Chicken Vermicelli Bowls
Vietnamese-style Chicken Vermicelli Bowls are loaded with lemongrass marinated chicken, fresh veggies, rice noodles, and a tangy dressing. These bowls are fresh, light, and full of texture! If you’re looking for a fresh summer dinner, look no further!
Vietnamese-style chicken vermicelli bowls combine flavorful grilled chicken, crunchy vegetables, rice noodles, and a tangy Vietnamese-style dressing. These bowls are a great option for meal prep or weeknight dinners because much of the work can be done in advance.
I love these bowls because they’re healthy and delicious! It’s a great way to work more veggies into your diet while not sacrificing flavor. Vietnamese-style chicken vermicelli bowls will leave you feeling full and satisfied!
Vietnamese-Style Chicken Vermicelli Bowls
If you’ve ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant, you’ve likely come across these flavorful and refreshing bowls. You’d probably see something similar on a menu labeled ‘bún gà nuóng’ meaning “grilled chicken rice noodle.” I love Vietnamese food for all it’s freshness and flavors!
This recipe is not authentic, but the flavors and spirit of the recipe are a tribute to my love of Vietnamese food. Traditionally, you would serve Vietnamese-style chicken vermicelli bowls cold but you can also serve them slightly warm or room temp. That’s what makes these bowls so great for meal prep, you can assemble everything with no heating required!
The real star of the show here is the lemongrass chicken! It’s so flavorful and amazing for meal prep, it’s one of my go-to chicken recipes. While the marinade list might look like a lot, it’s so easy to make. All the ingredients go into a blender and that’s it! You can marinade the chicken for up to 2 days so you can get that portion of the recipe out of the way early.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Easy – this recipe is so easy to throw together any night of the week! You can marinate the chicken in advance and then all you have to do is grill it up! You can also prep your veggies and sauce in advance too!
Great for meal prep – This recipe is easy to double or triple and re-heats like a dream. I love prepping all the ingredients for chicken vermicelli bowls and enjoying them throughout the week for lunch. The chicken is also great over salad greens for a light lunch.
Healthy – We try and live by the 80/20 rule at home. 80% whole and healthy foods and 20% indulgence. These Vietnamese-style chicken vermicelli bowls are super flavorful and filling while also being healthy! Chicken thighs are full of protein which keeps us full longer. The rice noodles are a great carb to pair with protein. This is a balanced and delicious dinner that you’ll turn to over and over again!
Cost effective – Chicken thighs are incredibly affordable as are the rice noodles used. It’s easy to make a ton of food at very little cost. It’s also a great way to use up vegetable odds and ends in the fridge!
Easy assembly – You can lay out all the ingredients have people assemble bowls themselves! This is a great recipe for dinner parties, summer bbq’s, and more!
How to Make Vietnamese-Style Chicken Vermicelli Bowls
You’re going to love how easily these bowls come together! This is a great recipe for outdoor grilling, but you can also bake the chicken during the colder months.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken. I love chicken thighs here because they have a bit of fat, but you could swap in chicken breast, shrimp, skirt steak, etc.
- Lemongrass. I always grab fresh lemongrass for this marinade which you can find in the herb/produce section of most grocery stores. I always buy a ton from my local Asian market and then freeze it. You could also use lemongrass paste, it’s just not as fresh.
- Ginger. Fresh ginger in the marinade is so, so good.
- Soy sauce. You can make this recipe gluten free by swapping in coconut aminos or tamari.
- Thai chilies. Thai chilies give the marinade and sauce some kick!
- Fish sauce. Some people are averse to fish sauce, but I encourage you to try it! It adds tons of umami and makes the marinade and sauce here.
- Rice noodles. You can find rice noodles dried in the Asian section of your grocery store or at any Asian Market. Look for rice vermicelli which are white and very thin.
- Veggies. Use what you like here! I love thinly sliced cucumber and shredded carrots, but you could add in bell pepper, shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, etc.
