Chicken and Rice for Bodybuilding

Why It Works & How to Make This Simple Recipe for Fat Loss or Muscle Gain

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTUpdated: March 18, 2024

Chicken and rice are a classic combination synonymous with the bodybuilding meal plan. However, many people incorrectly assume these healthy meals only contain plain grilled chicken and bland white rice.

In this article, I’ll explain why chicken and rice are bodybuilding staples and show you how to prepare a delicious chicken and rice recipe in under 20 minutes.

chicken broccoli and rice recipe

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Chicken and Rice?

If you look at the diets of the top athletes in the fitness world, almost all of them include some variation of chicken and rice. These simple ingredients are cheap sources of essential macronutrients for resistance training.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are lean meat with an incredible protein-to-calorie ratio. They’re high in protein but low in calories, making them ideal bodybuilding food for fat loss and muscle growth meal plans.

In addition, rice is packed with carbohydrates that fuel intense workouts and help you recover after training. The carbs work together with protein to promote anabolism, helping you build more lean muscle.

Additionally, I include chicken in rice in meal plans for myself and my clients because of its versatility. There are countless ways to prepare and garnish this dish to suit almost any palate.

Bodybuilding Chicken and Rice Recipe

This recipe is a super easy version of chicken and rice with some extra ingredients and flavors. With this meal, you won’t feel like you’re on a deprivation diet!

I recommend making a big batch that allows you to share it with the family or divide it up for multiple meals during the week.



  1. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces using kitchen shears
  2. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to the skillet and melt
  3. Combine chicken breast with oil in skillet
  4. Season with chili powder, turmeric, onion powder, oregano leaves, and a small amount of crushed red pepper
  5. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked (season with chili powder, garlic powder, and black pepper)
  6. Place cooked chicken into a large bowl (leave the remaining fat and oil in the skillet)
  7. Add frozen broccoli to skillet.
  8. Saute over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes or until thoroughly cooked (season with black pepper and Italian herbs)
  9. Partially tear open the wild rice bag and heat in the microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.
  10. Combine ingredients in the large bowl and mix
  11. Separate into smaller bowls and serve

Nutrition Facts:

With the quantities shown, I recommend dividing this meal into two or three servings. When divided into two servings, the nutrition facts for a single serving are as follows:

  • Calories – 629
  • Protein – 77 g
  • Total Carbs – 49 g
    • Fiber – 5 g
    • Sugar – 5 g
  • Fat – 13 g
  • Sodium – 275 mg
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Bodybuilding Chicken and Rice Variations

As mentioned, versatility is one reason chicken and rice work so well for bodybuilding. Here are some alternative ingredients and substitutions to suit your personal preference.


  • Chicken thighs or lean ground chicken
  • Brown rice or white rice
  • Stir fry or other colorful veggies

Chicken thighs or ground chicken contain more fat and are not a lean protein like chicken breasts. So, I generally don’t recommend using them unless you’re on a low-carb, high-fat meal plan and tracking your calories.

Brown rice is another good source of complex carbohydrates for fueling workouts. White rice is a little higher on the glycemic index, so I typically eat it as a post-workout meal or at least in the hours following my workout.

Additionally, I like to cook my rice in chicken bone broth instead of water to add more flavor and a dose of collagen protein essential for healthy skin.

You can adjust this recipe’s ingredient quantities to meet your nutrition needs. For example, if your primary goal is weight loss, you can reduce the amount of rice. Or if you don’t need that much protein, you can use less chicken.

Another option is to increase all the ingredients but split the final product into three or even four meals. This will reduce calories and macros while saving even more meal prep time.

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