Chicken With Quinoa

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I love making dishes with quinoa. It’s healthy, simple and filling. Chicken With Quinoa is a delicious dish I like to make for dinner.

After trying chicken with cous cous, quinoa, then chickpeas which I served alongside sesame zucchini noodles, I moved onto the next grain. Quinoa is packed with protein and fiber while the chickpeas are a great vegetarian source of fiber and protein.

Quinoa Chicken

This is incredibly easy, delicious and spicy! Taste-test approved by a very picky 3-year-old.

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Quinoa Chicken

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Quinoa Chicken Regina

Quinoa Chicken Casey

Recipe Summary

Prep:

10 mins

Cook:

40 mins

Total:

50 mins

Servings:

6

Yield:

6 servings

Ingredients

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Original recipe yields 6 servingsIngredient Checklist

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, or as needed
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, or to taste, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds ground chicken
  • 1 ½ (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (such as RO*TEL®)

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Bring chicken broth and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Step 2Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic in hot oil until onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add ground chicken and break into small pieces while cooking until completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Step 3Stir cooked quinoa and diced tomatoes into the chicken mixture; bring to a simmer and cook long enough for the flavors to meld, about 10 minutes more.

ONE-POT CHICKEN, QUINOA, MUSHROOMS & SPINACH RECIPE

Chicken thighs, cooked quinoa, mushrooms and spinach in a black skillet.

In this easy one-pot chicken recipe, chicken, quinoa, mushrooms and spinach nestle together for a healthy meal with minimal clean-up. 256 calories and 6 Weight Watchers SP

On those days when cooking and clean-up seem overwhelming, this one-pot chicken quinoa dish comes to the rescue!

Ever since I fist made Quinoa with Caramelized Crimini Mushrooms, Soy Sauce and Ginger years ago, I knew that one of my favorite whole grains (which can even be frozen for easy meal prep!) was a perfect match for my all-time favorite vegetable.

So, why not nestle some seasoned chicken thighs into the simmering quinoa and mushroom mixture, along with some fresh spinach for a complete meal?

Healthy dinner on the table and massive clean-up averted.

Sliced mushrooms and chopped onions in a large nonstick skillet.

My job here is done.

TIPS FOR MAKING THIS ONE-POT CHICKEN QUINOA MEAL:

The first step is to get a nice sear on the spice-coated chicken thighs. That golden brown crust on the outside adds flavor. Never turn down the opportunity to add an extra layer of flavor! Two to three minutes per side in a hot skillet will do the trick.

Next up…sauté the mushrooms and onions until tender, then stir in the garlic.

Add the broth and quinoa, bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat. The mixture should be simmering.

About 10 minutes later, add the chicken thighs back to the skillet. Don’t leave behind the accumulated juices (hello, flavor). Once the chicken is in the pan, cover and cook.

Be sure that the mixture is simmering! If you don’t see bubbles, turn up the heat a bit so that the mixture is hot enough to cook the chicken.

The last step is to add the spinach and adjust the seasonings (salt and pepper) to taste. Super simple!

Clear storage container filled with quinoa. Measuring cup dipping into the quinoa.

WHAT CAN I USE IN PLACE OF MUSHROOMS?

If you’re not a rabid fan of mushrooms like I am, feel free to make a substitution. Zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, carrots, eggplant or even sliced cabbage added in the last few minutes. Plenty of options!

CAN CHICKEN BREASTS BE USED INSTEAD OF THIGHS?

Yes. If using breasts, I suggest cutting them in half or in thirds if they are large. Take care not to overcook the meat, as chicken breasts tend to dry out easily.

Chicken thighs, cooked quinoa, mushrooms and spinach in a black skillet.

One-Pot Chicken, Quinoa, Mushrooms & Spinach Recipe

One-Pot Chicken, Quinoa, Mushrooms and Spinach recipe…Healthy dinner, quick clean-up!

