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Citrus Chicken Rice Bowl with Ginger Jalapeño Sauce

Sunny and zingy with a little flare of jalapeño and ginger, this citrus chicken on a bed of coconut rice is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!


A homemade Citrus Chicken Rice Bowl with Ginger Jalapeño Sauce with a fork
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Finger-Lickin’ Citrus Chicken

This summer we’re all about fresh, citrusy flavors because they’re great for beating the heat! The contrast of refreshing mango and zingy orange zest with the delicious bite of fresh ginger and jalapeño give this citrus chicken a tropical lift that’s reinvigorating after a hot day. And the best part is that as complex as its flavors are, this chicken rice bowl takes just forty minutes of prep and comes together in just half an hour! It’s also really flexible, and the whole family can mix and match their ingredients. Picky eaters? No problem! This dish has something for everyone.

ingredients for Citrus Chicken Rice Bowl with Ginger Jalapeno Sauce in bowls on the counter
vegetable oil, orange zest, orange juice, honey, salt, and pepper being whisked in a bowl to make marinade for chicken
raw chicken in a bowl of homemade marinade made with vegetable oil, orange zest, orange juice, honey, salt, and pepper
raw chicken in a bowl of homemade marinade made with vegetable oil, orange zest, orange juice, honey, salt, and pepper

What You’ll Need for Your Next-Level Chicken and Rice Bowl

Great news, you might have some of these ingredients already on hand! And if not, a light grocery store run should do it. This rice bowl recipe is also great for meal prepping for the week. It makes a big batch, keeps well, and is a delicious treat that will have you looking forward to a hassle-free lunch or dinner all week long!

vegetable oil, jalapeños, garlic, ginger, scallions, sugar & salt in a blender to make ginger jalapeño sauce
boneless, skinless, chicken thighs being cooked in a skillet that have been marinated in a homemade citrus sauce
homemade citrus chicken being sliced on a cutting board for citrus chicken rice bowls with ginger jalapeño sauce
sliced citrus chicken on a cutting board for citrus chicken rice bowls with ginger jalapeño sauce

For the Citrus Chicken Bowl:

  • Skinless, boneless chicken thighs.

  • Oranges. We bet you already have these in your fruit bowl! These will give the chicken that irresistible citrus tang.

  • Honey.

  • Garlic.

  • English cucumber. These are slightly milder and have thinner skin than regular cucumbers. This makes them better suited to the light, sweet flavors of the honey, oranges, and coconut rice.

  • Mango.

  • Coconut rice. The fluffy, mild sweetness of our easy coconut rice recipe complements this dish perfectly! You can whip it up while your chicken is marinating, and it will add that extra flavor boost taking your citrus chicken from good to great!

For the Ginger Jalapeño Sauce, You’ll Need:

  • Vegetable oil. Any mild flavor vegetable oil will work here: canola, vegetable, avocado or an extra light tasting olive oil. Using a neutral oil here ensures you won’t clash flavors with the jalapeño and ginger.

  • Jalapeño peppers. These will give the sauce that delicious bit of heat!

  • Garlic. Who doesn’t love garlic?

  • Ginger. Pairs perfectly with the sweeter flavors in the citrus chicken marinade.

  • Scallions.

  • Sugar.

  • Salt.

homemade citrus marinade being poured over diced English cucumbers and mangoes in a glass bowl
Diced English cucumbers, mangoes and homemade citrus marinade being stirred together in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon

How to Make Citrus Chicken with Ginger and Jalapeño Sauce

The great thing about this recipe is that some of it is simply waiting! You can use that time to complete other parts of the process (we love a multi-tasking recipe!) or you can check some things off of your to-do list. Either way, you’ll end up with a tasty bowl of citrus chicken when you’re done! Here’s how we whip up your new weekday go-to:

  1. Make your coconut rice! It takes about twenty minutes to cook, so you can let it simmer while you make your marinade.

  2. Throw the oil, orange zest and juice, honey, salt, and pepper together in a bowl and stir it up till they’re combined.

  3. Add your chicken to the marinade and let it soak! Cover it up, then it’s off to the fridge for up to two hours.

  4. Heat up some oil in a skillet and start cooking the citrus chicken in batches. When it’s cooked and cooled, slice it up into bowl-ready strips. Then pour on some extra marinade to pack it with flavor!

  5. Pop the jalapeños, canola oil, garlic cloves, ginger, scallions and sugar into a blender and blend until it’s a good, saucey consistency.

