One-Pot Mediterranean Quinoa Chicken
It’s been one of those days weeks — and it’s only Wednesday.
You know the type. Where you wake up at 6 a.m. and before you know it, you look at the clock and its 7 p.m. and you’ve barely put a dent in your to do list. Where does all the time go?!
Not into this One-Pot Mediterranean Quinoa Chicken, that’s for sure. This recipe is a breeze, but we’ll get to that.
The past few weeks have been really, really, ridiculous busy for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. I just feel like venting — and also like I owe you guys an explanation for the sound of crickets that’s been filling the void around here.
I recently started two internships for my nutrition program, and in addition to my coursework, it’s really jammed up my blogging schedule. Bear with me. There’s a month left in this semester and I’m hoping for a somewhat slower summer.
Key word — somewhat. I will have one class this summer, but it’s not one I will ever complain about. It’s a three-week course in Genoa, Italy!
You may remember, I vacationed in Italy a few years back and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to return and explore more of the enchanting country.
It was with Mediterranean vibes on the brain (and a necessity for simplicity) that I created this recipe.
I know, I know. Quinoa is totally not a Mediterranean staple.
You know what it is? A protein-packed ancient grain powerhouse. If you’re jonesing for authenticity though, feel free to swap pasta, rice or another grain — just make sure to adjust the liquid accordingly.
This one-pot dish keeps cooking simple, and makes for a quick, easy clean-up.
It’s full of nutrient-packed veggies like zucchini, bell pepper, and artichokes, and bursting with flavor from the fresh basil.
Freshly crumbled feta cheese tops off the smorgasbord of tastes, adding a rich element to the earthy dish.
I made this meal twice in the past two weeks and both times, it was hit. The recipe makes enough for dinner and several leftovers, so it will save you time all week long.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ C. fresh basil, shredded
- ½ lemon, juice + zest
- salt + pepper to taste
- olive oil spray
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 C. chicken stock
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1 C. quinoa
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- 1 C. cherry tomatoes
- 1 C. feta cheese, crumbled
- Marinate chicken with oil, half of the garlic, half of the basil, lemon juice, zest, and salt and pepper.
- While chicken marinates, chop the vegetables.
- Set oven to 350.
- Heat a large heavy pan over high heat, spray with oil and then add the chicken. Cook until chicken is browned, but still pink inside (about 5 minutes).
- Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Bring heat to medium. Spray with oil then saute onion and remaining garlic for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add zucchini and pepper and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add stock, diced tomatoes, paste, and quinoa. Stir well. Bring pot to a simmer.
- Add chicken, artichokes, and cherry tomatoes. Transfer pot to oven. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Cover pot and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Distribute among bowls, top with remaining shredded basil and feta.
An important note — don’t leave out the lemon zest. It is ahhhhmazing.
So amazing that when I made this dish for my family that was in town, and realized I forgot to buy a lemon at the store, one of my in-laws (whose identity will remain a mystery for their own protection) scoured the block and snatched one off a neighboring tree for me.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Don’t worry though. I have a young lemon tree growing in my own yard and have made a silent promise to promptly repay my neighbor with my first-grown fruit. All’s well that ends well.
PS — thanks for being patient with my blogging schedule (or lack there of). I will continue to do my best to get you guys at least one solid post a week while I’m in this grad program. xo