Seasonal Grain Bowls

by Becky
Published: Updated:

Grain bowls are a super adaptable dish that we like to eat often. I don’t give exact amounts of vegetables because this is a “use what you have” sort of meal. Whatever is fresh and in season, from the garden or farmers market, use it! 

The formula is simple, just add:

  1. Grain
  2. Marinated meat (or you can do tofu if you’re vegan or vegetarian)
  3. Seasonal Vegetables
  4. Dressing

For this version, I used rice, marinated chicken, seasonal vegetables, and a creamy basil dressing.

The creamy basil dressing is our summer go-to but in months when basil isn’t available we do a different vinaigrette like THIS ONE. Or if we have more cool season vegetables like cabbages, carrots, asian greens, and radishes we’ll do a dressing with asian flair. The sky’s the limit here.

I give suggestions below, but feel free to make this your own.

Seasonal Grain Bowls

Our family LOVES these grain bowls. So fresh, tasty, and versatile! This recipe is one of our favorites, and we often find ourselves swapping vegetables for what we have in season.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: bowls, fresh, grain, seasonal
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Becky


Chicken Marinade

  • 6 small chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves crushed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Creamy Basil Dressing

  • 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 to 1.5 cups basil leaves
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Seasonal Vegetables- We used:

  • chopped tomatoes
  • red onions
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped arugula
  • cucumbers


  • 3 cups uncooked rice
  • Feta cheese optional


  • Cook rice according to package directions.
  • Assemble all chicken marinade ingredients in a bag or bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  • Make dressing by toasting the garlic in a pan skin on. If you don’t do this, the garlic will be very strong! Allow garlic to cool and remove the skins. Then add yogurt, mayo, basil, parmesan, lemon juice, and garlic to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Cook chicken by heating a cast iron skillet on medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes on high. Flip, turn heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a lid, and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, but keep the lid on another 10 minutes. Check chicken temperature to ensure it’s fully cooked at 165ºF.
  • After the chicken has cooled, cut into bite size pieces.
  • Assemble grain bowls by adding rice to the bottom, veggies, chicken, and cheese on top. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

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Katie C. August 17, 2023 - 12:21 pm

Looks yummy!

I have a gardening question. I live in northern Virginia and it is still very hot. Head smack, it is August of course. Some of my plants are spent so I’m yanking them out and I want to plant some fall crops. Is it too early? Do you direct sow your seeds or start them indoors like you do for the spring veggies? I definitely want spinach, arugula and lettuces. I’m trying to figure out what else would grow well here. Any suggestions?

Thanks for the help, Katie C.

theseasonalhomestead August 20, 2023 - 5:12 am

It’s not too early! I would get started planting now. If you wait too long, you’ll hit low daylight hours and the plants won’t mature before winter hits. I am planting things now that have about a 60-70 day or shorter maturity time. Anything that takes longer than that, it’s too late to plant.

I direct sow some seeds and transplant others. Carrots and radishes I direct sow, but lettuce, collards, kale, herbs, and other greens are started in seed trays. You definitely still have time to plant greens. I like to plant broccoli in the fall, it does best for me then.


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