My meal prep chicken bake is a game changer for healthy weekday eating. This is the ultimate one-pan, “set it and forget it” meal. It takes minutes to prep, 40 minutes to bake and lasts in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Why You’ll Love Meal Prep Chicken Bake:
This is a complete meal, with lean protein from boneless skinless chicken thighs, carbs from rice, and fiber and nutrients from spinach. It’s endlessly customizable, from the spices and veggies used to the quantity of chicken, which can be increased to meet specific protein goals. There is nothing better than coming home from an exhausting day of work or a tiring workout and finding this meal ready to be reheated and enjoyed.
Meal Prep Chicken Bake Tips:
You can use chicken breast instead, but I prefer thighs for their superior flavor and juiciness. I use jasmine rice, but short grain or basmati would work well too. Brown and wild rice will need more cooking time and potentially more liquid. I added a bit of store-bought pesto and Italian seasoning to my dish, but you can season this any way you like. Instead of pesto, try chimichurri, zhoug, or chermoula.
Because this dish brings so much ease and simplicity to my weekday menu planning, I often bake multiple servings at a time in individual serving-size dishes. This recipe can be prepped and baked directly in an oven-safe dish; I cooked in oven-safe glassware which I could easily pop a lid on and store in the fridge.
And for the finishing touch, a dusting of parmesan completes this perfect meal. Let us know how you customize this dish in the comments below!
Variations and Substitutions:
This meal prep chicken bake has so many options. I used pesto and Italian seasoning when I made it, but you could try something spicier. In addition, if you wanted a leaner option, you could use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs.
- chicken breast instead of chicken thighs for a less fatty option
- brown rice instead of jasmine rice; which would need more cooking time and liquid
- mozzarella or feta cheese instead of parmesan cheese
- chimichurri or chermoula instead of pesto
Best Served With:
- One of my favorites to go with this easy meal is a simple salad, like my Easy Healthy & Creamy Bulgarian Salad.
- My Three Cheese Buns would be a yummy addition to have on the side of this dish.
- If you are looking for added nutrients, you could serve this with steamed or roasted vegetables, such as my Roasted Eggplant.
- This recipe could be served with crumbled feta or goat cheese sprinkled over the top or served on the side for extra creaminess and flavor.
You can use any rice you have on hand but please note that brown or wild rice may not cook the same as these types of grains take longer to cook and might require more liquid.
Yes, you can use any cut of chicken just make sure it’s cubed evenly for even cooking.
You can absolutely get your ingredients ready the night before but I would assemble them the day of so that the rice doesn’t absorb the liquid overnight.
I like to heat mine in the oven at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes, but you can easily reheat it in the microwave as well. The lids are not oven-safe so I never put them in the oven when reheating food.
Meal Prep Chicken Bake
- oven-safe glass Pyrex bowls (4 cup capacity) (linked below)
- 4 tablespoons jasmine rice, rinsed
- 8 tablespoons unsalted broth (vegetable, chicken, beef, or whatever your preference)
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon pesto
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, plus more for the chicken
- salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped frozen spinach
- 5 ounces cubed boneless skinless chicken thighs (1/2 cup)
- ½ tablesooon grated parmigiano cheese
- NOTE: this recipe makes ONE portion but feel free to make as many as you like in individual OVEN-safe glass Tupperware. I like to make enough for two days. Calories and macros will depend on the brands you use, so for most accurate results use My Fitness Pal.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
- Add the rice to the bottom of your oven-safe dish. Add the broth, yogurt, pesto, seasoning to taste, and frozen spinach. Stir well.
- Season the chicken with salt and Italian seasoning.
- Add the chicken on top of the rice mixture and stir it all together. Add a sprinkle of parmesan on top and bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked (white meat and clear juices throughout; no pink).
- NOTE: the lids on Pyrex are NOT oven-safe so please bake uncovered.
- Remove from the oven, fluff up the rice, and enjoy!