  6. Make your cucumber-mango salad by combining them in a bowl and pouring some remaining marinade over it.

  7. Assemble the bowls! Make a base layer of coconut rice, add your favorite ingredients, and drizzle that oh-so-delicious sauce over the top!

homemade citrus chicken sliced on a platter with a serving fork dried with ginger jalapeño sauce
A Citrus Chicken Rice Bowl with Ginger Jalapeño Sauce beside bowls of additional coconut rice, sauce and cucumber salad

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Blender

  • Skillet

  • Pot with lid

  • Can opener

  • Fine mesh strainer

  • Whisk

More Healthy Bowl Recipes

  • Coconut Rice Salmon Bowl

  • Poke Bowl

  • Quinoa Bowl

  • Green Curry Buddha Bowl

A Citrus Chicken Rice Bowl with Ginger Jalapeño Sauce beside bowls of additional coconut rice, sauce and cucumber salad

This Summer, We’re Going Bowling!

Healthy, versatile, and downright delectable, this citrus chicken rice bowl with ginger and jalapeño sauce is an all-star. Whether you’re feeding the family, prepping your meals for the week, or you’re just in the mood to try something new, look no further. It’s time to bowl! Show us how you build your citrus chicken bowl on Instagram at @themodernproper and #themodernproper!

Citrus Chicken Rice Bowl with Ginger Jalapeño Sauce

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  40 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 807


Citrus Chicken Rice Bowl

  • coconut rice
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (from 2 large oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups diced english cucumber
  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (11⁄2 cups)
  • cilantro, for serving

Ginger Jalapeño Sauce

  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, trimmed
  • 3/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Make the coconut rice.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the ⅔ cup oil, orange zest, ½ cup orange juice, honey, salt, and pepper, until combined. Transfer ½ cup of the marinade to a small bowl.

  3. Add the chicken to the marinade in the large bowl along with the minced garlic. You can also use a gallon plastic zip-top bag for this step. Turn the chicken until coated with the marinade. This step can be done up to 2 hours ahead. Place the chicken covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, add the chicken thighs in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, as needed. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into ½-inch-thick slices. Pour ¼ cup of the reserved marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.

  5. While the chicken is cooking, make the ginger jalapeño sauce. In a blender, blend the canola oil, jalapeños, garlic clove, ginger, scallions, sugar and salt.

  6. In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, mango, the remaining ¼ cup reserved marinade, and the remaining 1 tablespoon orange juice or to taste.

  7. To serve, divide the coconut rice among 6 bowls. Top with the chicken and cucumber-mango salad. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Drizzle with the ginger jalapeño sauce.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories807
  • Protein44 g
  • Carbohydrates79 g
  • Total Fat47 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium180 mg
  • Total Sugars15 g

Citrus Chicken Rice Bowl with Ginger Jalapeño Sauce

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Charity

    would it work to grill the chicken?

    Absolutely! Hope you enjoy Charity!

  • Carrie

    Is there any reason you wouldn't marinate this overnight? Just trying to figure out what I can do ahead of time to make the process a little quicker.

    Nope, that will work fine!

  • Kelly

    Do you think avocado would be a good addition to this?


  • Nicole

    I am totally making this for our next family dinner!! Can someone recommend a salad or veggie side for this? I have BIG eaters and I will already have to double this for 6 people. :D

    Our roasted broccoli or asparagus would be a nice simple veggie side for this one. Hope you all enjoy Nicole!

  • Sandi

    Could you make this with chicken breasts?


  • Jen

    Living in Alaska we eat salmon 1-2 times a week. This recipe is great with roasted salmon in place of chicken!

    That sounds great Jen!

  • Nikki

    Amazing recipe! My husband couldn’t stop raving about it. Flavors and textures are fabulous.

    Thanks Nikki! We are so glad you both loved it!

  • Hailey Selch

    This was the most flavorful, amazing meal. Probably in my top 5 favorite meals of all time. The combination of flavors is outstanding. I did do some "lazy" subs just to use what I had on hand. I used candied jalepenos and left out the fresh jalepenos and sugar. I also used pureed ginger. If I had used all fresh, it blows my mind on how it could have had even more flavor! Absolutely five stars. I am so glad I have left overs!!

    Thank you so much Hailey! We are so honored this made it in your TOP 5!

  • Jenn

    I actually made these with cod instead of chicken because I had some on hand. Everything else I left the same…and it was perfection! I love a flexible recipe and can’t wait to try it with chicken.

    Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it! Love that you subbed cod, sounds delicious!

  • Rebecca

    Delicious! The marinade was awesome.

    Thanks Rebecca, so glad you enjoyed it!