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Rice Bowl with Turmeric Ginger Chicken

Healthful and delicious, this chicken and rice bowl brings together tasty ingredients for a good-for-you meal, or eaten separately in many other flavorful formats.


A rice bowl with turmeric ginger chicken, avocado, red cabbage, lime wedges and cilantro ranch
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Healthy AND Delicious? We Love When That Happens

Turmeric and ginger are often paired together for their powerful medicinal properties. So, in the “let food be thy medicine” way of cooking, we present this easy chicken rice bowl that combines the wonderful flavors of chicken marinated in turmeric and ginger with cilantro-lime rice and creamy cilantro ranch dressing. It’s a fresh feel-good meal that is both comforting and satisfying.

spices, chicken, cilantro-lime rice, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and honey in bowls

Our Favorite Chicken Rice Bowl

The flavors in this rice bowl are a big love fest. Cilantro and lime go well together, and turmeric and ginger are good flavor friends, and everything altogether is just the pinnacle of good stuff. We love cilantro lime rice as a way to add pizazz to regular white rice and it goes great with the warming flavors of turmeric ginger chicken. What is turmeric best paired with? Black pepper is known to help absorb turmeric, and ginger has long been paired with turmeric in cooking to support digestion, mood, and healthy joints and muscles. Does cooking turmeric destroy its benefits? Turmeric contains curcumin, which is mostly recognized as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and has lots of other great benefits to boot. Cooking turmeric is thought to lessen its beneficial properties somewhat, but cooking it for the short amount of time required by this recipe doesn’t negate its healthful qualities. To skip to the juicy part, eating turmeric is good for you!

garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, lime juice, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl
garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, lime juice, honey, olive oil, salt, pepper and chicken in a bowl
chicken marinating in garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, lime juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper
buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, jalapeno, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a food processor

How To Make Cilantro-Lime Rice Bowls

Building a chicken and rice bowl is easy when you break it down into parts. We’re making a marinated chicken, a cilantro ranch dressing, a bunch of veggies, with a rice base.

  1. Make the marinade. Toss the chicken in the marinade to coat well. How long does it take to marinate chicken? You can either marinate the chicken at room temperature for 15 minutes or refrigerate it overnight. We don’t recommend marinating the chicken for longer than overnight because the texture will break down.

  2. Cook the cilantro-lime rice recipe.

  3. Cook the chicken in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, about 2-3 minutes per side.

  4. Ranch it up! Prepare the cilantro ranch in a food processor or in a jar with an immersion blender.

  5. Serve the bowls! Divide the cilantro lime rice amongst the bowls. Top with the chicken, shaved red cabbage, and avocado slices. Drizzle cilantro ranch over the entire bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro.

cilantro ranch in a food processor made with buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, cilantro, jalapeño, onion & garlic powders & salt
turmeric ginger chicken being cooked in a skillet with a wooden spoon
ingredients to assemble rice bowls on the counter including turmeric ginger chicken, cilantro-lime rice and cilantro ranch
Rice Bowlwith Tumeric Ginger Chicken 9

Ingredients for Building Tasty Rice Bowls

The fun part about making rice bowls is that many of the ingredients would also be great guest stars in other recipes. We’re thinking of our Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with Avocado Crema that also uses that delicious cilantro-lime rice. The turmeric ginger chicken would be terrific with Mediterranean Couscous Salad or our famous Kale Caesar Salad. If you have leftover cilantro ranch dressing, it would make a great alternative dipping sauce for these Potato Wedges or Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders. A few other rice bowls we crave often are our Chicken Teriyaki Sushi Rice Bowl, Salmon Bowl with ponzu or our Macadamia Nut Crusted Fish Bowl. And you definitely need to try our Gyro Bowl if you love rice bowls with Greek flavors.

Tools You’ll Need

Here Are Some More One Bowl Wonders

A rice bowl with turmeric ginger chicken, avocado, red cabbage, lime wedges and cilantro ranch

Show Us That Cilantro, Ginger, And Turmeric Love

Did you make this turmeric ginger chicken rice bowl? Show us a picture and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Rice Bowl with Turmeric Ginger Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 405


  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced

For the Cilantro Ranch

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For serving

  • Cilantro lime rice
  • Red cabbage, thinly shaved
  • Avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for serving


  1. In a large bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, lime juice, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat well. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

  2. While the chicken marinates, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a separate large bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, make the Cilantro Ranch. In the base of a food processor or blender, combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, jalapeno, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt until smooth.

  4. To serve, divide the cilantro lime rice between bowls. Top with the chicken, red cabbage, and avocado. Drizzle with cilantro ranch over and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories405
  • Protein27 g
  • Carbohydrates11 g
  • Total Fat32 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol25 mg
  • sodium376 mg
  • Total Sugars8 g

Rice Bowl with Turmeric Ginger Chicken

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • ElA

    Love this chicken but want to use it for other dishes - any recommendations??

    Any type of rice bowl, you could add veggies with the chicken and sauce and make a stir fry or just serve the chicken on it's own with roasted veggies on the side.

  • Deb

    Made this one a few times and it’s delicious. BUT how to cook the chicken so it doesn’t wreck the pan? The honey makes the sauce burn even cooking on medium heat. By the last batch, it’s a blackened mess.

    After the initial cook on each side, I often flip my chicken a lot to prevent the burning. I don't always have to do can also cook it on a grill if the weather permits!

  • Lauren Neal

    Do the nutrition facts include rice and avocado?

    No, anything listed under "for serving" wasn't calculated in the nutrition as they are optional and not concrete amounts.

  • Natalie

    Would this recipe work with chicken breasts?


  • Maddy

    Amazing!! The ranch is amazing and a must have. You won’t have leftovers, so make a double batch!

    Thanks Maddy, so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Kendra

    Delish!!! I didn’t have buttermilk, so I substituted 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice + 1/2 cup milk, and the ranch still turned out bomb. This meal will definitely be in my dinner rotation.

    Thanks Kendra, so happy you loved it!

  • Laura Arnold

    So delicious! Absolutely packed with flavor and just delectable. Also, easy to make! I skipped the cilantro since I didn’t have any and added in oregano and parsley in the marinade. We will definitely be having this for dinner again soon!

    Thanks Laura, so glad you loved it!

  • Ashley

    This was SO good!! The chicken was so flavorful (my picky 5 year old even loved it!). I also added cucumber to ours which was a refreshing and cool addition. Would love to grill the chicken next time for even more great flavor and texture. Definitely making this again.

    Thanks Ashley, we are so glad you and the family enjoyed!

  • Katherine Y

    I made this for my husband tonight and he was a big fan. The chicken was SO flavorful with the ginger and turmeric and we loved how cilantro-heavy this dish is! The lime adds such a nice zing and the sauce was great over it all. We are adding this to our repertoire!

    Thanks Katherine this is so great to hear!