Chicken, Spinach and Brown Rice, a delicious 3-ingredient main dish!
In my search for quick and easy, healthy main dishes, I found this 3-ingredient Chicken, Spinach and Brown Rice recipe. I’m not a fan of cooked spinach, but I love chicken and brown rice. So, I decided to give it a try. I was surprisingly pleased with how good it was and how pretty it was on the plate! Presentation! It’s important even if there’s just the two of you:)
Making the Chicken, Spinach and Brown Rice . . .
This Chicken, Spinach and Brown Rice recipe was so easy! The only time-consuming part, if you can call it that, is allowing the chicken to marinate overnight in the lemon juice mixture and the cooking of the brown rice. But, even with that, once you start making it, it goes very quickly. Here are some suggestions:
- The original recipe called for chicken breasts. I opted for chicken tenders because they cook more quickly. (I’m all about quick and easy!) Chicken is chicken and the tenders worked great.
- I forgot to marinate my chicken tenders overnight, so I marinated them for several hours in the refrigerator. Because the tenders were not as thick as chicken breasts, they were ready after 4 hours of marinating. Another time saver of sorts.
- Before I started cooking the spinach and chicken, I put my brown rice on to cook. It takes 45 minutes, a little long, but brown rice is healthier than white rice, so it’s worth the extra cooking time.
- I sliced my onions so we could have relatively large bits of onions, but you can chop yours as large or as small as you and your family like.
- The recipe didn’t specify whether to use fresh or frozen spinach, so I used frozen. Fresh would be great, but I didn’t have any. Also, if you use frozen, remember to drain it, and then squeeze all the excess water out with paper towels.
Cooking the 3-ingredient meal . . .
The 3-ingredients is a little misleading in that there are 3 MAIN ingredients: chicken, spinach, and brown rice. There are a few other ingredients, like chopped onion, lemon juice, garlic and seasonings.
While the brown rice is cooking, saute the onions and spinach in a skillet with a little olive oil.
Remove the spinach mixture, then add the marinated chicken tenders (or breasts). Brown on both sides.
To serve, simply layer the brown rice, spinach mixture, then chicken tenders on the plate. Get ready to eat a delicious, simple 3-ingredient main dish that will blow your socks off! That’s what my husband said! Plus, we had NO LEFTOVERS!! He said it was the best dinner I had ever made for him. . . imagine that! I can tell you, that it went way beyond my expectations in both flavor, texture, and presentation. Plus, it’s healthier for you!
I added my Sweet and Spicy Glazed Carrots as the side dish for the Chicken, Spinach and Brown Rice. It added so much color contrast and flavor!
What side dish would you choose to complement this chicken main dish?
Chicken, Spinach and Brown Rice Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders (or breasts)
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, drained and squeezed to get excess water out (or 2 cups fresh spinach)
- Brown rice, cooked according to package directions–you determine how much brown rice to cook. 1/2 cup-3/4 cup per person cooked
- Juice of 2 whole lemons
- 1 clove garlic, minced (I used 1/2 teaspoon refrigerated minced garlic in a jar)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small onion, chopped
- DAY 1: Place chicken, lemon juice, garlic and added salt and pepper to taste in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Marinate overnight in your refrigerator. The chicken will absorb the lovely flavor of the combination of lemon and garlic. (I marinated the chicken tenders 4 hours, not overnight, because they were not large like chicken breasts.)
- DAY 2: Put the brown rice on to cook. You will need to check the amount of rice and water to use based on the number of servings you need.
- Wash, dry and chop the 2 cups spinach. Set aside.
- Chop the onion. Set aside.
- Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a skillet. Place spinach and chopped onion in the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender. Remove the cooked vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the marinated chicken tenders to the same skillet. Cook the tenders approximately three minutes on each side, but judge by your view of how the chicken is cooking. The cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken tenders. When it is lightly browned and no longer pink in the middle, your chicken is done.
- To serve: layer the sautéed spinach atop the brown rice. Mix well. This will allow the olive oil and onion to flavor the rice, too. (I layered ours and did not mix it together.)
- Place the cooked chicken tenders on top.
You have a meal using spinach, brown rice, and chicken that is healthy, quick, and easy, as well as tasty.
NOTE: You will need to have the brown rice cooking while you make the spinach and finish the chicken. Generally brown rice needs about 40-45 minutes to cook.