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Anytime Chicken Quinoa Bowls

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

This is something I’ve been serving for years. I don’t remember if I had a recipe to start with, or if it just happened. But I could eat this salad-bowl-thing most days of the week and be happy. One of my daughters brings this to lunch almost every day for school. It’s substantial enough that it feels like a meal, but has enough freshness and greens that it’s healthy, too. I told a friend how to make it and she was disappointed in her results the first time, which made me realize that a *key* component is how you cook the quinoa. Quinoa is nice and—they tell me—extremely healthy. It is, however, a bit boring, and without the flavor or the chicken bouillon, the salad is simply not the same. Now that we solved that problem, my friend and I both enjoy this salad at our respective homes. To simplify life, I generally make a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and then use it throughout the week.

The rest of the ingredients are pretty flexible, but you do want some greens in there; I Iike it best when the quinoa is still a bit warm and there is some touch of sweetness (here, from the dried fruit and dressing) and some nutty crunch. To simplify life, I generally make a

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 teaspoon butter or oil

4 ounces (approximately) fresh arugula or spinach

1 cup rotisserie or grilled chicken or other mild-flavored protein

¼ cup dried cranberries, cherries, or other dried fruit you like

¼ cup pecan pieces (candied, roasted, or raw) or nuts of choice

Poppyseed dressing or balsamic glaze


Cook quinoa according to package directions (generally 2 parts water for 1 part quinoa). Add one chicken bouillon cube to the water and 1 teaspoon of butter or oil (do not skip this part! quinoa is sooo much better when it’s flavored!).

When quinoa is ready, let it cool off a bit, unless you want your greens wilted.

In a large salad bowl, make a base of quinoa, then layer greens of your choice into the bowl. Top with chicken and finish with dried fruits and nuts, then dress with poppyseed dressing or balsamic glaze.

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