This rainbow chicken dinner is nutrient-dense and delicious bursting with colours and flavours. In this recipe, I share how to make every part of this incredible, healthy meal. It’s gluten-free, paleo, Whole30-friendly and I provide a few ideas for swaps and substitutions. I hope you enjoy it, let me know in the comments if you have questions or if you make it. Don’t forget to rate this recipe so others can easily find it!😋🌈
Guys, this is a real treat of a meal and the reason I call it rainbow chicken dinner is because I tried to fit in as many colours on the plate as possible. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘eat the rainbow’ and it is truly one of the best ways to get a variety of nutrients in one go (check the nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below).
WHAT’S ON MY RAINBOW CHICKEN DINNER PLATE?
There are the 4 elements that make up this meal and each one is pretty straightforward to prepare. Yes, making a few different mini dishes might seem like a lot of effort BUT it is worth it and you can make extras for leftovers. Plus, a few of these can be done as part of meal prep ahead of time.
This meal is paleo and Whole30-friendly and follows my simple healthy plate guide.
Sticky Glazed Chicken
This is the protein part of the dish. I used chicken tenderloins but you can use sliced breast meat or skinless thighs. Prawns, turkey, pork, beef or a vegetarian alternative can be used. The glaze is a mixture of garlic, coconut aminos or Tamari wheat-free soy sauce, tomato paste, honey (omit for Whole30), and lemon or lime juice.
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
This is super simple and can be done ahead of time. Diced potatoes are lightly spiced and roasted until tender, then seasoned with sea salt. I often make a big tray of roasted sweet potatoes on the weekend and they last for a few days in the fridge. Reheat before serving.
This is a delicious slaw salad with grated beetroot, red onions and black olives. It adds freshness and a little tang to this meal. Plus, beets are full of antioxidants and vitamins and are great for your liver. I have this as a standalone recipe on the blog as well.
GREEN BEANS & BROCCOLI
This dish would not be complete without some greens and I happened to have broccoli and green beans on hand. You can also use cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, chard, spinach, collard greens, zucchini, asparagus and so on.
These are steamed or quickly boiled and tossed through with some garlic and olive oil (you can also use butter if you tolerate a little high-fat dairy).
COLOURFUL SWAPS & IDEAS
For red, purples and greens, you could also make my beetroot, avocado and spinach salad. Or a side of roasted beets with mustard dressing and broccoli rice for greens. Roasted carrots or kabocha squash can be served instead of sweet potatoes.
If you don’t want to use the oven, you can make my red cabbage slaw salad with avocado dressing, which includes a lot of rainbow colours. For more greens, check out my simple asparagus dish or this 5-minute zucchini salad.
For the sweet potatoes
- 2 medium sweet potatoes or 1 large, peeled and diced into large cubes
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the beetroot slaw
- 1/2 red onion finely diced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium beets peeled and grated (I suggest to use kitchen gloves or peel the beets under running water to avoid skin stains)
- 1 large carrot grated
- 1/3 cup black pitted olives the less salty Spanish olives are best, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley a good handful of fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For sticky glazed chicken
- 600 g chicken tenderloins 1.2 lbs. breast or thighs (or mix), sliced into strips
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos or Tamari - if using aminos, add a little extra salt or fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- 2 teaspoons honey maple syrup or coconut nectar (see Whole30 notes below)
For green veggies
- 1/2 head broccoli cut into florets (halve larger florets)
- 200 g fine green beans ends chopped off
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 1 garlic clove diced or grated (can be omitted)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Make the sweet potatoes.Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F. Add the diced sweet potatoes to a bowl and combine with olive oil, paprika and cumin. Once coated, spread on a flat baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes until tender. Season with sea salt at the end.
- Prepare the beetroot slaw.Before you start grating the beets and the carrots, start by marinating the onions. In a large salad bowl, combine the chopped onions with the vinegar, mustard, and olive oil and stir through. Leave for 5-10 minutes. Add the grated beets, carrots, olives and parsley to the bowl and season with salt. Stir through really well, making sure the onions and the marinade coat the vegetables evenly. Serve right away or store in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days.
- Prepare the chicken.Season chicken pieces evenly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 3 minutes each side. Make sure to not overcrowd the pan and cook the chicken in batches if needed, otherwise you will end up with too many juices in the pan and the meat will stew rather than pan-fry.
- Once each side of the chicken is browned, add the garlic to the pan and stir through. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over the chicken. Toss through and allow to cook briefly until the sauce starts to caramelise and gets sticky.
- Make the greens.Bring a kettle of water to the boil (while the chicken is cooking) and add to a pot. Add the beans and cook in simmering water for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and cook together for 2 more minutes. Drain and set aside. Add the olive oil to the pot and heat over medium, stir in the garlic then add back the greens. Drizzle with lemon juice and season with a little salt.