These healthy chicken quinoa bowls are easily customizable to use what ingredients you have on hand. Here we topped the quinoa with chicken, cabbage, snow peas and carrots. Drizzle with simple home-made peanut dressing. Feel free to sub in cooked left-over chicken, rotisserie chicken. To make this recipe vegan, sub in cubed baked tofu for the poached chicken, and sub vegetable broth for the vegetable broth.
¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter
¼ cup orange juice
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
1 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, or coconut aminos *see ingredient note
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
2 teaspoons dark pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon salt, divided
2 ½ cup chicken broth
1 ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed *see ingredient note
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into thirds
¼ cup chopped unsalted peanuts
¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Place chicken in a medium saucepan. Cover with water. Add ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring the skillet to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until the chicken is cooked through and an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, and slice.
- Meanwhile, whisk together peanut butter and orange juice until smooth. Add in garlic, tamari, vinegar, maple syrup and ginger and whisk until smooth. Can be made up to 5 days in advance.
- Meanwhile, combine quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, and reduce heat to low or to maintain a gentle simmer. Let cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the germ of the quinoa has started to burst, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Assemble Chicken Quinoa Bowls. Layer quinoa in the bottom of four large bowls. Top with the chicken, carrots, cabbage and snap peas. Drizzle with the dressing and top with peanuts and cilantro.
- Ingredient Note: Tamari is Japanese wheat free soy sauce. Regular soy sauce is an alternative. If you prefer a soy-free alternative, try coconut aminos, which is available in health food stores.
- Ingredient Note: Quinoa contains a naturally occurring substance called saponin which coats the outside of the quinoa seed. Before cooking, remove the saponin by placing the dry quinoa in a sieve and run cold tap water over it continuously until it is no-longer foamy.
- Tip: To make these chicken quinoa bowls even faster, sub in cooked left-over chicken and/or quinoa. To cut down on chopping time, buy bagged shredded cabbage or matchstick carrots.
- Tip: Feel free to sub in your favorite vegetables for these bowls. Chopped raw broccoli, radishes and cucumbers would also be great.
- Make Ahead: The peanut dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and whisk before serving. The quinoa and chicken can be made in advance and served chilled if desired. I do not recommend reheating the chicken breast however because it will become dry.
- Serving Size: 2 1/2 cup bowl plus 3 tablespoons dressing
- Calories: 389
- Fat: 22 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 28 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 34 g