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These quinoa and chicken recipes are healthy and delicious
If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious way to add more protein to your diet, try these good-for-you quinoa and chicken recipes.
Chicken and Quinoa Soup
This healthy, hearty, protein-rich soup is perfect for dinner on a cold day. Be sure to make a double batch while you’re at it; it makes for great leftovers.
Healthy Chicken and Quinoa Salad
This crunchy salad is best made one day in advance; the dressing will help soften the radicchio and blend the various flavors in the dish.
Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Grapes, and Almonds
This sweet and salty salad makes the perfect packed lunch. Make prep even easier by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own.
Sweet and Smoky Chicken Over Quinoa
Smoky chipotle and creamy avocado pair well with the sweet and citrusy flavors in this chicken and quinoa dish.
Hearty Chicken and Heirloom Tomato Salad
If you want a quick and healthy meal that’s big on fresh flavor, then this is your new go-to recipe. Nutty quinoa is paired with fresh sweet corn and heirloom tomatoes, then topped with balsamic vinaigrette and served with chicken.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
Great for lunch or dinner, and also packed with protein (20 grams!), not to mention tons of wonderful flavors. A few other favorite quinoa obsessions are Avocado Quinoa and Chickpea Salad, Black Bean Quinoa and Mango Salad and Quinoa Huevos Rancheros Bowl.
To make the grilled chicken extra flavorful, I like to marinate it overnight with lemon juice, garlic and fresh herbs like rosemary or oregano. This is great to bring to a potluck, to enjoy as a light meal. You can make the chicken and quinoa ahead if you wish, and mix everything together when you’re ready to eat.
Quinoa Chicken Parmesan
Yield: 4 servings
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
total time: 45 minutes
With an amazingly crisp quinoa crust, you’ll never guess that this is actually so healthy!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise in half
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup marinara sauce, homemade or storebought
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
- In a large saucepan of 1 1/2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Stir in Italian seasoning.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in quinoa mixture, pressing to coat.
- Place chicken onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Top with cheeses and marinara. Place into oven and bake until cheeses have melted, about 5 more minutes.
- Serve immediately, garnished with basil, if desired.
Did you Make This Recipe?
Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.
Swap In Whatever You’d Like Here
Substitutions that might make you happy:
- use chickpeas instead of chicken
- use a different grain, or cook your own
- use a different dressing – something lemony, herby, more or less sweet, whatever you like
- add capers for extra briney-ness
- add roasted vegetables of any sort – sweet potato, bell peppers, zucchini
- add cheese
- add nuts or seeds
Whether you go my direction with the quinoa / chicken / artichokes / Greek dressing, or go your own way with a spin-off of this combination, you will be eating well.
She is beautiful, colorful, flavorful, nutritious, family-friendly, and everything good that your SOS spring + summer heart could ever want.
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- ¼ cup prepared pico de gallo or other salsa
- ¼ cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Lime wedges for serving
Preheat grill to medium-high or preheat broiler.
Combine chipotles, oil, garlic powder and cumin in a small bowl.
Oil the grill rack (see Tip) or a rimmed baking sheet, if broiling. Season chicken with salt. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes or broil it on the prepared baking sheet for 9 minutes. Turn, brush with the chipotle glaze and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, 3 to 5 minutes more on the grill or 9 minutes more under the broiler. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Chop into bite-size pieces.
Assemble each burrito bowl with 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup chicken, 1/2 cup lettuce, 1/4 cup beans, 1/4 avocado, 1 tablespoon pico de gallo (or other salsa) and 1 tablespoon cheese. Serve with a lime wedge.
To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
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.
Quinoa is a gluten-free seed (often called a grain) that has been grown for thousands of years in South America. It has the highest protein content of all grains and is considered a complete protein.
The most common type of quinoa is white. However, you will also see red, black or mixed quinoa sold at grocery stores. For the most part, white, black and red quinoa taste the same, although the red and black quinoa can have a slightly earthier flavor and chewier texture.