Course: Entrees

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Healthy Dinner Recipes, One Pot, Poultry Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 6 Servings

Calories: 257.8kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups low-fat chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups sliced spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions

  • Place the chicken thighs in a medium bowl. Add the rosemary, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and toss to coat the chicken.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion and mushrooms, and cook until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir the quinoa and broth into the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Nestle the chicken into the quinoa, and cook (covered) until the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes (total of 30 minutes).
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate. Stir the spinach into the quinoa. Serve with the chicken. Season to taste.

Notes

Weight Watchers Points: 6 (Blue – Freestyle SmartPoints), 6 (Green), 4 (Purple)

Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I provide nutritional information for my recipes as a courtesy to my readers. It is calculated using the Sparks nutrition calculator and Weight Watchers points are calculated using the Recipe Builder on their site. While I attempt to provide information that is as accurate as possible, you should calculate the nutritional information independently before relying on it.

One Pot Chicken Quinoa

One Pot Chicken Quinoa is loaded with broccoli, wholesome quinoa, juicy chicken and delicious flavours. Nothing is “boring” about this one pot meal perfect for a weeknight dinner!

Our other family favorite one pot dinners are these skillet enchiladas and Instant Pot quinoa bowls.
Chicken Quinoa in red pot

One Pot Chicken and Quinoa

One pot chicken quinoa gives you healthy dinner ideas with tender chicken breast, crispy broccoli and sweet bell peppers. Perfectly combined with the blend of garlic, olive oil and cumin. These chunky bites give amazing texture to the flavourful quinoa grains that are simmering in a delicious chicken broth.

Quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain. Its soft texture is perfect to soak up flavors of the sauce like in this black bean quinoa casserole and ground turkey quinoa bake.

This quinoa recipe with chicken is the cross-cultural sharing and honouring of flavours and ingredients. Plov in Ukraine and Middle Eastern Pilaf are both made with meat like chicken or lamb, rice and various spices. Both my dad and my sister-in-law make their own versions that are both incredibly delicious.Chicken Quinoa with broccoli and bell pepper

Ingredients for One Pot Chicken Quinoa

  • Chicken: Use boneless and skinless chicken breast or thighs. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Quinoa: Uncooked. Readily available at bulk food stores, grocery stores and health food stores. Typically comes pre-rinsed, so no need to wash it as you would rice.
  • Lots of veggies: Chopped broccoli. Chopped bell pepper. Diced onion. Shredded carrot.
  • Olive oil: I enjoy the taste of olive oil, which is why I used it. But you can really use any oil that works for frying.
  • Garlic: Minced cloves.
  • Spices: Salt. Pepper. Cumin.
  • Herbs: Dried oregano. Bay leaves. Finely chopped parsley.
  • Broth: Low sodium chicken broth.
  • Heat: Red pepper flakes.

On a hot summer day, try this Mediterranean quinoa salad that is chock full of veggies and similar flavors.

How to Make One Pot Chicken and Quinoa

  • Broccoli and bell peppers prep: The broccoli and bell peppers are made separately from the chicken and quinoa at first. Both will use the same pot and all the ingredients will be combined in one harmonious bite at the end. So it’s still a one-pot meal! To begin, preheat a large deep skillet or dutch oven and add oil to coat.sauteed broccoli and bell pepper
  • Add: To the oil, you’ll add the broccoli and bell peppers (you’ve washed and chopped them already, right?), cumin, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour this out into a medium bowl and set aside while you get the chicken and quinoa going.sauteed chicken with carrots and onions
  • Cook chicken and quinoa: To the same pot the veggies were just cooked in, add more oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and carrot and saute for a few minutes. Stir occasionally, watching for the onion not to burn. Because the pot has been hot for a while and there may be burnt bits on the bottom. This may cause the onion to turn brown even faster. No big deal, just keep an eye out!
  • Add: Stir in the quinoa, stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil.chicken quinoa simmering in broth
  • Boil and simmer: Once up to a boil, cover and reduce the heat and cook for the remaining time.chicken and quinoa cooked in red pot
  • Combine: Turn the heat off and add in the broccoli and red pepper mix you made earlier. Stir everything to combine and watch all of those bright colours infuse the quinoa. You want to let it sit covered for a few minutes for the flavours to marry each other and meld together nicely.broccoli, bell pepper, chicken and quinoa
  • Garnish and serve: Sprinkle in the chopped parsley, give it a good stir and serve hot!