- Herbs. Fresh herbs absolutely make Vietnamese-style chicken vermicelli bowls! Fresh mint and cilantro give these such a fresh flavor.
- Lime. I always serve lime wedges on the side and lime juice goes into the dressing to give it a tangy zip.
- Marinate the chicken. Trim any excess fat from your chicken thighs and throw them in a large ziplock bag. Blend all the marinade ingredients until smooth and pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and marinate for at least 1 hour, up to 48 hours.
- Make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. You can adjust the amount of fish sauce to taste. The dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Prep veggies. Get your veggies and herbs chopped up and ready to go.
- Grill chicken. You can grill the chicken outdoors or indoors on a grill pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess. Grill 4-5 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked all the way through to 165 F. Alternately, you can lay the chicken out on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake/broil to get the same effects.
- Cook the noodles. Cook the rice vermicelli according to package instructions, drain, and rinse really well with cold water.
- Assemble. Assemble the bowls with rice vermicelli noodles, sliced chicken, veggies, herbs, and drizzle dressing on top. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
Storing Chicken Vermicelli Bowls
We’re often so busy during the week, that I love a good dinner recipe that I can turn into lunches and leftovers for the week!
You can store the chicken in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. All you have to do is just pop the chicken in the microwave to warm it through. You can also totally enjoy the chicken cold.
Store the noodles in a large ziplock bag. You can toss them with a little oil to keep them from sticking, but as long as you rinse them well, you shouldn’t have sticking. You can store them for up to 5 days.
To freeze the lemongrass chicken, cool the chicken to room temperature and store in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Try to press as much air out as possible–this helps prevent freezer burn. Make sure to label the chicken and you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost the chicken in the fridge until it’s completely thawed and then you can microwave it until it’s warmed through.
Chicken Vermicelli Bowls for Meal Prep
Meal prep tips: If you’re making this recipe for meal prep, I recommend that you store the ingredients in divided meal prep containers and assemble/toss with dressing right before eating.
This also allows you to warm the chicken up if you want to! I like warming up the lemongrass chicken, but keeping the rest of the ingredients cold. It’s a great lunch for warm days!
Vietnamese-Style Chicken Vermicelli Bowls FAQs
What are rice vermicelli noodles (bún)?
Rice vermicelli noodles are a thin form of rice noodles made from rice. The rice noodles are labeled differently depending on their size: rice vermicelli – extra thin, thread – fine, or rice stick – flat. We want the thinnest – rice vermicelli. They are white in color, slightly firm when cooked and separate into fine threads. These are different from glass noodles which are much stickier and not great for noodle salads.
Can vermicelli bowls be made gluten free?
Yes! The rice vermicelli is naturally gluten free. To make the chicken gluten-free, swap in coconut aminos or tamari for soy sauce.
Can I substitute different proteins in?
Absolutely! You could use the same marinade on chicken breast, salmon, shrimp, beef, or pork. You could also use firm tofu for a plant-based dinner. The sky is the limit here!
More Noodle Recipes to Try Now
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Vietnamese-Style Chicken Vermicelli Bowls
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 lemongrass stalk, end and tough outer leaves removed, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 thai chilies, chopped
Tangy Vietnamese-Style Dressing
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce, like Mae ploy
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablepoons rice wine vinegar
- 1-2 Thai chilies, minced
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 oz dried vermicelli noodles
- 2 baby cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/3 cup mint leaves
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Place the chicken thighs in a large ziplock bag. Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade over the chicken and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 48 hours.
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through to 165 F internally. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth. If you're averse to fish sauce, you can use less. Adjust soy sauce or salt to taste.
- Cook the rice vermicelli according to package instructions, drain, and rinse with cold water to keep the noodles from sticking together.
- Divide the noodles among bowls, top with chopped veggies, herbs, and sliced chicken. Drizzle with dressing as desired and serve with lime wedges on the side.