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These sesame chicken bowls are a quick and healthy Asian-inspired meal. Tender baked chicken is sprinkled with sesame seeds and served bowl-style over rice and salad. It's great for meal-prepping or busy weeknights, and it's ready in just 25 minutes!
For another hearty meal-style salad, try our steak salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette.
If you're after a no-fuss healthy dinner that doesn't sacrifice on flavor, you've got to try these sesame chicken bowls! We coat the chicken in sesame seeds to give it a nice crunch, then bake it and serve it over black forbidden rice and an Asian-inspired salad. Double the recipe so you can enjoy it for dinner and pack the leftovers for lunch the next day!
All you need to make these tasty sesame chicken bowls is a few simple, wholesome ingredients. Here's what you need:
- Chicken breasts: we use boneless skinless chicken breasts but you can also use chicken thighs of you prefer.
- Hoisin sauce + soy sauce: these two sauces are salty and rich in umami flavor. The hoisin sauce makes it tangy, and slightly sweet.
- Sesame oil: sesame oil has a strong nutty, and uniquely savory flavor.
- Black + white sesame seeds: we love a mix of black and white sesame seeds for a visual pop, but feel free to just use black or white if that's what you have on hand.
- Asian-inspired bagged salad: any variety of Asian-inspired bagged salad works. You can also make your own salad mix with fresh ingredients like chopped lettuce, red cabbage, and shredded or julienned carrots.
- Cooked rice: use your favorite variety of rice, or try black forbidden rice (like we use in the pictures). You can even use cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
How to make sesame chicken bowls
These sesame chicken bowls are perfect for a quick and healthy dinner or meal-prep lunch. Here's how we make them in a few easy steps:
- While the oven preheats, start your rice.
- Toss the sliced chicken breasts with the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Coat the chicken with sesame seeds.
- Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet, drizzle with sesame oil, and bake until cooked through.
- Toss the salad with the package dressing and serve over rice with the cooked chicken. Yum!
Variations to try
These sesame chicken bowls are delicious and very versatile so feel free to experiment with the ingredients and make them your own!
Here are some ideas for variations to try:
- Swap the cooked rice for quinoa or noodles such as soba noodles.
- Instead of salad, serve with steamed veggies like snap peas, broccoli, green beans, edamame, or carrots.
- Make it spicy by finishing it off with a drizzle of sriracha mayo. To make Sriracha mayo, mix about a teaspoon of Sriracha into ¼ cup of mayonnaise (or add more Sriracha to taste).
- Add some minced ginger and garlic to the sesame sauce for a big punch of flavor, and serve with sliced green onions.
Is this a good recipe for meal prep?
Yes! You can make the chicken and the rice up to 3 days ahead of time. Just wait to toss the salad in the dressing until right before you eat it so it doesn't get soggy.
Can I use chicken thighs instead?
Yep! Just keep in mind the pieces will likely be smaller so they will cook quicker.
What's the best kind of salad to use?
Most grocery stores carry an Asian-inspired salad mix in the produce aisle. It depends on what's available to you locally, but look for something fresh that includes a dressing you enjoy. If you can't find anything that looks right, pick up some crunchy salad greens and a bottle of Asian-inspired salad dressing. Cashew nuts make a great addition to the salad!
Can I make this gluten-free?
You bet! To make it gluten-free, make sure to use a gluten-free hoisin sauce and soy sauce.
- 1 lb chicken breasts (cut into strips)
- 1 tablespoon EACH: hoisin sauce and soy sauce (can be gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (plus extra for drizzling)
- ¼ cup EACH: white and black sesame seeds
- 1 package of your favorite Asian-inspired bagged salad
- Cooked rice (try black forbidden rice!)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Start the rice, if using.
- Place the chicken breasts, hoisin, soy sauce, and sesame oil into a bowl and mix it around so the chicken is coated.1 lb chicken breasts, 1 tablespoon EACH: hoisin sauce and soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Mix the black and white sesame seeds in a small bowl. Scatter half onto a baking sheet – not the one you put the parchment on. Place the chicken onto the sesame seeds then sprinkle the remaining over the top.¼ cup EACH: white and black sesame seeds
- Make sure each piece of chicken is coated in sesame seeds and then transfer them to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a little sesame oil. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Toss the salad with the dressing and any extras that are in the bag and serve with cooked rice and the sesame chicken on top.1 package of your favorite Asian-inspired bagged salad, Cooked rice
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.