Basically obsessed with this weeknight salsa chicken quinoa.
It’s loaded with flavor, is made in one pot and super easy to throw together as we get back into the school routine.
Who else feels like you’ve been thrown back a decade with this quinoa bake? Me me me!
No, but really. After making this recipe, it gave me major blogs-back-in-2008 vibes. But that doesn’t make it any less delicious! And would it really be so bad to go back a decade right now…
My nostalgia is showing.
Here’s why I love it!
First, the flavor is obviously incredible.
Second, it’s customizable – use whatever you love, leave out what you don’t, add your favorite toppings.
I really like using rotisserie chicken for this, but if you have extra chicken leftover, chop it up and add it in. Or leave it out entirely. You can use pinto beans instead of black beans, or just use both. You can use a spicy salsa or a mild version – even a salsa verde.
Right now, since corn is still in season and super sweet and crisp, I love to use it sliced straight off the cob. But I’m showing frozen here too (and on instagram!) because it’s a super easy swap.
Another reason I love it? Well, it looks quite underwhelming right after the quinoa cooks, but as soon as you throw on your toppings, it’s GAME ON.
Avocados, more salsa, sour cream or yogurt, cotija cheese, quick pico, crushed tortilla chips. The options are endless.
You can even use chips to scoop this up and eat. Ha!
Finally, you can use another grain! Whichever you choice, whether it’s rice or something like barley or whatever – I’d follow this instructions on the package when it comes to how much liquid to add and how long to cook it. Plus, I’d pick something that cooks quickly rather than a long grain 40 minute rice – you know?
It is the PERFECT weeknight meal!
Oh oh oh and?! The leftovers are so incredible too. They taste just as good if not better than right after making.
This is one of those meals where you’re actually EXCITED about the leftovers and look forward to them. Those are my favorite.
I like to make an avocado pico for the top. It adds SO much – again, while being super simple.
Dinner couldn’t be easier!
One Pot Salsa Chicken Quinoa
Yield: 4 people
This salsa chicken quinoa is made in one pot and is perfect for a weeknight meal! Top with avocado pico de gallo, lime and sour cream.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large or 2 small bell peppers, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen works)
- 1 cup mild or medium salsa (or hot, if you want!)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
- toppings: sliced green onions, sour cream, cotija cheese, more salsa
- lime wedges, for spritzing
- 2 avocados, cubed
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 limes, freshly juiced
- salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add in the onion, peppers, and garlic with a bit pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Stir in the shredded chicken. Add in the paprika, chili powder and cumin with one more pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to activate the spices.
Add the quinoa, beans, corn, salsa and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce it to a simmer and cover it. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and stir. If the liquid hasn’t fully absorbed yet, continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the cheese. Serve the quinoa and top with the avocado pico, such as sour cream or yogurt, green onions, lime and cotija cheese. Spritz with a wedge of lime. Leftovers stay great in the fridge!
avocado pico de gallo
Combine everything in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. This stays okay sealed in the fridge overnight, but the avocado will brown a bit. To serve, make it right before eating.
Any excuse for some chips!