This pesto chicken quinoa bowl makes for an easy one-pan meal using some shredded rotisserie chicken and a prepared basil pesto. The herby and savory flavoring will be sure to make any quinoa hater think twice about this healthy grain.
This recipe is super adaptable too, feel free to substitute or add additional veggies such as zucchini or onion. However, browning the leeks and garlic in some olive oil before adding the boiling water will help build flavor for the quinoa to soak up. And also, cooking the cherry tomatoes in the with the whole mixture turns them into these little exploding balls of tomato-y goodness. So don't skimp on those!
Other great one-pan recipes:
- Cod with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Shallots
- Salmon and Asparagus Risotto
- Teriyaki Udon Noodles with Vegetables
If you are feeling more adventurous and want to make this recipe from scratch, I definitely recommend that as well! Simply roast some chicken breast or thigh with basic seasonings for an hour or so until cooked through and shred. A basic pesto recipe using fresh basil can be found here as well. Most busy nights though I like to keep it simple and go with a decent can of pesto and a grab a rotisserie chicken from the store, plus you will definitely have leftover chicken for the next night! Some leftover grilled chicken will also work well.
This recipe is good to go right from the pan, but a little sprinkle of parmesan, some basil leaves, and little dried red pepper never hurt!
What to serve with pesto chicken quinoa bowl:
Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 large leek, (white and light green portion diced)
- 4 cloves garlic, (minced)
- ¾ cup prepared basil pesto
- 1 cup cooked shredded chicken, (from leftover or rotisserie chicken)
- 1 ½ cups quinoa, (rinsed)
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, (halved)
- salt, (to taste)
- fresh basil, parmesan, and red pepper flakes (for serving)
- In a large flat saute pan or soup pot, heat the olive oil under medium heat. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and saute until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic and stir in until fragrant, about 1 minutes.
- Add the pesto, chicken, quinoa, and boiling water to the pan and season with a pinch of salt. Once, the water comes back to a boil, add the cherry tomatoes. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let pan sit for another 5 minutes covered. Then, uncover and gently fluff the quinoa. Serve with some fresh basil leaves, parmesan, and red pepper flakes.
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