A one-bowl chicken dinner that makes great leftovers and is topped with fresh, colorful pineapple avocado salsa. Caribbean Chicken and Quinoa bowls are gluten-free, dairy-free, packed with 30 grams of protein and only 450 calories!
I can’t get enough of all these one-bowl dinners floating around the internet. I love any dinner that allows me to get most of the dishes out of the way and has us all sitting down to eat with a bowl each to throw in the dishwasher.
Molly and Clara will likely toss several items out of their bowls, but as you may know, there’s no rationalizing with toddlers at the dinner table.
These Caribbean-inspired bowls have the added benefit of being entirely make-ahead friendly. We like to cook the chicken and quinoa and make the salsa a day or two ahead. Just warm everything up (except the salsa – keep that chilled) and serve! It makes these one our favorite meals to pack up for lunches.
All that protein from chicken, avocados and quinoa are guaranteed to ward off the afternoon slump. (You know….the one that causes you think it would be a good idea to eat 1 or 3 of those brownies your co-worker brought in. *Guilty.*)
Caribbean Chicken and Quinoa Bowls with Pineapple Avocado Salsa
For the Caribbean Spice Rub:
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 2 tsp Dried Thyme
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder (not "garlic salt")
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
For the Pineapple Salsa:
- 1 cup Pineapple Cubes, diced
- 1 Avocado, diced
- 1 Jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds if you'd like less spice
- 1/2 small Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Cilantro Leaves, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 Lime
For the Chicken Bowls
- 1 1/2 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
- 3/4 cup Quinoa
- 1 lb Chicken Breasts
- ~3 Tbsp Caribbean Spice Mix (above)
- 1 Tbsp Oil (I use grapeseed)
- 1/4 cup Yogurt, Plain or Greek
- Juice of 1/2 Lime
- Make spice rub: Combine all ingredients for the spice rub. (This can be made and stored for several weeks; I double or triple it to have on-hand.)
- Make pineapple salsa: Combine all ingredients for salsa. (You can make this 2 days ahead, but don't add avocados until right before serving.)
- Make quinoa: Rinse quinoa. Bring stock to a boil. Add quinoa and put a lid or foil on the pot to cover. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer until quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and leave covered so that quinoa continues to steam.
- If the chicken breasts you bought are quite thick, you can slice them in half or slice into tenders to help them cook more evenly. Rub chicken on all sides with spice rub.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil begins to shimmer add chicken and cook on both sides until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes total (depending on the thickness of your chicken).
- While chicken cooks, whisk together the yogurt and lime juice.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice.
- Assemble bowls by topping quinoa with sliced chicken, pineapple salsa and drizzling yogurt over top.
And speaking of rambunctious toddlers, ever wonder what it looks like when a food photographer / parent tries to squeeze in a quick photo shoot before dinner while the kiddos are home….