Buffalo chicken rice bowl is topped with bold buffalo chicken, avocado, celery, tomatoes, and bacon. It’s finished with a spicy, creamy buffalo ranch drizzle. Bursting with delicious buffalo flavor, everyone is going to love this rice bowl.Jump to Recipe
In case you couldn’t tell, I'm on a bowl kick. They make the best lunches or dinner. My favorite part about bowls is all the different elements and flavors that are packed inside. This buffalo chicken rice bowl is one of my favorites because it's spicy, creamy, and filling. If you love buffalo wing sauce as much as we do I’m confident you're going to love this. The buffalo flavor is in every element from the inside out.
- Why You'll Love This Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl
- What Is The History Behind Buffalo Chicken?
- What You Need to Make The Easy Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl Recipe
- What Is The Best Rice to Use for The Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowls?
- How to Cook Buffalo Chicken for The Rice Bowl
- Tips for Making Buffalo Chicken Rice
- How to Assemble The Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl
- Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl Variations You Must Try
- How To Store The Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl
- Other Chicken Recipes You'll Love
- Easy Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl
Why You'll Love This Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl
So Easy To Make
I think we can all agree cooking is enjoyable when it's easy. Sometimes making bowls can be daunting because there's so much to them. I don't know about you but sometimes when I see bowls with a lot going on I check out and go to a recipe that's more simple. This recipe is very simple and very easy to make using very simple ingredients you may already have on hand. There are only 4 bowl toppings not including the sauce and then there’s the chicken and rice. The chicken can cook while the rice is cooking so you don't need to slave over these items.
All You Need Is 30 Minutes
You can make the bowls in about 30 minutes - yes you read that correctly. I don't know about you but I don't want to spend my whole weekend meal prepping so I’m always trying to find delicious recipes that don't take a lot of time and this is one I'm loving. The rice takes about 15 minutes to cook and the chicken takes about 10 depending on the thickness and heat you're cooking with. To save extra time buy packaged bacon bits to throw over top or cook a few extra pieces for breakfast and save them for this recipe.
It’s Mostly Healthy
These days the word healthy seems relative and it's all about who you're asking. If you ask me I would say this is healthish. There’s a lot of nutrition in this bowl from the long grain rice, chicken, and veggies over top. However, is the buffalo, bacon and ranch healthy? Not really but there’s not a lot of it in the bowl and the amount you place on top is completely at your discretion. I also chose not to add blue cheese crumbles for the sake of keeping it on the lighter side.
So Much Flavor
Healthy buffalo chicken rice bowls are packed with flavor - when I say the bowl is packed with flavor, I mean it. You can taste buffalo from the inside out. Rice is cooked in chicken broth, fresh garlic, and hot wing buffalo sauce. Chicken on the other hand is marinated for hours before cooking so it's tender, juicy, and full of that buffalo flavor we all love. To finish the bowl, ranch dressing and buffalo sauce are combined to make a creamy sauce that's drizzled over top of everything. You don’t have to worry about this bowl being dry.
What Is The History Behind Buffalo Chicken?
The term buffalo chicken comes from a small family owned restaurant located in Buffalo, New York in 1964. Supposedly leftover wings would be tossed in hot pepper sauce as a late night snack for the owner’s son and his friends. They were loved so much and placed on the menu for everyone to enjoy.
Hot pepper hot sauce was first served on deep fried chicken wings. What makes the buffalo wing sauce different than other hot sauces is the butter that's added to the vinegar-based cayenne pepper sauce. It's also many times accompanied by garlic as well. Buffalo hot sauce has a little spice with a lot of flavor making it loved by so many. Buffalo chicken is commonly served with celery and carrot sticks along with blue cheese or ranch dressing.
What You Need to Make The Easy Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl Recipe
For The Chicken
Chicken Breasts - boneless skinless chicken breast was used because it cooks easily, absorbs so much flavor from the marinade, and is easy to slice and prepare for the rice bowl.
