Saffron Chicken, Jasmine Rice and Shirazi Salad
by Nicole Darabi on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Persian Saffron Chicken is one of the easiest meals to make in bulk. It’s light, tangy, and somehow we never get sick of it!

I married into a Persian Family, which means I would be ousted if I didn’t know how to make Joojeh Kabob. Well, not really but it sure does score some points with my in laws! 😉

Nima and I make this combination of dishes for lunch more than any other because it’s so simple and very easy to make in bulk. It’s light, tangy, and somehow we never get sick of it!

I’m going to tell you up front my mother in law will probably kill me for taking shortcuts with this recipe but I know you guys will appreciate the tips.

Here’s my “cleaned up” version of the traditional Persian dish.


Saffron Chicken, Jasmine Rice and Shirazi Salad

  • Cook Time:


  • 8 Organic skinless boneless chicken breasts, preferably fresh, never frozen
  • 1 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt (I prefer Fage for it’s tanginess)
  • 1 Medium sweet yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1/2 freshly squeeze lime
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon saffron fibers grind on plate with the back of a spoon & dissolve in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

(I like to leave the chicken breast whole to save time. If I’m entertaining the family you bet I’ll be cutting the chicken into cubes and placing those on skewers to make traditional kabobs)

Prep Steps

  1. In a bowl combine the yogurt, onion, olive oil, juice from lime & lemon, orange zest, saffron mixture, salt and pepper. Blend well into a smooth mixture.
  2. Pour the mixture over the chicken in a large enough dish to marinade overnight, making sure that all the pieces are fully covered with yogurt mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours although overnight is best.
  3. Place chicken breasts on hot grill or Traeger until chicken is well cooked.

*My husband and I are absolutely obsessed with our Traeger!
Because we’re cooking food for at least 5 days at a time the meat stays unbelievably tender and juicy through the week.

Shirazi Salad

Prep Time: 5-10minutes


4 large tomatoes
1 large English cucumber
1 freshly squeezed lime
1 Tbsp. dried mint
1 Tsp. Sea Salt


Cut tomatoes and cucumber into bite size cubes.
Place in large bowl or container, add sea salt , lime juice, and dried mint.
Mix and serve. Easy!

*You may have to make another round of Shirazi Salad mid week. Trust me, it’s that delicious that it’ll go faster than you think!

Jasmine Rice

Cook Time: 3 minutes


1 bag Trader Joe’s Frozen Jasmine Rice – Thank you Trader Joe’s for making my life easier! (Sorry Maryam!)


Place baggie in microwave for 3 minutes, ummmmm done! This rice comes out perfectly fluffy every time! Genius! (Cook as many as bags as you need to prep for the week.  I generally make 3-4 bags at a time to last my husband and I for 4 days worth of lunches)

Nutritional Value

Macro count for total meal
You can adjust measurements according to your own macros or meal plan.

Calories – 290
Carbs – 32g
Protein – 30g
Fat – 5g

Serving Size:
5oz Chicken
.66 cup Rice
4oz Shirazi Salad

If you are logging this recipe into MyFitnessPal, I have entered the entire recipe already for our convenience. You can find it by searching "Nicole Darabi’s Saffron Chicken, Jasmine Rice and Shirazi Salad".

THE INSIDE JOB: containers to use, how long it lasts, how much to prep, mistakes not to make, how to add custom flavor….etc. 

  • I prefer to use glass Tupperware containers. I know they can be cumbersome at times but they are best if your plan on reheating food.
  • I always plan on making enough protein (meat) to last for 4-5 days in the fridge. Most of the time I end up making extra to vacuum seal and freeze. We’re all busy so the less time I can spend cooking the better!
  • Try adding Turmeric to the yogurt mixture. It will add a rich, warm flavor and a beautiful color, not to mention it’s many other health benefits.

Remember, it’s YOU vs. YOU!

Follow Nicole Darabi on Instagram and show me what recipes you are making from my blog! Use the hashtag #nicoledarabirecipes so that I can see what you are making in your kitchen!

3 thoughts on “Saffron Chicken, Jasmine Rice and Shirazi Salad

  1. Antra Boyd on

    Holy Moly!
    The recipes! I am so excited!!!! Gonna prep BIG TIME this weekend!!!

    You are beautiful and I am already inspired!!!


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