Grilled Chicken-Quinoa Fajita Bowls
If you’ve never tried quinoa, or haven’t loved it in the past, I think you will become a fan after trying this recipe. Like traditional fajitas, these Grilled Chicken-Quinoa Fajita Bowls will give you everything you need for a full meal, so you don’t have to plan anything else. It’s a one bowl meal, and trust me, you’ll be happy and satisfied after eating it!
The chicken is so easy. You’ll be able to make it in your sleep after making it a few times. Because it’s marinated, you can get it started early in the day. Then, throw it on the grill just before you’re ready to eat.
Quinoa is native to the Andes Mountain region in South America. It is prized for its high protein content, high levels of blood-pressure-lowering potassium and magnesium, and good amounts of iron. Because of the naturally occurring saponins that coat quinoa, it’s important to rinse the quinoa with cold water (in a strainer with very small holes!) and drain before using. Otherwise, it may taste bitter. Quinoa is gluten free, which makes it a good choice for people who need to follow a gluten free diet.
While quinoa can simply be cooked (quickly, I might add) in simmering water, I take one extra step to add additional flavor. It adds 3 minutes to the recipe ““ I think you can handle that! That extra step is to toast the rinsed quinoa in a skillet until it’s lightly browned and more fragrant. It boosts the flavor of quinoa similarly to how toasting nuts will take them to the next level.
These Grilled Chicken-Quinoa Fajita Bowls get topped with lime wedges for squeezing and fresh cilantro for that super fresh flavor it gives. Creamy avocado rounds out the toppings and gives this meal even more healthy goodness.
Next time you’re in the mood for fajitas, try these instead!
Marinate chicken breast halves in a simple mixture of lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper
Cook sweet pepper and onion in a skillet until crisp-tender. Remove from the skillet.
Add rinsed quinoa to the same skillet; toast for a few minutes to add more flavor! Add spices of cumin, salt and cayenne pepper.
After cooking the quinoa in water, add the pepper mixture, fresh tomates, black beans, and cilantro.
Grill the marinated chicken; then thinly slice.
Add quinoa mixture and sliced chicken to shallow bowls and top with lime wedges, avocado, and more cilantro.
- 1 to 1 ¼ pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves (3 breast halves)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 orange sweet pepper, cut into thin bite-size strips
- ½ cup halved and thinly sliced onion
- ¾ cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and chopped
- Chopped cilantro
- Place chicken in a self-sealing plastic bag set in a medium bowl. In a small bowl combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add to chicken in bag; seal bag and turn to coat chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 12 hours.
- Remove chicken from marinade; discard leftover marinade. For a charcoal or gas grill, place chicken on grill rack directly over medium coals or heat. Grill (covered if using a gas grill) for 14 to 16 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (165°F), turning once halfway through grilling.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add sweet pepper and onion. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally and turning heat down if vegetables brown too quickly. Remove vegetables from the skillet.
- Add rinsed and drained quinoa to the same skillet. Cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin seeds, salt, and cayenne pepper. Remove skillet from the heat. Carefully add water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
- Add cooked pepper mixture, the tomatoes, black beans, and cilantro to quinoa. Spoon quinoa mixture into shallow serving bowls. Thinly slice chicken crosswise. Add to bowls with quinoa. Garnish with lime wedges, avocado, and additional cilantro.
- 4 servings (1 ¼ cups quinoa mixture with about 4 ounces cooked chicken per serving)
- 454 cals, 33 g pro, 35 g carb, 21 g fat, 83 mg cholesterol, 3 g sat fat, 8 g fiber, 610 mg sodium