Buffalo Hot Sauce - what's a buffalo chicken rice bowl without buffalo hot sauce? Adds so much flavor from the butter, garlic, and hot chili vinegar
Ranch Dressing - adds creaminess and cools down the spice from the hot sauce
For The Rice
Long Grain White Rice - there are so many different types of choose from, keep reading for more information on that
Chicken Broth - to season the rice, consider using low sodium so you can track the amount of salt
Buffalo Hot Sauce - to season rice
Garlic Cloves - using fresh garlic is going to flavor the rice so much, it's cooked with the rice seasoning the broth too. If you don't have fresh garlic consider adding 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder instead.
Celery - you can't have buffalo chicken without celery, it cools down the bowl and adds delicious flavor
Avocado - brings the healthy fats and creaminess also cools down the bowl a bit
Cherry Tomatoes - try adding multi-colored heirloom tomatoes for a visually delicious bowl
Bacon Bits - use a few pieces left over from breakfast or take the convenient option and use packaged bacon bits
What Is The Best Rice to Use for The Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowls?
This recipe calls for a long grain white rice. However, there are multiple types of long grain white rices that could be used in this recipe. Each variety will work just fine and should cook very similarly. If you choose a different type like brown or short grain, keep in mind that the cook times and or the liquid to rice ratio could change.
Basmati - my personal favorite. It’s known for its delicious aroma and flavor. This grain increases 3-4x it’s original size when cooked. It also doesn’t get gummy or slimy when cooked. This makes is a perfect option for those who have a hard time making rice because it's fool proof.
Jasmine - extremely popular along with basmati rice. Comes from Thailand, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asian counties. Also known for its aroma. Different from basmati because it’s more sticky so it’s great for fried rice, pilaf, and of course this buffalo chicken rice bowl.
Carolina Gold - homegrown variety popular among the US markets. Different from basmati and jasmine because there’s no aroma but the flavor is SO good. The texture can get sticky if it’s cooked for too long.
American Long Grain White Rice - extremely well known variety that you can find almost anywhere. Very versatile and is used in many recipes including this buffalo chicken rice bowl. When cooked the grain retains moisture and doesn’t turn too sticky.
How to Cook Buffalo Chicken for The Rice Bowl
There are a couple of ways you can cook the buffalo chicken for the rice bowl. My two favorite ways are to grill or bake the buffalo chicken. I’ve made them both ways and each way turns out great leading to juicy, flavorful chicken.
To start the chicken, place the chicken, hot sauce, and ranch dressing in a container or a sealed bag. Stir to coat. Consider using a fork to poke holes in the chicken allowing the marinade to seep into the chicken giving it even more flavor. Marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Once you're ready to cook the chicken, determine whether you'll be baking or grilling. If baking preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the marinated chicken to an oven safe dish and bake for 24-28 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked or the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. When the chicken is done brush with more hot sauce and ranch dressing if desired and let sit for about 10 minutes before slicing to ensure it's juicy.
If you decide to grill you can either grill outdoors or inside using a cast iron grill pan. If grilling outdoors, turn on the heat and let the grill preheat covered. Clean the grates if needed and spray with cooking spray to avoid sticking. If using a grill pan preheat on the stove and spray with cooking spray.
Once heated place the marinated chicken on the grill or grill skillet over medium heat and cook chicken for about 5-6 minutes over medium to medium high heat undisturbed. Brush extra hot sauce and ranch dressing over top of the chicken for added juiciness in the buffalo chicken recipe. Flip and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until done. Brush with additional sauce and remove from the grill. Set aside for about 10 minutes before cutting into the chicken.
Tips for Making Buffalo Chicken Rice
Making the rice for the buffalo chicken rice bowl is extremely easy. In a pot add the chicken broth, hot sauce and garlic. Bring to a boil. Once a boil is reached add the rice, give a small stir, reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the broth is absorbed. Yes, it's really that easy. The rice will come out tasting so good with just a hint of the buffalo sauce and garlic. When you're done fluff with a fork. See below for some tips I have when making rice.
