Freeze up a batch of Teriyaki Chicken Bowls and you’ll always have an instant meal solution stashed away for a rainy day. They are fast, easy, and 100% customizable; when it’s time to eat, it goes from microwave to table in under 10 minutes.
This recipe has so much going for it. For one thing, it’s not your typical meal prep offering, i.e., something undistinguishable lurking in your freezer. Instead, it’s a colorful rice bowl loaded with veggies and protein, topped off with a teriyaki sauce that everybody loves.
Get a pot of rice going, cook up some chicken, then make your assembly line. Boom, bam, boom. You’ve got a future meal that’s completely homemade and way better than any warehouse store.
- Rice: Cooked rice, any variety you like. Basmati, jasmine, or brown rice are all good choices. You can even make this bowl with cooked quinoa.
- Stir-fry vegetables: To make it quick, I look for frozen Chinese stir-fry vegetable blends, which include broccoli, water chestnuts, snap peas, peppers, and mushrooms. If that doesn’t appeal, you pick any vegetable or veggie blend you like. This is your bowl.
- Chicken: One pound raw chicken yields 2 cups cooked chicken. It can be grilled, roasted, poached, even taken off a rotisserie chicken.
- Teriyaki sauce: I developed the recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce specifically for these bowls. It’s a super easy soy, ginger, and garlic sauce that’s just sweet enough and absolutely delicious. I prefer to make it the night before so by morning, it’s extra thick and saucy. But feel free to use your favorite store-bought sauce too.
- Fill each bowl with 1 cup cooked rice, ½ cup frozen mixed veggies (no need to thaw), ½ cup cooked chicken, and 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce. Cover, secure the lid, and freeze.
- To make little kid sized portions, use a 1-cup container and fill each bowl with ½ cup cooked rice, ¼ cup frozen mixed veggies (no need to thaw), ¼ cup cooked chicken, and 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce.
- When you’re ready to eat, loosen the snaps on the lid and microwave the bowls individually for 5 minutes on HIGH; let stand in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- With the smaller portions, reduce cook time to 3 minutes; let stand in microwave 1 minute before serving.
I buy a frozen Chinese stir-fry vegetable blend for myself (bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, carrots, onions, and mushrooms), and a basic frozen mixed vegetable blend for my kids and husband (peas, carrots, corn, and lima beans).
Recipe tips and variations:
- Yield: One recipe is enough for 4 adult bowls and 1 kids’ bowl. But, in this recipe the yield is approximate and flexible. Stretch the ingredients as you see fit.
- Make ahead: Prepare the bowls in advance, stick them in the freezer, and then transfer them straight to your microwave when it’s time to eat. Five minutes later, you have a tasty homemade meal you can feel good about.
- Freezing and reheating: To reheat, take out the bowl from the freezer, unsnap the lid fasteners and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes in the microwave. then carefully stir and serve. Smaller kid-sized bowls need less time; try 3 minutes on HIGH, 1 minute resting time.
- Bite-sized: If any of your frozen vegetables are big (full-sized green beans, for example), cut them into bite-sized pieces for even cooking and easy eating.
- Kid-sized: To assemble a kid-sized bowl, use ½ cup cooked rice, ¼ cup frozen mixed veggies, ¼ cup cooked chicken, and 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce per bowl.
- Customize it: Whether customizing for kids means you use more veggies, fewer veggies, or different veggies, let this bowl be your canvas.
- Leftovers: Leftover holiday turkey? Yes. Leftover roasted vegetables? Double yes. Leftover baked rice? Of course!
- Fresh vegetables: Commercially frozen vegetables are often coated in a thin layer of ice to protect them in storage, which makes them last longer. If you want to use fresh vegetables, like blanched green beans, broccoli, or asparagus, the bowls may not hold up as long in the freezer. (They’ll still be delicious, though.)
- Freezer containers: This recipe has been created for and tested with the 2-cup OXO Glass Food Storage Bowls with snap lids, made with borosilicate glass. Any kind of freezer-safe, microwave-safe snap ware or container will work, but make sure what you’re using is suitable before starting. If using different containers, your heating times and results may vary.
- Other sauces: You can get as wild as you like, with a Thai peanut sauce, a Szechuan sauce, or your favorite stir-fry sauce.
- Add-ins: Sesame seeds or toasted almonds might be nice sprinkled on top. Some red pepper flakes or a squirt of your favorite hot sauce dials it up a notch.
More recipes to make the future you happy:
- Best Swedish Meatballs
- Chili Cheese Burritos
- Overnight Breakfast Casserole
- The Best Make Ahead Lasagna
Teriyaki Chicken Bowl (Freezer Friendly)
- Put 1 cup rice in the bottom of 4 (2-cup) freezer-safe bowl. Top each with ½ cup frozen vegetables, ½ cup chicken, and 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce.
- Cover and freeze. To reheat, transfer directly to the microwave. Unsnap lid fasteners and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes in the microwave. Stir and serve.