Before cooking quinoa, it is usually recommended that you rinse it in water. However, rinsing quinoa isn't as crucial as you might think. Many brands of quinoa have been polished or pre-washed to remove the bitter but harmless coating (called saponin).
Not rinsing quinoa isn't harmful, but quinoa can have a slightly bitter flavor if not rinsed. To rinse quinoa, swish it around in a bowl of water then drain using a fine mesh strainer, or just run water over the quinoa while it's in the strainer.
The Best Broccoli Casserole
- My broccoli cheddar version here features tons of caramelized roasted broccoli for extra flavor, plus some milk and sharp cheddar cheese.
- Nutritious quinoa magically blends into creamy oblivion while it’s in the oven.
- Top all of that with some garlicky breadcrumbs and you have one amazing dish that makes for great leftovers.
You can be fancy and call it a “grah-tahnnnn” in your best French accent, or announce it as a “hot dish” in your finest Minnesotan. Either way, it’s a stellar broccoli casserole.
Please let me know how this broccoli casserole recipe turns out for you in the comments! I always love to hear from you.
Craving more lightened-up comfort foods? Here are a few of my favorites:
For even more hearty dinner recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook!
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole
I snuck some carrots inside the casserole so we can get our veggies in. Most people are trying to hide vegetables in recipes for their kids, but I am over here trying to hid them from myself. Ugh&hellip I know I need to eat more but I am just not a fan of straight veggies. When they are mixed in with lots of other flavors and textures I can get on board. If you are a huge vegetable fan you could even sneak some more celery, mushrooms, broccoli or other vegetables in this Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake. Just be sure not to add too many or it won&rsquot set up with the right consistency.
5-ingredient Mexican Quinoa
Okay, hi. I just have to dive right in today and talk about this Mexican quinoa.
5 ingredients + 15 minutes = best dinner ever.
This dish reminds me of the Mexican-style rice you can find at some restaurants. You know the type, it’s flavorful, with a reddish hue, a little crunchy and full of flavor? That’s the one. This quinoa is similar but way better.
Now granted, I’m probably a bit biased (quinoa > rice all day every day.), but I’ve managed to pack in a ton of flavor using just five, super basic ingredients. Plus, there are more goodies in here – think corn + black beans – making this dish a bit more robust and filling.
As I started researching this post, I wanted to find out how they made Mexican rice. As it turns out, it starts with a boatload of oil. Basically, you fry the rice in the pan, then add the stock, tomato sauce, and spices, and let rice cook away. The end result? A big pot of fluffy red rice.
Here’s the thing…when you try it with quinoa it totally doesn’t work. I mean epic failure. I followed a recipe I found online and ended up with a huge pot of mushy quinoa. It was like pig slop. Not good.
So word to the wise: don’t try to make Mexican quinoa the traditional rice way.
Normally, a few failures like that (did I mention I tried it 3 times) would have me abandon all hopes and move on. Not this time though. I was determined to make simple Mexican quinoa that was NOT a glob of mush.
Turns out, it’s not that hard. Should have trusted my instincts and followed the same principle I used for my quinoa fried rice to begin with. Lesson learned.
So here’s the deal with this dish. You really only need 5 ingredients.
White Quinoa (I used Ancient Harvest because it's my fave!)
From there you essentially just mix it all together in a pan and call it a day. How-ev-er there is one trick I have to avoid the mush: start with cold quinoa.
You already know that I like to cook big batches of quinoa and save them in the fridge for my recipes, and this type of recipe is the perfect example. Starting with quinoa that has cooled completely will help it from getting super sticky when you cook it in a pan. (and trust me…I’ve discovered this the hard way)
This recipe couldn’t be more straightforward. You just add your corn and black beans to the pan, cooking them until the corn is tender. Then add your quinoa and cumin. And finally, stir in your salsa and you’re done! I garnished mine with some cilantro because I’m obsessed, but feel free to skip that part.
Most importantly tho…dinner with 5 ingredients in under 15 minutes. Major win!
PS: if you make this recipe (or any others!) make sure to snap a pic and share it on Instagram using hashtag #SIMPLYQUINOA – I want to see your creations!