When I first started to change my eating habits and adopt a healthier diet, I remember worrying that I would have to abandon all the wonderful flavors I had grown to love. But, as I learned new cooking techniques, I realized that there are a host of natural ingredients that can elevate even the most basic meal. Sure, I might have stopped putting Flamin’ Hot Fritos in my burritos, but in turn, I discovered a realm of complex and exciting flavors I that I had been neglecting. Some might say I made my way to Flavortown (if only I could rock Guy Fieri’s frosted tips).
These days I keep my fridge stocked with cilantro, lemon, minced garlic, and shallot for savory dishes and always have honey, flaky sea salt, and dark chocolate chips in my pantry to whip out whenever I make something sweet. Clean eating doesn’t have to sacrifice flavor.
Sweet, salty, acidic, umami…good food finds the balance between these flavors. When I began to experiment in the kitchen, I shied away from a lot of these flavors out of fear that I would overseason my food. However, my food began to taste 100 times better when I let go of my inhibitions and started embracing new and exotic flavors.
So where am I going with all of this? Chimichurri sauce! Behold the magical green sauce that hails from Argentina and belongs in your cooking repertoire. Slightly tangy, slightly spicy, and unquestionably flavor-packed, chimichurri is the star of these chimichurri chicken bowls. I love this vibrant green medley of ingredients because it adds incredible complexity to any dish (chicken, beef, halibut, guacamole, enchiladas, etc.). Better yet, it’s keto-friendly and stores well in the fridge making it perfect for meal-prep!
Paired with shredded green cabbage, mango salsa, roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, and crumbly cotija, these chimichurri chicken bowls taste like a fancier Chipotle burrito bowl!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 head of green cabbage
- 1 cup mango salsa
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- 1 bell pepper
- cotija cheese
- pickled jalapenos (optional)
- 2 cups cilantro
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh oregano
- 1 shallot
- 1 Fresno Chile
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Beginning with the chimichurri sauce, quarter the shallot and Fresno Chile and add both to a food processor. Add the minced garlic, parsley, cilantro, vinegar, oil, oregano (making sure only to use the leaves), lemon zest, and salt to the food processor and pulse to incorporate ingredients. Continue to pulse the ingredients until the shallot and pepper pieces are small and all ingredients are well combined, but stopping short of pureeing the ingredients.
- In a plastic bag, add 4 tbsp of the chimichurri sauce and both chicken breasts. Seal the bag, removing any air, and pound the chicken with a mallet (I usually use an olive oil bottle) into 1/4 inch thickness. Place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably a couple of hours.
- Take the head of cabbage next and remove the stem before slicing the head in half. Lay the head flat on a cutting board and thinly slice to create shreds. Add the shredded cabbage to a large bowl and reserve for plating later.
- Next, heat 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a grill pan or large skillet to medium-high heat. *Note: If you are using a grill pan, you can grill the chicken and bell peppers simultaneously, but if using a skillet, I recommend slicing the bell peppers and cooking them first.
- Add the chicken and whole bell pepper to the grill pan and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side until both are blackened.
- Remove the bell pepper and chicken from the pan onto a cutting board. Allow them to rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing both the bell pepper and chicken into thin strips.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes and slice the avocado into thin slices to top each bowl.
- Add the shredded cabbage to four bowls and top each with the chicken, sliced bell pepper, tomatoes, avocado, mango salsa, and cotija cheese. Drizzle more chimichurri sauce over the chicken and if desired, add sliced pickled jalapenos to the bowl for some added heat!