- Use the right pot. Keep in mind that rice doubles in size and you want to make sure you have enough room. You should also use a lid that prevents steam from escaping to ensure an even cook. Cooking in a pot too small can lead to overcooked rice on the bottom and undercooked rice on the top.
- Rinse the rice before adding to the broth. This removes any excess starch and results in grains that separate when cooked.
- Don’t stir or remove the lid during the cooking process. Letting the steam escape can cause the temperature to drop immediately. This can lead to the rice cooking unevenly.
How to Assemble The Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl
Before you assemble the buffalo chicken rice bowl, make sure the chicken and rice have cooled. Place rice at the bottom of a bowl. Top with sliced chicken, celery, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and bacon bits. In a small container combine buffalo hot sauce and ranch dressing. Mix until well combined. Drizzle over top of the buffalo bowl and serve.
Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl Variations You Must Try
- Make it vegetarian by adding buffalo roasted cauliflower instead. This variation lightens up the buffalo rice bowl and makes veggies the star.
- Use shrimp instead of chicken. Shrimp cooks so fast. Pan fry it, throw it on a stick and grill it, or fry the shrimp and coat it in buffalo hot sauce.
- Add blue cheese crumbles. Buffalo chicken and blue cheese are a much loved flavor affinity. If you have any laying around, throw some in.
- Try using other veggies or beans you may have on hand. Throw in broccoli, roasted garbanzo beans, pickled red onion, garlic roasted asparagus, or anything else you love.
- Substitute long grain rice for cauliflower rice instead. Lower the carbs used in the bowl with this variation.
- Skip the chicken cooking process all together and use rotisserie chicken instead. Shred the chicken, toss in buffalo and ranch then scatter over top of the gluten free rice and enjoy. Making this into a shredded buffalo chicken rice bowl is a great way to add more juicy chicken without all the prep time.
How To Store The Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl
Storing the healthy buffalo chicken bowls is easy, it's also such an easy meal prep chicken and rice recipe. You can simply assemble the bowls and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days with the avocado and up to 4-5 days without the avocado. When you're ready to enjoy the buffalo chicken and rice bowl you can eat cold straight from the fridge or microwave until warm. If you decide to enjoy the buffalo chicken rice bowl warm, consider storing the toppings in a separate container so you just heat the rice and chicken. Once done simply place the toppings over top of the buffalo chicken bowls and enjoy.
Other Chicken Recipes You'll Love
Easy Buffalo Chicken Rice Bowl
For The Chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/4 cup buffalo hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
For The Rice
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon buffalo hot sauce
- 4 cloves garlic
Topping The Bowl
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 1 avocado
- 10 oz package of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- Bacon bits
Buffalo Ranch Dressing
- 2 tablespoons buffalo hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
For The Chicken
- In a container or a bag place the chicken breasts, buffalo hot sauce, and ranch dressing. Stir to cover the chicken breasts in the sauces. Refrigerate for 4 hours up to overnight to marinate.
- Once the chicken is done marinating place in an oven safe baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 24-28 minutes or until fully cooked and the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. Once done, remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.
- To grill the chicken instead, preheat your grill over medium high heat. Spray the grates with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Place the marinated chicken on the grill and let cook on each side for about 5-6 minutes. Brush each side of the chicken breasts with extra buffalo and ranch dressing. Let the buffalo chicken sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.
For The Rice
- In a skillet add chicken broth, garlic, and buffalo hot sauce. Bring to a boil. Once boiling stir in the long grain white rice and cook covered for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
For The Buffalo Sauce
- In a small bowl combine buffalo hot sauce and ranch dressing. Stir to combine. Set aside.
To Assemble The Bowl
- Place the rice at the bottom of the bowl, top with chicken, avocado, tomato, celery, and bacon bits. Drizzle the buffalo and ranch sauce over top and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve later.