When weeknight dinner making seems like almost too much to add to your already full plate, prep the ingredients for these slow cooker teriyaki chicken and vegetable rice bowls over the weekend and then toss together for a quick and easy answer to your weeknight dinner question.
These days everyone’s talking about meal prep. There’s a reason for that. Because it works.
All it takes are a couple of base recipes and a little extra time over the weekend to partially cook ahead and then whip out a healthy weeknight dinner. Even if you get just one meal prepped ahead and ready to roll, you’ll find yourself feeling surprisingly proud and a little enamored with your forethought and meal-planning ways.
About the Recipe
These rice bowls start with this Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken recipe I shared last year from the I Heart Naptime Cookbook. The thing I love about that recipe is it literally takes 10 minutes to prep. Then, toss it all in the Crock Pot and set it and forget it. The chicken comes out tender and juicy and easy to shred.
Stage 1 of this recipe is to make the chicken over the weekend, shred it, and refrigerated it until ready to use. Or, you could always pop the skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker in the morning and they’ll be done by the time it’s time to make the stir-fried veggies. Because the recipe does make a fair amount of sauce, I save most of it for saucing the veggies for these rice bowls.
Vegetables You Can Use for Stir Fry
The next stage of prepping this recipe is to chop your vegetables ahead of the cooking game.Prep your veggies ahead by rinsing, chopping and then storing to use with your slow cooked chicken during the week.
I like a big veggie bite in my stir fries so I really like a rough chop for them. You can totally do this prep step ahead, then pack in storage bags or containers until you’re ready to cook.
There are plenty of veggies that make great stir fry, like:
- Bell peppers: red, green, yellow, orange
- Onion: yellow, green onion, purple
- Peas: snap peas, garden peas, shelled edamame
- Cabbage: napa cabbage, bok choy, purple cabbage
- Leafy greens: spinach, Chinese spinach, kale
- Green beans
- Water chestnuts
Mix and match and use what you have on hand. Rice bowls are a great excuse to clean out the crisper.
How to Stir-Fry Vegetables
Now it’s time to get cooking. Cook your rice in the background as you cook the veggies too.
To prepare your vegetables, stir-fry them in a hot skillet with canola or peanut oil for just a few minutes until barely fork tender, tossing and stirring the veggies often. These oils have higher smoke points than olive oil or vegetable oil so won’t scald or burn. If I have it on hand, I’ll add grated fresh ginger to cook with the vegetables too.
Harder vegetables like carrots and onion take longer to cook so they go in first. Veggies that just need a warm-up like the cabbage and peas can be added later. I add the reserved slow cooker teriyaki chicken sauce to the veggies to reduce a bit and flavor the veggies as it cooks through them and add the chicken to warm through around this time too.
We garnish our assembled bowls with sesame seeds, more green onion and Sriracha sauce because we’re spicy like that. Drizzle the bowls with any reserved teriyaki and hope for leftover for tomorrow.
What to Serve With Rice Bowls to Make a Meal
While these rice bowls pretty much contain the complete food pyramid in each bowl, sometimes you might be craving just a little something more. Here’s a few ideas to do just that:
- Sweet and Sour Asian Pickled Cucumbers
- Cucumber Basil and Watermelon Salad
- Asian Pickled Cabbage
- Fried Spring Rolls
- Grilled Shrimp Spring Rolls
If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats
- 4 cups shredded slow cooker teriyaki chicken plus 1 cup reserved sauce
- 1½ tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon grated and peeled fresh ginger
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, roughly chopped
- 1 cup snap peas
- 2 cups napa cabbage, roughly chopped
- Sesame seeds
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- Make the recipe for the slow cooker teriyaki chicken here. Shred the chicken and reserve 1 cup of the sauce for this recipe.
- Heat a large skillet or stir fry pan over high heat, add the canola oil and let heat for about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds while stirring constantly. Stir in the reserved teriyaki sauce and bring to a boil, then add the carrots, bell pepper and snap peas and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Add the reserved chicken and the cabbage and cook until the cabbage is wilted. Serve the chicken over rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion.
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