🙂
In a one bowl serving, there are a little over 20 grams of protein so you’re definitely getting a good amount in your meal, along with all the other goodness. The thing I love about this bowl is the many different forms of protein. You get protein from the beans, chicken, pepitas, cashews, and more, among all sorts of other nutrients and healthy fats.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN DOES CHICKEN HAVE?
One cooked chicken breast without the skin has over 50 grams of protein and less than 300 calories. So, it’s great, you see. Most of the calories found in chicken come from protein. That, along with the fact that it’s easy to cook and versatile in recipes, is why it’s the most popular protein out there. Chicken is lean and it contains iron, zinc, selenium, potassium, B vitamins, and much more.
Chicken thighs are higher in zinc and iron than breasts are, but have double the amount of fat. Wings have plenty of nutrients, too but are best kept as an occasional chicken choice.
Adding a skinless breast of poultry to the High Protein Chicken Bowl With Cashew Lime Crema is a sure-fire way to boost your recommended protein requirement for the day!
HOW TO ADD MORE PROTEIN TO THE HIGH PROTEIN CHICKEN BOWL
This delish dish is pretty protein-packed already but if you’d like to add extra protein or want to switch out an ingredient, consider these:
- Ground turkey
- Fish like salmon
- Nuts like almonds
- Kidney beans
- Goat cheese
- Feta cheese
How to Store this High Protein Chicken Bowl
I have been super into meal prep lately, especially since Dustin got me these sweet new glass meal prep containers for Christmas. There’s just something so fantastic about grabbing one of these chicken protein bowls from the fridge, ready to heat and enjoy.
Because there is avocado in the cashew lime crema, it won’t last very well in the fridge unless sealed in an airtight container. While it will taste fine, the avocado will get brown and won’t look very appealing. You can help to avoid this by laying a sheet of plastic wrap tightly over the top of the crema and storing it separately from the rest of the bowl, then drizzling it over the top when you’re ready to serve.
For the rest of the chicken protein bowl, you can store it easily in the meal prep container in the fridge for up to 4-6 days. To reheat, just remove the lid, and heat on high for 2 minutes in the microwave.
MORE HEALTHY HIGH PROTEIN CHICKEN RECIPES
If you are looking to make more yummy dishes with this super-healthy protein, try one of these recipes!
- Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
- One Pan Chicken Bruschetta
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cauliflower Curry
- 25-Minute Chicken Cauliflower Rice
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Healthy Chicken Meatballs With Sautéed Zucchini
This High Protein Chicken Bowl is a nutrient-packed dish, including spicy chicken, savory sweet potatoes, black beans, and toasted pumpkin seeds. It's drizzled with a cashew lime crema and will soon become one of your favorite go-to dishes for extra protein.
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup organic whole milk plus more as needed
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice (approx. 2 limes)
- 1/4 large avocado
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 sweet potatoes, diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups brown rice, uncooked
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (approx 1 lime)
- 4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), raw
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp lime juice (approx 1/2 lime)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
- 1/4 tsp granulated onion
- 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
Add the cashews into a small bowl and cover with the boiling water. Soak for 1 hour, then drain.
Add all of the cashew cream ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Add enough milk to get desired smooth consistency.
To make the cilantro lime brown rice, combine the brown rice, low sodium chicken broth, sea salt, and freshly squeezed lime juice in a deep stock pot and bring to a simmer.
Cook until the liquid is completely absorbed by the rice and the rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Then, toss in freshly chopped cilantro and stir to combine.
Reduce heat from 425 degrees F to 350 degrees F once the sweet potatoes are done, and line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the ingredients for the pepitas in a small mixing bowl. Mix until fully combined, and then spread over the prepared baking sheet.
Roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway. Then, remove from oven and cool.
Make the seasoning blend for the chicken in a mixing bowl by combining the cumin, paprika, chili powder, powdered garlic, and granulated onion in a small bowl. Coat the chicken well.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken and cook until golden-brown on both sides and cooked through, about 4-6 minutes per side. Them, remove from the skillet and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin slices.
Start with filling the bottom of a bowl with the cilantro lime rice, then add the cooked black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, and sliced chicken over the top. Drizzle with the crema and top with the pumpkin seeds.
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