This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This bowl reminds you of a delicious warm grain bowl – but without the grains! It's a bowl of deliciousness in your hands. Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, and can be made AIP as well

Ever take a look at non-Paleo cookbooks or Instagram feeds and see all those delicious-looking grain salads and curse the day you learned grains don't do you any favors? Ugh. I get it. Those things are just perfect too for picnics and all the nice warm weathery things we are getting excited for as spring progresses and it's so hard to stop yourself from a bit of grain-envy at that moment.

However, us sneaky grain avoiders CAN have something kinda similar. I mean, it's not grains. And it's made of chicken. But really, it kind of gets the same idea across.

Picnic worthy? Check.

Ability to eat cold? Check.

Ability to eat warm? Check.

Ability to add all sorts of yummy things to it? Check.

Enter meat “grains”.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

So I wish I could take credit for this genius idea, but all credit for it goes to Rachel Bryant in her cookbook Nourish: The Paleo Healing Cookbook. She has a recipe in there for a Warm Chicken “Grain” Salad where she cooks ground chicken and then pulses it in the food processor a few times to break it up and voila, it resembles grain!

I loved the idea so much that I decided to make my own recipe using the same concept. It is super duper flavorful with all the roasted veggies and feels all bulky and filling from the meat “grains”. This has quickly become a favorite in our house.

It's also quite simple to make. First of all, look at this huge colorful pan of veggies that goes into it. So beautiful!

Roasted Vegetable Grain-free "Couscous" - a Paleo and gluten-free main dish recipe for a nutritious meal that resembles those great grain salads you take on picnics

And then the finished product.

How to make AIP-friendly

If you want to eat this while on the AIP, it's not hard to do!

Simply omit the bell peppers, pecans, and black pepper.

You could replace them with something else if you'd like – roasted carrots could be delicious in place of the bell peppers and some sliced tigernuts in place of the pecans could work.

Maybe even make the “crunchy tigernut topping” from this Winter Steak Salad. Yum!

Otherwise, this recipe is AIP Stage 3 Reintroduction-friendly.

More Helpful AIP & Paleo Resources in the Freebie Library

If you find this recipe helpful, you may really enjoy the resources in my Paleo & AIP Freebie Library! There's a “dump” freezer meal plan, a list of AIP-compliant breakfast toppings, and so much more. Plus, you'll get even more ideas sent to your inbox! Get the password here.

Roasted Vegetable “Grain” Bowl Recipe

I hope you enjoy this bowl! If you make it I'd love to hear how it turned out! Either comment below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thrivingautoimmune!

Roasted Vegetable “Grain” Bowl (Paleo, Whole30, AIP modifications)

Author: Michele
Servings: 4 servings
This bowl reminds you of a delicious warm grain bowl – but without the grains! It's a bowl of deliciousness in your hands. Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free and easy to make AIP friendly
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1/2 Butternut Squash (peeled, deseeded, and cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 Zucchini (cut into thick rounds)
  • 2 Bell Peppers (cut into bite sized pieces (omit for AIP, can be replaced with diced carrots))
  • 3 tbs Olive Oil (divided)
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1 bunch Asparagus (tough ends removed and cut into small pieces)
  • 1 cup Pecans (roughly chopped (omit for AIP – see above for suggestion of replacement))
  • 1/2 cup dried Cranberries (fruit-juice sweetened for Whole30)
  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder


  • Preheat the oven to 425 F. Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cut up the squash, zucchini, and bell peppers as listed to the left and then spread out on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbs of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut the asparagus and roughly chop the pecans. Then heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil. Add the ground chicken to the pan, breaking it up into several large pieces with your hands. Sprinkle the garlic powder and another 1/2 tsp of sea salt over the chicken and using a spatula, mix it into the chicken gently without breaking it up too much more. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook for 3 more, or until the chicken is no longer pink. Note: If making a double batch of this the cooking time for the chicken will be longer. Once the chicken is done, remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate covered with a paper towel.
  • When the 20 min is up for the veggies, add the asparagus and pecans to the sheet pan and put back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
  • Put the ground chicken in a food processor and pulse 5-6 times, until the chicken is broken up into little “grains”. Don’t over process! If making a double batch, do this in two batches. When the veggies are done, mix in a large bowl with the chicken and the dried cranberries and serve.
Course: Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet Gluten Free
Keyword: AIP, gluten free, lunch, Paleo, portable, Whole30
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @thrivingautoimmune !

Pin It on Pinterest