This dish is a satisfying meal complete with protein, fibre, veggies among lots of other good-for-you ingredients. No need to serve it with anything else. Except maybe a nice glass of wine!

Tips and Variations

  • Grains: Because quinoa is a grain, some people may have a harder time digesting it. If this is the case, although you don’t need to rinse it first, some people find soaking the quinoa overnight before using it, helps with digestion.
  • Other veggies: This recipe is customizable in that you can add or omit any of the veggies. Cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms or zucchini would be a nice addition or substitution. Just note that if you add too many veggies it might start to overpower the dish and the taste of the chicken. This dish is a lovely balance of all 3 things, so our aim is to keep it that way!
  • More heat: A dash of Frank’s red hot sauce or Sriracha sauce would add not only heat but even more flavour.

Storing, Freezing and Reheating

Store: This recipe serves 6, which is a decent size for an average-sized family. You may have leftovers for your lunch the next day in which case, keep in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay good for up to 3 days.

Freeze: Once completely cooled, store for up to 3 months in an airtight container. When you’re ready to cook it, just thaw it in the fridge overnight.

Reheat: Reheating cooked quinoa (much like rice) can lead to burning pretty easily. Therefore, put it on low heat on the stove, but give it a splash of water or broth and stir a few times. This will help prevent burning and sticking to the bottom. It will also help put a little moisture back in the quinoa.

Chicken Quinoa recipe

One Pot Chicken Quinoa

One Pot Chicken and Quinoa is loaded with broccoli, wholesome quinoa, juicy chicken and delicious flavours. Nothing is “boring” about this healthy one pot meal perfect for a weeknight dinner!

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American Ukrainian

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 407kcal

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Ingredients

For Broccoli and Bell Peppers:

  • ▢1 lb broccoli chopped
  • ▢2 large red bell peppers cored, seeded & coarsely chopped
  • ▢3 large garlic cloves minced
  • ▢1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • ▢1/2 tsp cumin ground
  • ▢1/4 tsp salt
  • ▢Ground black pepper to taste
  • ▢Pinch red pepper flakes more to taste

For Chicken and Quinoa:

  • ▢1 medium onion diced
  • ▢1 large carrot shredded
  • ▢1 1/2 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1” pieces
  • ▢1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • ▢1 tsp oregano dried
  • ▢1/2 tsp cumin ground
  • ▢3/4 tsp salt
  • ▢Ground black pepper to taste
  • ▢Pinch red pepper flakes more to taste
  • ▢1 1/2 cups quinoa uncooked
  • ▢3 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • ▢2 bay leaves
  • ▢1/4 cup parsley finely chopped

Instructions

  • Broccoli and Bell Peppers: Preheat large deep skillet or a dutch oven on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds, stirring often.
  • Add broccoli, bell pepper, cumin, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Chicken and Quinoa: Return pot to the stove and swirl oil to coat. Add onion and carrot; saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add chicken, oregano, cumin, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes; saute for 3 more minutes, stirring a few times.
  • Add quinoa, stock and bay leaves; stir. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off heat. Add previously cooked broccoli and bell pepper, stir and let dish sit covered for 5 minutes for flavours to “marry” each other.
  • Add parsley, stir and serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheat: On the stovetop with a splash of water or broth covered on low and stirring a few times to prevent burning.

Notes

  • Oil: I particularly love the taste of olive oil in this dish but any oil for frying works.
  • No need to rinse quinoa: 99% of times it comes pre-washed in a bag.
  • Other veggies: I see how cauliflower, green beans or zucchini can work instead of broccoli. Bell pepper adds distinct flavour. So, do mushrooms if you use them.
  • Add even more heat: With Frank’s red hot sauce or sriracha.

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