Marinated Kale and Chicken Bowls with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Marinated Kale and Chicken Bowls with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

33 reviews / 4.8 average

Let's be honest here.

I am sitting at the studio looking at this gorgeous memory of a meal from last week, pretending like I have myself put together and that I'm going to write a nice, thoughtful post about how much I love these kale and chicken quinoa bowls with marinated kale WHICH I DO LOVE SO VERY MUCH.


Considering the following:

  • that I returned home late last night from an epic weekend getaway with my girlfriend squad (pictures to come! you know I cannot resist)
  • that said trip took place in the always-perfect weather of Arizona
  • that I am returning to the sub zero arctic of Minnesota where I live which feels pretty much 😭😭😭 right now
  • that my mind is a blob of crushed end-of-vacation feelings
  • that my whole self looks like I walked straight from a pool straight onto a plane straight into bed and straight into work, BECAUSE I ACTUALLY DID THAT,

... I think I might be better of just coming clean with you and just admitting that today is all about playing email catch up, sipping on an extra coffee, getting my lion's mane of hair officially untangled, and finding my way back into easy + delicious + clean post-weekend-trip food.

I mean, if I could just eat A SINGLE VEGETABLE today and maybe wear something semi-clean, I'd be winning.

You're feeling Monday too? In the not-best-possible way? Come with me, friends. I want you alllll aboard this yummy train.

bowl with kale, chicken, quinoa and sun dried tomatoes with a fork and jar of sauce

This bowl is everything clean eating should be: nutritious, full of flavor, multi-textured, satisfying, colorful, and all-around happy. That's because it's loaded with seasoned quinoa, lemony chicken, and the magical thing known as marinated kale which is actually, um, just like it sounds. Marinated Kale. Mind blown, right? Also - you know there's gotta be an avocado half on that bowl because VEGETABLES, and don't think for a second that we are going sauceless. Load it up with that sun dried tomato sauce, guys. Just load it up.

It comes together quickly, it's really pretty to look at, and it's flexible to whatever ingredients you have on hand -> I just got a flash vision of grilled asparagus on top of this which is not at all seasonal in this hungry minute, but maybe someone will happen to find this in the summer someday and be able to use that glimmer of a good idea - it's like a recipe message in a bottle for someone in a happier summertime place.

Dinner tonight! I'm thinking this rainbow bowl + you, me, Ben, and all the right reasons. I didn't just say that tho.

Power to the Monday!

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Kale and Chicken bowls with avocado and sauce.

Marinated Kale and Chicken Bowls with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce


Marinated Kale and Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce! This recipe is clean, simple, and nutritious!




  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • a few good squeezes of lemon juice (totaling about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Bowls

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • sesame seeds or crushed red pepper flakes for topping

For the Sun Dried Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 16 ounce jar sun dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more to taste - I prefer more like 1 teaspoon)
  • juice of one lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup almonds


  1. MARINATE: Whisk the marinade ingredients together. Cut the kale. Marinate the chicken and the kale (separate bags, please!) in the marinade sauce in the fridge. In terms of timing, your best bet is to let the kale go overnight, but the chicken doesn't need quite as long - the lemon juice starts to mess with the texture after a while, so if you can, try for 30 minutes to 2 hours of marinating with the chicken.
  2. COOK CHICKEN: Place a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and saute until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Let stand a few minutes before cutting.
  3. QUINOA: Cook the quinoa according to package directions. When the quinoa is done, stir 1/2 cup of the sauce throughout to distribute.
  4. SUN DRIED TOMATO SAUCE: While the quinoa cooks, make the tomato sauce by pulsing everything together in a food processor (add almonds last to preserve a little bit of crunchiness).
  5. SERVING: To serve, fill bowls with quinoa, kale, chicken, avocado, and sun dried tomato sauce. Top with sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, olive oil, or anything else you want because it's a free country and food is delicious!


In the pictures I'm using baby kale but I really prefer this with regular kale - baby kale starts to go soggy pretty fast with the marinade. Nutrition label does not include sauce, as amount will vary based on how your build your bowl.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: marinated kale and chicken bowls, sun dried tomato sauce, chicken bowl recipe

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our best healthy chicken recipes page. Check it out!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love your honesty <3 it makes me feel better about my semi-lame post about dark chocolate fruit bark. the bark was incredible, simple and delicious in every way that dark chocolate feels but I couldn't even think about feelin' it this morning.
    Let's just daydream about a weekend that is a little closer and, in your case, a lovely weekend that just happened 🙂 hang in there girly!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Me too! I love how your recipes have evolved over the years to include lots more healthy items for the menu. Now that I’m eating healthy I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight and incorporating tasty, yet healthy food like this is critical. For awhile, I was just punitive, steamed chicken and broccoli every night for 2 years! So yes, I was 100 pounds but miserable. Found a balance with eating healthy food that actually tastes good and I love the inspiration I find here.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looks really yummy! Glad you had a wonderful girl’s weekend! I too am struggling with Monday…unfortunately because of a cold. 🙁 Looking forward to seeing your weekend pics!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    It sounds like you marinaded uncooked chicken and kale in the same container, and then didn’t cook the kale, Isn’t that dangerous???

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Common sense tells us that those two items were marinated in separate containers. Lindsay probably didn’t think it needed saying.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Do you essentially call people stupid in that way often? Pretty rude. I recommend keeping that inside next time.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I also had the same thought about the chicken being in with the kale. Good to clarify!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Can’t wait to see your vacation pictures! You are an all round amazing photographer. I think this bowl of goodness will help you with your post holiday blues 🙂

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    It would be helpful to write that the raw chicken and the kale should be marinated separately. As a seasoned cook I knew that right away but you never know who might be making the recipe!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Good caution / reminder. I was about to point out the same thing.
      You can never be sure of the experience level of people reading these recipes, so this is a good thing to spell out. Separate containers!

      and this recipe has almost an entire cup of olive oil if you add it all up. That’s a lot.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    If I made these ahead of time for lunches, would it be mushy the next day? Thanks.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      No, the sauce is relatively dry – like it won’t soak into everything the same way a dressing would, so I think you’d be fine!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This recipe sounds delish! But, you do know Avocados are technically fruit right? I’ll blame vacation brain and Monday with you.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks superb! Sun-dried tomatoes are absolutely amazing–I can eat them all! Kale and chicken is a perfect combination!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    First off, I am loving the new layout of your blog (unsure about how long it’s been up, but I just noticed, haha)! Second, these kale and chicken bowls are making my life right now! I love having new ways to make quinoa interesting – gotta keep the family interested!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Amanda! Appreciate that! 🙂 It’s been updated for a few weeks – still working out the bugs but it’s getting there!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    How long will the marinaded Kale keep fresh in the fridge? Looking for good meal prep ideas for lunch and this looks fab!!!