Broccoli Pesto Bowls with Job's Tears

Easy broccoli pesto bowls with Job’s tears, a chewy gluten-free grain. Made with a dairy-free, vegan pesto and topped with grilled chicken. The perfect easy dinner or lunch recipe. | Loveleaf Co. | #glutenfree #dairyfree #pesto #broccoli #chicken #salad #bowl #gf

Job's tears are my new favorite gluten-free grain. I'm not sure why they aren't mainstream yet, but I'm on a mission to make it more popular (join me?). Also known as coix seed or Chinese pearl barley, Job’s tears are chewy, have a mild corn flavor, and hold their shape when cooked making them perfect for bowls and salads (especially this pesto-y one). This pseudo-grain is also full of protein, vitamins, and is easy on the digestive system. 

For these broccoli pesto bowls, I used the Best Dairy-Free Pesto (my favorite, obviously) to make the pesto dressing, but any pesto recipe will do. To save time, you could even use a store-bought pesto - just look for one made with quality ingredients (no processed vegetable oils, please!). I've seen some good options at Whole Foods.

For a vegan option, simply replace the chicken with your favorite protein, like tempeh or tofu, and the cheese with some crunchy seeds.

Broccoli Pesto Bowls with Job's Tears





  • 2 lbs broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 4 oz feta or goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook the Job’s tears. In a saucepan, cover the Job’s tears in a few inches of water and simmer until they’re chewy and cooked through, about 30-40 minutes. Drain the grains when they’re done and set aside.
  3. Once the oven is preheated, roast the broccoli and the chicken breast. Arrange broccoli florets evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken breast on another rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the broccoli and the chicken for 30-35 minutes until the broccoli is starting to crisp and brown and the chicken registers 165 degrees F. Once the chicken has cooled, slice and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, make the pesto dressing. Add dairy-free pesto to a bowl and mix in the red wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons of warm water. Give a good stir and season with more salt, if needed.
  5. Serve. Divide the components (Job's tears, cooked chicken, broccoli, and feta or goat cheese) between 4 bowls and drizzle with desired amount of pesto dressing. Can be served warm or cold. Extra dressing can be used on salads, grilled or roasted veggies, or frozen for later use.