This chicken and quinoa bowl is easy to make, nutritious and filled with bold, Southwest-inspired flavors.
We start with a base of quinoa that’s been cooked in chicken broth for extra flavor and top it with pan-seared, garlic and lime chicken tenders, black beans, avocado, corn and scallions.
A simple tomato-jalapeño salsa and fresh cilantro are the finishing touches that pull all the flavors and textures together to make a hearty, one-dish dinner with a distinctive Southwest flair.
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Southwest Chicken Quinoa Bowl
Inspired by the flavors of the Southwest, this quinoa bowl combines boneless chicken, avocado, fresh salsa, corn, black beans and cilantro for an easy, satisfying, one-dish meal.
- 1-1/4 lbs chicken tenderloins, 8 pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
- Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
- 1 large, ripe tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 ripe Hass avocados
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1 cup low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
For the quinoa:
- 1-1/2 cups quinoa
- 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1-1/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Start by cooking the quinoa. Using a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa thoroughly and set aside to drain. Add the chicken broth, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Stir in the quinoa and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 12 minutes. Season with a few grinds of black pepper, remove from the heat and set aside until ready to serve.
- While the quinoa simmers, trim any white tendons from the chicken tenderloins. Combine the cumin, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl, then season the tenderloins on both sides with the mixture.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 2/3 of the chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1/2 minute. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until the exterior is no longer pink, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side.
- Reduce the heat to medium and drizzle the lime juice over the chicken. Continue cooking just until the tenderloins are cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Be sure to turn the tenderloins over several times to coat them with the pan juices while they finish cooking. Remove from the heat.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Combine the diced tomato, jalapeño and the remaining 1/3 of the garlic in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pit and scoop the flesh from the skin in one piece with a spoon. Cut into cubes and set aside.
- To serve, fluff the quinoa with a fork and divide between 4 serving bowls or plates. Add a tablespoon of chopped cilantro to the center of each, then add a portion of the chicken, tomato-jalapeño salsa, corn, black beans and scallions around the edges of the bowl. Place the avocado cubes in the center and serve immediately.
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