If I could only say one thing to people who read my blog, it’s that dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. These Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls are the perfect example. It’s really more of a “formula” than a recipe. Just stir fry a protein (even if it’s not chicken), add a sauce (either homemade or bottled), spoon it over rice or another starch, and add a simple steamed vegetable. Done and DONE. Scroll down for some ways to switch up this “formula” to make several different varieties of this incredibly easy weeknight dinner.
For more information about meal prepping, how it works, and why I do it, check out Meal Prep 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Prepping and Portioning Meals, or check out my entire Budget-Friendly Meal Prep Archive.
Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls
The Pyrex glass bowls pictured above can be found in my Amazon shop.
The Formula for Easy Dinners
Stir fry a protein, add a sauce, serve it over a starch or grain, and add a simple steamed or stir fried vegetable. All of this can be done in under 30 minutes and the possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas for substitutes, so you can make this dinner new every night:
- Proteins: shrimp, tofu, tempeh, ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, or turkey).
- Sauces (store bought or homemade): teriyaki, hoisin, sweet and sour, dragon sauce
- Vegetables: snap peas, zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, mushrooms, frozen stir fry vegetable mixes
- Starches: noodles, quinoa, couscous, zoodles or other vegetable noodles
This Meal Prep Includes
Easy Sweet Chili Sauce: $0.70
Savory Coconut Rice: $2.91
Total Cost: $5.40
4 Servings: $1.35 each
Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls
Savory Coconut Rice
- 1.5 cups jasmine rice ($0.99)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 3/4 tsp salt ($0.03)
- 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk ($1.79)
- 1 cup water ($0.00)
Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) ($3.89)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- 1 cup sweet chili sauce* ($0.70)
- 1 8 oz. can pineapple tidbits in juice ($0.89)
- 1 lb. broccoli crown** (1.79)
- Begin the coconut rice first. Add the jasmine rice, garlic, salt, coconut milk, and water to a sauce pot, then give it all a brief stir. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit undisturbed, with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice, and set it aside until ready to serve.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the steamed broccoli. Cut the broccoli crown into florets. Add one inch of water to a large pot, place a steaming basket in the pot, then place the broccoli crowns in the basket. Place a lid on the pot, then place it over medium high heat. Allow the water to come up to a boil, and steam the broccoli until it is bright green and tender (about 5 minutes). Remove the broccoli from the heat and set aside until ready to serve.
- While the rice and broccoli are cooking, prepare the chicken stir fry. Dice the chicken into 1-inch pieces. Season with a pinch of salt. Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and stir and cook until the chicken is cooked through and slightly browned on the outside.
- Drain the can of pineapple, then add the pineapple to the skillet along with the sweet chili sauce. Stir and heat the sauce and pineapple through (about 2 minutes).
- To serve, place about 1 cup rice in each bowl, add 1/4 of the sweet chili chicken mixture, and 1/3 of the broccoli. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Lasts about 4 days in the refrigerator.
Step by Step Photos
Begin the coconut rice first, since it takes the longest to cook and is mostly hands-off, so you can cook the rest of the items as the rice does its thing. Add 1.5 cups jasmine rice to a sauce pot along with one clove of minced garlic, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 13.5oz. can coconut milk, and 1 cup water. Give it a brief stir, then place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
After simmering on low for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest undisturbed, with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. Then fluff the rice with a fork and set the rice aside until you’re ready to serve.
Once the rice is on the stove, begin the broccoli. Chop one crown of broccoli (about 1 lb.) into florets. Add about one inch of water to the bottom of a pot, place a steaming basket in the pot, then add the broccoli florets to the basket. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, allow the broccoli to steam until bright green and tender (about 5 minutes). After cooking, turn off the heat and set the broccoli aside until ready to serve.
And lastly, begin the chicken. Dice two chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) into one-inch pieces. Season with a pinch of salt.
Heat one tablespoon cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the diced chicken and stir and cook until the chicken is cooked through and slightly browned.
Once the chicken is cooked through, add one 8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits (drained of the juice) and 1 cup sweet chili sauce (store bought or homemade).
Stir and heat through. This should only take a minute or two.
To build the bowls, add about 1 cup coconut rice to each bowl and top with 1/4 of the sweet chili chicken stir fry mixture, and 1/4 of the broccoli. You can serve this immediately, or refrigerate it for your meal prep for the week!