Southwest Chicken Quinoa Bowl

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.

Southwest Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Southwest Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.